A hundred years ago, Witley Court was one of England's great country houses, hosting many extravagant parties. Today it is a spectacular ruin, the result of a disastrous fire in 1937.
The vast and rambling remains of the palatial 19th century mansion are surrounded by magnificent landscaped gardens - the 'Monster Work' of William Nesfield - which still contains huge stone fountains. The largest, representing Perseus and Andromeda, which has been restored, was described as making the 'noise of an express train' when fired.
Nesfield started work in 1854, creating the south parterre with its great Perseus and Andromeda fountain. His scheme involved elegantly designed plantations of clipped evergreens and shrubs, with parterres enclosed by more clipped evergreens. The central avenue of planting from the house led through the fountains to the Golden Gates, terminating the south parterre. The East Parterre garden with its Flora Fountain was designed in the Parterre de Broderie style, meaning that it was intended to have the appearance of embroidery, with box-edged shapes filled with coloured gravel and flowers.
Following the fire in 1937 the Witley Estate, including its gardens, fell into long decline. English Heritage has now restored the south garden.
The woodland walks in the North Park pass many different species of tree and shrub acquired over the world to create a showpiece.
Attached to Witley Court is Great Witley Church, which has an amazing Italianate Baroque interior (not managed by English Heritage). The church also has a tearoom close by, and Witley Court has a superb gift shop. The Perseus and Andromeda fountain is back in working order, with even the original high cascades operating. The fountain fires between April and October. Weekdays - 11am,12pm,2pm, 3pm and 4pm. Weekends - on the hour every hour from 11am to 4pm.
28 Mar-30 Sep, daily 10am-6pm
1 Oct-1 Nov, daily 10am-5pm
2 Nov-14 Feb, Sat-Sun, 10am-4pm
15-19 Feb, daily 10am-4pm
20 Feb-24 Mar, Sat-Sun, 10am-4pm
Please note this year Witley Court will be open between Christmas and New Year- Sunday 27th December to Thursday 31st December 10am until 4pm.
Last admission one hour before site closes.
Gift Aid: Adult £8.20 / Conc £7.40 / Child £4.90 / Family £21.30
Non Gift Aid: Adult £7.40 / Conc £6.70 / Child £4.40 / Family £19.20
- Coach parties accepted
- Disabled toilets
- English Heritage Property
- Education/study area
- Facilities for educational visits
- Gift shop
- On-site catering
- On-site light refreshments
- Picnic site
- Public toilets
- Regional Tourist Board Member
- Accepts groups
- Disabled access
- Dogs accepted