Skip to main content

Stop Easton Park

THE WONDERFUL HISTORY OF EASTON LODGE

By Stop Easton Park
Monday, April 16, 2018

THE WONDERFUL HISTORY OF EASTON LODGE

The Grand Elizabethan Easton Lodge Victorian Gothic Easton Lodge

EASTON LODGE (Grade II) The Gardens, grounds and whole estate date back to Tudor times. In 1590 Elizabeth I granted the 10,000 acre Manor of Estaines to Henry Maynard as a reward for his duties as Private Secretary to Lord Chancellor and Treasurer to the Queen. After demolishing a hunting lodge in the deer park (known as Easton Lodge), Maynard constructed an Elizabethan 'H' ground-plan mansion similar to but smaller than Blickling Hall in Norfolk.

The Grand Elizabethan Easton Lodge

The Grand Elizabethan Easton Lodge

The once grand Elizabethan home was destroyed by fire in 1847 and although uninsured, it was rebuilt in Victorian Gothic style at the cost of £12,000, by architect Thomas Hopper. In 1865 the young Frances Evelyn 'Daisy' Maynard inherited the estate. She married Francis Grenville, Lord Brooke, who later became the 5th Earl of Warwick. A socialite, and mistress of the future King Edward VII, Daisy hosted many famous society parties at Easton Lodge. It was also a venue in the early 20th century for meetings including trade union & socialists along with friends Bernard Shaw and H.G Wells. Other important guests were Gustav Holst and Ramsay McDonald. Another fire in 1918 severely damaged the house and in 1919 and 1920 parts of the estate were sold off. The west wing only was rebuilt (see below) and constructed as a separate building. Daisy offered the whole estate in 1923 to the Labour Party, then the TUC in 1926 where plans were made for a college and university. However, due to the General Strike they were no longer able to finance this idea and London Zoo declined too because they had already acquired Whipsnade. The War Office requisitioned Easton Lodge in 1939 for use by the Army and the Home Guard. The deer park disappeared in WW2 and most of the remaining buildings were disposed of in the 1960s and beyond.

Victorian Gothic Easton Lodge

Victorian Gothic Easton Lodge

WARWICK HOUSE (Grade II) The widowed Countess moved into the West Wing, where she remained until her death in 1938. The surviving west wing of Easton Lodge (known as Warwick House), was purchased in 1971 as a private house and changed hands again in 2010.

Warwick House

Warwick House

The Easton Park Estate extends far beyond the boundary of the former deer park. Properties and land from Great Dunmow to Thaxted were originally part of the Estate. We would love to hear from local residents who have a stag or Maynard crest on their home or have any old photos that link to this important part of the history of our area. Please email stopeastonpark@gmail.com and title subject “Easton Park Estate”.

Return to index