Originally King John owned the Harewood estate, and he gave it to the Knights Templar in the 11th century who constructed a chapel and house on the site which amounted to some 30 acres. Later, this became a preceptory of the Knights Templars, and afterwards of the Knights Hospitallers of the Order of St. John Of Jerusalem.
The surrounding area was part of the forest of Harewood in which Ethelwold, the minister of King Edgar, is said to have had a castle.
According to local lore, Ethelwold hid the beautiful Elfrida from his royal master, but was assassinated when his treachery was revealed.
The Hoskyns Baronetcy began in 1676 with Bennet Hoskyns, MP for Hereford. The family purchased the estate and demolished the existing house in 1781, building a new one in its place and landscaping the grounds. By 1839, after further rebuilding and renovating Harewood Park was an impressive mansion.
Chandos Wren Hoskyns
Chandos Wren Hoskyns was born in 1812, the second son of Sir Hungerford Hoskyns, and was educated at Shrewsbury School before going up to Balliol College, Oxford. He became a student of the Inner Temple, but although he was eventually called to the bar he never really bothered with the profession due to marrying rather well.
In April 1837 he married Theodosia Anna, daughter and heiress of a descendant of the architect Christopher Wren, and with the union came much land and money; he added “Wren” to his name by royal licence in the same year. Initially they lived in one of his new properties, Wroxall Abbey in Warwickshire, and it was here where Chandos developed a love and knowledge of all things agricultural; he was also an accomplished writer.
Theodosia died in 1842, and four years later Chandos remarried – Anna Fane.
He died following a long illness in November 1846
Chandos Hungerford Hoskyns carried on with the rebuilding work, and renovated the chapel in 1862; the family remained on the estate for a few more years before money troubles forced them to sell up.
Fire at Harewood Park
In 1887 Harewood Park was owned by Lady Vincent, lady of the manor and hundred of Wormelow, and occupied by Miss. Cuthbert, when fire broke out in the early hours of one morning. Miss Cuthbert woke up to the smell of fire, and saw flames coming from the laundry building – she woke the servants and Mr. Watson, the Butler, who all then rushed around the house in a panic gathering as many of their own valuables as they could to take them to safety.
A messenger sped to Llandinabo for the engine and fire brigade which promptly arrived, followed soon after by the Ross fire brigade which had been summonsed by Hollins the groom.
Much damage was done before the fire was finally extinguished, with the help of the fishpond in the front lawn, but due to the actions of a couple of calm people who managed to cut away the roof between the laundry and the mansion, the house itself was saved, and Mr. Greening the Coachman carefully watched the stables to ensure that they stayed safe.
The source of the fire was a woodhouse full of cordwood, and where there was a chimney with two flues…….beneath the chimney was a quantity of dry material, and it was thought that a spark from the laundry stove leapt to the dry wood which immediately caught alight.
William Sugden Armitage
William Sugden Armitage was born in 1851, and married Alice Mary Fisher in 1873 in Warwickshire, then settled for a while in New Zealand.
On their return they lived for a while at Harewood Park (with an enormous number of servants), but I suspect that they rented the property.
He died in 1903
Henry Harrison Parry
Henry Harrison Parry arrived at Harewood Park in the late 1800s, being the second son of the late Joseph Parry of Allington. He took a prominent part in public life, and besides being lord of the manor of Wormelow, he served for over ten years as Master to the Ross Harriers – a post that he excelled at with a thorough sporting spirit and most generous disposition. Meets at Harewood Park were always looked forward to by the Ross Harriers and South Herefordshire Hounds alike, for they were sure of a wonderful welcome. He was an ardent Unionist and was frequently voted into the post of President at the Ross Conservative Club, and up until his death was Master of the Harewood Lodge of the National Conservative League.
He was a Major in the 6th Battalion Royal Fusiliers, and was a Freemason, being a member of a Leicestershire Lodge – also Past Master of the Palladian Lodge at Hereford; a joining member of the Vitruvian Lodge at Ross; a founder and treasurer of the Vaga Lodge at Hereford; a Past Master of St. Ethelbert Mark Lodge; a P.S. of the Royal Arch Chapter, P.P.G.A.D.C of the Herefordshire Province of Freemasons, and a Night Templar.
Demonstration by Ross Fire Brigade at Harewood Park
In 1900 Captain Parry invited the Ross Fire Brigade, under the command of Captain Blake to go to Harewood Park with the “John Kyrle” steam engine, in order to give a display of its capabilities in the event of another fire at the mansion. The water in the lake was used, and after ten minutes four copious jets of water were being thrown across the lake and arcing up to 100 feet. As a final display, an extra length of hose was fitted and instantly the roof of the mansion was deluged. Captain and Mrs. Parry along with friends inspected the engine, and declared themselves convinced that the house could quickly be saved in the event of fire.
The steam was shut off, and in a few moments all the hoses were detached, rolled up and put away. The horses were harnessed and the two small daughters of the host were allowed to sit on the engine, then everyone enjoyed a substantial supper, before the brigade drove home late in the evening.
For some years Major Parry represented Llandinabo and Harewood as a Guardian of the Poor in the Ross Union, also as a Rural District Councillor, and in action brought by the Earl of Chesterfield and Mrs. Foster against the Wormelow free fishermen, he liberally supported the latter in the fight.
As a Justice of the Peace he was never severe or harsh with those that came before him at the Harewood Petty Session.
He died very suddenly in 1909 after a morning’s motoring. He became ill, and despite all medical attention he died in the afternoon aged just 49. he was a man who was very very sadly missed by so many people in many walks of life.
After his death, Harewood Park was occupied by Major Parry’s brother, Joseph. Eventually over time the money dwindled, and the house began to fall into disrepair.
