© Wonersh History Society - www.wonershhistory.co.uk   (WHS)


Wonersh   Park   had   a   comparatively   humble   start   in   life   when   in   1674   Richard   Gwynne,   a   retired   London   cloth   maker,   rebuilt   a   farmhouse at   the   side   of   the   village   green,   opposite   the   church.      The   house   had   various   owners   and   grew   steadily   grander   over   the   years   and   then   in 1765,   with   the   death   of   the   current   owner   (who   was   his   mother-in-law),   Fletcher   Norton,    the   1st   Baron   Grantley   of   Markenfield   came   to Wonersh. Fletcher   Norton   set   about   enlarging   his   estate   and   a   map   dated   1779   shows   it   had   by   then   extended   to   289   acres.      It   is   worth   noting   that he   also   enlarged   the   manor   house   on   the   green   by   adding   a   west   wing   and   to   give   it   a   better   front   garden   he   enclosed   a   good   part   of   the village   green   itself   and   closed   the   parishioners   entrance   to   the   churchyard   which   until   then   had   been   the   lychgate   in   its   eastern   wall.      Also by this time the farm buildings between the house and the churchyard had disappeared and the ornamental lake was formed. In   its   heyday   Wonersh   Park   had   ornamental   gardens   with   a   terrace   running through   it,   a   summer   house,   glass   houses,   two   fish   ponds   and   a   deer   park.     The   ground   floor   had   a   suite   of   apartments   including   a   dining   room   (42’   x 25’),   a   drawing   room   (25’   square),   a   ‘lesser’   drawing   room   and   ante-rooms.     The   library   on   the   floor   above   was   62’   long.      A   network   of   paths   ran   around the   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.  Not too shabby then.