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Stone Columns in the Reserve

Updated: Mar 13, 2023

5th February 2023

One of the long term goals set out when the friends group first formed was to find out more about the historical landscape that was before us. With this in mind it was the intention to record what was in sight which when first looked at didn’t appear to be much. Some columns laid out in a line next to field boundary in the north of the reserve, the evidence of a moated site to the south and the remains of the stable yard and the once central pond in the former walled garden was all that was on view to the untrained eye so a more in-depth look had to be undertaken.

It has been said that the column’s had originally came from Wanstead House and had been placed where they lay until such time that they could be used, more possibly as part of a folly rather than being incorporated into a building. However there is nothing to substantiate this claim and so it fell on group members to find out, if possible more about the history of the stone column’s, but like others before had found there was, and possibly still is, nothing written down to trace the origins of where or when the columns where purchased from and when they came into the Neave families possession.

One thing can be said about the columns though and that is that there is now even more uncertainty about the claim that they where once part of the impressive Wanstead House until its demise in the 1820’s when it was demolished and the parts of it sold off, including columns that once formed part of an impressive frontage to the building as a visit by members of the Friends of Wanstead Park a few years back took the opinion that the columns came from elsewhere other than from Wanstead House. Like other items discovered in the reserve without knowing exactly where they came from and where they fit into the history of the Neave Estate the origins of the columns remain a mystery.

Don Tait



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