New Year, New Offices
02 Jan 2013
by Will Driver
We’re delighted to be making a fresh start to 2013 with a move to new offices at Hartham Park.
Set in the rolling Wiltshire countryside , Hartham Park is more a commercialised country house than Business Park. The house offers a unique setting within which to host our clients, with rooms that retain all the elegance of the building’s Georgian heritage, which is steeped in history.
A Brief History of Hartham Park
There have been impressive houses at Hartham for many centuries. Two families, living beside one another for over 300 years, before the existing Hartham Park buildings even existed.
Hartham House was home to the Duckett family, one of whom, Lionel Duckett, became Lord Mayor of London in 1572.
Hartham Park was the home of the Goddards, a family whose history is inextricably linked with North Wiltshire both as land-owners and politicians. The Goddard coat of arms can still be seen over the main gate.
Anne Goddard inherited the property in the 1700s, and was married to William James, whose enterprise and success in the East India Company lead to him becoming Chairman of the Board of Directors, and also provided the funds for Anne to build the present Mansion House, which was completed in 1795. Designed by the fashionable and highly sought after architect James Wyatt, the house was built on the site of a former Tudor farmstead.
Sadly she did not live to enjoy the house that she had created and it was sold eventually to the Methuen family, who had already acquired Hartham House but which, now superfluous to requirements, was knocked down in the mid 1800s.
Bought by the Dickson Poynder family, Hartham Park was to enjoy its heyday. Sir John Poynder Dickson-Poynder, later Lord Islington and Governor of New Zealand, added to the house, extending the main building and creating the courtyard. It was Sir John who also had the Stické tennis court built in 1904, used for the popular indoor version of lawn tennis. Although 38 Stické courts were built throughout the British Empire, the present court is one of only two left that are still playable. The building and balcony also doubled as a cricket pavilion.
It was at the turn of the century that Churchill and Asquith are known to have stayed in the house, as did H.R.H Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn, the third son of Queen Victoria.
While later owners of Hartham Park let much of the grounds deteriorate or sold parts off altogether, there is still ample evidence of what the property must have been like. Pineapples were grown in a heated greenhouse (the smokestack for the boiler can still be seen from the car park) the gardens were landscaped by Harold Peto, of Iford Manor fame and much of the grounds were laid out, as they are today, in this period.
The servants’ bells that remain outside the Victorian kitchens also hark back to the same period. Today, they are curios of a bygone age.
Hartham Park was bought by Jeffrey Thomas, in 1997. His vision of returning the house and grounds into active and sustainable use has resulted in today’s unique business campus.
A tranquil location to work from, it is near to Bath and a few minutes’ drive from the M4 and Chippenham station, putting us within easy reach of London and the South. We are excited to be making Hartham Park the new base for Fresh Perspective Financial Planning and hope that you will enjoy the surroundings as much as we do if visiting for planning meetings.
01249 700 402
This article contains the current opinions of the author and does not represent a personal recommendation. Information contained herein has been obtained from reliable sources but cannot be guaranteed. No part of this article may be reproduced in any form, or referred to in any other publication, without express written permission from Fresh Perspective Financial Planning Ltd.