Moving further on from yesterday round the outside of the walled garden this grassy path leads down to the rear part of Whatton House itself. As I said on Monday the house isn’t open to the public and a bit further on the garden becomes private. You can just see a small part of the rear of the house in this picture.
Whatton House was originally built in 1802 for Edward Dawson and was bought by the first Lord Crawshaw in the 1870’s when the Dawson’s moved to Launde Abbey. Only a short time later a disastrous fire struck, leading to the house being almost entirely rebuilt in 1876.
The reconstructed house had 26 bedrooms which housed an army of cooks, maids, butlers and footmen, but various alterations have been made to it over the years, including the demolition in the 1950’s of a large part of the back of the house to adapt it for modern living without a large staff. Unaffected by the fire, the stable yard and the walled garden date from 1802, and many of the trees in the park and gardens are also over 200 years old.
During World War II the house was offered as a Maternity hospital by the then Lord Crawshaw and 2324 babies were born there, mostly to mothers who were evacuated from the bombing in London. It wasn’t as peaceful as had been hoped because several bombs were dropped in the area and a house was destroyed only half a mile away. On 10th February 1941 thirty incendiary bombs fell in the grounds. After the war the Crawshaw’s returned to Whatton House, and it remains their family home.
I didn’t take a picture of the house but one of my fellow club members did and you can see that picture here.
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