Trafalgar Park was originally known as Standlynch Park when it was built for Sir Peter Vandeput in 1733 to designs by John James of Greenwich.

In 1766 wings were added to the house by John Wood the younger of Bath thereby creating a substantial residence.

The house was renamed 'Trafalgar' when the estate was acquired by Act of Parliament and given to the brother of Admiral Nelson after his death in 1805 to commemorate the great Battle and as a lasting tribute to his heirs.

Successive Earl Nelsons lived at Trafalgar Park until 1948 when the estate was sold. The house and parkland have now been transferred to the Trafalgar Park Trust and there are plans to restore the main house and wings combined with the idea of creating an auditorium with facilities that will help and sponser the next generation of professional musicians - Trafalgar will become a springboard for aspiring young professionals and also for the enjoyment of the regional community.

Whilst these plans are being formulated the house and parkland (including its stable block and small church built in 1677) make an ideal comprehensive location for filming and photography work.

The current owner, Michael Wade, acquired the property in 1995, by which time it was very jaded.

He has already made considerable inroads into the restoration, but there is much still to do. It is fascinating to visit an important house, such as Trafalgar Park, when it is in the process of restoration, to see what has been done and what plans there are for the future. This is a private house which is not open to the public.

THE NELSONS OF TRAFALGAR HOUSE

We now turn to the family of Viscount Horatio Nelson, the victor at the Battle of Trafalgar. He was killed during the battle which historians see as the climax of a long and successful campaign at sea to contain Napoleon and which his contemporaries saw as a triumphal reversal of years of humiliation at hands of the French dictator.

A year after the battle a grateful nation had endowed the Nelson family with £90,000, [late 1990's value: £2,000,000] used to buy Standlynch House and estate under another Act of 1814, and a perpetual pension of £5,000[£150,000p.a. today].

The Nelson Earldom passed to Thomas Bolton, the nephew of the first Earl, Nelson's elder brother William, and son of Nelson's sister Susannah.

Bolton changed his name to Nelson on succeeding. He was married to Frances Eyre who in turn was descended from Maurice Bockland and his wife, Joan Penruddock. The Nelsons, therefore, had family links with their new home that went back three and a half centuries.

THE LONG CONNECTION ENDS

The Nelson family retained Trafalgar House and over 3,000 acres until the middle of the 20th century when they too left.

A snippet from the 1901 Census

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Historic House Visits Group

Trafalgar House, near Downton

Thursday, 09-Mar-2006
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