The Story of Uppark

View of Uppark, West Sussex by Pieter Tillemans, circa 1728-30

At first glance, the Uppark of today appears as a homage to its fine 18th-century furnishings and its beautiful parkland setting. But beneath the surface there's a far more complex story, one of political allegiances, pioneering conservation, tragedy and triumph.

Early history

Uppark's story begins with the creation of a deer park in the 14th century, recorded in a later survey as 'Le Upparke, with pasture and wood.'  By 1440, it was being leased as a pair - 'Up Parke and Down Parke' - but it's not until 1595 that a house is recorded here, built by the Ford family. One of the Ford daughters married Ralph, the 2nd Lord Grey of Warke, and it's their son - Ford Grey - who built Uppark house in 1690.

Ford Grey, Earl of Tankerville

The Earl of Tankerville 

Uppark was built in 1690 by Ford Grey, the Earl of Tankerville, to demonstrate not just his wealth but also his political allegiances.

Sir Matthew Fetherstonhaugh by Pompeo Girolamo Batoni, 1751

Sir Matthew Fetherstonhaugh 

The Uppark of today owes much to Sir Matthew Fetherstonhaugh, who is responsible for its fine Georgian interiors and Grand Tour art collection.

Sir Harry Fetherstonhaugh by Pompeo Girolamo Batoni, 1776

Sir Harry Fetherstonhaugh 

Uppark was at its most sociable during Sir Harry Fetherstonhaugh's ownership, with a string of parties that attracted royalty and high society alike.

Lady Fetherstonhaugh (Mary Ann Bullock) by R. N. C. Ubsdell

Mary Ann Fetherstonhaugh 

Mary Ann came to Uppark as a dairy maid, yet by 1846 she found herself owner of a 5,000 acre estate and living in the grandest of surroundings.

Admiral and Lady Meade-Fetherstonhaugh at Uppark, West Sussex

Lady Meade-Fetherstonhaugh 

Starting in 1931, Lady Meade-Fetherstonhaugh embarked on a pioneering period of conservation without which Uppark might not have survived.