The early history of Grenehurst can be traced, through manorial records, from 1282 until 1815, according to the Capel Village website.
It suggests that the early history of Grenehurst can be traced, through manorial records, from 1282 until 1815.
In 1390, a deed specified that the property comprised of one messuage (a house) 73 acres of arable land, three acres of meadow and 40 acres of pasture. It had been sold for 100 marks. (One mark equates to 13s.4d, or 67p in today’s value.)
Grenehurst Park: The house and gardens were owned briefly by Sir Richard Branson
In 1622, the property was owned by John Young of Warnham, but by 1649 it had passed to William Prideaux.
In the eighteenth century, the property had several occupants before 1759 when Nicholas Branch became the owner. He was Constable of Capel.
Land Tax records show that by 1780 William Frankland was the owner.
By around 1800, ownership had passed to John Gorham, a wealthy London merchant who owned several properties in the City of London and elsewhere.
It is believed that he left the house to his niece Rebecca Bliss. And in her will, she left the lands in Ockley and Capel to her cousin Ebenezer Maitland, a director of the Bank of England.
For a period, it isn’t clear who owned the estate until Thomas Lambert, who reportedly owned the estate in 1863.
In 1873, the Cazalet family, who had been living in Brighton, bought the Grenehurst estate from Thomas Lambert.
James Hawke Dennis bought it from Emmeline Agnes Cazalet – widow of William – on May 2, 1901, for £56,000. The estate was then 954 acres.
Sir Philip Hunloke bought the 434 acre estate for £33,250 from Mary Jane Dennis – widow of James Hawke Dennis – and her children Stanley, James and Charles.
In 1914, he was made groom-in-waiting to George V and in 1920 became his sailing master. He was generally recognised as one of the 20th century’s greatest sailors.
In the lead up to the twenty-first century, Grenehurst had several other owners, including Cecil Philip Adcoc and Emmanuel Elias Hadjilias. The Elim Bible College also owned the estate for a number of years.
After their departure, the house and gardens were owned briefly by Sir Richard Branson.
The present estate was created in the early 1990s by Cala plc. The mansion house was divided into 17 flats, while the stables and outbuildings were converted into 11 cottages.
Twelve new houses were built in the grounds and leisure facilities include an underground swimming pool and gym in the vaulted cellars.