History of Hyde House is difficult to find. Possibly because it was only a minor 'Country Seat' and probably only a 'holiday home' for the Radclyffe family owners. The Radclyffe's main residence was at Foxdenton Hall, Chadderton, Lancs. from the 1400's until the death of Major Charles Robert Eustace Radclyffe in 1953. Foxdenton Hall now appears to be in the custody of the local council.
There is an entry for Hyde in ‘Hutchins’s History of Dorset’, originally printed 1861-74. as follows :
"....1837, resold the manor to Charles James Radclyffe esq., the present owner. Mr. Radclyffe has erected a commodious mansion here and otherwise considerably improved the estate. The river Piddle flows through the property, and near the mansion has been bayed up into a fine broad sheet of water, which adds much life and beauty to the place"
Charles James Radclyffe was born in 1804 at Chettle in Dorset. His death was registered in 1882 at Wareham, Dorset. Notwithstanding being a JP and a High Sheriff of the County he was taken to court by RSPCA in the 1850s for causing suffering to 5 sheep.
In the 1911 census Charles James Radclyffe (Junior) - b. 1839 d.1913 - is shown, age 71, living in Hyde House, with 7 children and 13 servants.
[Note added: Kelly's Directory of Dorsetshire, 1923, shows Major Charles Robert Eustace as a County Magistrate for Wareham Petty Sessional Division with an address of 'Hyde House, Bere Regis'. Charles born 1873 was son of Charles born 1839].
What happened from 1923 until 1937 when Caldecott took over? and from 1947 until the Activity Centre started?
Around 1987 until after 1990, the premises were used as an 'Activity Centre' - a large lake having appeared close to the main front lawn.
At some point in time Hyde House was demolished and what looks like a huge private house now stands in what were the gardens. (ref. Google Maps 2013)
A visitor in 2000 wrote:-
"On a visit to the area in 2000, where Hyde House would have stood, there was a very large heap of red bricks. This heap was not the house that originally stood there (Hyde Manor?) but a later building. The only part of the original Hyde House that could be seen was the gatehouse, with large double doors that would have been the entrance for coaches to the courtyard. There was a clock tower over this entrance. There were some houses in the vicinity that were probably part of the Hyde Estate..."
Addition by Admin: Dec 2016
The website https://www.bereregis.org/Industries.htm records that the Hyde Estate was in being around the 12th century belonging to Tarrant Abbey. After the dissolution it went into private hands and the various owners are identified:- firstly Thomas Trenchard, then in the 1600's the Ryves family. In the 18th century William Gaisford Peach, and then in 1837 Charles James Raclyffe.