“Brandon Country Park is a small part of over 2,500 acres 1012 hectares) of the Brecks acquired by wealthy businessman Edward BLISS in 1821 [other sources give the date as 1814].”
“Bliss’s dream was to transform his estate into a wooded park with exotic trees. Eight million trees were planted in just six months. These were mainly in the form of plantations and shelter belts, with an arboretum planted near to Brandon Park House.”
The Copper Beech Avenue – “The entrance road to Brandon Park House. In the early 1900’s Almeric PAGET, who lived in the House, transformed the Avenue by planting the Copper Beeches which you can still see today.”
The House – “Although no longer part of the Country Park, the former Brandon Park House was built by Edward BLISS in 1826. Originally the house possessed 21 bedrooms an imposing entrance hall complete with organ, a billiard room and a library as well as a separate laundry, stables for 17 horses, garaging and a generator to provide electric lighting.
“Other owners of the estate included one of Bliss’s successors who was reputed to collect human skulls, and the Paget family, owners of ‘Golden Miller’, a one time Grand National winner. The park is now managed by Suffolk County Council, in partnership with Forest Heath District Council.”
The Walled Garden – “This was once the kitchen garden for Brandon Park House. Over the years the flint wall surrounding the garden had become unsafe, the greenhouse collapsed and the garden itself became overgrown. As part of European year of the Environment 1986, work started on laying out the inside of the garden. Today the garden is being sympathetically developed with ornamental plants and features.”
The Old Orchard – “Originally planted with fruit trees to supply the House it is being replanted with old fruit tree varieties.”
The Lake – “Built between 1820 and 1845 by Edward Bliss as an ornamental feature with small rustic bridge, a water fountain and a summer house. The lake was redeveloped in 1992 to form a more natural habitat.”
The Lawns – “In the early 1900’s the lawns were formal gardens leading down from the house to the lake in a series of terraces, these can still be seen today”
Mausoleum – “Edward Bliss and his wife, desiring to be buried on their own estate, erected the Mausoleum and planted Irish Yews around it. Their remains were removed to Brandon churchyard in the early 20th century. The Bliss family emblem can be seen on the gate.”
Rangers Lodge – “Formerly called the Entrance Lodge it was built of flint with brick facings between 1820 and 1838.”
Text taken from from Tree and History Trail – Brandon Park ©Suffolk County Council (1999)
Baron Henry de BARRETO J.P., K.G.C.S., attaché to the Persian Embassy, (also of Berkley House, Hyde Park Square, London W.) was in residence in 1883 according to Kelly’s Directory. The Forestry Commission bought the house in in 1927 (from Dorothy Paget?) then for eleven years (from 1956) the USAF used it as transit accommodation. Eventually however the house sat empty until bought in the early 1980s for a nominal sum and converted into a hotel. This was a short-lived project however and the property is now a nursing home.
There is said to be an ancient ice house somewhere in the grounds of Brandon Park – can anyone tell us where?