|Allfrey of Wokefield Park|
|Bantony Manor, Salehurst. The house has recently been restored after a period of dilapidation when it was threatened by the proposed construction of a new dual carriageway section of the A21.|
It was brewing that made the family rich and enabled Edward Allfrey's sons to buy and build country houses. The eldest son, Robert, bought Wokefield Park in Berkshire; the second surviving son, Henry Wells Allfrey, bought Hemingford House at Alveston (Warwickshire), just outside Stratford-on-Avon; the third son, Frederick William Allfrey (1819-1915) bought land at Spencers Wood near Reading and built a new mansion which he called Stanbury; and the youngest son inherited his father's property at Salehurst.
Robert Allfrey (1809-75) inherited the greater part of his father's interest in the brewery and by the early 1840s was able to buy Wokefield Park in Berkshire, a 17-bay house with newly-laid out landscaped grounds. When he died in 1875 his wealth amount to some £400,000. His eldest son, Goodrich Holmsdale Allfrey (1835-98) became even richer and was worth £743,000 at his death. What subsequently happened to this fortune is something of a mystery, since neither of G.H. Allfrey's two sons left a corresponding fortune at their deaths in 1935 and 1939. It may be simply that the tap - in this case, rather literally - was turned off, for the Griffin Brewery was sold in 1898, being one of three firms which combined to form Watney, Combe & Reid Ltd (later Watney Mann & Co). Although Watneys was remarkably profitable in the early and mid 20th century, we do not know if the Allfreys retained shares in the business; they may instead have invested in other things which did less well.
Wokefield Park passed in 1898 to the elder son, Herbert Cyril Allfrey (1874-1935), who promptly sold it to Alfred Palmer, the Reading biscuit manufacturer. Allfrey and his wife apparently lived in London for a few years, and may also have rented a house in the North Riding of Yorkshire, but in 1905-06 they commissioned a new Arts & Crafts style country house, Burrough Court in Leicestershire, from the great northern architect, Walter Brierley. Burrough Court was in the prime hunting country around Melton Mowbray, and both H.C. Allfrey and his brother Nugent (1880-1939), who rented a series of houses nearby in Leicestershire and Rutland, were evidently keen huntsmen. Just after the end of the First World War Burrough Court was sold to Lord Furness, and in 1931 it was the place where Lady Furness introduced the Prince of Wales to Wallis Simpson, with such dramatic consequences for the succession to the Crown. Herbert Allfrey moved from Burrough Court to Newnton House at Long Newnton (Glos). Although his new home was still a handsome country house, it was smaller than Burrough Court, just as Burrough Court had been smaller than Wokefield Park, and it seems likely that the family was consciously downsizing. Newnton House was sold in 1936.
Wokefield Park, Berkshire
|Wokefield Park: entrance front|
The Plowdens had a house here (sometimes referred to as Oakfield House) from the 16th century onwards, and a vaulted cellar is likely to be a survival from it. However, the building that stands today began as a seven bay three storey house with a balustraded roof-line, built c.1720-25 for Charles Parry, which was similar in planning and general appearance to Francis Smith’s Kinlet Hall (Shropshire); the central three bays on both sides are slightly recessed and emphasised by raised quoins. This house was altered in 1788-89 by Sir John Soane for Harriet Brocas (who later also employed him at Bramley church in Hampshire), and then expanded on both sides in the early 19th century to give a not specially attractive cement-rendered 17-bay facade. The 19th century wings consist of balustraded two storey links and three-storey pavilions. The Doric porte-cochère on the entrance front is presumably also early 19th century, and so perhaps is the pedimented stone porch on the garden front. The house is now a hotel and conference centre, and large additions have been made at either end of the house to provide these facilities.
The park (originally of 207 acres) was a medieval deer park, first mentioned in 1319, and it was landscaped during the 18th century as John Rocque's map of Berkshire shows avenues, woodland and possibly water features. The present gardens preserve the remnants of 19th century terraces and a landscaped lake, which is believed to have been created c.1820.
|Wokefield Park: garden front|
The interior was completely remodelled c.1900 for Alfred Palmer, of the Reading biscuit firm, and nothing survives inside of the Early Georgian or Soane periods. Instead we have elaborate plasterwork in some of the former reception rooms on the south front, some of it in the Adamesque style typical of c.1900, and a wooden 18th-century style staircase separated from the entrance hall by a screen of fluted Ionic columns.
