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© Worth Park Friends 2018
Our aim is to support and encourage restoration of the historic features of the gardens
Worth Park Friends
Historical Overview Worth   Park   was   part   of   the   large   forest   of   Worth   which   extended   over   the   parishes   of   Worth, Crawley,   Balcombe,   Ardingly   and   Slaugham.   Most   or   all   of   this   forested   area   was   enclosed   as   a deer   park,   referred   to   as   the   “Park   in   Worth”   by   John   de   Warenne   in   1279.   Since   then   the   forest   has been   partitioned   and   changed   ownership   many   times.   The   earliest   Ordnance   Survey   maps   of Sussex shows ‘Park Farm’ to the west of the Balcombe Road. We   learn   from   an   1824   article   in The Times   that Abraham   Montefiore    bought   his   Worth-park   farm   in the   1810s.   By   1839/40,   his   son   Joseph   Mayer   Montefiore   owned   numerous   plots   of   land   in   the   area and   we   read   now   of   a   “Worth   Park   House   and   Garden”.     After   a   fire   in   1847,   Worth-Park   House   was rebuilt   completely   by   1856.   The   Worth   Park   branch   of   the   Montefiore   family   re-modelled      Worth Park   continuously.   The   now   most   visible   re-design   of   the   grounds   took   place   from   1884-1887.   The company   of   James   Pulham   and   Son ,   who   also   designed   features   for   the   gardens   of   Buckingham Palace and Sandringham House, built many elements for Worth Park which survive until today. From   1920   to   1960,   the   house   and   large   parts   of   the   grounds   were   the   home   of   Milton   Mount College , a boarding school for girls. Crawley Borough Council bought the school property in 1963. The   Pulham   dynasty   of   garden   builders   spanned   four   generations,   starting   with   James   Pulham (1793-1838).   Each   James   Pulham   was   succeeded   by   at   least   one   son,   also   named   James.   The major   restoration   of   Worth   Park   in   the   later   1880s   has   been   attributed   to   James   III   (1865-98).The Pulhams’   speciality   were   their   own   brand   of   artificial   rock   ( Pulhamite )   and   their   terracotta   work   of urns,   fountains,   balustrades   and   sundials.   Clients   of   the   Pulhams   included   the   Prince   of   Wales, several members of the Rothschild dynasty, Sir Bache Cunard and the Barclay family.  
Several members of Worth Park Friends  are or have been involved in the research of Worth Park and   other   Crawley   history.   Crawley   Borough   Council   had   commisioned   research   for   the   Lottery Bid.   In   2012,   CBC   commissioned   the   Sussex   Gardens   Trust   to   research   the   history   of   Crawley’s historic   parks   and   gardens.   The   sections   about   Worth   Park    are   based   on   the   extensive   research carried out for the bid documents which were prepared to obtain Lottery Funding. See also findings at our 2016 visit to Wisley. Towards   the   end   of   2016,   the   Miltonian   Guild    published   a   book   “Schoolgirl   Days   at   Milton   Mount College 1920 -1960”.
Pulham   Stamp   on   the   stonework   in   the   gardens   -   One   planter   from   the large   fountain   can   now   be   seen   to   the   west   of   the   croquet   grounds   -   the little   Pulham   fountain   in   the   formal   gardens,   from   a   postcard   provided by Tom Howard-Jones.
The   Fountain   Garden,   Source:   Country   Life   Illustrated,   1899   -   The   Mansion, Milton   Mount   College,   pre-WW2,   and   the   large   Pulham   fountain   with   planters   - Camellia   Walk,   Milton   Mount   College   -   Camellia   Walk   as   featured   in   CLI   1899   - The   Lake   in   Milton   Mount   College   times   - Aerial   View   in   college   times   (photos   2, 3   and   5   courtesy   of   the   Miltonian   Guild,   photo   6   provided   by   Tom   Howard- Jones)