Wanstead House has a rich and colourful history, at one time being the most important house in the manor of Wanstead. Once owned by Queen Elizabeth’s favourite, Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester in the sixteenth century, it was rebuilt in the 1720s by Sir Richard Child who commissioned an enormous mansion in the fashionable Palladian style by Colen Campbell.
In around 1805, the estate was inherited by a young woman called Catherine Tylney-Long, who at once became one of the richest ladies in England. She married William Wellesley-Pole who unfortunately gambled away the entire family fortune. Wanstead House was demolished in 1822 when the entire contents were sold to pay off William’s enormous gambling debts. A summer house, called ‘the Temple’ and a grotto are all that remains of what was once one of the most architecturally important country house in England. Wanstead Park is now owned by the Corporation of London.
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donated to the London Borough of Redbridge; now part of the collections of Redbridge Museum