Sunday, 16 September 2012

Dorsets Hidden Gems - Upton Country Park, Gardens and House

Have you ever been in that situation where you know about a local place, but somehow get the impression is a tourist trap or something like that?

Well Mom and I had that impression about Upton Country Park, yesterday we read about a gallery there and decided to go take a look.

We discovered on of Dorsets Hidden Gems a magnificent country park garden and house, I took lots of shots here are just a few I hope you enyoy taking a walk around the park with us.

Upton Country Park is set in over 100 acres of award winning woodland, gardens and parkland.
It is home to Upton House, a magnificent Georgian Grade II* listed building constructed in 1818. The house has five reception rooms that can be hired for private, business or community events;  it is also licensed for civil wedding ceremonies.

Upton Country Park offers plenty of opportunity to relax and unwind, enjoy nature, play and more importantly have fun!  Explore the grounds with our fantastic tree and nature trails whilst testing your knowledge. Or simply enjoy wandering through our spectacular Walled Garden, herbaceous border and rose garden providing an abundance of year round colour and interest.
Take some time out to visit the Plant Centre, look in at the current exhibition in the Art Gallery and treat yourself in the Tea Rooms with a delicious choice of fresh homemade produce.

Upton Country Park is set in more than 100 acres of woodland and parkland lying on the northernmost reaches of Poole Harbour.  It offers great opportunities to see a variety of wildlife throughout the year from animals and birds to water creatures and amphibians.

Upton House is a late Georgian, Grade 2 Listed Building situate within Upton Country Park, the present structure having been built circa 1816.

Prior to this, the Estate at Upton, is one of the oldest sites in Poole, containing a Roman Road between Hamworthy (Moriconium) and Corfe Mullen (Alavna), and a pottery.
 From records of 1592, the Earl of Huntingdon owned the land, and sold Upton Farm and the Island, then known as Rookhey, to Edward Rogers, who in turn, leased them to Henry Alye and Garwan Mallett, and later to Thomas Frampton and Thomas Young. 
In 1652, Haviland Heely (later Hiley) and George Phillips, who were Poole merchants, purchased the farm and island.
Our story starts with Nicholas Carey of Fish Street, Poole and Upton Farm, and one of his descendants Mary Beale who was the first wife of William Spurrier.
When William Spurrier bought the land, farm buildings occupied a site on a prominent knoll. William had been Mayor of Poole four times between 1784 and 1802, and had always dreamt of building a mansion.

The Spurrier family were engaged in the Newfoundland Trade operating in the southern peninsula of the Avalon at Burin. William’s grandfather founded the business in 1672.   Pride of the Spurrier fleet was a Barquentine named “Upton” (*) built in Newfoundland in 1787, a three masted ship.
 Mary died in 1782, and William then married Ann Jolliffe, from another merchant family in Poole. Their son, Christopher Spurrier (1783 to 1876) had inherited the Upton Estate from his father and had married Amy Garland in 1814.
 To impress his father-in-law George Garland, he had the Turnpike road diverted to enlarge the parklands, and built the present structure between 1816 and 1818. In 1825 he added the west wing.

Christopher sought to acquire a seat in Parliament, and being a spendthrift and gambler, at the time that the Newfoundland trade declined with end of the French Wars, his hand on the business faltered. He became MP for Bridport in 1820, and had Mortgaged the Estate at Upton for £12,000 and sold his Compton Abbas Estate for £16,513.
 His marriage was under strain and he neglected both family life and business.

He sold the whole Upton Estate and Island in 1828 to Edward Doughty (born Edward Tichborne) and died penniless.