HAREFIELD HOUSE – Built in the ‘Elizabethan style’ c1846 for Sir Edward Butler who was one time Chairman of the Southampton and Salisbury Railway Company. Covering an estate of 238 acres, the gardens had terraces, trees and an ornamental pond. By 1856, Sir Edward had left Harefield as its next occupant was Arthur Bailey but only until 1861 when the estate was sold to William Gillett who lived there with his family until 1885.
It has been assumed that William died c1890 as his relatives let and then sold Harefield Estate to Edwin Jones (founder of the department store in Southampton of the same name – later to become Debenhams). Following Edwin Jones’ death in 1896, his widow married Dr J L Thomas who died in 1913. Mrs Thomas continued to live at Harefield until in 1915 the house was totally gutted by fire.
The estate was eventually sold in 1917 and was broken up for housing development in the 1940’s.