Ambarrow is the western side of Sandhurst parish, but it could hardly be called a hamlet. Ambarrow & Edgebarrow Hills are said to be the result of some great battle between the Saxons and the Danes, the dead from each side being buried beneath them. In fact, both are perfectly natural hillocks. The grounds of Ambarrow Court are now an attractive country park, especially when the bluebells are in bloom. The huge old house there was built for Lieut-Col. George Sheppard Harvey in 1885. It was his retirement home after having served his country in the Royal Artillery, particularly in China. The Royal Aircraft Establishment moved in during the war, but the place was demolished in 1969.
The name 'Sandhurst' is Anglo-Saxon and means 'Sandy Wooded Hill'. It is built on a small eminence overlooking the River Blackwater. There was a Royal Hunting Lodge here at the centre of Sandhurst Walke, an important sub-division of Windsor Forest. Hart's Leap Road is thought, by some, to be the site and marks the very edge of the forest. King George III is said to have been its last Royal visitor. Centuries earlier, Prince Arthur, elder brother of Henry VIII, crossed the River Blackwater at Sandhurst whilst on his way to meet his future bride, Princess Catherine of Aragon, Castile & Leon at Dogmersfield Park (Hampshire).
The manor house of
Sandhurst is in the Ambarrow area. It is called Sandhurst Lodge and stands
on the edge of the parish some way from the usual position adjoining the
church. It may contain remnants of a late 18th century house built by and
for Richard Heaviside, the associate of John Nash. However the place was
almost entirely rebuilt for Robert Gibson in 1858, in a rather
unattractive Italianate style. It was later the country home of the
well-known London solicitor, Sir William Farrer. He married one of the
Shaw-Lefevres from Heckfield (Hampshire) and the couple laid out a famous
garden in the grounds with large heated ponds of exotic water-lilies. They
took a great interest in village life and are remembered by a fine
monument in the parish church.
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