1919 – Easton Lodge, Dunmow, Essex
In 1847, almost the whole of the Elizabethan part of the mansion was destroyed by fire. Although uninsured, the property was rebuilt in Victorian Gothic style at a cost of £12,00. In 1918, another fire severely damaged the Jacobean wings of the house. The fire is thought to have been started by one of the Countess’ pet monkeys. Major portions of the Estate were auctioned in 1919/20 and outlying parts had already been sold in the 1890’s. The Jacobean wing of the house was rebuilt after this second fire.
During World War II the estate was requisitioned by the War Office, leading to the destruction of some 10,000 trees to enable the construction of RAF Great Dunmow. The house was largely demolished following its return by the military in 1950. After 30 years of abandonment the west wing was purchased in 1971 and is now used as a private house. The late 19th century stable cottages and a red brick water tower also remain, and are Grade II listed buildings.
“A year ago Easton Lodge was burnt down, with the exception of a great block of buildings erected in Victorian days. It has been found impossible to save any of the original house, which had been almost obliterated by the ” improvements ” of fifty years ago. It has been the task of the architect to convert a stucco bastard Jacobean exterior to harmonise with a Georgian interior, adding at the same time enough accommodation in the shape of twelve extra rooms to make up to a certain extent for that which was destroyed. The architect has found it possible by symmetricalising the house and using the great saloon (50 x 20) as the centre, to bring it into relation with the beautiful garden designed by Mr. Peto. Messrs. John Garlick. 43. Sloane St., are the builders. Mr. Philip Tilden is the architect His drawing now published is in this season’s Royal Academy Exhibition.” From The Building News, June 4 1919.