Coordinates: Burwood Park is an historic estate in the parish of Hersham in Surrey, England. The old mansion house has been demolished and much of the parkland built over to form approximately 400 large detached houses dating from the early 20th century to the present day. The new estate's roads are of a geometric design within an approximate semicircle and many of its roads have entrances with automatic bollards or security buildings.
Mention of the manor of Burwood in historical records appears as early as 962 AD. At that time an Anglo-Saxon settlement at Walton-on-Thames existed, physically evidenced by its church built in the 12th century principal structure incorporating flint stone of this period. It was one of six parishes in the heavily wooded hundred (former county subdivision) — the present, Hersham parish was formed in 1851. From 1066 Burwood was one of the four Norman manors in the parish and was equated with Walton Leigh. This was conveyed by the President and Fellows of Corpus Christi College, Oxford to John Carleton from whom King Henry VIII purchased it in 1540. He ordered Burwood as with the Ashley and Oatlands manors to be converted to a deer park or woodland for him to enjoy and later awarded it to a tenant-in-chief.
Between 1617 and 1720, Burwood Park passed through a succession of purchasers and their heirs, the names of whom are in Royal records such as feet of fines, but of these, a nationally notable owner is John Latton who purchased the main house in the estate in 1720. He was Deputy Lieutenant of Surrey under Queen Anne and had been a great favourite of William III (of Orange) for whom he held several important posts. He enlarged Burwood from its own demise of 18 acres, to its present extent 360 acres (1.5 km2) by buying up part of Walton Common, glebe around the perimeter and the little hamlet of Burwood with its windmill (later damaged and taken down in 1797) which was on the site of the house Webbers' Ridge in Cranley Road.
In 1739 the first of the Frederick baronets acquired it – Burwood Park mansion in land west of the former Burwood House (manor house) was built by Sir John Frederick (1708–1783), a wealthy city merchant and Lord Mayor of London. He planted many of the trees and shrubs, which are a feature of the woodlands, having collected a number of aesthetically pleasing and unusual species. Some he retained such as the wide oak tree in Eriswell Road the width of which indicates it was a sapling in 1600 or earlier. He did convert gravel works for his buildings' construction into the present ornamental lakes. These drained into Black Pond in the plot of Lynwood in Eastwick Road, thence to the War Memorial Pond (removed during the late 20th century) in Hersham, thence to the River Mole.
The second Frederick baronet, Sir John (1749–1825), lived in the mansion, as did the sixth, Sir Richard. To the north across the present roundabout and entirely at road level is a rebuilt bridge across the long, deep cutting of the South West Main Line, name-plaqued Sir Richard's Bridge, having agreed to it with the railway to enable his pony and traps and visitors to access his estate directly from the direction of Walton & Hersham station (today simplified to 'Walton on Thames') which opened in May 1838. He died in 1863.
Henry Askew of Westmorland purchased it from the family. Two of his three daughters (imposing many of the later covenants) arranged for a black painted corrugated iron fence to be erected all around the Park and lived in the mansion as virtual recluses. Burwood House's ice houses (brick larders) near the central lakes may still have been used at this time. The landscape became overgrown.
After the deaths of the Askew daughters, an estate company first purchased and then sold the park to Edward Guinness, 1st Earl of Iveagh (1847–1927) in the year in which he died. Rupert Guinness his son divided most of the park, barring tree-lined roads and verges, into large-garden plots with a great minimum value of any home to be built in each, in 1934, laying out the private roads. He was the first Chairman of the Burhill Estates Company formed for this purpose and named roads after Guinness family estates in Suffolk.
Houses such as The Beeches had been built by the late 1920s, but the first major housing development was in 1934 in Onslow Road. The mansion in Burwood Park was converted into a girls' school under a Miss Jean Byrne. Vacated during the Second World War, it was charitably converted to educate forty boys and girls who were born deaf. A new sixth form college was opened in 1975. The school was the only Secondary Technical School for deaf boys and girls in England and was sponsored by the Guinness family. The school eventually closed, and in 1999, Octagon Developments were commissioned to re-convert the Grade II* listed building into a dwelling and to build seven further individual houses in the grounds.
Plans were advanced in 1966 for the construction of a further twenty houses on an extension of Cranley Road returning to Eriswell Road near the School. Now, new houses have been built on double-sized plots in Albury Road, Patmore Lane, Kelvedon Avenue, Ince Road and Eriswell Crescent and a plot that used to be covered in birch, beech and oak trees and was a favourite area for exercising dogs. This latter area of 80 houses completed the development of an approximately equal density and size-of-dwelling estate.
Plant and animal species
Tree and berry bushes have been re-established in the park and beyond native varieties which together with the existence of Broadwater and Heart Pond, and birdlife is extensive, with over 150 species having been recorded. These include little and tawny owls, jays and magpies and others of the crow family, herons, woodpeckers, finches, thrushes and waterfowl, alongside less common native, migrant and introduced species such as yellow-green, ring-necked parakeets.
Mammals such as badgers, foxes, squirrels and hedgehogs remain as in its pre-developed woodland state.
Location and transport
Burwood Park is in the borough of Elmbridge, Surrey. It is bordered by single carriageway public roads through protected common or residential estates to all sides with Hersham to the immediate east, and a scattered line of properties and the 19th-century founded Burhill Golf Course to the south. To the west (and north across the railway line) are two other private housing estates, one heavily security gated and one as with Burwood Park partially gated and substantially not, Saint George's Hill, and Ashley Park.
Within ⅓ miles (500 metres) is Walton-on-Thames railway station with fast (non-stopping, i.e. major stop) service trains to London Waterloo, Basingstoke, Woking and Surbiton. Walton on Thames is the second major stop from London on one regular service.
Burwood Park has seventeen roads:
- Kilrue Lane
- Eriswell Road
- Onslow Road
- Broadwater Road North
- Broadwater Road South
- Broadwater Close
- Chargate Close
- Pond Close
- Kelvedon Avenue
- Patmore Lane
- Eriswell Crescent
- Albury Road
- Ince Road
- Cranley Road
- Farmleigh Grove
- The Quillot
- Manor House Drive
• Isabelle Patrick
- Parishes: Walton on Thames, in A History of the County of Surrey: Volume 3 ed. H E Malden, London, 1911, pp. 467-475 Available online at British History (University of Portsmouth and others) Retrieved 13 March 2015
- Historic England. "Details from listed building database (1377468)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 17 March 2015.