The History of Wroxton Abbey

The Hunt painting

Wroxton Abbey, 1804

The history of Wroxton Abbey covers over 700 years from medieval priory, through Jacobean mansion and family home, a warehouse during the Second World War, private apartments and, following its sale in 1963, an overseas campus of Fairleigh Dickinson University.
Changes in use have aided its survival and each occupation has left its mark upon the Abbey’s architectural development.

During the ownership by Oxford University’s Trinity College, the lease was held by the Lord Keeper to King Charles II and a Prime Minister to King George III. Distinguished visitors have included royalty (King James I, Charles I, George IV, William IV, and Frederick, Prince of Wales), writers (Celia Fiennes, Henry James, and—rather snarkily—Horace Walpole), statesmen (President Theodore Roosevelt and Prime Minister Harold Wilson), and many contemporary political leaders.
To Henry James, Wroxton was part of the essence of England. He wrote: “Everything that in the material line can render life noble and charming has been gathered into it with a profusion which makes the whole place a monument of past opportunity.”

“But now I am going to tell you how delightful a day I passed at Wroxton.…we saw it more agreeable than you can conceive; roamed over the whole house, found every door open, saw not a creature, had an extreme good dinner, wine, fruit, coffee and tea in the library, were served by fairies, tumbled over the books, said one or two talismanic words, and the cascade played, and went home loaded with pine-apples and flowers.”
(Horace Walpole, 1753)

