The House from an 1819 hand-colored engraving
Earlier Houses: There was a house on the site of the current house as early as the 11th century.
Built / Designed For: Sir William More
House & Family History: Sir William More, the builder of Loseley, was the son of Sir Christopher More, an official of the Exchequer in the reign of Henry VII and the king's remembrancer. Sir William was knighted by Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, acting on behalf of the queen, at Pyrford, Surrey, on May 14, 1576. Sir William's son, Sir George More, represented Surrey and Guildford in Parliament and was made chancellor of the Order of the Garter by James I. One of Sir George's daughters, Ann, secretly married, at age 17, John Donne, the poet who wrote "never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee." (Dr. Donne also became dean of St. Paul's.) Sir George, upon discovering the secret marriage of his daughter, had Dr. Donne thrown out of office and placed in Fleet Prison for a year. The chancellor, Sir Thomas More, was related to the family by marriage. Loseley was built to entertain Queen Elizabeth I, and both the queen and her successor, James I, were visitors to the House (the Drawing Room ceiling was gilded especially for James's visit). Loseley contains stone brought from Waverley Abbey that is more than 850 years old. Part of the original moat still exists and was connected by a now-sealed-off secret passage to the cellars. The chimneypiece in the Drawing Room is unusual in that it is carved from a single block of chalk. The paneling in the Great Hall came from Henry VIII's famous Nonsuch Palace.
Collections: For centuries the Great Hall at Loseley contained the first known portrait of Edward VI as king, painted circa 1548 by an unknown artist (the portrait was one of the stars of "The Treasure Houses of Britain" show at The National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, in 1985-86). The painting was sold from Loseley to Australian businessman John Schaeffer, who sold this and other paintings at Christie's on June 9, 2004. The rare portrait of the king sold for £621,250. The Hall contains a marble table on alabaster supports with the Tudor rose and the Scottish thistle that was made for Henry VIII and came from Nonsuch Palace. The paneling in the Great Hall also came from Nonsuch Palace. Two maid of honour chair cushions in the Drawing Room are believed to have been embroidered by Queen Elizabeth I. Sir William More was one of the first Englishman of high rank to create a library. Loseley also contains George IV's coronation chair.
Garden & Outbuildings: Today the 1,400 acre estate is farmed. On the Estate Piccards Farm produces organic vegetables, additive free meats, and organic dairy products and flours.
John Bernard (J.B.) Burke, published under the title of A Visitation of the Seats and Arms of the Noblemen and Gentlemen of Great Britain and Ireland, among other titles: 2.S. Vol. II, p. 177, 1855.
John Preston (J.P.) Neale, published under the title of Views of the Seats of Noblemen and Gentlemen in England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland, among other titles: Vol. IV, 1821.
Country Life: II, 720, 1897. LXXVII, 544, 1935. CXLVI, 802, 894, 1969.
Title: Treasure Houses of Britain, The - SOFTBACK
Author: Jackson-Stops, Gervase (Editor)
Year Published: 1985
Reference: pg. 409
Publisher: Washington, DC: National Gallery of Art (New Haven: Yale University Press)
Book Type: Softback
House Listed: Grade I
Park Listed: Not Listed
Current Seat / Home of: Alexander and Sophia More-Molyneux; More-Molyneux family here since 1562.
Past Seat / Home of: Sir Christopher More, 15th century; Michael More-Molyneux, late 20th century.
Current Ownership Type: Individual / Family Trust
Primary Current Ownership Use: Private Home