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Manor of Quarr & Newnham

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Manor of BinsteadBinstead villageManor of Quarr & NewnhamFish HouseWootton Bridge & Kite HillHavenstreet

Quarr and Newnham was a manor on the Isle of Wight Estates. Its boundaries are unclear, but it seems that the manor of Quarr comprised the western area bordering Wootton Creek, including Fish House and Fishbourne Farm, and part of Quarr Farm; and perhaps extending as far south as Kite Hill, Firestone Copse, and Havenstreet. The northern portion of the manor of Quarr was known after 1837 as the Quarr Abbey Estate. The manor of Newnham probably included the site of the Abbey of Quarr, part of Quarr Farm, Quarr Wood, and Newnham Farm. The manorial lordship of Quarr & Newnham was sold in 1991[1].

Quarr House and the Quarr Abbey Estate

OS plan of Quarr House and grounds
OS plan of Quarr House and grounds

The Quarr Abbey Estate (so-named after 1837) was the northern portion of the Manor of Quarr & Newnham, and included Fish House and portions of Fishbourne Farm and Quarr Farm. It did not include the site of old Quarr Abbey[2]. In 1837 the entail on this portion of the Fleming Estate was broken and swapped with the South Stoneham House Estate, and Quarr was settled instead by John Barton Willis Fleming on his second son Thomas James Willis Fleming. The adjoining foreshore remained with the main Fleming Estate[3].

By the 1840s, the Willis Fleming family had started construction on part of Quarr Farm a new mansion house named Quarr House (later known as Quarr Abbey House), with pleasure grounds of some six acres. The house was probably designed - or at least completed - by the local architect Thomas Hellyer (1811-1894) of Ryde. Stone from the Binstead quarries was used in its construction[4]. In 1845, Thomas Willis Fleming was described as being 'of Quarr House'. In 1851, Quarr House was 'partly occupied and unfinished'[5]. Thomas Willis Fleming was resident at Quarr House the same year.

In October 1853, Thomas Willis Fleming made a contract with his father-in-law, Peter Hunter, to lease Quarr House to him for 99 years, at a low rent, in return for Hunter expending £2000 in 'completing and substantially repairing' the house. Following the death of his aunt in 1855, Thomas Willis Fleming made Binstead Cottage his Island home; the intention to sell Quarr House was advertised, at which time the interior of the house was still incomplete. But the house remained unsold, and the following year the long lease to Peter Hunter, under the terms of the 1853 contract, was ratified[6]. The house had been completed. But then in 1857, Thomas conveyed the estate, with Quarr House, back to the Fleming Estate in exchange for South Stoneham Park

Around this time Thomas Hawkins, of the Hermitage at Whitwell, made an unsuccessful attempt to acquire the estate. In the following year, 1858, the Quarr Abbey Estate was conveyed leasehold, and later freehold, to Admiral Sir Thomas John Cochrane (1779-1872)[7].


  1. Sale of Fleming Estate manorial lordships in the 1990s
  2. There has been some confusion as to whether the Cochrane family or the WIllis Fleming sold Quarr to the modern Quarr Abbey Monastery; the answer is, they both did: the Quarr Abbey Estate was sold to the monks in 1907 by the Cochrane family; the site of the Cistercian Monastery with Quarr Farm was sold to them by the Fleming Estate in 1912
  3. Remarks by Arthur Arnold concerning Binstead Foreshore and other historical matters, 1928
  4. Letter of John Brown Willis Fleming to Richard Pink, 18 May 1853  (WFMS:1049 ) '... until a settlement is arrived [with Thomas Willis Fleming] for stone used at Quarr House.'
  5. 1851 Census
  6. Lease of Quarr House, 1856
  7. Certificate of terms and rents for Lease of Manor of Quarr, 1859. Admiral Sir Thomas John Cochrane must be distinguished from his famous uncle Admiral Thomas Cochrane (1775-1860), 10th Earl of Dundonald. The terms of the conveyance are unclear; it has been suggested that Thomas Cochrane won the estate in a game of cards.
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