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Kingston Maurward, now a college, is a Georgian manor house near Dorchester set in 750 acres which includes a dairy farm and equestrian centre. It was originally built of red brick in 1720 for George Pitt, cousin to Prime Minister William Pitt. However, 50 years later, when King George III visited the house, he told the then owner, descendant William Moreton Pitt, that he disliked red-brick houses – so it was promptly encased in Portland stone. Kingston Maurward is the venue for one of the Dorset and Hampshire antiques and collectors’ fairs run by Grandma’s Attic Fairs.

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But he also stands at IACF Alexandra Palace in London and the Peterborough Festival of Antiques as well as having space at five assorted antiques centres in Dorset and Hampshire. And then there are the fairs.

Two years ago, Bournemouth-based Brown and his partner Geoff Fagan took over Grandma’s Attic Fairs, the antiques and collectors’ fairs run by Valerie and Ken Sleeney at venues across Dorset and Hampshire from 1985. After Ken’s death in 2014, his widow carried on with the fairs with the help of her family, retiring in 2016.

As well as venues in Southampton, Wimborne and Lymington, plus two in Bournemouth, Brown and Fagan have launched four new fairs this year at venues in Dorset and Hampshire. They are the Grade I-listed Kingston Maurward near Dorchester, Potters Heron Hotel, near Romsey, Brockenhurst Village Hall in the New Forest and the River Park Leisure Centre in Winchester.

“I always thought the Sleeneys had built up a good brand and the fairs are doing great,” said Brown. “Many are fully booked, particularly in Wimborne and Southampton, although we had to cancel the recent fair at Kingston Maurward because of snow and there was a major fire at the Potters Heron Hotel in mid-March.”

Grandma’s Attic’s next fair is on Saturday, April 7, at the Masonic Hall in Lymington, with Monday, May 7, as the next scheduled date for Kingston Maurward and Sunday, October 28, the next listing for the Potters Heron Hotel.

grandmasatticfairs.co.uk