MORE celebrations for 800th birthday of King John’s House which also saw the launch of a fundraising campaign.

The current Chair of King John’s House, Councillor John Parker hosted the Mayor of Test Valley Cllr Mark Cooper and Romsey Town Mayor, Cllr Karen Dunleavey, at King John's House recently to hear the recollections of Hugh de Burgh, marking the 800th anniversary of the gift from King Henry III of his father’s house in Romsey, to the town’s Abbey.

The evening included an enactment by the ageing Hubert de Burgh, 1st Lord of Kent reminiscing on the reign of our Lord and King John in front of an invited audience of nobles on the eve of the gift of the King's House to the Abbess of Romsey on November 9, 1221 by Henry III.

Attended by the ever-loyal servant, Isoldt and with memories of his Queen Isabella, Countess of Angouleme, Hubert sadly reflects that the once noble palace is reduced to a mere hostel for travellers.

The event marked the official launch of “Join the 800” a campaign to raise public donations to help preserve the heritage buildings and gardens that are in the historic market town close to Romsey Abbey.

Mayor Karen said: "We saw a lovely play, giving background information about the house which was rather lovely and very well done.

"As someone who has lived in and around Romsey all their life, I am still learning, every day's a school day but I feel invested now. I understand the importance of King John's House to Romsey.

"We were made very welcome, it was a very well organised evening and on our seats we were given a really nice little scroll with a little bit about the house written up. It was very special, it's a keeper."

Donations towards the campaign will be recorded on a scroll which will be displayed in King John’s House and significant donations to be recognised by the receipt of an individual calligraphy scroll.

Details will appear on the website at and the organisations social media pages.

King John’s House is an accredited museum, heritage garden and tea rooms run by a small local charity with support from Test Valley Borough Council.