The entrance facade
The garden facade
The garden, with Wolfe's Urn.
Earlier Houses: Among the earlier houses that stood on the site was a timbered hall house that was demolished in 1686 to make way for the current house.
Built / Designed For: Sir Nicholas Crisp
House & Family History: In 1086 the "Domesday Book" stated the the Manor of Westerham was owned by Earl Eustace de Boulogne, one of William I's Norman knights. The estate, which had been owned by Earl Godwin before the Norman Conquest, was granted to Earl Eustace by William the Conqueror. The de Squerie family were seated here from the 13th until the 15th centuries and probably took their name from the place. A London merchant by the name of Sir Nicholas Crisp bought the Squerryes Estate in 1680 and pulled down the existing house and built the house that stands today. Sir Nicholas died in 1698 and Squerryes was purchased in 1700 by Edward Villiers, 1st Earl of Jersey. Lord Jersey was master of the horse and lord chamberlain and to William III and the king honored him with a visit to Squerryes. The estate remained in the ownership of the Earl of Jersey until 1731, when it was purchased by John Warde. John Warde's father, also named John, was lord mayor of London and one of the first governors of the Bank of England. Another John Warde is known as the father of foxhunting—he was master of six different packs until 1838. General James Wolfe grew up near the Squerryes Estate and was a friend of George Warde. Mrs. Wolfe (James's mother) left her son's letters, his commission, and other items of interest to George Warde at her death.
Collections: Squerryes contains a collection of Italian 18th century, Dutch 17th century, and English paintings. Seven very fine frames in the hall were designed by William Kent.
Garden & Outbuildings: There has been a garden at Squerryes since the 14th century; the earliest existing plan is Sir Nicholas Crisp's of 1686. In 1731, when the Wardes bought Squerryes, they swept away the old formal garden, expanded the lake and built the gazebo on the hill. The famous storm of 1987 destroyed 147 trees in the garden and prompted the family to restore part of the formal garden, using Sir Nicholas's plan as a guide. The out kitchens, the brewhouse, the laundry, and other outbuildings were destroyed in the 19th century. Today's orangery was built at the same time as the house. The dovecote is mid-18th century, the meat larder is early 19th century, and the dairy was erected in the 1880s. The cenotaph in the garden marks the spot where General James Wolfe, victor of the Battle of the Plains of Abraham, was standing when he received his army commission. The Squerryes Estate today stands at 2,500 acres, of which 10 acres are devoted to gardens. The Squerryes Estate began planting vineyards in 2006; in 2010 the estate produced its first vintage. Today the Squerryes brand produces and retails noted sparkling wines (brut and rosé).
Country Life: CXLIII, 1682, 1752. corr. CXLIV, 462, gardens. CXLIII, 1580.
Title: The Kentish Scene: Pages from the Brasted Diary, 1999-2004
Author: Pym, Roland
Year Published: 2004
Reference: pg. 84
Publisher: Kent: The Kentish Scene Project
Title: Country Life Cumulative Index: Volumes I to CXCIII to December 1999
Year Published: 2000
Publisher: London: IPC Magazines Limited
Book Type: Light Softback
Title: Squerryes Court Guidebook
Year Published: NA
Book Type: Light Softback
House Listed: Grade I
Park Listed: Grade II
Current Seat / Home of: Henry Warde; Warde family here since 1731.
Past Seat / Home of: SEATED AT EARLIER HOUSES: Earl Godwin, 11th century. Earl Eustace de Boulogne (Eustace aux Gernons, Eustace II), 11th century. Sir Thomas Squery, until 1439; de Squerie (de Squery) family here from the 13th century until the mid-15th century. William Crowmer, 15th century. William Leech, 17th century. SEATED AT CURRENT HOUSE: Sir Nicholas Crisp, 1683-98. Edward Villiers, 1st Earl of Jersey, 1700-31. John Warde, 1731-46; John Warde, 1746-75; John Warde, 1775-1839.
Current Ownership Type: Individual / Family Trust
Primary Current Ownership Use: Private Home
Ownership Details: The house and grounds are available for weddings, corporate events, and private functions. There is also a restaurant on the grounds.