Descent: sold 1569 to Edmund Plowden (d. 1585); to son, Edmund Plowden (d. 1587); to brother, Francis Plowden (fl. 1620); to son, Francis Plowden who sold 1627 to Peter Weaver; to daughter Elizabeth Weaver, wife of Charles Pearce (d. before 1685) of Eton; to daughter Katherine Pearce, wife of Francis Parry (d. before 1706); to son, Charles Parry (d. by 1734), who rebuilt the house; to son, Charles Parry (d. 1740); to sisters and co-heirs, who sold 1742 to 1st Earl of Uxbridge; to grandson, 2nd Earl of Uxbridge, who sold to Bernard Brocas (d. 1777) of Beaurepaire; to widow, Harriet Brocas (d. 1819) for life and then to grandson, Bernard Brocas (d. 1839); sold after his death to Robert Allfrey (1809-75); to son, Goodrich Holmsdale Allfrey (1835-98); to son, Herbert Cyril Allfrey (1874-1935), who sold 1900 to Alfred Palmer (1852-c.1936); sold 1936 to De La Salle Brothers for use as St. Benedict's Approved School (closed c.1970)... Hotel & Conference Centre since c.1984.
Burrough Court, Burrough-on-the-Hill, Leicestershire
|Burrough Court: architect's perspective drawing of 1906.|
An Arts & Crafts style house designed by Walter H. Brierley in 1906 for Herbert Allfrey. It stands in the hunting country around Melton Mowbray and became a fashionable meeting place for the hunting set between the First and Second World Wars when Lady Furness (who preceded Mrs Simpson in the affections of the Prince of Wales) and her husband owned it. Indeed, it was where Lady Furness introduced Mrs. Simpson to the Prince, on 10 January 1931. The house was destroyed by fire in the 1940s, reputedly when some Canadian soldiers stationed there tried to use dynamite to break into a sealed wine cellar; the ruins were later demolished, but the stable court survives and is now used as offices, business units and meeting rooms.
Descent: built c.1906 for Herbert Cyril Allfrey (1874-1935); sold 1919 to Marmaduke Furness (1883-1940), 1st Viscount Furness; to son, William Anthony Furness (1920-95), 2nd Viscount Furness; burnt c.1945.
Newnton House, Long Newnton, Gloucestershire
|Newnton House, Long Newnton|
Descent: Thomas White (1753-1832)...sold 1849 to Thomas Grimston Bucknall Estcourt (1775-1853); to son, Thomas Henry Sutton Sotheron Estcourt (1801-76); to brother, Rev. Edmund Hiley Bucknall Estcourt (1803-94); to son, George Thomas John Sotheron-Estcourt (1839-1915); to distant cousin, Edmund Walter Estcourt who gave the estate in 1919 to son, Thomas Edmund Estcourt (d. 1958), who sold c.1919/20 to Herbert Cyril Allfrey (1874-1935); sold 1936...
Stanbury, Spencers Wood, BerkshireA large Victorian mansion, built in 1859-60 for Frederick William Allfrey (1819-1915). The house was requisitioned for military use in the Second World War and there was a German Prisoner of War camp here. It was returned to private occupation in the 1950s and a large 19th century conservatory from Maiden Erleigh was re-erected here. The house was badly damaged by fire in 1960 and subsequently demolished. The conservatory survived the fire and demolition and was sold in the 1980s for re-erection elsewhere; it is believed now to be in Cornwall. A small housing estate was built on part of the site of the house in 1969-70.
Descent: built for Frederick William Allfrey (1819-1915)...requisitioned in Second World War; sold 1945...
Hemingford House, Alveston, Warwickshire
|Hemingford House, Alveston|
A white stuccoed house, reputedly of 1784, but to all external appearances now of the early to mid 19th century. It has a three bay three storey entrance front with lower one-bay wings. The central bay of the entrance front is broken slightly forward and flanked by pilasters, and has a porch with Doric columns and a Tuscan entablature. The broad tripartite windows on the ground floor and the single-storey extension to the left are presumably mid 19th century alterations. Inside, the entrance hall has a rich cornice and a Doric columns either side of the opening to the staircase hall. The house has been a Youth Hostel for many years and reopened after restoration in 2013.
