Searching for memories

Trustees of the oldest building in Portsmouth want to hear from any YHA members who stayed there. Wymering Manor was a youth hostel from 1961 for more than 40 years.

Despite the long history of the building the trustees have no records for the period when the building was a youth hostel. They now want to hear from anyone who stayed in the youth hostel.

They would very much like to hear from hostellers who stayed there, so they can fill the long gap in their records.

The hostel opened in 1961 but the building dates back to the Domesday book and was reputed to be the oldest house in Portsmouth. Reports claimed that Queen Elizabeth I stayed there.

Condemned to be demolished in 1959, the City Council saved the building and leased it to YHA. The 58 bed youth hostel was busy, particularly with visitors using ferries to and from the Isle of Wight, Jersey, France and Spain.

The hostel enjoyed booming years during the 1980s and early 1990s with nearly 8,000 overnights stays recorded annually in those years but the building developed structural problems and YHA withdrew, handing back the property in 2006.

A local community action group formed to save the property and out of this the Wymering Manor Trust, a charity, was established in 2013 “to preserve for the benefit of the people of the City of Portsmouth in Hampshire and of the National, the historic building known as Wymering Manor.”

Anyone who stayed in the hostel and would like to share their memories please contact celiadeane.clark@btopenworld.com.

Image courtesy YHA from the YHA Archive at the Cadbury Research Library, University of Birmingham.

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