The Park has a fascinating history dating back over a thousand years. The Park is closely linked with the Burhill estate with several cross-overs in ownership taking place before the land was consolidated into the Burhill Estate by the 2nd Earl of Iveagh in 1927 and then developed as a residential estate.

The following tracks the early history of ‘Burwood’ through to the 1920s and to the present day.  

Early History – Burwood and Moreshall

962 - The first mention of Burwood in historical records.

1066 - Burwood was one of four manors in the area of Walton Leigh.

1540 - the manor of Moreshall of 200 acres (Burhill Golf Club today) and associated lands were made over by John Carlton, a Walton Lawyer, to King Henry VIII in exchange for ex-monastic land elsewhere. This transaction took place when the King acquired all the manors (including Burwood) between the Thames, Wey, Mole Rivers and Wisley, for conversion into a large deer park, which was called the Honour of Hampton Court. 

1548 - 1710.  On the King’s death the area was split up and the ‘old’ manors passed into various private hands. 

1710 John Latton the Deputy Lieutenant of Surrey under Queen Anne acquired the Moreshall manor and it became known as Mount Latton. John Latton also owned various lands in Esher.

1721 - the Burwood manor was purchased by John Latton and was then consolidated into a larger landholding.

1739 - the Burwood part of the estate was purchased by the Frederick family who enlarged the estate by buying parts of Walton Common and various tithe lands in the surrounding area. This included the little hamlet of Burwood, with its own windmill, which was destroyed by fire in 1797. This was believed to be in the Cranley Road area. 

Sir John Frederick (1708- 1783) a wealthy city merchant built the Manor House, which today sits in the centre of Burwood Park and is now a private property. He developed the land around the  house and created two old gravel pits into ornamental lakes, known today as Broadwater Lake and Heart Pond. These drained into Black Pond (under the site of Lynwood in Eastwick Road) and then to the War Memorial Pond (now filled in) in Hersham and on to the River Mole.

The large Scots pine trees were planted around the lakes along with many specimen trees across the estate. On Eriswell Road today and pre-dating the landscaping is one of the 200 oldest oak trees in England.

The second Sir John Frederick (1749-1825) lived in the mansion as did his son Sir Richard Frederick.  In May 1838 the railway to the north of the mansion was opened and a bridge to the station was constructed so Sir Richard could access Walton Station with his ‘pony and trap’. The railway bridge today is known as ‘Sir Richards Bridge’. Sir Richard died in 1863.

1877 - the Burwood estate was acquired by Henry Askew of Westmoreland.

See Download Tab - 1877 Auction Document for the Burwood Park Estates.

The Askew daughters (named in the deeds held by many present day owners) erected a black painted corrugated iron fence around the estate boundary in the 1890s and lived in the Manor House as virtual recluses. 

Under the Askew ownership the Burwood estate deteriorated rapidly and became overgrown. In 1927 after the last of the sisters died Burwood Park was acquired by the Earl of Iveagh’s ( the Guiness family) property company.  Under the ownership of Lord Iveagh the Burwood Park mansion was converted into a girls school under a Miss Jean Bryne.

The Burwood Park School was vacated in the Second World War and the estate was used for the storage of armoured vehicles. Prior to some houses being built on Eriswell Road tank tracks could still be found in the woodland. After the War the mansion was occupied as a school for deaf children sponsored by the Guinness family. The school was closed in the late 1990s and became a private property with the grounds being developed as Manor House Drive. 

The Burhill Estate 

1788 - the Mount Latton, previously known as Moreshall manor and the surrounding land owned by descendants of John Latton – the Kemeys-Tynte, renamed the estate Burhill.  

1800 to 1804 -  Walton common was enclosed by an Act of Parliament and the Kemeys-Tynte family acquired all the closed land between the Burhill boundary and the newly laid down Seven Hills Road, a tract of rough grazing running to some 176 acres - later to become Whiteley Village.

1849 - the Burhill Estate was put up for auction and was acquired by Francis Thomas Beecham, who in 1877 also acquired various parts of the Fredericks estates.

1887 - the Burhill Estate was purchased by Edward Cecil Guinness - the 2nd Earl of Iveagh. He leased the mansion to the Dowager Duchess of Wellington for life. She died in 1904

1906 - the Burhill mansion and immediate land was converted into the Burhill Golf Club. A second course was added in 1931.

1911 - Lord Iveagh sold the whole of the north west side of the estate, some 225 acres, including the afforested Enclosure Lands to the Whiteley Village project. This included 52 acres at the NW corner of the property, formerly Pond Head Farm, acquired at the break-up of the Frederick’s estate in 1877.

1927 - the Burhill Estate acquired Burwood Park, with the ‘new’ estate stretching from the Queens Road in Hersham to Chippings Farm and the Fairmile on the Portsmouth Road in Cobham.

1927 - when the first Lord Iveagh died his son Rupert Guinness (born 1874), Second Earl of Iveagh became Chairman of the Burhill Estates Company (now BGL) and he embarked on the sale of residential plots on Burwood Park and The Fairmile.

1947 - the remaining Burhill estate became green belt and hence further development was inhibited.

Burwood Park - Real Estate Development

The original Park architect was Mr G. Blair Imrie. Plots were available to purchase at £450 and £550. A description of the Park can be found in the 1927 and 1930 sales brochures. See Download Tabs

At the time Burwood Park also incorporated the land and roads to the east of the current Park on Eastwick Road and Kenwood Drive.  The planned road lay out of the ‘wider’ Park was very different from that of today and can be seen on a map of the Burhill estate at that time.

