The house from a circa 1910 postcard
House & Family History: Wormsley was purchased by J.P. Getty, Jr. in 1984, together with 1,748 acres. Sixty acres and two cottages from the estate were retained by the Fane family.
Collections: Sir John Paul Getty, Jr. (1932-2003) was one of the world's greatest collectors of rare books and manuscripts. After purchasing Wormsley Park in 1984 he built an extension to serve as a library. His collection ranged from a fragment of what is probably the earliest surviving English manuscript (AD 640) to late 20th century bindings. Treasures to be found in his library include Boccaccio's "De Casibus Virorum Illustrium," Caxton's 1486 edition of "The Canterbury Tales," Anne Boleyn's Psalter, the Byland Bede of 1160, and the Ottobeuren Gradual. In 2003, just a month before his death, Sir Paul made his final acquisition: a First Folio of Shakespeare's plays from Oxford's Oriel College, for around £3.5 million, which he was able to add to the second, third, and fourth folios, which were already at Wormsley. The full extent of the Wormsley library is not publicly known, but it could well be worth over £50 million. Sir Paul is known to have wanted his collection kept together and for there to be scholarly access and ultimately for it to be accessible to a wider public; thus, the library is expected to pass to a charitable foundation, rather than remain in private ownership.
Garden & Outbuildings: In the 1990s a folly, inspired by Miller's at Wimpole Hall, Cambridgeshire, was built by J.P. Getty, Jr. to conceal satellite dishes.
Title: In Ruins
Author: Woodward, Christopher
Year Published: 2001
Publisher: London: Chatto & Windus
Book Type: Hardback
Title: Disintegration of a Heritage: Country Houses and their Collections, 1979-1992, The
Author: Sayer, Michael
Year Published: 1993
Publisher: Norfolk: Michael Russell (Publishing)
Book Type: Hardback
House Listed: Grade II
Park Listed: Not Listed
Current Seat / Home of: Mark Getty
Past Seat / Home of: Colonel Adrian Scrope, 17th century; Scrope family here from the 16th century until 1720. Thomas Fane, 8th Earl of Wesmoreland, 18th century; Fane family here until 1986. John P. Getty, Jr., 1986-2003.
Current Ownership Type: Individual / Family Trust
Primary Current Ownership Use: Private Home
Ownership Details: The Garsington Opera performs at the Opera Pavilion on the Wormsley Estate.