Albury Park


Albury Park

Albury Park is a Grade II* listed historic country house with parkland in Surrey, England. It covers over convert|150|acre|km2; within this area is the old village of Albury. This consists of three or four houses and a church. The River Tillingbourne runs through the grounds.

Pre-1890

The saxon chapel, St Peter and St Paul, within the grounds of Albury Park predates 1066. Albury Park was mentioned in the Domesday Book. Over the centuries the estate has changed hands may times. [ [http://www.albury.org.uk/aboutalbury/history.htm Albury history] ]

The grounds of Albury Park were laid out by John Evelyn, the 17th century diarist and landscape gardener between 1655 and 1677. [ [http://www.york.ac.uk/depts/arch/landscapes/ukpg/sites/alburypa.htm York University] ] He lived nearby at Wotton. At this time the park was owned by Henry Howard who later became the 6th Duke of Norfolk. John Evelyn's work included a yew walk, a vineyard and terraces (0.1 hectares) 1/4 of a mile long with a tunnel through the hill under Silver Wood. He also designed a wide canal fed by the River Tillingbourne. A lot of the alterations to the mansion that happened at this time were destroyed in a fire in 1697. At that time the owner was Heneage Finch who later became the First Earl of Aylesford and Solicitor-General to Charles II. Finch rebuilt the mansion.

The house was owned by the immediate Finch family until 1782 when the 4th Earl of Aylesford sold the estate to his brother Captain William Clement Finch. He was a naval captain who acquired a fortune by capturing a Spanish ship.

Captain Finch wanted to enclose the park so he obtained magistrates' orders in 1784/5 to close and re-route a number of roads through the park. He enclosed the village green, incorporated part of the churchyard into the park grounds and harassed the villagers causing some of them to move away to a nearby hamlet which is now the village of Albury.The parkland contains numerous rare trees many of which were planted by Henry Drummond (1786-1860) in the 19th century; he purchased the property in 1819. Drummond organised the building of the 63 brick chimneys on the mansion - each one having a different design. Augustus Pugin who was one of the architects for the Houses of Parliament was involved in the design of this building.

Post-1890

The Duke of Northumberland obtained Albury Park in 1890 and still owns most of the land under the title "Albury Estate". The mansion contains 64 different mantelpieces, which were in part the work of Robert Adam. The private areas of the park contain a Roman bath and a cave inspired by the Grotto of Posilippo in Naples. [ [http://www.planetware.com/england/albury-park-eng-sr-nap.htm Planetware] ]

In 1969, the mansion together with three acres of land, mostly laid to grass, was sold. The building was converted into private flats that were owned by the Country Houses Association until it went into liquidation in 2003. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/3319953.stm] The parkland and the John Evelyn gardens remain private.

There is a public footpath that cuts through the estate.

The storms of 1987 and 1990 caused serious damage to parts of the park.

References

External links

* [http://www.imagesofengland.org.uk/Details/Default.aspx?id=288274&mode=quick Albury Park on Images of England website with detailed architectural description]
* [http://www.alburychurches.org/society/brief.html Albury History Society]
* [http://www.surreycc.gov.uk/sccwebsite/sccwspages.nsf/LookupWebPagesByTITLE_RTF/National+Gardens+Scheme+opening+-+Albury+Park?opendocument Surrey County Council]
* [http://www.multimap.com/map/browse.cgi?client=public&X=505000.138812047&Y=147000.933501536&width=700&height=400&gride=504748.138812047&gridn=147744.933501536&srec=0&coordsys=gb&db=freegaz&addr1=&addr2=&addr3=&pc=&advanced=&local=&localinfosel=&kw=&in
]


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