Built in 1795, Oakley Hall has a distinguished and fascinating past. The author Jane Austen lived in the nearby village of Steventon until she was 25, and as a friend of the Bramston family - the then owners - she was a frequent visitor to Oakley Hall and it is mentioned fondly in Austen's letters to her sister Cassandra. Mrs Bramston provided the inspiration for the character Lady Bertram in her third novel, Mansfield Park, and it's quite possible that other elements of Oakley Hall found their way into the book.
A later owner, William Beach, added a second storey to the house, so creating the grand and impressive building that 21st century visitors can still enjoy. He also employed landscape gardener and architect Edward Milner to design Oakley Hall's gardens and the Glasshouse, which would have housed an exotic garden.
In 1940 Oakley Hall became the new residence of Hilsea College, a boarding school that had relocated from Portsmouth.
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