History Designated a Grade I-listed building, Athelhampton Hall (as it was originally called), is truly a mansion of some importance. Work began on the manor in 1493 by Sir William Martyn, and it was continued and extended by his heirs for centuries after. Like a handful of other significant houses in this area of Dorset, Athelhampton has links to the celebrated local novelist Thomas Hardy, who appears to have been a regular visitor to the manor. His poem 'The Dame Of Athelhall' was conceived at the house. Athelhampton House is constructed partly from gorgeous honey-coloured Hamstone, quarried from renowned Ham Hill at Yeovil.