Bitterne Manor House was originally the residence of the Bishops Of Winchester, Lords of the Manor.
The Waring family lived there in the 18th century (also living at Peartree House). The house was opened as a hotel after the construction of the Northam Bridge in 1798 but was soon returned to a private residence when failing to attract enough business.
In 1805 the house was altered by removing the medieval tower, plastering the stone walls and adding mock battlements (crenellations). Colonel de Billinghurst lived in Bitterne Manor House c1810. The next occupant was a Mrs Stuart Hall, leaving it upon her death in 1847 to her sister Mrs Jane Eastmont. Mrs Eastmont’s daughter Agnes who was the wife of Steuart Macnaughten inherited the house shortly after that. Sir Steuart Macnaughten was chairman of the Southampton Dock Company as well as a local businessman and county magistrate before his death in 1895.
The estate was sold by his third wife to the National Land Corporation who divided the land into smaller building plots. The house was never demolished and was subsequently re-purchased along with a few acres of land by Lady Macnaughten a few years later. Miss Lettice Macnaughten owned the house after her mother’s death and lived there until the start of WWII, during which the house was gutted by bombing in 1940.
After remaining empty and derelict, the house was purchased by Herbert Collins who used his skills as an architect to restore it into a fine building of 14 flats. The mock battlements were removed as was the plaster from the stonework.
(Text from THE LOST HOUSES OF SOUTHAMPTON by Jessica Vale which is available to browse at our Heritage Centre)