Eridge Park

History

history

Eridge Park is steeped in history, being reputedly the oldest enclosed Deer Park in England. It is listed in the Domesday Book under the name of Reredfelle and the ownership of Odo, the brother of William the Conqueror.

The Nevill family inherited the Estate in the heart of the High Weald in 1448 and have been here ever since. Henry VIII often hunted at Eridge Park and Queen Elizabeth I spent six days here in 1573. At that time there was a flourishing iron foundry on the Estate, with a series of mill ponds being created to provide a good supply of water to power the forge.

In 1787 Henry Nevill, the 2nd Earl of Abergavenny, began building Eridge Castle in exuberant Gothic, a style made fashionable at the time by the author Horace Walpole with his redevelopment of his London home, Strawberry Hill House.  In the following years the landscape was enhanced by opening up vistas, walks and carriage drives, the construction of follies (most notable Saxonbury Tower and the castellated wall at Sham Farm) and the rebuilding of old workers’ cottages in ornate Estate style.

In the late 1800s the Prince of Wales was a frequent visitor at Eridge shooting parties, as was the Conservative party leader and Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli who, it is said, came here for the venison and strawberries.

In the late 1930s the Castle was demolished and the current Georgian-style mansion house was built, which is now the home of the 6th Marquess of Abergavenny and his family. The house and formal gardens still enjoy stunning and peaceful views over the breathtaking Park

The Estate today provides a home for a myriad of small businesses occupying former farm and estate buildings. It is also a spectacular location for film and photo shoots as well as a unique venue for weddings, private parties, corporate events, open-air concerts, country pursuits, game and country fairs, sporting competitions, camping and much more.