Last week Vera and I were lucky enough to be shown around a little known, local gem! For all of you living around the Kingston area Warren House is up on Kingston Hill and has a fascinating past, beautiful interiors and fantastic gardens. Not only that, but if you give them a ring in advance, you can pop in for tea and cake!
Originally owned by Earl Spencer the estate was then sold to the Duke of Cambridge. The Duke erected a large fence forbidding entry to anyone, and put ornamental gates across the entrance to ‘The Warren’. The result was a miniature civil war in Kingston, known nationally as ‘The Battle of Coombe Warren’ the result being the private estate we have today, with a public right of way running through it.
The house was built in 1865, along with it’s unique gardens. It is thought to be the oldest Japanese garden in existence today in the British Isles.
In 1940, Lady Paget the then owner, converted the house into a military convalescent home, supervising and financing the domestic arrangements herself. But, by 1954 Warren House had changed hands once again to become the Conference and Training Centre that it is today.
Internally there is a magnificent ballroom, now a main conference hall, built as a miniature scale “Hall of Mirrors” from the Palace of Versailles, with amazing Pargetry on the walls and ceilings. The Persian Room contains a beautiful Persian fireplace, whilst in the gardens there is a Winter Garden with grotto, and an Italian style loggia.
The Japanese gardens were sold off in the last 20 years to a private development next door to Warren House. But! The Japanese gardens will be open this weekend on Sunday 17th October between 2 – 4:30pm. Go if you can as they’re not open often!
See you there…