Wormsley Park

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Wormsley Park house

Wormsley Park is a 2,500-acre (1,000 ha) estate and 18th century country house between Stokenchurch and Watlington in the Chiltern Hills of Buckinghamshire, England. It is the former home of the philanthropist Sir Paul Getty who moved to Wormsley in 1986. He undertook a restoration which lasted until 1991, and lived there until his death in 2003.[1] It is now the home of Mark Getty and his family and the site of the cricket field known as Sir Paul Getty's Ground.

History[edit]

Originally owned by the Scrope family since the late 16th century the estate belonged to Colonel Adrian Scrope the regicide. The house and estate was passed to his grandson John Scrope a baron of the Exchequer and as Scrope died without issue, his estate of Wormsley passed to the descendants of his sister Anne (died 1720), who had married Henry Fane of Brympton. Their second son, Thomas Fane, also a Bristol merchant, succeeded his uncle as Member of Parliament for Lyme Regis, beginning the Fane family's long association with the parliamentary seat of Lyme Regis. Fane also succeeded a distant cousin and became 8th Earl of Wesmoreland in 1762.

The Fane family retained ownership of the house and estate until 1986 when they sold it to Sir Paul Getty. After he acquired the 18th-century house, Paul Getty spent much time on restoring the house and estate back to its former glory. Getty also had a library added to the house to accommodate his book collection, and a theatre where performances were held for invited guests. In the summer months, Garsington Opera's annual festival is held on the grounds of the park.[2]

Wormsley Park operates as an organic farm. The area is known for its population of Red Kites. Once extinct in England and Scotland, the birds were reintroduced into England beginning in 1989. The area was not originally planned to be the first release site. It was originally intended to be Windsor Great Park, but at the last minute the landowner pulled out and the project nearly collapsed. Getty stepped in and offered Wormsley Park as an alternative, thus saving the project.

Cricket ground[edit]

Sir Paul Getty's Ground
Wormsley Park - geograph.org.uk - 1090068.jpg
Ground information
Location near Ibstone, Buckinghamshire
Establishment 1992 (first recorded match)
Domestic team information
Unicorns (2010–present)
Buckinghamshire (1999–2005)

When Mick Jagger introduced him to cricket, Getty formed such an affection for the sport that in 1992 he had a replica of The Oval built on the grounds, with a mock-Tudor pavilion. Queen Mother and prime minister John Major attended the first match, along with Michael Caine, Denis Compton and Brian Johnston. Over the final decade of his life, Getty invited teams to play at what is now known as "Sir Paul Getty's Ground"; the teams ranged from world-class sides to youth sides. Amongst those who have played there are cricketers Andrew Flintoff, Imran Khan, Mike Gatting, Mike Atherton, Mark Ramprakash, Derek Randall, and Mike Brearley and entertainment figures such as Peter O'Toole, Tim Rice, and Rory Bremner. Touring international sides regularly play at Wormsley. In recent years Wormsley has welcomed the Australians, West Indians, Sri Lankans and South Africans.[3] It was the venue for the only Test match of the Australian women's tour of England in 2013.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Cunningham, John (18 April 2003). "Obituary: Sir Paul Getty". The Guardian. 
  2. ^ Christiansen, Rupert (2 November 2010). "Garsington gears up for glorious pastures new". The Daily Telegraph. 
  3. ^ "About Wormsley". Wormsley Cricket. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°38′41″N 0°56′03″W / 51.644693°N 0.934224°W / 51.644693; -0.934224