To commemorate the 800th anniversary of the gift of his father's house to Romsey Abbey by Henry III in the year 1221 we are launching an appeal for funds to support the work of our charitable trust. We will be developing a scroll containing the names of 800 donors one for each of the 800 years since that gift. For a donation of £10 or more you can have your name entered onto the scroll, written in fine calligraphy. Will you support our charitable trust and join the 800? You can donate by visiting the House and Museum or on our JustGiving
page which will be available shortly.
King John’s House and Tudor Cottage Trust is a registered charity. The primary purpose of the Trust is to preserve and share the building known as King John’s House in Romsey, Hampshire for public benefit. The Trust is also the custodian of a Victorian building, part of which contains our museum, and period style gardens that surround King John’s House. The gardens are maintained by a dedicated and enthusiastic team of volunteers on behalf of the Trust.
The work of King John’s House and Tudor Cottage Trust is supported through paid admission to the House and Museum, events held in the House and Garden and through donations and bequests. The Trust is also very kindly supported by Test Valley Borough Council.
Maintaining access to heritage buildings such as King John’s House is an expensive undertaking, and like many charities the Trust has found the periods of lockdown very difficult financially.
- About the Gift Made by Henry III
On the 9th November 1221 King Henry III gave as a gift to the Abbess of Romsey ‘.... our House in Romsey that the Lord King John my Father caused to be built...' for use by the Abbey. We know of this gift because it is recorded in the 'Close Rolls', one of a collection of scrolls that record every aspect of the administration of England during the reign of each medieval king. Our commemorative scroll will be designed to reflect the Rolls.
The building that we call King John's House gained its association with King John in 1927 when its medieval origins were first identified. We know that the building was in the ownership of the Abbey at the dissolution and in 1927 it seemed beyond coincidence that what had been discovered was indeed the building referred to in the gift of Henry III. Whilst the origin of the house is much contested and is still the subject of much research. The building is nevertheless an important one and still of national significance. It will always be known as King John's House by the people of Romsey.
We are very grateful for any donations to help in the preservation of King John's House so that it can be enjoyed now and by future generations. For our current appeal, the first 800 donors over £10, one for each year since the gift to Romsey Abbey, will be recorded on our commemorative scroll to be displayed in King John’s House on completion. Work on the scroll will begin early in 2022 and we hope to complete the work, with the 800 names recorded, in time for a ceremony in November 2022. Donations of over £25 will receive a personalised commemorative miniature scroll declaring the donor as one of the 800.