Wroxton Abbey History Gallery

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The Mansions of England in the Olden Time, by Joseph Nash, 1839; plate C, “The Hall.”
From A Series of Picturesque Views of Seats of Noblemen and Gentlemen of Great Britain and Ireland. Author F.O. Morris; illustrator Alexander Lydon (v. 3, 1840). The accompanying text may be read here.
Frontispiece from Skelton's Engraved Illustrations of the Principal Antiquities of Oxfordshire, 1823. The Abbey's south wing was not added until 1859.
The Mansions of England in the Olden Time, by Joseph Nash, 1839; plate XCIX “The Porch.”
The Domesday Book was completed in 1086, on the orders of William the Conqueror. This is the section regarding Wroxton, then known as Werochestan. For a translation and more information click here.
Sir Thomas Pope acquired the Wroxton estate in 1537 after the Priory was confiscated by Henry VIII. Sir Thomas, who never lived at Wroxton, bequeathed the estate to Trinity College, Oxford, which he founded. He did, however, make a provision that the male heirs of his brother John Pope could inhabit the estate for a token rent. This arrangement would continue for nearly 400 years.
Tomb effigies of Sir Thomas Pope and his wife Elizabeth, Lady Paulet, at Trinity College, Oxford. (Joseph Skelton, 1830, after unknown artist.)
Sir William Pope, 1st Earl of Downe (1573-1631). He inherited the Wroxton tenancy from his father and began the construction of Wroxton Abbey. (Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger, 1624, Trinity College, Oxford.)
On the north side of the nave in All Saints Church (Wroxton Village) is the alabaster canopied tomb with the recumbent effigies of William Pope, first Earl of Downe and the builder of Wroxton Abbey (d. 1631), and his wife Anne. For a VR view of the tomb, click here.
Sir Thomas Pope, 3rd Earl of Downe. c. 1635, artist unknown (Tate).
Francis North, 1st Baron Guilford (1637-1685), Lord Chancellor, Lord Keeper. (Attributed to John Riley, c. 1682.)
The Present State of England. William Sancroft (1617-1693), Archbishop of Canterbury. King Charles II (1630-1685). Francis North, 1st Baron Guilford (1637-1685), Lord Chancellor. (After William Faithorne, c. 1683-1685.)
Portrait of Roger NorthRoger North, (1651-1734), lawyer and author. Portrait after a 1680 work by Sir Peter Lely. Roger North was known primarily for his biographies of three of his brothers, Francis, Dudley and John, and for his own autobiography. In 1684 he was named Solicitor General, and later entered Parliament.
The future Prime Minister Frederick North, 2nd Earl of Guilford. (Pompeo Batoni, 1752-1756)
Frederick, Lord North, 2nd Earl of Guilford (1732-1792), with his wife Anne, and child, possibly George Augustus. English School, c.1760s.
Frederick North, 2nd Earl of Guilford (13 April 1732 – 5 August 1792), was Prime Minister of Great Britain from 1770 to 1782 and thus presided over the loss of its American colonies. (Nathaniel Dance, 1773-74)
Prime Minister North Medal. The Latin text around his head reads, “Frederick, Baron North, Knight of the Order of the Garter.” The reverse text states, “First Lord of the Treasury, Chancellor of the Exchequer, and of Oxford University.”
"The Cole-Heavers" (Charles James Fox; Frederick North). (James Gillray, 1783). Late in his public life, North formed a coalition with Whig politician Charles James Fox, which failed, providing inspiration for printmakers. Click here for more info. Click here for a more scurrilous example.
Lady Susan North (1797–1884) was a noted beauty of her era. (1950s cameo by Vincent Nesbert after J. W. Wright.)
Lady Susan North (1797 - 1884) with son William Henry John, aged 3. He was to become the 11th Baron North (1836 - 1932). Artist: A.E. Chaton, 1839. It was not unusual for the period for male children to pose in dresses.
William Henry John, the 11th Baron North (A.E. Chaton, 1839)
William Henry John North, 11th Baron North. Photograph by Camille Silvy, 13 April 1861.
William Henry John, the 11th Lord North (c. 1908)
Lady North was married to William Henry John, the 11th Lord North, for 57 years. She was the daughter of Commander Hope Cockerill. She was Dame D'Honneur of the Order of Malta.
In 1926 William Henry John North, 11th Lord North and the last to live at Wroxton Abbey celebrated his 90th birthday. There are more photographs of life at Wroxton Abbey in the early 20th century in the gallery on the "Families of Wroxton Abbey" page.
In 1936 the cigarette company Ogden's included the "Picturesque Villages" collectable cards with its products. There were 50 cards in the series. Here are both sides of the card for Wroxton.
This composite, created from a modern photograph made near the entrance to Wroxton's neighboring village of Horley, shows the locomotive Lord North as it might have appeared crossing the trestle on its way to the ironstone quarries to the west of Wroxton. The locomotive was scrapped, although its nameplate is displayed above the door to the Buttery. The trestle was removed after the closure of the rail line in 1967.
This postcard, perhaps from the 1920s, shows the Abbey covered in ivy.
"Oxon, Wroxton Village." This postcard was printed from 1903 to 1959, from a painting by Henry B. Wimbush.
This sundial, with its classical motif, was once located in the walkway near the Doric Temple. A reproduction, commissioned by the Class of Spring, 1968, is now on the lawn behind the Abbey.
This 1922 photograph shows the Red Drawing Room, now the Pope Library.
In 1922, the Great Hall had a very different appearance than it does today.
Today known as the Guilford Library, in 1922 this was Wroxton Abbey's library room.
Now used as Wroxton College's Dean's Office, this was in 1922 known as the Porch Room Boudoir.
The Great Hall, looking to the south, photographed in 1922.
Known in 1922 as the Garden Parlour, this room today serves as the North Library.
William, Lord North, the last of his line to live at the Abbey, died in 1932. Due to financial difficulties, the family auctioned off most of the furnishings and artworks the following year, and the Abbey itself became available.
Two generations of Abbey groundskeepers: Bill Denton and his son Robert. Landscape architect and historian Paul Edwards. Wroxton College dean John Seagrave.
This stained glass window (c. 1966) contains the North coat of arms (blue shield with lion and fleur-de-lis) set within a green shield representing FDU with swans (Teaneck ), and roses (Madison).

There was always a busy road through the village of Wroxton. For the Romans this road was the Salt Way, a route vital for the legionaries’ salt, passing through Wroxton along its way from the Worcestershire brine seeps. Centuries later it was still a busy thoroughfare; in 1391 the Prior of Wroxton complained that due to his obligation to give hospitality to all travelers, the road through Wroxton was making paupers at the Priory.
Wroxton parish, which includes the village of Balscote, sits on a sandstone plateau three miles west of Banbury. Its earliest spelling, Werochestan, may have been derived from “Buzzards’ Stone.” Its fertile soil would make possible much of the wealth of the area.

Most homes in the village date from the early 17th or 18th century. The cottages of honey-hued Hornton stone with their thatched roofs give the village an appeal of timeless beauty. This has been the case since Colonel North in the mid-1800’s ordered the pigsties and garbage piles removed from the village streets.

