Upton House, Dorset

Located on the edge of the village of Upton is one of the most interesting houses in Dorset. Upton House is set on a knoll, 45ft above sea level overlooking Poole Harbour, and a corridor of lawns free of trees gives a clear view of the harbour and Pergins Island from Upton’s terraces.

The Upton Estate came into the hands of William Spurrier in the later half of the 18th Century, he was a wealthy Poole merchant who had amassed a fortune from the trade with Newfoundland. On his death the estate passed to his son Christopher, one time M.P. for Bridport, who built the present house in about 1818, in the Italian style. No expense was spared in the houses construction and a few years later the west wing was added. At about the same time he managed to enlarge his frontal parkland by diverting the Poole to Weymouth road.

In 1828 the house was sold to Edward Tichbourne-Doughty, (later Sir Edward), who between 1834 and 1853 added the east wing and chapel in the Cottage style of architecture. It has been suggested that the house was the inspiration for Wyndaway House in Thomas Hardy’s novel The Hand of Ethelberta

In 1901, William Llewellin, who became High Sheriff of Dorset in 1919 bought the house, and in 1936 planted an avenue of forty lime trees to commemorate the accession of Edward VIII to the throne. The trees failed, perhaps in sympathy with the Kings abdication. One of his sons was to become Lord Llewellin, First Governor of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland. His daughter Mary was the first Lady Mayor of Poole in 1951. The Llewellin’s continued to live at Upton until 1951 when the house was given to Poole Council with covenants in favor of the National Trust


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