Descent: Henry Wells Allfrey (1817-87); to son, Henry Allfrey (1850-1938)... Youth Hostels Association.
Allfrey family of Wokefield Park
Allfrey, George (1736-94) of Friston Place. Only son of George Allfrey of West Dean (1705-64) and his wife Catherine Woodhams, born at West Dean (Sussex), June 1736. A successful sheep farmer, who introduced the practice of exchanging his rams with neighbouring farmers every four or five years to prevent in-breeding, and thereby strengthened the bloodline of his stock. He married, 1767, Mary (1739-1810), daughter of William Stone of Stonebridge (Sussex) and had issue:
(1) Fanny Allfrey (1767-1833), born November 1767; died unmarried, 30 March 1833; buried at Seaford;
(2) George Allfrey (1769-1802) of Friston Place; farmer of over 700 acres at Friston; married Kitty (1768-1822), daughter of Stening Beard of Seaford and had issue three sons and one daughter; died intestate at Brighton, 23 April 1802;
(3) Edward Allfrey (1770-1834) (q.v.);
(4) Charlotte Allfrey (1772-1846), baptised 19 January 1772; died unmarried at Eastbourne, 1 August 1846; buried at Seaford;
(5) Catherine Allfrey (1773-1858), born 23 March 1773; married, 7 May 1801, Thomas Rogers Willard (1777-1857); died without issue, 4 December 1858; will proved 14 March 1859 (estate under £3,000);
(6) Harriet Allfrey (1774-1815), baptised 13 January 1775; married, 30 July 1800, Capt. Thomas Mortimer and had issue three sons and one daughter; died at Eastbourne, 2 November 1815;
(7) Sarah Allfrey (1779-1837), baptised 21 November 1779; died unmarried at Eastbourne, 12 December 1837; buried at Seaford.
He inherited the lease of Friston Place from his father in 1764.
He died at Friston Place, 13 May 1794; his will was proved 29 December 1794. His widow died in Seaford, 23 December 1810.
Allfrey, Edward (1770-1834), of London, and Bantony, Salehurst (Sussex). Second son of George Allfrey (d. 1794) of Friston Place and his wife Mary, daughter of William Stone of Stonebridge, born 4 November 1770. Shipping insurer at Lloyds of London; later partner in Reid & Co., porter brewers of Griffin Brewery, Clerkenwell. He married, 3 December 1807, Margaret (d. 1855), daughter of Robert Shedden of London and Paulerspury Park (Northants), and had issue:
(1) Robert Allfrey (1809-75) (q.v.);
(2) Henry Allfrey (b. 1810), born 25 October 1810 and baptised 12 February 1811; died young;
(3) Emma Allfrey (b. 1813), baptised 8 April 1813; died young
(4) Edward Allfrey (b. & d. 1815), buried 1 May 1815, aged 2 days;
(5) George Allfrey (b. & d. 1816), baptised 6 June 1816; buried 9 June 1816;
(6) Henry Wells Allfrey (1817-87) (q.v.);
(7) Frederick William Allfrey (1819-1915) of Stanbury, Reading (Berks), born 15 May and baptised 22 September 1819; married, 4 September 1845, Emily (d. 1866), daughter of Col. Sir Robert Moubray KGH of Cockairney (Fife) and had issue 3s 2d; died 25 August 1915 aged 96; will proved 15 October 1915 (estate £309,514);
(8) Edward Allfrey (1822-73) of Bantony, Salehurst, born 16 December 1822 and baptised 20 January 1823; died unmarried, 10 October 1873; will proved 6 March 1874 (estate under £25,000).
He acquired the Bantony estate at Salehurst (Sussex) in 1821 and the manor of Robertsbridge in the following year. At his death these passed to his youngest son.
He died 6 June 1834 and was buried 13 June 1834 at Banstead (Surrey); will proved 26 June 1834. His widow died 26 February 1855.
