The House from a circa 1910 postcard
Built / Designed For: John Walter
House & Family History: Farley was the seat of Gerard Wallop, 9th Earl of Portsmouth (interestingly, born in Chicago and raised in Wyoming), a member of, important influence on, and founder of a number of English right-wing groups in the 1920s and 30s. He was a member of the India Defence League, an imperialist group of Conservatives founded in 1933 to keep India as part of the British Empire; English Mistery, a conservative group with monarchist and ruralist opinions founded in 1929; the English Array, a pro-Nazi group founded in 1936 to advocate anti-immigration and "back to the land" agricultural policies; and the British Council Against European Commitments, founded by Wallop in 1938. In 1943 Wallop joined the British People's Party. Collaborating with A.K. Chesterton and John Warburton Beckett, Wallop edited "New Pioneer" magazine from 1938 until 1940. Between 1929 and 1934, Wallop (sitting as Lord Lymington, before inheriting the earldom in 1943) was a Conservative member of Parliament for Basingstoke. His use of parliamentary questions during his time as an MP has been blamed for the British government's reluctance to admit refugees in the years leading up to World War II.
Collections: In 1936 Gerard Wallop engaged Sotheby's to auction the Portsmouth Papers, the world's major collection of the unpublished papers of Isaac Newton; these had been in the family since 1740, when John Wallop, 2nd Viscount Lymington, married Catherine Conduit, Newton's great-niece. Sadly, the papers were broken into hundreds of separate lots for the sale and widely dispersed (John Maynard Keynes purchased many significant lots). The first floor of the House today contains a Print Room that features 18th century prints and engravings, set into painted frames, on all four walls.
Garden & Outbuildings: The Farley Hall Estate is home today to a traditional working farm, a livery facility, and a dairy farm.
Title: Debrett's Peerage and Baronetage, 1990
Author: Kidd, Charles; Williamson, David (Editors)
Year Published: 1990
Reference: pg. P 99
Publisher: London: Debrett's Peerage Limited (New York: St. Martin's Press, Inc.)
Book Type: Hardback
Title: Georgian: The Magazine of the Georgian Group, The
Year Published: NA
Reference: January 1999, pg. 16
Publisher: London: The Georgian Group
Book Type: Magazine
House Listed: Grade I
Park Listed: Grade II
Current Seat / Home of: Nicholas Alan Samuel, 5th Viscount Bearsted.
Past Seat / Home of: John Walter, 18th century.
Current Ownership Type: Individual / Family Trust
Primary Current Ownership Use: Private Home
Ownership Details: Vicountess Bearsted operates a medical practice in the House. The Livery Yard is home to the Farley Hall Horse Trials.
House Open to Public: No
Historic Houses Member: No