The Gosport Community Association Heritage Project is a new initiative in relation to the conservation of Bury House, a Grade II Listed Building in Gosport.  The project evolved following a concerted effort by the Board of Trustees to secure the future of Bury House  and is a mechanism for its renovation and protection.  The project will also provide  visitors and the local community with an increased understanding of Gosports heritage and its preservation.
Bury House which fronts the Gosport Community Association is a Grade II Listed Building situated in the Bury Road Conservation Area which was designated to ensure that all future developments would ‘preserve or enhance’ the historic and architectural character of the area. Architecturally and historically, the most important buildings within section two of the Conservation Area are Bury Lodge and Bury House. Both date from the 18th century and are amongst the largest buildings in the Conservation Area.
Bury House is particularly prominent due to its size and is clearly visible from many points within the Conservation Area, its setting not having been harmed in any way by the adjacent building of the Thorngate Halls.  The Trustees of the Association are keen to help  preserve Gosports heritage and would welcome assistance in investigating the history of Bury House to ensure it is documented for future generations.
Sadly Bury House and its perimeter wall has deteriorated over the years, mainly due to lack of finances but it is hoped that money can be found to carry out the vital restoration work needed to bring it up to an acceptable standard. Talks have taken place between the Gosport Community Association Management and the Conservation Officer to find ways of achieving this and ensuring that this historic building remains a focal point in the records of Gosports heritage.
The Association were recently donated four watercolours of the house, gardens and conservatory area painted in 1907.  They found their way back to Bury House at the bequest of Mrs. Hordern who resided in the property then.  Her daughter Mrs. Holden traced us to ensure that her mothers wishes were granted.  We were very grateful to receive these and thank Mrs. Holden also for a kind donation of £1,500 to put towards the restoration work of the house.
The Trustees feel that the people of Gosport do not recognise the full historic significance of Bury House and feel it is their duty to not only educate them in its historic relevant but to ensure this is preserved for years to come.
We have very little information on the history of the Building and its resident ghost the  “grey lady” and we are trying to piece together information so we can have a full insight into Bury House and its past residence.  The history of the House is being investigated by a Volunteer and a plea has gone out to see if anyone is able to help us with this project and  assist in putting Bury House back on the map as an important heritage landmark in Gosport.
Sixty Five years ago, under the leadership of the Borough Education Officer, Dr. L. F. W. White, OBE, the Gosport Community Association was formed.  It was located in Privett Secondary School for the first ten years of its life.  Its first aim was to have a Centre which would reflect the cultured personality of the Borough and which would provide acceptable surroundings in which members/users could spend their free time in a variety of pursuits and pleasures.
In 1957 Bury House, A Georgian Town House (built in 1720) with extensive grounds and owned by the Hospital Management Board, was purchased by the Association for £2,500.  A further £2,500 was need for adaption and furnishings.  Of this £5,000 the Ministry of Education gave a grant of £1,000, the remainder was raised by  voluntary efforts.  The Association grew rapidly in its new surroundings and, in recognition of the sound leadership and management of the Association, a local trusts, the Thorngate Combined Charity, provided on the site a Ballroom, Theatre and ancillary accommodation at a cost of £30,000.  In 1965 a stage and band room was built in the Ballroom and the Agnew room was added costing £6,000 which was provided out of income.
This completed a suite of rooms which are a source of justifiable pride to the members and users and of great value to the community, for whom this is the main Civic and Arts Centre in the Borough.
The following points have already been highlighted and form part of the projects long term vision
  • ·         To restore, improve and safeguard the heritage of Bury House and Gosport
  • ·         To educate people in respect of their Heritage
  • ·         To assist people to appreciate and enjoy their Heritage
  • ·         To ensure the preservation of Gosports Heritage for future generations.
  • ·         Developing services and facilities in Gosport linked to Heritage, Community, Arts, Education and Tourism.
  • ·         To continue to meet needs of the community by providing  recreational, social and educational services to Gosport and the surrounding areas. To develop these services in consultation with other statutory organisations.
  • ·         To create a sustainable environment for users and the wider community
  • ·         Aspirations to be more inclusive  
  • ·         Encouraging more opportunities for volunteers which may help to meet growing needs and  promote social inclusion and personal wellbeing
  • ·         Encouraging more opportunities for employment
  • ·         Creating and developing effective partnerships with the community and other agencies both statutory and voluntary in order to build a common purpose and commitment
Gosport Community Association recognises the important of Gosports Heritage and the Trustees, Volunteers and staff are committed to working towards an improved and sustainable community culture that fully promotes sound and democratic governance. This can be achieved  by working in partnership with other statutory and voluntary Organisations and with the support of Hampshire and Gosport Councils.
Lynn Croucher
Community Development Officer

Administration Offices and Reception
Relocate to Theatre Quadrangle - This would enable disabled access
Improve Fire Exit for Staff
Free up First Floor of Bury House
Bury House Foyer and Cafe
Redecorate and display local history of Bury House, GCA and Gosport
Exhibition area for other local artists or photographers
Improve Kitchen equipment etc.
Georgian Suite (Function Bar)
Restoration to incorporate small stage.  Georgian themed.  Accomodate approx. 70 people.
This could accommodate weddings, themed concerts,  small cinema, training, educational facilities etc. Etc.
Decoration and furnishings – Georgian with seating
Civil Wedding Licence for themed weddings etc.
Access to Gardens
Arts in Education - Theatrical events – educational for all ages i.e. Olde Time Music Halls, Wartime, etc. Etc.
Cafe to cater for themed events and shows which could be offered to the retirement homes and schools etc.
The Way we Used to Live
Educational themed rooms for training etc. ( for local Schools)
Role play for schools etc.
Bennett Room
Drama and Dance
Thrift and Museum Shop
IT Room for training
Ghost Stories (Resident Ghost)
Themed events in the Gardens (Band Concerts etc)
Punch and Judy
Organ Chamber with Compton Organ
Radio Haslar
We would require:
Lift Access
Fire Exits to all floors
Repairs to Listed Wall
Renovation of House
Possibility of building extension on top of Cafe to match Bennett Room to accommodate a further room for display, exhibitions etc.

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