Allfrey, Robert (1809-75) of Wokefield Park. Eldest son of Edward Allfrey (d. 1834) of London, Salehurst and Banstead and his wife Margaret, daughter of Robert Shedden of Paulersbury Park (Northants), born 10 October and baptised 13 December 1809. Major shareholder in Reid & Co., porter brewers of Griffin Brewery, Clerkenwell. JP and DL for Berkshire; High Sheriff of Berkshire, 1850. He married, 20 October 1834, Caroline (1815-87), daughter of William Hobson of Harley Street, London, and had issue:
(1) Goodrich Holmsdale Allfrey (1835-98) (q.v.);
(2) Col. Irving Stening Allfrey (1837-1912), born 5 and baptised 30 April 1837; Colonel of 1st Bttn, Somerset Light Infantry; married 1st, 4 December 1860, Mary Elizabeth (d. 1875), daughter of Major Talbot, and had issue 2s and 1d, and married 2nd 23 April 1878, Emma Florence (d. 1927), eldest daughter of Admiral Henry Foote and had issue 2s 1d; died 10 December 1912; will proved 23 January 1913 (estate £1,191);
(3) Ernest Herbert Allfrey (1839-1922) of Fernihurst, Wedderburn, Victoria (Australia), born 30 April and baptised 12 July 1839; emigrated to Australia, 1867; married, 1874, Isabella Mary Moubray and had issue; died 8 May 1922;
(4) Ellen Allfrey (1840-75), born Oct-Dec 1840; died unmarried, 12 December 1875; will proved 24 January 1876 (estate under £20,000);
(5) Walter Mortimer Allfrey (1843-1937) of Farley Castle (Berks), born 6 December 1843; educated at Harrow; partner in Reid & Co., brewers of Clerkenwell; married, 22 February 1872, his cousin Louisa (d. 1944), daughter of Frederick William Allfrey and had issue 2s 4d; died 8 August 1937; will proved 1 October 1937 (estate £53,947)
(6) Rodney Charles Allfrey (1847-79) of Whitchurch (Shropshire), born 18 March 1847; died unmarried, 3 December 1879; administration of goods, 18 December 1879 (estate under £7,000);
(7) Gerald Moubray Allfrey (1848-95) of Twickenham (Middx), born 10 September 1848; educated at Christ Church, Oxford (matriculated 1868); married, 1875, Elizabeth Emily Pontin and had issue 1s; died 6 September 1895; will proved 14 October 1895 and July 1896 (estate £16,900)
(8) Beauclerk Cyril Allfrey (1851-54), born 10 February 1851; died young, 20 November 1854;
(9) Sidney Reginald Allfrey (b. 1852) of Kirkley (Suffolk), born 26 November 1852; married 31 October 1876, Frances Studholme (d. 1892), daughter of William Purves; died 4 December 1897; will proved 14 April 1898 (estate £20,221);
(10) Constance Louisa Allfrey (1845-80), born 24 April and baptised 20 June 1845; married, 1878, Lt-Col. Charles John Anderson of Poona (India) and had issue; died 3 November 1880; administration of goods, 21 May 1881 (estate under £300).
He purchased Wokefield Park about 1840.
He died 15 September 1875; his will was proved 27 October 1875 (estate under £400,000). His widow died 23 April 1887; her will was proved 21 May 1887 (estate £20,950)
Allfrey, Maj. Goodrich Holmsdale (1835-98) of Wokefield Park. Eldest son of Robert Allfrey (1809-75) of Wokefield Park and his wife Caroline, daughter of William Hobson of Harley Street, London, born 27 September 1835 and baptised 28 November 1835 at Banstead (Surrey). Served in the army (Major, 2nd Dragoon Guards), during Indian Campaign, 1858-59; JP for Berkshire; High Sheriff of Berkshire, 1881; Master of the South Berkshire Foxhounds. He married, 21 August 1873, Helen Clara (1848-1912), daughter of William Little and had issue:
(1) Herbert Cyril Allfrey (1874-1935) (q.v.);
(2) Nugent St. Clair Allfrey (1880-1939), born 25 May 1880; Captain in 2nd Dragoon Guards; rented a series of houses in Leicestershire and Rutland including Rotherby Hall (Leics), 1912, Hambledon Manor (Rut), 1919 and South Luffenham Hall (Rut), 1939; married, 12 February 1907, Eleanor Blanche (1885-1941), 3rd daughter of Hon. Evelyn Cornwallis Anderson-Pelham; died without issue, 5 August 1939; will proved 16 September 1939 (estate £55,898).
