Warlies Park 4952

Waltham Abbey, England, Essex, Epping Forest

Brief Description

Warlies is a country park that shows the varied landscape influences of past centuries. Lawns and specimen trees surround the mansion. The undulating parkland has scattered clumps of trees, many up to 250 years old. A rotunda of 1737 stands on Temple Hill, and there are also two obelisks surviving from the same period, now outside the park boundary.

History

Warlies was laid out by Richard Morgan in the first half of the 18th century as a Picturesque landscape park with classical rotunda and obelisks. A number of plantations were added from 1801 to 1814.

Visitor Facilities

Warlies Park is open to the public.

Detailed Description

Warlies Park lies about 2km east of the centre of Waltham Abbey and 3km south west of Epping. It is bounded on the south by the villages of Upshire and Copthall Green and retains a secluded rural character despite the intrusion of the M25. The main approach to the house is from the south-west from Sergeant's Green past Warlies Lodge. The southern half of the approach drive has a line of limes along its east side. A number of footpaths, both public and permissive, cross the site.

Gardens surround the mansion. To the west there is a shallow terrace edged with box, descending to a lawn with scattered specimen trees and a small overgrown holly grove or bower. In front of the house is a fountain made from sections of yellow terracotta; photographic evidence suggests that this may have been reconstructed more than once.

To the east is a large lawn with mature trees and peripheral planting of laurel, rhododendron and Scots pine. To the north, adjoining the house, is a small modern rectilinear garden with paving and some planting. Across the drive to the north is a narrow lawn planted with coppiced limes against the high garden wall. A wrought-iron gate in this wall gives a view of the kitchen garden.

The park is undulating parkland containing scattered clumps of trees most of which are between 200-250 years old. The southern part has two significant hills, West Hill and Temple Hill, providing fine views of the mansion and the surrounding parkland. Richard Morgan erected a rotunda on Temple Hill in 1737 and this was rebuilt by the Greater London Council using the oriiginal materials when it was about to collapse. Also still surviving from this period are two obelisks.

The Buxton family was responsible for a number of improvements to the estate, including the lake known as Cobbin Pond. A circular fish pond lies just north-east of the mansion and is contained within a ring bank and has two irregular islands.

Features

Style

  • Classical Landscape
  • Obelisk
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  • Rotunda
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  • English Heritage Grade II (featured building)
  • Description: 18th century building with Victorian additions and twentieth century additions
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Fishpond
Access & Directions

Access Contact Details

Warlies Park is open to the public.
History

Detailed History

Warlies was originally part of the lands belonging to the abbots of Waltham before the dissolution of the monasteries. In the 17th century it was the home of Samuel Foxe, son of the martyrologist, and Sanuel's son added to the estate by buying up land and cottages in Upshire.

The estate was held by Christopher Davenport until 1715 and on his death was inherited by his daughter, Frances, who enclosed the estate. Warlies was landscaped by Richard Morgan in the first half of the 18th century. Richard Morgan designed a landscape park with classical rotunda and obelisks, influenced by the picturesque school. Viewpoints in the park are the 1737 rotunda and two obelisks of a similar age which stand about a mile apart and are said to commemorate the death of Boudicca.

Between 1801 and 1814 the estate was owned by James Reed who improved the grounds by adding a notable series of plantations. In 1851 Sir Edward North Buxton, MP, bought the Warlies estate, some 1300 acres, in order to have a house in his constituency. His son, Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton succeeded his father as 3rd baronet and after his marriage, Warlies became the social centre of West Essex.

The Buxtons sold the estate in 1921 and the mansion was a Dr Barnardo's home from 1921 until 1974, when it was sold to the Greater London Council. The estate passed to the Corporation of London in 1986 and is managed by Epping Forest District Council and the Corporation as a country park with extensive public access. Their value is as buffer land that is free from the danger of development and ensures open borders for the Forest to the great advantage of wildlife. The house is occupied by small businesses.

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