Harewood Park bought by Guy’s Hospital
For one reason and another, mainly financial troubles, the house had to be sold and it was bought by the Trustees of Guy’s Hospital in 1941. It was used as a hospital in WW11, and rather fell further into disrepair.
How dreadfully sad that a family home became so derelict that once all fixtures and fittings had been removed, it was used by the SAS for demolition practice until virtually nothing remained of the house.
Later, and what on earth were the planning department thinking, a modern bungalow was allowed to be built on the site; thank goodness for the Duchy of Cornwall who rode to the rescue in 2000, and who have restored the whole estate and built a splendid house to grace Harewood once again.
1871 – Harewood Park Household
|Chandos Wren Hoskyns||59||MP, Landowner||b. Herefordshire|
|Anna Jane Wren Hoskyns||53||Wife||b. Calcutta, Bengal|
|Catherine Wren Hoskyns||32||Daughter||b. London|
|Hungerford Chandos Hoskyns||18||Son||b. Leamington, Warwickshire|
|Clara Amelia Hoskyns||17||Daughter||b. Leamington, Warwickshire|
|Anna Theadora Hoskyns||13||Daughter||b. Leamington, Warwickshire|
|Charlotte Fabricius||32||Governess||b. Austria|
|Frances ?||69||Housekeeper||b. Hertfordshire|
|Emma Skeels||38||Lady’s Maid||b. Cambridgeshire|
|Mary Ann Hicken||37||Cook||b. Warwickshire|
|Eliza Hughes||17||Kitchenmaid||b. Warwickshire|
|Margrett Morton Ersen||28||Housemaid||b. Aberdeenshire, Scotland|
|Harriett Owen||19||Housemaid||b. Wigmore, Herefordshire|
|Rachel Emma Savage||26||Laundrymaid||b. Alcester, Warwickshire|
|Sarah Ann Price||19||Under Housemaid||b. Herefordshire|
|William Saunders||18||Footman||b. Bullingham, Herefordshire|
1881 – Harewood Park Household
|Hester Clara Stubbs||29||Widow||b. Brampton Abbotts, Herefordshire|
|Stephen Horsley||28||Butler||b. Berkshire|
|Thomas Longford||28||Gardener||b. Weston under Penyard, Herefordshire|
|Frederick Green||44||Servant||b. Llangarran, Herefordshire|
|John Sutton||25||Groom||b. Knightsbridge, Middlesex|
|Hannah Green||45||Cook||b. Herefordshire|
|Alice Maria Green||15||Servant||b. Sellack, Herefordshire|
|Frances E. Cooper||20||Servant||b. Mitcheldean, Gloucestershire|
|Harriett Powell||29||Servant||b. Mitcheldean, Gloucestershire|
|Elizabeth Preece||32||Servant||b. Gloucestershire|
1891 – Harewood Park Household
|William Sugden Armitage||39||Living on own means||b. Penderton, Manchester|
|Alice Mary Armitage||41||Wife||b. The Hoo, Kidderminster, Worcestershire|
|Percy William Armitage||7||Son||b. New Zealand|
|Eleanor Hope Armitage||5||Daughter||b. New Zealand|
|Eva Winifred Armitage||4||Daughter||b. New Zealand|
|Barbara A. Fowler||56||Servant||b. Oxfordshire|
|Ruth Hopkins||17||Servant||b. Forest of Dean, Herefordshire|
|Esther Cawlins||33||Servant||b. Ireland|
|Harriett M.E. Timms||18||Servant||b. Warwickshire|
|Elizabeth Beeby||22||Servant||b. Leamington, Warwickshire|
|Elizabeth Silkstone||22||Servant||b. Derbyshire|
|Emily Thornton||34||Servant||b. Warwickshire|
|Lucy P. Devonport||27||Servant||b. Birmingham|
|Elizabeth Harris||42||Servant||b. Herefordshire|
|James James||28||Butler||b. Radnorshire|
|Sydney Hall||16||Servant||b. Upper Slaughter,Gloucestershire|
|William C. Crosby||16||Servant||b. Leamington, Warwickshire|
|Henry Everitt||27||Servant||b. Leicestershire|
1901 – Harewood Park Household
|Henry Harrison Parry||41||Landowner||b. Wiltshire|
|Evelyn May Parry||31||Wife||b. Plymouth, Devon|
|Evelyn Blanche Parry||4||Daughter||b. Harewood, Herefordshire|
|Catherine Elizabeth Parry||3||Daughter||b. Harewood, Herefordshire|
|Joseph Henry Parry||42||Brother, Barrister||b. Allington, Wiltshire|
|John Miles||40||Butler||b. Malmesbury, Wiltshire|
|Sarah Ann Burgess||44||Housekeeper||b. Allington, Wiltshire|
|Elizabeth King||48||Cook||b. Broadway Park, Wiltshire|
|Emily Hyett||30||Housemaid||b. Llandinabo, Herefordshire|
|Sarah Stevens||24||Housemaid||b. Bishops Cannings, Wiltshire|
|Emily Beatrice Smith||17||Kitchenmaid||b. Much Dewchurch, Herefordshire|
|Alice Webb||37||Nurse||b. Hampshire|
|Gertrude Kate Caudle||16||Under Nurse||b. Much Dewchurch, Herefordshire|
1911 – Harewood Park Household
|Joseph Henry Parry||52||Barrister||b. Allington, Wiltshire|
|Sarah Ann Burgess||54||Housekeeper||b. Allington, Wiltshire|
|Alice Eliza King||25||Cook||b. Pencoyed, Herefordshire|
|Emily Hyett||40||Parlourmaid||b. Llandinabo, Herefordshire|
|Elizabeth Clements||19||Housemaid||b. Wiltshire|