He inherited Wokefield Park from his father in 1875. After his death, his widow leased Williamstrip Park (Glos).
He died 9 April 1898; his will was proved 13 June 1898 (estate £743,771). His widow died in France, 30 January 1912; her will was proved 26 March 1912 (estate £4,697).
Allfrey, Maj. Herbert Cyril (1874-1935) of Long Newnton House (Glos). Elder son of Goodrich Holmsdale Allfrey (1835-98) and his wife Helen Clara, daughter of William Little, born 28 September 1874. Educated at Eton and Merton College, Oxford. Served in WW1 as Major in the Royal Field Artillery; JP for Berkshire, 1899 and North Riding of Yorkshire, 1902. He married, 30 October 1897, Norah Church (1877-1961), daughter of John Gilbert Meiggs of London and had issue:
(1) Basil Holmsdale Allfrey (1898-1981), born 24 November 1898; educated at Eton and RMC Sandhurst; served as Captain in 9th Q.R. Lancers; married 1st, 16 October 1929 (div. 1939), Adeline Elizabeth Daphne, daughter of Sir Gilbert Wheaton Fox, 1st bt. and had issue 2s; married 2nd, 17 April 1941, Babette Betty, daughter of Emil Schanzer of Vienna and formerly wife of [forename unknown] Reizers and lived latterly in Vienna; died 1981;
(2) Phyllis Allfrey (1901-79), born 19 February 1901; married, 15 July 1931, Lancelot William Joynson-Hicks (1902-83), 3rd Viscount Brentford and had issue 1 son; died 1979.
He inherited Wokefield Park from his father in 1898, but sold it in 1900. He then built a new house, Burrough Court, at Burrough-on-the-Hill (Leics), which he later sold to Viscount Furness. He lived later at Newnton House, Long Newnton, near Tetbury (Glos).
He died 10 November and was buried at Long Newnton, 13 November 1935; his will was proved 10 January 1936 (estate £37,873). His widow died 2 February 1961.
Allfrey, Henry Wells (1817-87) of Hemingford House. Second surviving son of Edward Allfrey (1770-1843) and his wife Margaret, daughter of Robert Shedden of Paulespury Park (Northants), born and baptised 17 September 1817. Educated at Exeter College, Oxford (matriculated 1836). JP for Warwickshire. He married 1st, 6 December 1845 at Aberdour (Fife), Adeline Frances (d. 1855), daughter of Col. Sir Robert Moubray KGH of Cockairney (Fife) and 2nd, 1859, Catherine Elizabeth (d. 1920), daughter of Philip Saltmarshe of Saltmarshe (Yorks), and had issue:
(1.1) Henry Allfrey (1850-1938) (q.v.);
(1.2) Edward Allfrey (1852-79), baptised 13 July 1852; served in 17th Regiment; killed in the Afghan War;
(1.3) Adeline Margaret Allfrey (1846-60), baptised 18 November 1846; died young and was buried at Alveston, 19 July 1860;
(1.4) Laura Millicent Allfrey (1848-1928), baptised 24 March 1848; married, 30 November 1878, Brig-Gen. Hugh Aboukir Scott (1851-1913) and had issue; died 9 April 1928; will proved 21 May 1928 (estate £4,349);
(1.5) Mary Allfray (1849-1927) ; died unmarried, 11 May 1927; will proved 3 August 1927 (estate £4,121);
(1.6) Emma Allfray (1853-1931), baptised 12 September 1853; married 1st, 1877, William James ffarington (d. 1890) and had issue; married 2nd, 1891, Capt. Henry Frederick Twynam (d. 1903); married 3rd, 1910, Richard Colley Wellesley (d. 1919); died 2 October 1931; will proved 18 November 1931 (estate £2,091);
(1.7) Margaret Allfrey (1854-1905), baptised 29 November 1854; died unmarried 1905;
(2.1) Mabel Harriet Allfrey (1861-1943), baptised 6 April 1862; died unmarried, 2 December 1943; will proved 31 May 1944 (estate £17,306);
(2.2) Alice Henrietta Allfrey (1863-1916), baptised 12 July 1863; married, 3 September 1891, Charles George Busby of Chesterfield (Derbys); died 17 December 1916; will proved 23 March 1917 (estate £6,187);
(2.3) Adeline Allfrey (1864-1905), baptised 30 October 1864; died 13 March 1905; will proved 12 April 1905 (estate £8,471)
(2.4) Philip Shedden Allfrey (1865-93), baptised 24 September 1865; educated at Magdalene College, Cambridge (admitted 1884); injured during a hunting accident in November 1892 and committed suicide at Hemingford House, 25 January 1893; will proved 22 February (estate £7,919).
