Originally known as ‘The Elms’ Elmers Court was mentioned in the book “The Country Houses of Hampshire” and also played a major part in the social & political history of Lymington during 1800’s.
Over the years ‘the Elms’ became known as Elmers Court and thus, its new identity was born.
Your first experience is of passing through the gateway, following up the driveway of shrubs and ﬂowers, then finally coming across the high-chimneyed, Tudor-gabled Manor House, which dates back to the 1820’s.
The original estates around Lymington area were owned by large landowners, like the Burrard family (1668-1883) and the Worsley’s who owned Pywell House (1646-1780). The Whitaker family, whose wealth was derived from Marsala wine and its Italian vineyards, took over Pywell House in 1874, incorporating the Elms Estate.
William Whitaker (1841-1893) was a High Sherriff of Hampshire and it was thought that The Elms was used as a local courthouse. With the help of the Hampshire dialect, it was not long before The Elms was being referred to as “Elm-ers Court” and so its new identity was born.
William's son Hugh Whitaker (1885-1971) inherited the estate in 1893. During his time the house was practically rebuilt. The leaded drain pipes down the West Wing have the date 1911 on them. The house remained in the Whitaker family until early l930’s until it was taken over by Middlesex County Council for use as a school for delicate children (asthmatics, T.B. etc).
In the 1940’s it was taken over by the War Office and used as an Electronics and Communication Centre, by the American and Canadian Forces to co-ordinate the D-Day Landings. During the build up Elmers Court was also used as a spy training school; the famous British Spy “Odette” was trained here.
After the invasion forces were established in France, Elmers Court became an R&R centre for American and Canadian Forces.
At the end of hostilities, Elmers Court was returned to the Middlesex and Harrow Borough Councils and once again used as a school, although this time for problem children. For numerous reasons this did not prove viable.
In 1979 Elmers Court was acquired by Mr Vic Read. It was developed to very high standards and in 1984 purchased by Bury and Knight, a subsidiary of the Holbourne Group of companies.
In April 1986 Barratt International Resorts Ltd purchased the property, bringing the number of Barrett Resorts in Europe to nine.
In 1997 Macdonald Hotels acquired a 50% stake in B.I.R.L. after managing the Resorts for several years in 2001 Macdonald Hotels acquired the remaining 50% of B.I.R.L. along with Heritage Hotel chain to become Macdonald Hotels and Resorts.
And so the story continues. © Macdonald Elmers Court Hotel