© 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.