This was built in around 1160 for the Lord of Manor’s Constable. In England, a Constable was a powerful man, a public civil officer who maintained peace within the district, though he was often given additional duties. Ranks included High, Petty and Special Constables. Today the police have taken on this role.
The walls were around eight feet thick, and though it was ransacked for the stone in the 18th Century, it was saved by the Rev William Jackson (d 1795). interestingly, convicted for high treason, Rev Jackson swallowed arsenic before entering the dock so that that by dying before conviction his property should pass to his family, Determined as he was, he showed no signs of distress until near the end, when he fell down in the dock.
The Constable’s House fell to ruin until it was donated to Christchurch by Charlotte Druitt in the 1950s.
Today it is particularly notable for a Norman chimney and flue, clearly visible in the pictures, one of only five surviving, and a water gate.