Wonersh: The Park and House

The Park lies to the south of the site of Wonersh House, which was built in the 17th century and was home to Lord Grantley.

Wonersh Park and House. Detail from a sketch by the Right Honerable Lord Grantley. (Surrey History Centre PX162/26)

Wonersh Park and House. Detail from a sketch by the Right Honerable Lord Grantley.
(Surrey History Centre PX162/26)

Wonersh Park included a pleasure garden of 15 acres, a walled garden to the south and east and a deer park. Wonersh house was demolished in 1929 and much of the estate has been lost to residential development, however some of the walled garden still survives and an entrance gateway remains at the roadside.

The 1870 Ordnance Survey map shows Wonersh house, to the west of the village, having ornamental gardens with a terrace running through it, a summer house, glass houses and two ponds marked as fish ponds (a boathouse was marked to the northeast of the larger pond). Surrounding parkland, mostly open land with some individual trees, is noted as a deer park and was probably used for hunting.

Also included in the gardens was an open area with a sundial to the southeast and a rectangular quadrangle with carriage passages underneath the north and south sides. A network of paths ran around these grounds and led to a large, square, enclosed area, which housed the glass houses. In the kitchen garden was a vinery 36 feet by 14 feet with two sets of vines. There was also a peach house and a pine stove. The head gardener at this time was a Mr. Killick.

The former site of the house was bought in 1935 by Mrs F H Cook and was given to the village for public recreation in 1950. Soon after this, a gardener named J.G. Vautier planted a smaller garden on the edge of what used to be Wonersh Park and called it Woodcroft. This garden included many flowers and in the third week of June 1952, the Royal Counties Show was in Guildford with the horticultural tent at Woodcroft.

Further information

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View the HER record for Wonersh Park

One thought on “Wonersh: The Park and House”

  1. I thought you might be interested in hearing that Wonersh appears in a scene in my forthcoming novel Death and Mr Pickwick, which tells the story behind the creation of Charles Dickens’s first novel, The Pickwick Papers. Wonersh appears because Dickens’s famous trial of Bardell V Pickwick was in part based upon the trial of the Prime Minister, Lord Melbourne, for adultery with the poet Caroline Norton – and Mrs Norton was married, unhappily, to Lord Grantley’s brother, George Norton. In my novel, I show the first meeting between George and Caroline at Wonersh. You can find out more about the novel at http://www.deathandmrpickwick.com

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