Loseley Park, Surrey

Following Henry VIII's Dissolution of the Monasteries, many of the abbeys became convenient quarries for local building projects. Waverley Abbey was no exception, and much of the stone used to create Sir William More's house at Loseley in the 1560s came from this rich source. His father had purchased the estate in 1508, continuing to live in the medieval house already present until his death in 1549, but Sir William planned a grand new home fit for entertaining royalty. Built from the mellowed monastic stone, and other local materials, Loseley Park was a substantial house, comfortably fitted out, that adequately symbolised the status of a Queen's most trusted adviser.

Nearly 500 years later and Loseley Park is still the ancestral home of the More family. A fine Elizabethan mansion, little changed structurally from the time it was built, the house contains many interesting artefacts collected through the different generations who have made it their home. From Sir William's time, his impressive wood-panelled library with an elaborately carved overmantel bearing the arms and initials of Elizabeth I in honour of her many visits to Loseley Park. Another frequent royal visitor was King James I, who gifted a painting of himself and Queen Anne to commemorate the visits. In 1932 Queen Mary visited Mrs Gwendoline More-Molyneux and her husband at Loseley.

At the beginning of the 17th century an additional wing was added to the house, providing a chapel, a long picture gallery, and an indoor riding school, but this was subsequently demolished in 1820 having fallen into a poor state of repair. In 1877 William More-Molyneux extended the south side of the house with a Nursery wing, despite the fact that he never married. Perhaps the most fascinating room at Loseley Park on public display is the Drawing Room, with rich oak-panelling, a gilded ceiling and frieze, and a magnificently carved chalk chimneypiece.

Today the estate covers some 1400 acres, and much of it is given over to agricultural use, which forms the basis of a thriving family business. Although the delicious Loseley Jersey Ice Cream is no longer made here, the famous Jersey Herd, established in 1916, is still very much a part of life on the Estate and is now one of the largest Jersey herds in the UK.

The grounds and gardens are one of Loseley Park's major attractions. The two and a half acre walled garden has been redeveloped and restored over the past few years to include an award-winning rose garden, a herb garden, fruit and flower garden, fountain garden and, most recently,t he addition is an organic vegetable garden.


Waverley Abbey
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