Earlier Houses: An earlier Dutch style house of circa 1630 was incorporated into the current house, but there had been a house on the site since at least the 14th century.
House & Family History: In 1680 Sir William Temple purchased the Estate and renamed it Moor Park in honor of the Hertfordshire house of that name, whose gardens he admired. All that survives today of Temple's house are the walls and the doorway and loggia on the Entrance Façade (in the pediment of the Entrance Facade doorcase is a cast iron rendering of Temple's arms). Sir William's secretary was Jonathan Swift, who lived at Moor Park between 1689 and 1699. Swift began to write "A Tale of the Tub" and "The Battle of the Books" at Moor Park; it was also here that Swift met Esther Johnson, the daughter of Temple's housekeeper and the fictional Stella of his poems (Stella lived on the Estate in a house now known as Stella's Cottage). One of the most notable features of Moor Park is the narrow and tall top-lit stairwell, which features a small central dome and very fine plasterwork and apsed ends.
Garden & Outbuildings: Sir William Temple wrote an essay entitled "Of Gardens" which was very influential in its time; his gardens at Moor Park were built to exemplify the picturesque landscape he espoused in his essay. None of Sir William's gardens are extant today. In the Kitchen Garden there are fragments of a brick Baroque style summer house.
Country Life: CVI, 1578, 1949.
House Listed: Grade II*
Park Listed: Grade II
Past Seat / Home of: Sir Francis Clarke, 17th century. Sir William Temple, late 17th century.
Current Ownership Type: Individual / Family Trust
Primary Current Ownership Use: Private Home
House Open to Public: No
Historic Houses Member: No