History of Freston House 2020-01-26T17:54:31+00:00

The Rectory

The house as it stands today  was built around 1845-50. One or two rooms appear to be significantly older than this, so we think that at least a part of the house may date back to the tudor period.

John Bond, who owned a lot of land in the area, built it as a Rectory for his youngest son, Alfred, who went into the clergy and became the Rector of Freston. The large bays at the rear and the side of the house, were added in 1870 as was the fashion at the time.

A print of the house in 1845

Early 20th Century

Sometime near the end of the 19th century, it was sold to a London banker, Herbert Jervis-White-Jervis, who had a staff of about 8 in the house. The 1901 census details his family including his four daughters, all born in Freston.


Thank you to Mrs Victoria Parker-Jervis for kindly supplying the first 3 of the 4 pictures below & right and allowing us to use them.

A picture of the house taken around 1920

The back of the house taken in 1915, with a rather nice ornamental fountain. The fountain was removed some time before 1925 as it can’t be seen in the photograph to the far right, taken in that year.

Taken in 1920, this is the only picture pre-1980s of any formal garden within the grounds that we’ve seen. We’re not entirely sure where it is, but we think that it might be at the end of the kitchen gardens.

A picture of the house taken in 1925

The War

The Paul family bought the house, along with a considerable amount of land and other properties in the area, in the early 1930s. During WW2, the house was used as a hostel for the Women’s Land Army, a civilian organisation created during the First and Second World Wars so women could work in agriculture, replacing men called up to the military. We’ve been contacted independently by the relatives of two of the girls who worked in the Land Army during the War and lodged at Freston House. They both said what a wonderful time they had here in spite of the War.

The girls of the Land Army in front of Freston House and the house just after the war in 1949.

Modern Times

Like many properties in the south of England, Freston House lost a substantial number of mature trees in the 1987 hurricane.

The house was bought about 25 years ago by a London banker who sold it to us in 2004. We’ve done a large amount of work to the house including building a large extension on the south side and, of course, have turned some of the paddocks surrounding the house into the more formal gardens you see today.

Some of the hurricane damage in 1987.

An ariel view of Freston House taken in 2005. The house in the mid-90s just before it was sold.