Welford Park, Welford, Berkshire
I have often wondered where Welford is located and what lies within this unknown place. Welford is a village and civil parish in the English county of Berkshire, situated in the valley of the River Lambourn to the north west of the town of Newbury.
The country house of Welford Park, famous for its early Spring displays of Snowdrops, and the adjacent Church of Welford St. Gregory, are located in the village. The church is one of only two existing round-tower churches in Berkshire, the other being
Great Shefford St. Mary.
The M4 motorway and RAF Welford are located close to the village. The village was formerly served by Welford Park station on The Lambourn Valley Railway,
but this line closed to passenger traffic in 1960 and to freight traffic to and from RAF Welford in the 1970s. The station site now serves as a car park for visitors to Welford Park's Snowdrop displays. info;en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Welford,_Berkshire
Welford Park Cricket Club overlooks the countryside of the Welford Park estate from whom the ground is rented. The club has been established for in excess of 100 years.
Welford Park was originally the site of a monastic grange that was granted to Abingdon Abbey way back in Saxon times. The house was known as 'Farm Court' and was run on behalf of the monks by a bailiff.
After the Dissolution, King Henry VIII used the place for a time as a hunting lodge. Later it was granted to Sir Thomas Parry Senior. His main residence was at Hamstead Marshall but, after his death in 1560, Welford was used as a dower house for his wife. She is buried in the adjoining church of St. Gregory.
The present building was built around 1652 for Richard Jones, the grandson of Sir Francis Jones,Lord Mayor of London, who purchased the property in 1618. At first it was a U-shaped structure with the main entrance across a courtyard on the site of the present dining room at the back of the building. In about 1700, Thomas Archer remodelled the house, adding a complete storey and decorating the facade with ionic columns. The interior was considerably altered in 1840.
The Archers and their descendants, the Houblon's, are obscure relatives of the Jones family. They owned the property for many generations, though sometimes resided in other great houses and castles. The present owner is James Puxley, a local landowner and former High Sheriff of Berkshire, grand-nephew of the last Archer-Houblon.
Map of Welford Park
Many thanks to Reference.com for research.
Welford Park is a private residence. It is open to the public for booked tours only on a restricted number of days in the Summer. Directions and further information are available here. Welford Park