© Wonersh History Society - www.wonershhistory.co.uk (WHS)
Sadly,   the   Grantleys   are   hardly   remembered   with   love   and   affection.     Rather    they    are    remembered    for    the    legendary    unpleasantness    of Fletcher   Norton,   the   1st   Baron   Grantley   of   Markenfield    who   pinched a   piece   of   Wonersh   common   land   to   keep   the   villagers   a   little   further from   his   house.      Between   1770   and   1780   he   was   Speaker   of   the   House of   Commons   but   while   still   a   barrister,   and   before   he   entered   politics, his   nick-name   was   ‘Sir   Bull-Face   Double   Fee’   from   his   practice   of   taking money   from   each   side   in   a   dispute,   without   telling   the   other.      The   2nd Baron   rebuilt   Wonersh   church   after   a   fire   in   1796   but   used   plans   drawn up   by   his   butler   rather   than   pay   an   architect   and   Eric   Parker   in   1908 referred   to   ‘an   enormous   wall’      built   by   a   later   Baron   ‘apparently   to   prevent   neighbours   and   passers-by   from   gazing   with   too   great enthusiasm   at   his   lordship's   grass   and   trees.’      And,   of   course,   we   must   never   forget   George,   brother   of   the   3rd   Baron ,   who   treated   his   wife Caroline so badly.  You can read more about dastardly George here . The   Grantley   association   with   the   village   dates   to   21   May   1741   when   Fletcher   Norton   married   Grace,   eldest   daughter   of   Sir   William Chapple    of   Wonersh   Park   and   so   came   into   possession   of   the   splendid   property   in   the   village.      For   the   next   143   years   the   Grantleys   lived   in Wonersh   Park   (described   by   Pevsner   as   ‘pretty,   ham-fisted   19th   century   Gothic’),   dominating   the   aristocratic   society   of   this   part   of   Surrey and   playing   their   part   in   the   civic   life   of   Guildford   and   the   County.      Sir   Fletcher   Norton   enlarged   the   house   that   Sir   William   Chapple   had rebuilt in the 1730s and in 1835 an extra wing was added. The   house   passed   out   of   the   family   in   1884   and   was   eventually   demolished   in   1929.      An   eighteenth-century   Gothic   entrance   gateway survives,   as   well   as   an   eighteenth-century   stable   court,   which   has   been   converted   into   Wonersh   Court.      At   one   time   the   family   also   owned Great   Tangley   Manor   and   their   name   still   survives   in   the   village   through   the   Grantley   Arms.      The   Grantley   name   is   also   part   of   the   history   of Guildford as the family provided a succession of MPs, Recorders and High Stewards and the name carries on in ‘Markenfield’ Road.


Fletcher Norton , 1st Baron Grantley in the robes of Speaker of the House of Commons c1770
John Norton, 5th Baron
Richard Henry Brinsley Norton, 6th Baron by Howard Coster National Portrait Gallery
Fletcher Norton, 1st Baron (1716-1789) William Norton, 2nd Baron (1742-1822) Fletcher Norton, 3rd Baron (1796-1875) Thomas Brinsley Norton, 4th Baron (1831-1877) John Richard Brinsley Norton, 5th Baron (1855-1943) Richard Henry Brinsley Norton, 6th Baron (1892-1954) John Richard Brinsley Norton, 7th Baron (1923-1995) Richard William Brinsley Norton, 8th Baron (1956- )