IT'S the Hampshire rehab clinic whose patients have included celebrities such as entertainer Michael Barrymore and footballer Paul Gascoigne.

During the Second World War the Marchwood site was a convalescent home for fighter pilots who had been badly burned during dogfights over the south.

Now a collection of crumbling brick walls thought to have been built in the late 1860s are also set to be healed.

The New Forest National Park Authority (NPA) has approved proposals to repair and partially rebuild the walls, which surround a former kitchen garden at the Grade II-listed Priory Hospital.

A report to NPA members said: "The garden was substantial and impressive in its hey-day.

"However, it is now in an advanced state of decline. Many of the walls, and the buildings within the walls, have partially or fully collapsed."

The Priory Group is planning to rebuild sections of the walls using bricks that have been salvaged from the site, cleaned, and kept in storage.

Its application included a detailed history of the site, originally occupied by a yeoman's cottage built in the 16th or 17th century.

The cottage was later replaced by a Regency mansion which at one time was surrounded by 708 acres of land.

In 1938 the property was bought by Hubert Scott-Paine, who converted the buildings into a residential training centre for the British Power Boat Company in nearby Hythe.

Mr Scott-Paine used the site until 1943, when it was requistioned by the Air Ministry.

From 1943 until 1949 the site was used as a rehabilitation centre for airmen recovering from surgery after being badly burned during combat.

During this period a tennis court and a swimming pool were built in parts of the garden.

The property was returned to Mr Scott-Paine in 1949 but was sold to a Mr Mitchell, who left the house empty for three years and reputedly sold off much of the land.

From 1952 until 1970 the house was rented by the preparatory part of Embley Park School.

Later it became a pony trekking centre and then a school for children with dyslexia before being bought by Community Psychiatric Centres - the forerunner of the Priory Group - in 1985.