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Cold mornings and dark nights is often a time when people prefer to remain inside and keep cosy by the fire. Not so at Grove Place.

December brought with it the opportunity to throw open the doors of the award-winning Retirement Village near Romsey in Hampshire and invite locals inside for a fascinating history tour.

Conducted by Grove Place homeowner and amateur historian, Fred Tickle, the original plan was to host a one-off event, but such has been the interest form the local community two more events are planned.

Grove Place Manor is an imposing Grade I listed building which combines a fascinating mix of history and contemporary living.

So there’s plenty to discover.

The 16th century manor house was formerly owned by a king – Charles 1 and Prime Minister – Lord Palmerston. Although not at the same time!

In 1813, the Manor House was converted to an asylum, then in 1860 it was used as a farmhouse.

In 1895 it was restored to its former glory and remained a private residence until 1961, when it became a school.

In 2009 the property was purchased by LifeCare Residences and transformed into the retirement community it is today.

Earlier this month owners and guests witnessed the spectacular Christmas lights ‘switch on’ when everyone enjoyed mulled wine, entertainment and an al fresco Hog Roast.

A 25-foot Christmas tree is the centrepiece of what can only be called a fairy-light fantasia enhanced by the illuminated balustrades and twinkly hedgerows.

As one resident commented “For me it is the sound of festive songs, chatting to my friends and the spontaneous dancing that makes this event so special – it means the festive period has properly begun”.

For further details on buying a home at Grove Place, please visit www.lifecareresidences.co.uk or call Wendy Griffith, Sales Manager, on 02380 743 592.

Grove Place