Witley Park

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Coordinates: 51°08′50″N 0°40′49″W / 51.147165°N 0.680255°W / 51.147165; -0.680255

Not to be confused with Witley Court, Worcestershire.
Thursley Lodge gatehouse, at Witley Park.

Witley Park was a 19th-century house and is an estate in Surrey, between Godalming and Haslemere.

History[edit]

The estate named Lea Park between Godalming and Haslemere, Surrey, and the adjacent South Park Farm, were purchased in 1890 from the Earl of Derby. The title to the estate included the titular Lordship of the Manor and control of Hindhead Common. Lea Park was developed by J. Whitaker Wright, as part of extensive land, approximately 9,000 acres (36 km2; 14 sq mi), that he purchased in the Haslemere and Hindhead area.

The preexisting house was developed into a 32 bedroom mansion adjacent to one of three artificial lakes, and landscaped grounds. Underneath the adjacent lake [1] Whitaker Wright built an underground conservatory/smoking room, with aquarium windows, upon which an statue of Neptune stands, giving the appearance it is floating on the water.[2]

Whitaker Wright committed suicide upon conviction for fraud, and his properties were auctioned off. Much of Hindhead Common, Witley Common and Thursley Common was passed on to the National Trust.

Lea Park was sold to Lord Pirrie, notable for his role in the building of RMS Titanic. The letter P with a crown above can be seen on metal gates in the estate and previously-owned lands.

The estate was renamed from Lea Park to Witley Park by the Leigh family, later owners, perhaps to avoid the confusion with Lea/Leigh.

In 1973 the estate, now comprising some 1,400 acres, was purchased by Sir Raymond and Lady Brown. In 2002 the Brown family sold the 500 acres of walled-off Parkland, Gate Lodges and Cottages, retaining Witley Park Farm to the south.

Present[edit]

The original Witley Park mansion burned down in 1952 and 'Witley Park House', a Modern movement home designed by Patrick Gwynne,[3] was built elsewhere on the estate in 1961. The landscaped park remained [4]

Permission for a new house on the site of the old mansion was granted around 2004 and is now completed.

References[edit]

External links[edit]