Cottages in Wroxton Village

A few cottages still have their ancient stone-mullioned windows. Most homes were probably rebuilt after the disastrous fire of 1666. The records of that year speak of collections in other parishes to raise £50 to be distributed among the 18 villagers who were the “necessitated poor.”

The village pond was central to daily life, as few homes had their own source of water. Even the old bakehouse had no water supply; villagers described the baker, with his yoke and buckets, struggling up from the pond’s well. Others drew their pond water with a barrel and a horse cart.

On the site of what is now the village green the old village school once stood. It was closed and demolished when the new school at the end of the village was opened in 1962. In 1837 its sole teacher was paid £15 yearly, until an inspection determined her pupils were not learning, and her salary was reduced.
Beginning in 1782, Wroxton revelry was centered around the White Horse pub. Later, in 1850, the North Arms became licensed. The Village Club formerly met each year near the pond for a festival of dancing and games, accompanied by much food and drink. Now each summer the Village Fete takes place.

The Village Pond

Priory Remnants

Remnants of Wroxton Priory (13th Century)

From the 13th century on, village life was dominated by the Augustinian priory located in a park-like setting on its southern edge. Wroxton Priory brought the villagers into contact with the larger world and brought them other benefits as well. For example, on Maundy Thursday bread and fish were dispensed to the poor. And upon the death of the founder, 14 local paupers were given a total of £5 16s.
Wroxton is one of the 13,418 places listed in the 1086 Domesday Book, ordered by William the Conqueror as the first modern assessment for taxation. In 1089 Guy de Reinbeudcurt, the Lord of Chipping Warden, was the owner of the Wroxton manor lands. By 1120 the estate, now taxed at the rate of 17 hides, passed to his young son Richard. Upon his death the estate passed to his daughter Margery and her husband Robert Foloit.

In 1173, when Robert became a monk, his son Richard inherited the property. The Wroxton property, along with the entire barony of Chipping Warden, was inherited by Wishard Ledet in 1203 when he married Richard’s daughter Margaret. Wishard’s daughter Christine then held the estate until she died a very old woman in 1271.
Her great granddaughter Christine took the Wroxton part of the Chipping Warden estate and married Sir John Latimer. At this point history loses sight of the Wroxton ownership. What is known, however, is that during the early part of the 12th century, members of the Belet family were tenants at the Wroxton manor property. Harvey was the first of the Belets to hold the tenancy. His son Michael was the hereditary butler to King Henry II. The estate, and the office of Royal Butler, passed to his son Master Michael Belet, a lawyer who had become a friend of Grostête (Greathead), the Bishop of Lincoln.

Sometime between 1200 and 1209 Master Michael Belet was granted a charter by King John for the foundation of a priory at Wroxton in honor of St. Mary. The charter was ratified by Henry III in 1251 after an inspection proved that terms of the charter had been fulfilled. Belet would later officiate as the King’s Butler at Henry’s wedding with Eleanor of Provence.

Wroxton Priory Seal

Wroxton Priory Seal

The institution he established, The Priory of Canons Regular of St. Augustine, continued in existence until 1536, when Henry VIII dissolved the monasteries.

Belet endowed the Priory with his Wroxton manor house, demesne, and other properties, valued at £78 l3s 4d. He was prior and vicar of Wroxton. The deed of foundation indicated that it was the Belets’ Chantry House, a chapel endowed for the singing of masses for the founder after his death. The prior was permitted at least twelve canons and was given free administration of Wroxton.

A Canon Regular of St. Augustine

A Canon Regular of St. Augustine

The priory buildings, which must have dated from the early 13th century, were modified at least once after an inventory of 1218. In 1304 they were reported out of repair and financial assistance was sought from visitors. The prior asked for the granting of three years’ indulgence to visitors who would assist them.

While the priory buildings were being modified, the demesne was expanded by a number of land purchases. When the priory was dissolved in 1536, it had twenty tenants and held almost all the lands in the parish of Wroxton and Balscote.

The last prior, Thomas Smith, along with eight other monks of Wroxton, pledged to the king’s supremacy on the 6th of August of 1531. It was to be of no avail, however, as in the following year, all monasteries of the size of Wroxton were given to the King.

In an account of the dissolution of the Wroxton priory, all possessions of the community were listed. Soon after, the property was leased to William Raynesford of Wroxton by Henry VIII’s Court of Augmentations. The Treasurer of this Court was Sir Thomas Pope, a person of great influence during the latter part of Henry VIII’s reign. He was also guardian to the Princess Elizabeth and later a favorite at the court of Queen Mary.

