A History of Staunton
Speaker: Chris Bailey
Date: 31st October
Chris told us that he was an apprentice with Portsmouth Parks Department for three years and then worked at Kew Gardens for another three years before taking up a post at Staunton Park. He is the Head Gardener now. He explained that Staunton Country Park is a listed Regency landscaped parkland and forest encompassing approximately 1,000 acres. An ornamental farm, ornamental lake, follies, maze, walled garden, tropical lily house and glasshouses can be found within it.
Chris’ presentation of slides illustrated his fact filled and informative talk in an enthralling and entertaining way. He spoke without notes, held our attention throughout, and answered our questions.
The first gardens on the site were begun by William Garrett who purchased the land in 1802. He eventually put the estate back on the market and it was purchased in 1820 by Sir George Thomas Staunton as part of his country estate ‘Leigh Park’. He made significant changes and additions to the gardens with the construction of the lake and a number of follies. He died unmarried and childless 1859. In 1861 the gardens and the estate were sold to William Henry Stone for £60,000. Stone demolished the beautiful Georgian house apart from the Gothic library and had a new house built which was finished in 1865. Stone sold the estate and gardens to Frederick Fitzwygram in 1875. When Frederick Fitzwygram died in 1904 the park and estate passed through his son Frederick Loftus Fitzwygram and daughter Angela Fitzwygram. The estate and gardens were purchased by the city of Portsmouth in June 1944 and the gardens were transferred to the parks committee in 1950. Stone’s house was demolished in 1959 they were established as a Country park in 1987.
If you would like to learn more go visit the Park or Click here to visit the Staunton Records website or Click here to go to Chris Baileys page on Staunton Country Park