A CHANCE discovery during renovation work at a stately home near Malpas has thrown new light on its wartime history.
A photograph discovered by the owners of Iscoyd Park shows the property when it was requisitioned for use as a 1,500-bed hospital for American forces during the Second World War.
There was a small compound for trusted German prisoners enclosed in the parkland, some of whom acted as orderlies in the hospital.
Philip Godsal and his wife Susie discovered the photograph when renovating the property before moving into the ancestral home and setting up business there.
Philip, whose family first lived at Iscoyd Park in 1843, said: “We were really thrilled to find the picture which we find fascinating because we can see exactly how it looked 65 years ago – and it is completely different!
“The wall in the foreground is still in existence but all the buildings were levelled after the war leaving open parkland.
“The area used is now an operational cricket pitch used by Iscoyd and Fenns Bank Cricket Club.
“The picture was taken from the front door of the camp hospital as it was then.
“The hospital was set up in 1942 by the US forces and it was returned to the Godsal family in 1957.”
Philip added that several trees had been felled in the park to make way for the camp.
The house now operates as a family home and wedding venue after a major restoration programme.
The couple are keen to hear from anyone who may also have photographic evidence of the wartime buildings or parkland over the years and they can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org