Sir Thomas Pope

Sir Thomas Pope

On the 16th of August in 1537 Raynesford sold the Wroxton property to Sir Thomas, who then persuaded the Crown to return to him the Wroxton lands which had been seized. The sales document lists the property transferred.

Sir Thomas never lived at Wroxton. In 1551 he gave his brother John a 99-year lease and promised to eventually leave him the property. However, in 1556 Sir Thomas changed his mind and instead bestowed the Wroxton and Balscote estates on Trinity College, Oxford, which he had founded. A funerary memorial to Thomas Pope and his wife is to be found there today. But he may have felt remorse at the promise not kept to his brother, who had by then been living in the old Abbey house for some time. His gift to Trinity was conditional upon the rights of the male heirs of John Pope to inhabit the estate, for a token sum, for as long as they choose. The arrangement would continue for nearly 400 years.

The Early 17th Century

The ancient Wroxton Priory buildings were lost to a fire during the reign of James I. John Pope’s son Sir William Pope, (later to be Earl of Downe) spent £6,000 to erect the main part of today’s Wroxton Abbey on the site. Although the exact construction dates are unknown, it is thought that work began c. 1580 and may have been completed by c. 1618. The mansion was built in the symmetrical form of the letter E, in keeping with Elizabethan architectural taste. His house survives today as the center section of the present building.

Wroxton Abbey, c. 1830

Wroxton Abbey, c. 1830

Incorporated into the basement of the early 17th century house are a 13th century arch and a 14th century molded doorway which may be the remains of the priory cloister. Excavations in 1956 and 1964 to the north and east of the house uncovered stone conduits and foundations of other monastic outbuildings. The original abbey church is believed to have been to the north side of the present building.

William Pope became a Knight of the Order of the Bath in 1603 and was created baronet in 1611. The date 1618 appears on the mount of the elk antlers in the Great Hall and on the 19th century Chapel door. “11 November 1629” is carved in stone on the south-west comer of the main porch. These dates, however, were likely inscribed much later.

The insertion of a painted glass window by Van Linge in 1623 indicates further construction. In 1665 the house was assessed for tax on its thirty-four hearths.

Sir Thomas Pope, 3rd Earl of Downe

Sir Thomas Pope, 3rd Earl of Downe

When Sir William died in 1631, preceded in death by his eldest son, the title went to his eight-year-old grandson Thomas. He became Sir Thomas Pope, the 2nd Earl of Downe. However, in a confusing scenario of blue-blood intrigue, the young Sir Thomas had his Wroxton properties seized by the younger son of Sir William who was also named Thomas. The older Thomas was later to be knighted while the younger man got into debt and was even forced to leave the country. When he died in 1660, his usurper uncle inherited the title and became the 3rd Earl of Downe.

According to local lore, the evening before the October 23, 1642, Battle of Edgehill between the Royalist forces of King Charles and the Parliamentary forces of the Earl of Essex, the King dined with Sir Thomas Pope at the Abbey before leading his army of 14,500 into the first battle of the English Civil War.

In 1842, workmen removing paneling below a staircase found, hidden beneath a piece of iron, a letter of protection signed by Charles I. It was a proclamation to his royalist forces ordering them to protect Sir Thomas Pope , signed at his court at Reading, dated November 5th, 1642.

The Late 17th Century

Francis Lord, Lord Chancellor

Francis North, Lord Guilford

The 3rd Earl of Downe’s only son inherited the title and properties when his father died in 1667. But a year later he also died, bringing an end to the Earldom. The Wroxton lease was inherited by his three sisters and their cousin, Lady Elizabeth Lee.

One of the sisters, Lady Frances Pope, married Francis North in 1672. In 1681, following the death of the third Earl’s widow, Sir Francis North, now Lord Guilford and Chief Justice of Common Pleas, bought out the inheritance of his sisters-in-law and their cousin for £5,100. The Wroxton lease was now North property and remained so for 250 years. Lord Guilford was to spend much of his leisure time at the Abbey with his two brothers and his sisters, a company he labeled societas exoptata. According to his brother Roger North, Lord Guilford made Wroxton:

“…his Retirement for vacations, the place afforded him very much pleasure, for he took his nearest relations and friends downe with him, and ever kept his family full.”

