wansteadhouse.com

Inventory

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The site of Wanstead House itself is marked by a long tree-filled ditch at a location in Wanstead Golf Course about 180 yards (165 m.) south-east of St.Mary's Church. The ditch was left when the basement was removed. A line running down through St.Mary's Avenue points exactly to the centre of the former building. Please note that the site is now part of Wanstead Golf Course and access is therefore restricted.

 

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The 60 foot wide triangular pediment at the front of the house was apparently sold to the Society of Friends in the 1824 auction. It was then re-erected at the newly built Friends Meeting House in North Street, Plaistow, Essex. This building later became a school, and finally ended its days as West Ham College for Further Education. The building was reportedly demolished in 1969 so it would seem unlikely that the historic pediment has survived. Other items purchased at the 1824 auction (such as a small colonnaded porch) were presumably also lost at this time.

 

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Four of the giant columns which supported the pediment, or at least their capitals, appear to have found their way to Hendon Hall which is now used as a hotel.

 

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An obelisk standing in a field next to the Epping New Road near Buckhurst Hill, was one of twelve which originally stood in two long rows of six, flanking each side of the forecourt area. The field is in the grounds of a house called The Warren and the obelisk, together with base, is said to be a monument to the horse which carried previous owner General Thomas Grosvenor at the Battle Of Waterloo.

 

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The main gateposts bearing the crest of Sir Richard Child (d.1750) stand at the junction of Overton Drive and Blake Hall Road and are Grade II listed. The gates themselves featuring some ornamental ironwork have long gone.

 

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Part of the pre-1715 main drive is now covered at a depth of about 5 feet by the Basin Pond. Looking towards the middle of the lake from Overton Drive, a clear change in contrast on the surface of the water appears to indicate this.

 

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Existing roads which trace the courses of the original tree-lined avenues are: Bush Road, Blake Hall Road, St.Mary's Avenue, Warren Road and the western half of Overton Drive which follows the main driveway.

 

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A section of one of the main approach avenues can be found in Wanstead Flats, to the south of Bush Wood. This ran between the main driveway and Cann Hall and is now known simply as 'The Avenue'. Traces of some of the other avenues have also survived within the forest and beside existing roads and footpaths.

 

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A large portion of the grounds has been preserved for posterity as Wanstead Park, opened in 1882. Thanks to their inherent indestructibility, the man-made canals and islands have survived along with most of the artificial lakes. A wander through the park can be very evocative of what once was and also highlights the sheer scale of the works.

 

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The Grotto was almost totally destroyed by fire in 1884. The facade still stands and what remains has recently been restored by volunteers from the Wanstead Parklands Community Project.

 

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The Temple, built around 1760, still survives and is occasionally opened to the public by the Corporation Of London. The garden is sometimes used for musical concerts during the summer.

 

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The stable block is now incorporated into the club-house for Wanstead Golf Club

 

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St. Mary's Church although not owned by the estate was rebuilt in 1790 in sympathetic architectural style on ground partly donated by Sir James Tylney-Long. Its appearance in contemporary pictures gives a useful point of reference today.

 

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Chatsworth House holds a number of items bought by the Duke of Devonshire at the 1822 contents auction.