Now world renowned for the Marwell Zoological Park (which opened in 1972), Marwell Hall itself dates from around 1314. I was built by Walter Woodlock after gaining permission from Henry Woodlcok, Bishop of Winchester. By the early 16th century the estate was owned by Corpus Christi College which they rented out to various tenants. Between 1530 and 1638 the Seymour family resided at Marwell, including Sir Henry Seymour, brother of Jane Seymour (1508 – 24 October 1537), so it is possible that Henry VIII may have visited Marwell.
Marwell Hall did not escape the Civil War and a small fight between 60 Roundheads staying at the Hall and 200 drunken Royalists from moving out of Winchester. The Roundheads, though out numbered won the battle.
In 1882 Rowland Standish bought Marwell from Corpus Christi College and it remained in his family until 1933 and during the 1940’s the grounds were used as a temporary airfield. John Knowles bought Marwell Hall and its grounds in the 1960’s to create the zoo.
The most enduring ghost story about Marwell relates to a hide and seek bride. While playing a game of hide and seek on her wedding day, the bride hid in a large oak chest which shut tight and smothered her. The body was not to be discovered until many years later when workers at the hall opened the chest and the ghostly spirit of the bride is said to walk the corridors of Marwell Hall.
Apparently anomalous footsteps have been heard by staff and guests at Marwell and dark shadows have been seen moving around.