Horseshoe Hill, Upshire, Essex, EN9 3SL
01992 768642 julie.powell@warliesparkhouse.com

 

History

A legacy spanning 500 years

Warlies Park House History

PART ONE

1519 - 1826

The estate was expanded upon in 1629 by Dr. Thomas Foxe and again between 1720 and 1740 when Richard Morgan added a further 110 acres to the estate and “greatly improved the mansion at Warlies”. Richard also designed a landscape park with classical rotunda and obelisks and erected the small temple in the park in 1737 which have been preserved to this day.

Walter converted the copyhold tenure to freehold in 1799 and sold the estate to James Reed in 1801. By this time, the estate consisted of 397 acres and two roods of land. It had grown again to 500 acres by the time James sold Warlies to William Banbury in 1814.

His grandson, Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton the 3rd took over the house at the age of 21 and married Victoria Noel, daughter of the Earl of Gainsborough and god daughter to Queen Victoria.

Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton, 3rd Baronet , in his uniform as Govenor of South Australia circa 1890.

During these years the estate played host to a large number of visitors from all walks of life including politicians, poets, social workers and an African chief! The family was large and many celebrations were hosted on the grounds. As first Verderer of Epping Forest, Sir Thomas Fowell gifted several hundred acres of the estate as an addition to the forest. He also built the first church in the Hamlet of Upshire in 1901.

Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton, 3rd in front at his son Victor's wedding.

Main hall around 1900.

Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton, 5th Baronet, sold Warlies to Dr. Barnardo in 1928 who opened a home for 53 girls aged between 15 - 30 who were certified ‘mentally defective’ and therefore unable to take up normal work. Despite the care of the mentally deficient being little understood in those days, the physical care of the children in Banardo’s home was considered ahead of its time and reports indicate that the children were educated in health and hygiene “above their class”.

Opening of the Bernado's home at Warlies.

In 1954 it became a mixed home for children and became a happy place for the children who enjoyed camping, swimming, first aid, horse riding, fishing, music, photographic printing & films, woodwork, farming and even motorbike repairs under the mentorship of Bruce Belfield, the superintendent. Bruce passed the baton to Jack and Dorothy Knight, who continued his legacy of good work until the school closed in 1972. A new heated swimming pool suited to the needs of disabled children was installed in the Old School Block in 1961 and was largely made possible by the fundraising efforts of a Mr Pastry (Richard Hearne) who enlisted the help of Olympic swimmer, Margaret Edwards, to raise the £6,000 required.

Despite interests from the Greater London Council in making Warlies a country park, Warlies remained empty until 1976. During this time it was severely vandalised and badly exposed to the elements with a fire also damaging much of the Bachelor Wing roof.

Sadly, 1992 saw the liquidation of Pynford and 70 Pynford employees based at Warlies, suddenly lost their jobs. At the time of Pynford’s demise, the Grand Hall and the main part of the Georgian Wing were still derelict and had subsided badly. The Old School Block had been without its roof for 20 years. In fact much of the site had either an industrial or derelict institutional appearance to it. Warlies, despite still being a Grade II listed building, was in a very sorry state indeed. Costs to repair seemed insurmountable and there was a risk that the liquidators may be forced to allow the Estate to fall into further disrepair.

It was decided to let as much of the space for office use and after many Local Authority planning issues and Listed Building complications, Warlies Estate was gradually brought back to life over the following six years.

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1594

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1740

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1787

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1799

PART TWO

1851 - 1921

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1851

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1862

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1879 -
1924

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1900

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1912

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1928

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1940

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1954

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1972

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1976

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PART THREE

1976 - 1993

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1976

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1992

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PART FOUR

1993 - present

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1993

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2000

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2019

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Little is known of Warlies prior to 1519 except that it belonged to the Abbots of Waltham before the Dissolution but in 1594 Samuel Foxe (1562 - 1629) obtained possession of it and the estate passed from generation to generation for the next 200 years.

The estate was lost to the family during the tenure of Julia Carter who died childless having lost Warlies and her inheritances by her fortune-hunting cousin and husband, Sir John Aubrey. John sold Warlies for £11,500 in 1787 to Walter Urquart.

On William’s death in 1851, the estate was sold to Sir Edward North Buxto, 2nd Baronet, whereupon the estate entered what was perhaps its most illustrious historic period under the ownership of the Buxton family. Sir Edward’s father was philanthropist Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton, 1st Baronet, whose important work in the abolition of slavery in the British dominions is commemorated on the Bank of England's £5 note.

It is likely that the Stable Block was built by his father as a wedding gift but when the young bride saw Warlies she convinced her husband to expand the house to include the Gothic style North Wing, completed in 1879. The name of this wing today commemorates the architect, Samuel Teulon (1812 - 1873).

Sir Thomas Fowell died at the age of 79 in 1912. One of his sons, Noel Edward Buxton, was involved with the foundation of the Save The Children Fund. In 1924 he became Minister of Agriculture in the first Labour Government. The family’s motto “Do it they thy might” appears on the family shield displayed to this day on the Stable Block.

By 1940 the home was converted to a Special Housecraft Training School where Barndardo’s girls learnt domestic service including steam laundry work. They did the laundry for many big houses in the area and the school was equipped for dressmaking, embroidery, cooking, gardening and cleaning.

Having been a care home for 40 years, the Warlies main building now required considerable investment and was not entirely suitable for disabled children. The home was relocated to Mosses House in Barkingside. Warlies Children Home closed in 1972 and both the Knights and the popular headmaster of 20 years, Mr George Ewing, retired.

John Pryke & Partners were appointed as a civil and structural engineering consultants to undertake the restoration of the buildings for their client Pynford. The task proved to be more wide ranging than anticipated but the roofs of the two main buildings were repaired and much internal work completed together with the provision of the main services.

At the time, part of the building was occupied by two other independent companies less than half way through their 20 year leasehold agreements. Despite reservations and negative advice from professionals, Chris Relph, owner of one of these companies, decided to purchase the Estate in October 1993 and Shire Properties was formed to acquire, manage and develop Warlies.

Since then Shire Properties has continued to improve the buildings internally and externally. Today Warlies Park House Estate provides first class office space in a matchless country environment, accommodating the office needs of a diverse collection of thriving businesses.

The beautiful grounds have received equal care and attention in the restoration process and past residents to the Estate today express genuine surprise at what has been achieved at Warlies in its more recent years.

We are proud to be the current custodians of such a historic estate that may otherwise have been lost forever.