See Download Tab - the Burhill Estate Map x 3 

The development of Burwood Park as a residential estate by Lord Iveagh co-incided with similar estate development at St Georges Hill and Ashley Park (1924), albeit under different ownership and covenant criteria. Burhill Estates Group at the time also developed a residential estate at the Fairmile in Cobham.

Phase 1 – 1930 -1960 Early Development 

The first houses on the Park were developed in the 1930s on Eriswell Road, Onslow Road (north), Cranley Road (north), Broadwater Road and Chargate Close.  These houses tended to be on large one acre plus plots with wide verges.  The rest of the Park at this time was open woodland.  The entrances to the Park at that time were at the top and bottom of Eriswell Road. Lower Onslow Road and Ince Road did not exist.

From documents obtained from the Burhill Estates Company it appears that purchasers were offered a number of house designs and plans to choose from. 

See Download Tabs - 1930 Burhill Estates House Designs.

How many of the house designs were taken up is unknown. By 2019 there was only one of these original houses left on the Park at 11 Eriswell Road known as Eriswell House. In the 1930s the house was used as the Estate Office and later as the Headmaster’s house to the school next door.  A photograph of Eriswell House can be found at the back of the Original House Designs tab.

Phase 2 – Post War. 

In the late 1940s and into the 1950s the Park continued to be developed with the continued sale of plots and the re-sale of the original houses.

See Download Tab – 1948 Country Life Advertisement for 43 Broadwater Road 

Following an agreement between BGL and Surrey County Council in 1957 the roads at Eastwick Road, Kenwood Drive and the Heronry were adopted by the Council in 1960. The result of the adoption was to create an eastern boundary line to Burwood Park as it is today. This changed the 1927 planned road layout of the Park, which had roads connecting the current and eastern sides.

Phase 3 – 1960 to 1982 New Roads

The remaining parts of open land were developed with the construction of new roads and the sale of building plots. Post the adoption of the eastern part of the Park a new layout plan for the roads was developed

1960 - the new roads started with the extension of Onslow Road to the Burwood Road and the opening of a third entrance to the Park.

1966 - the extension of Cranley Road back to Eriswell Road

1966-67 the woodland area in the south-west of the Park was developed as Kelvedon Avenue, Albury Road, Eriswell Cresent and Patmore Lane.   

1972 - roads on Ince Road, Kilrue Lane were completed and the fourth entrance to the Park was created.

1982 - the first part of Farmleigh Grove was constructed leading to the school cricket field and Phase 1 of Pond Close was also constructed.

All the new roads were constructed to a different specification and are characterised as being narrower than the original roads with verges and plot sizes also being smaller.

In 1982 Burwood Park featured in the Country Life Magazine.

See Download Tabs – 1982 Country Life Editorial – Beating the Bounds at Burhill

Phase 4 – The 1990s In-Fill

Over time some of the original larger plots have been split (if the Covenants allowed) and Burhill sold off their remaining plots as ‘in-fill ‘

  • 1999 -  Manor House Drive - 5 houses + 2 houses on Broadwater in the grounds of the old Manor House
  • 2000 - Pond Close (2) - 4 houses on woodland backing on to Heart Pond
  • 2000 - Farmleigh Grove (2) - 4 houses on the old school cricket field
  • 2007 - Chargate Close and Eriswell Road -3 houses on woodland

 All these developments were a joint partnership between Burhill Estates Company and Octagon Developments Ltd.

Phase 5 - 2000 + Re-development

Apart from the remaining ’in-fill’ initiatives there were now no building plots left on the Park, with the result that property owners and developers started to turn their attention to re-development to replacing the older and smaller houses with larger new properties. Occasionally some of the original large plots would be split (Covenants permitting) and be replaced with two houses. 

This process is on-going and is expected to continue for 30+ years at about five re-developments per year. Out of the housing stock of 384 properties it is estimated 220 houses have re-development potential.

Burwood Park Residents Ltd  (BPRL) and the Ownership Transfer

Burwood Park Residents Limited (BPRL) was incorporated in January 1991 - although a residents association had existed on the Park for many years. This was initiated to provide continuity between one owner and the next by creating share ownership. 

Over the years several discussions with the Burhill Group Ltd (BGL) were initiated regarding the ownership transfer of the Park to BPRL.  In 2011 a firm offer from BGL was made at a sum of £1.41m. The offer was rejected by BPRL shareholders on the basis that it was too low in relation to the liabilities and obligations that would transfer with the ownership.

By this time the BGL had no building plots left to sell and owned three properties all of which had planning approval for re-development. As such they had no long - term interest in the Park and had made it clear they would only maintain the Park to a minimum level. 

In 2013 BPRL shareholders approved a formal approach to BGL for the transfer of the Park and embarked on a process to evaluate the liabilities, negotiate a ‘fair price’ and determine on what basis BPRL would need to organise itself to successfully manage the Park’s future. This process with various iterations took a total of six years and resulted in a final offer in 2018 whereby BPRL would acquire the Burhill Estates Company (BECL) and receive a contribution of £3.25m from BGL to address the Fix the Park works, legal costs with the balance being paid in cash.

By March 2019 over 86% (331) of all property owners had accepted the ‘Deal Terms’ and had signed the Deed Of Covenant, with the result the transfer is due to proceed to completion at the end of 2019.

In April 2019 as part of the ‘Deal Terms’, BGL started a programme of works known as ‘Fix the Park’ to address the roads, greenways, woodland, lakes and drainage to BPRL standards.  

INFORMATION SOURCES

  1. History of Surrey - Edward Brayley 1850.
  2. 1981 Country Life Article  - Beating the Bounds at Burhill
  3. Various Burhill Group Ltd documents including dated Covenants
  4. Various BPRL documents