Eridge Castle


Location   Eridge Green
Year demolished   1937  
Reason   Replaced by a smaller house  
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Eridge Place (as it was then known) was part of an estate that claims to have the oldest enclosed deer park in England, mentioned in the Doomsday Book. The original house was probably a small manor house built when the Nevill family inherited the estate in 1448. This was significantly enlarged around 1525 and was certainly grand as Queen Elizabeth I stayed for six days in August 1573. The wealth for this grandeur was based on the iron foundry which took full advantage of the good water supply to power the forge.

The 16th Baron, in 1724, abandoned the house for his new seat at Kidbrooke Park and Eridge was allowed to deteriorate until Henry Nevill, now the 2nd Earl of Abergavenny, decided to make Eridge the main family seat and began rebuilding the house in 1787. The 2nd Earl embraced the fashionable 'Gothic-Revival' style exemplified by Horace Walpole's Strawberry Hill. He employed the architect James Wyatt who, with John Nash, was one of the leaders of the Gothic Revival movement. At Eridge he seized the opportunity to build in this grand style and produced a house built around a quadrangle proudly sporting various towers, battlements and pinnacles. This exerburant theme was carried through into the interior with a wealth of fine detail which some thought looked rather ecclesiastical. The work continued out into the parkland with new vistas, walks and carriage ways.

The new house was a popular destination for high-society, particularly for the renowned shooting. The Prince of Wales was a regular visitor in the 1800s as was Benjamin Disraeli.

Eridge Castle was demolished in 1937 by the Nevill family and replaced by a modern house. The name reverted to Eridge Park and it is, today, still the home of the Marquesses of Abergavenny.