Roger North described the alterations to the main house as building from the ground a withdrawing room and back stairs and finished up the rooms of state, as they were called, and shaped the windows, which before had made the rooms like bird cages. (Lives of the Norths, 1826).

By 1683 the project was complete apart from some wainscoting in the withdrawing room and great bedchamber When Celia Fiennes visited, she approved of the alterations as “all the new fashion way.” (Through England on a Side Saddle, 1888).

Roger North

Roger North

During his last illness, Lord Guilford retired to Wroxton, partly due to his affinity for the Abbey and partly due to the recent discovery of the “medicinal properties” of the waters at nearby Astrop. He took the seal with him and carried on his work from the Abbey until he died aged 47 on 5 September 1685, still in office as Lord Chancellor and Lord Keeper of the Great Seal of England.

Before his death he improved the old house by making the north wing habitable and adding stabling. The property was only leased to him, and this may have inhibited greater spending. Together with his brothers, Roger, an accomplished architect, and Dudley, he built “an ordonnance of stabling” south of the house, partly financed by the sale of timber, though still being paid for after his death. He corresponded with his steward Francis White on the design:


“Whereas my first intentions were to have the whole building one entire through stable I think it better to divide the same by walls and to have two doors and also several stables at least…which will be more safe, more private and more convenient.”
(North MSS, Bodleian Library).

Booth Garden Plan

Booth Garden Plan, c. 1750. Click to see in a fully detailed, draggable view.

The building housed coaches, horses, and later provided a brew house and laundry. The latter was destroyed in the early part of the twentieth century and the stabling converted to a lecture hall, dining room and bar with a kitchen in 1974-5 by Geoffrey Forsyth Lawson for Fairleigh Dickinson University.

In 1727, Francis, the second Baron Guilford decided that Wroxton should have a garden on a scale that would correspond with the recently much improved house.

Tilleman Bobart, a son of Jacob Bobart, the first curator of the Oxford Botanic Gardens, was commissioned as the designer. Bobart had trained under Henry Wise, the Royal gardener at Hampton Court Palace and at Blenheim Palace, before setting-up on his own.

At Wroxton, he removed the old orchard and constructed two terraces along the slope of the land on the east side of the house. The higher platform was a terrace walk, and the lower terrace contained a central canal, 240 feet long, 40 feet wide and 3-4 feet deep. Bobart also altered the entrance court and carried out works to the parlor garden on the north side of the house.
In 1730 Bobart constructed the walled garden on high ground to the northeast. It is thought likely that Bobart was also responsible for the stone-built icehouse situated on the northern boundary of the grounds.

The third Baron Guilford (1704-90), grandson of the Lord Keeper, and later Earl of Guilford (1752) made extensive alterations to the grounds and gardens at Wroxton. He had a taste for the Rococo style in gardening. After 1735 the formal gardens were removed, leaving only the raised earthworks as two grassed terraces within the sweeping lawns that today give the abbey its pastoral setting.

the Cascade

The Cascade. Click to view in virtual reality.

The Great Pond was modified into a more curving shape, and below its dam, a Rococo garden was created around the water flowing from the lake. The garden starts with the Grand Cascade where the water flows down a 20-ft waterfall into a basin and to a stepped cascade, and then into the Serpentine River, which flowed over a small cascade, past a mount, and under a Chinese bridge to further cascades and bridges to the end of the garden.

The Dovecote

The Dovecote

In the 1740s, Sanderson Miller, from nearby Radway Grange in Warwickshire, was involved in the designs of Wroxton’s gardens. A leading exponent of the Gothic revival in architecture in the 18th century, he was an adviser on landscape gardening to many estate owners in the Midlands. Miller was responsible for the design of the dovecote (1745) in the form of a Gothic tower with loop windows, battlements, and a splendid banner-type weathervane. He also designed the Drayton Arch on the old driveway from Banbury, and the Temple on the Mount (1750-51).
The house was not left unaltered, though the accounts of that period do not precisely clarify the timing of the works. Throughout the middle years of the 18th century, the Wroxton estate was run at a deficit. The first Earl’s son, Frederick, was Prime Minister between 1770 and 1782 and received £16,062 from King George III. This is an indication of the estate’s financial difficulties.

A shortage of funds may explain the sporadic nature of improvements at Wroxton and their apparent absence after 1750. Also, by his third marriage to Catherine, Countess of Rockingham, the first Earl inherited Waldershare in Kent and this property—together with his London houses—equally divided his attention.