He purchased Hemingford House in about 1840.
He died 2 March and was buried 4 March 1887 at Alveston (Warks); will proved 27 July 1887 (estate £99,180). His first wife died 27 September 1855. His widow died 10 January 1920; her will was proved 18 March 1920 (estate £4,320).
Allfrey, Henry (1850-1938) of Hemingford House. Eldest son of Henry Wells Allfrey (1817-87) and his first wife, Adeline Frances, daughter of Col. Sir Robert Moubray KGH, born 9 September 1850. Educated at Cheltenham College. Major in 60th Rifles; JP for Warwickshire. He married, 4 September 1889, Kathleen Elizabeth (d. 1940), daughter of Sydney Alers Hankey of Lock's Farm, Wokingham (Berks), and had issue:
(1) Maj. Henry Sydney Allfrey (1891-1975) of The Grange, How Caple (Herefs), born 10 August 1891; educated at Wellington College; rancher in Canada, 1911-14; joined 7th Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force, 1914 but later served as Major in King's Royal Rifle Corps during WW1; JP and DL for Herefordshire; lord of the manor of Robertsbridge (Sussex); married, 20 June 1922, Vera, younger daughter of Charles Whiteway Hazlehurst JP of Broadlands, Hereford and had issue two sons; died 1975;
(2) Maj. Edward Moubray Allfrey (1893-1923), born 9 February 1893; served in WW1 as Major in King's Royal Rifle Corps (MC and bar; despatches); died unmarried, 29 June 1923;
(3) Lt-Gen. Sir Charles Walter Allfrey (1895-1964), born 24 October 1895; educated at Royal Naval College, Dartmouth; entered the army, 1914 (Capt., 1917; Major, 1933; Lt-Col., 1935; Col., 1939; Maj-Gen. 1943; Lt-Gen., 1946); General Officer Commanding British troops in Egypt, 1944-48; retired 1948; Colonel Commandant of Royal Artillery 1947-57 and of Royal Horse Artillery 1948-57; awarded CB, DSO, MC and bar, KBE 1946; Legion d'Honneur and US Legion of Merit; JP and DL for Gloucestershire; married, 25 July 1935, Geraldine Clara, daughter of Col. Edward Scudamore Lucas-Scudamore of Kentchurch Court and Castle Shane and had issue one son and one daughter; died 2 November 1964;
(4) Barbara Kathleen Allfrey (1899-1954), born 3 September 1899; died unmarried, 3 January 1954.
He inherited Hemingford House from his father in 1887 and the manor of Robertsbridge from his uncle Edward in 1873.
He died 17 May 1938; his will was proved 16 August 1938 (estate £12,481). His widow died 12 November 1940; her will was proved 1 May 1941 (estate £183).
Burke's Landed Gentry, 1965, pp. 11-12; VCH Berkshire, vol. 3, p. 422; http://www.heritagegateway.org.uk/Gateway/Results_Single.aspx?uid=MWB15997&resourceID=1030; http://www.felbridge.org.uk/index.php?p=2_53; http://www.aim25.ac.uk/cgi-bin/vcdf/detail?coll_id=13867&inst_id=118&nv1=search&nv2=; http://www.britishlistedbuildings.co.uk/en-366186-hemingford-house-stratford-upon-avon-war; http://www.britishlistedbuildings.co.uk/en-40053-st-benedict-s-school-wokefield-park-wokef;
Location of archives
Allfrey family of Friston Place: deeds and papers, 1735-1827 [East Sussex Record Office AMS 5590]
Allfrey family of Salehurst and Wokefield Place: deeds, estate, legal and family papers, 1672-1926 [East Sussex Record Office, ALF]
Coat of arms
Per fesse sable and ermine, a pale counterchanged, three ostriches' heads erased, argent, ducally gorged and lined or.