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History of Old Thorns

History | Old Thorns

The site on which Old Thorns Manor Hotel Golf & Country Estate stands was first documented in the 17th century, when two traditional stone cottages were inhabited by local farm workers. Over time the cottages were converted into one house, and by 1949 when entrepreneur and businessman Ken Wood bought the property, Old Thorns was a working dairy farm with a large herd of cattle.

Ken Wood made considerable improvements to Old Thorns Farm, by adding 28 additional bedrooms, a working kitchen, a large drawing room and a cellar. He also employed a farmer to tend the cattle and Ken Wood recognised the potential his land would yield in the increasingly popular world of golf, and as golf became more important throughout the UK, it was obvious to him that his land held all the attributes required of a great golf course. Contact was made with Commander John Harris, Britain’s most famous golf course architect of the day, and Harris accepted a commission as the course designer.

Harris produced the first blueprint across 130 acres of the estates land for Old Thorns Golf Club in 1976. Sadly Harris did not live to see the project sanctioned, but sanctioned it was, and Peter Alliss and Dave Thomas took over the construction of the course and saw it through to completion in 1981.

The official opening of the golf course was endorsed by a competitive four-ball between Isao Aoki, Seve Ballesteros, Jack Nicklaus and reigning Open champion, Bill Rogers. Aoki shot 69 to win, and the match scorecard was framed for posterity. Today they are proudly displayed in the sports bar.

In October of 1983, Old Thorns Golf Club attracted the interest of Mr Sakurai, chairman of the Kosaido Company, which owned 25 golf courses around the world. On April 6, 1984, Kosaido Development Company became owners of Old Thorns.

Kosaido Development Company introduced a number of luxury features to the golf club and in January 1985, introduced a high-quality Japanese restaurant called Nippon Kan. The restaurant immediately won great acclaim.

The club continued to have success over the next ten years until 2007, when it was bought from the Kosaido Development Company, by the Shaw family.

Since then the resort has undergone a multi-million pound development seeing numerous world-class facilities added including: The Alliss Family Suites and The Shaw Wing accommodation blocks, which now takes the hotels offering to more than 160 bedrooms.

New facilities now include a champagne and cocktail bar, which offers premium beers, wines, spirits and champagnes. In addition to the champagne bar, a brand new sports bar also opened in spring 2011. The sports bar, offers everything you would want from a traditional bar, with live sporting events shown daily.

For hotel guest looking for a more private and romantic meal, the Kings Restaurant offers a refreshing alternative to the sports bar, offering a brasserie in the evenings and a traditional carvery for lunch.

Other new facilities at the resort include a purpose-built 25,000 square foot health club, with a 20 meter pool, sauna, steam room, state-of-the-art gymnasium, fitness studio, spinning studio, wellness area, sub-tropical bubble pool and hot tubs. And a brand new spa with 15 treatment rooms offering everything from manicures to pedicures with Decléor products.

The resort also boasts 14 conference rooms, catering from two to 300 delegates. Old Thorns is also fast gaining an established reputation as one of the most sought after wedding venues in the South of England, with 200 weddings booked in 2014. The Grand Ballroom and Hampshire Suite offer either an intimate or grand setting, to suit all styles, taste, and budgets.

In 2012 the resort was 30 years old, and although significantly changed since the original vision of Ken Wood, Old Thorns still retains its heart in golf, and is looking forward to the next 30 years.

  • Exclusive Offers

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    • Afternoon Tea and Spa

      Afternoon Tea and Spa Our traditional afternoon tea with a selection of freshly made sandwiches, cakes and a range of teas and coffee. Accompanied by one of the following 25 minute treatments: (Not available Saturday’s and Sunday’s) Decleor Tranquillity Scalp…

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    • Get Fit For 2016

      Get fit for 2016 at Old Thorns.  Ask about any new membership offers we have! Our new state of the art gym and wellness centre offers the largest selection of facilities and enjoys great views over the old Thorns Championship…

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    • Wedding Fayres at Old Thorns

      Old Thorns offers the perfect setting for any wedding or celebration from a lavish affair in the grand ballroom to a more intimate gathering in the luxurious ambience of the Hampshire suite. This venue has been the setting for the…

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  • Events

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    • Valentines Dinner for Two

      A romantic 3 course dinner and spectacular live Jazz band with Disco to dance the night away with your loved one.

      £80 per couple

      Please call 01428 725 843


      on Saturday, February 13 2016 7:00 pm - 11:59 pm

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    • Ed Sheeran

      The UK’s number Ed Sheeran tribute act.

      Jack brings you an authentic performance giving you the Ed Sheeran experience. Preforming exactly the same way as Ed would live.

      Enjoy this with a three-course meal and a disco until midnight for just £39.95 per person. Please call 01428 725 843


      on Friday, February 26 2016 7:00 pm - 11:00 pm

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    • Ultra 90’s

      Ultra 90s is the first and only show of its kind taking you back to the most exciting musical movement in decades – the dance era of the 1990’s. It’s fresh, new, unique and not to be missed! Ultra 90s perform the best classic chart, dance and club anthems from the 1990s. From Snap! To Faithless, from Dee-lite to Vanilla Ice, Ultra 90s guarantees to get any party buzzing. Taking you through House, Chart, Dance and Club Classics along with popular Drum and Bass tunes from the 90s – The Ultimate 90s Revival – 90s Nostalgia at it’s best.

      Enjoy this with a three-course meal and a disco until midnight for just £39.95 per person. Please call 01428 725 843


      on Friday, March 4 2016 7:00 pm - 11:59 pm

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