1623 painted glass in the chapel.

Painted Glass (1623) in the Chapel.

In 1740 a library and a chapel were added to the house. The library, “a pleasant chamber” according to Horace Walpole, was probably added first. Although the flooring was not laid until 1747, the room was well underway in 1743. Today the bookshelves extend over five rooms: the North, Pope, and Guilford Libraries, as well as the Reading Room and the George III room.

While no complete rooms were added to Wroxton in the 18th century, evidence of alterations is witnessed by the mid-18th century entablature, chimneypiece and overmantel and a Jacobean Revival ceiling in the President’s Room. There are several Gothic chimney pieces in the style of Batty Langley and the ceilings of both the Regency Room and Reading Room are of Jacobean revival work.

The library seems not to have been Sanderson Miller’s work, but the additions to the chapel were under his direction and had certainly commenced by 1747.

Guilford had his Van Linge painted glass taken from its former location and cut to fit into a new chapel window. He deliberated on the shape of the window up to the last minute and told Miller on 2 May 1747 that “I think the window will not agree with my glass if it is divided into more than four arches.” A week later he admitted to Miller that his choices were being limited: “he [Cheyne, Guilford’s steward] says the window being begun the middle mullion cannot be made larger than the others.”

The finished chapel boasts a gallery and a small chancel containing the newly arranged Van Linge glass. The exterior has a crenellated parapet over a crocketed ogival dripstone, giving the chapel the gothic flavor that Miller favored. Guilford next had Miller design a false ceiling for the great hall. It features a pendant in the center. Because the project seemed unlikely to be finished before the Earl’s proposed visit in the summer of 1752, the work was postponed for a year. He explained to Miller, “my house is not large enough for me to dispense with the use of my best room when I am there.”

19th Century Alterations

The only building work undertaken between the death of the first Earl in 1790 and the beginning of the fifty-year tenure of Wroxton by Baroness Susan North, appears under the fifth Earl (1817-27) when a library, attributed to Sydney Smirke, was built on the east side. In this construction, modification to the side lights in Sanderson Miller’s chapel apse was necessary.

Much of what is seen in the Abbey today can be attributed to Baroness North. The interior decoration of the 19th century overshadows the earlier work by Francis and Roger North and the 1st Earl Guilford. A liberal sprinkling of ‘N’s and baron’s coronets on the paneling and glass suggest work on the interior after the revival of the barony in 1837. The most significant development of the 19th century was the completion of the building with the addition of the south wing in 1859.

The Norths did a sympathetic and skillful job in creating symmetry from a western aspect and, by altering every window, restored the balance of the original design. Horace Walpole had remarked that the house was “neither good nor agreeable; one end of the front was never finished.” Several engravings and watercolors illustrate this imbalance. By completing the south side of the house, the Norths followed their motto: Animo et Fide Peerage. (“Carry through to completion in courage and faith.”)

The 20th Century

Wroxton Abbey Auction Catalog

Wroxton Abbey Sale.
Click to view the auction catalog.

After the death in 1932 of William Henry John North, the 11th Baron North, the family was unable to bear the great expenses of maintaining the mansion and its staff. The Abbey lease was surrendered to Trinity College in 1932 and its art and furnishings sold at auction. To view the auction catalog, with its descriptions of the many treasures accumulated by the Popes and the Norths over the centuries, click the image of the catalog cover to the right.

Now in full possession of Wroxton Abbey for the first time since 1556, Trinity College leased the property in 1938 to Pawson & Leafs who turned the abbey into a residential warehouse during the second world war. The interior fabric of the house was protected by screening as the clothiers went about their business. The Great Hall was the dispatch department, hosiery was stored in the Library and lingerie in the Regency Room, while the King’s Room accommodated the counting house.


Lady Pearson's Tour

Lady Pearson’s tour.

In 1948 the lease was given to Lady Pearson who rented out large flats in the building incurring some unsympathetic treatment of the property.

Lady Pearson opened the house to the public and lunches and teas were served in the restaurant that was created in the south wing.

The maintenance of the building became too costly for both Lady Pearson and the landlords and, in 1963, the property and fifty-six acres were sold to Fairleigh Dickinson University.

Thus began Wroxton College, an overseas campus of an American university based in the ancestral home of the British prime minister who served during the American War of Independence.