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HISTORIC DEVELOPMENT

Coopersale House was built at the end of the C17 by John Archer, whose family was established in the parish by the late C16. Archer died without issue in 1707 and left the estate to a colleague, William Eyre, on the condition he marry into the family and change his name to Archer. In the later 1730s, William called in Adam Holt, gardener at Wanstead Park (qv), to carry out an extensive scheme of landscaping for which detailed records survive. The accounts refer to work on shaping the pond, to the forming of levelled walks, to improving the contours, making a 'counter walk' 5' (c 1.5m) wide, and preparing the 'Grand Terrass' for turfing or seeding, for which Holt was paid a total of £260 (Archer papers). A letter from Holt to Archer of 30 September 1738 refers to, amongst other work, 'Carting of Clay for ye great slope next the town in ye Avuney', and 'Louvelling all ye Holes under the Great trees next ye upper Stew pond'.

Following the death of his wife Eleanor, William married secondly, Mary, daughter of Earl Fitzwilliam (d 1776), their son John inheriting the Coopersale estate in 1739. Lancelot Brown's account books of around or before 1774 indicate receipt of payment of £36 15s 0d '& all Demands' from 'Archer, Coopersale' for 'journeys and Plans'. Around 1780, John Archer, a wealthy landowner with property in Essex and Berkshire, ordered Coopersale to be shut up to save taxes, but the house had apparently already been deserted for 'twenty years or more' (Gentleman's Mag 1801) which casts doubt on the likelihood of any of Brown's proposals having been carried out. Chapman and Andre's map of 1777 and the OS Drawing of 1799 both show the lake in extended form, with an arm leading northwards from its western end. The Tithe map of 1838 however, and all later maps, records the shape of the water as being the same as that shown on the 1738 plan.

John Archer's daughter, Susanna (d 1837), who married Jacob Houblon of Hallingbury (d 1783), returned to live at Coopersale on the death of her father in 1800. In 1836 the estate became the home of Mrs Houblon Newton, 'representative of the Archer family' (Wright 1836), J C Loudon referring to the property as 'a spacious edifice, surrounded by lawns and pleasure grounds' in the villas section for Essex of his Encyclopaedia (1822).

The House was lived in successively by various females of the family until being sold in 1914, since when it has passed through a number of hands. The estate remains (1999) in private ownership.

People associated with this site

Designer: Lancelot Brown (born 1716 died 06/02/1783)