Buckhurst Estate
Welcome to Buckhurst Estate

Earl and Lady De La WarrIt is my great pleasure to welcome you to Buckhurst Park. Buckhurst has belonged to my family for more than 900 years. In the reign of William the conqueror, it formed part of the Estate of Ralph de Dene (whose grandfather was Cupbearer to King Edward the Confessor) that was recorded in the Doomsday Book, and it passed to the Sackville family – Lords Buckhurst, Earls and Dukes of Dorset, and Earls De La Warr – through the marriage of Ralph’s descendant, Ela de Dene to Jordan de Sackville in 1140.

The history of Buckhurst and the Sackville family has been woven into English history ever since. Sackvilles fought with distinction at Agincourt, Poitiers and Crecy. In the reign of King Henry VIII, John Sackville married Margaret, the daughter of his neighbour, Sir William Boleyn; her nieces were Anne – the future Queen Anne Boleyn – and Mary (played by Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johanssen in the 2008 film adaptation of The Other Boleyn Girl) who would have known and visited Buckhurst as girls. Margaret’s grandson, Thomas Sackville, Lord Treasurer, was therefore one of the closest relations of Queen Elizabeth I and was ennobled by her as Lord Buckhurst and by King James I as 1st Earl of Dorset. Elizabeth herself visited and hunted at Buckhurst: a royal connection that has been continued by Queen Victoria, King Edward VII, Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother and the late Princess Margaret who all visited and planted trees.

Unique History of the Gardens and Estate
The origins of the current house at Buckhurst date from 1603, although it has been improved and altered at various stages since then. Most notably, the park was laid out by Humphrey Repton in the eighteenth century, and in the early twentieth century, Sir Edwin Lutyens was commissioned to add a large wing and, with some planting by Gertrude Jekyll, a formal terraced garden; the greater part of the Lutyens wing was largely taken down by the 10th Earl but the gardens remain and are my wife’s particular joy. Perhaps the most famous part of the estate, however, is 100 Acre Wood immortalised by A. A. Milne in Winnie the Pooh; Milne lived in Hartfield, one of the villages on the Buckhurst estate, and my father even remembered playing with Christopher Robin and his famous bear.

The Estate Today
Today, the Estate remains very much a working one, and produces some of the finest organic meat from our herds of Sussex Cattle, Jacob Sheep and Large Black Pigs. My wife, Anne, also breeds pedigree Shetland Ponies that, as the South Park Stud, are the oldest registered Shetlands in the world. The Estate hosts many outdoor pursuits including pheasant shooting, fishing and clay pigeon shooting and, with the beautiful backdrop of Buckhurst Park, is the ideal choice for a wedding venue or for corporate events.

Buckhurst is a very special place to me and my family and I am delighted to be able to share our website with you.

William, Earl De La Warr