Gatton Park
Gatton Park is a country estate set in parkland near Gatton in Surrey, England. Now owned by The Royal Alexandra and Albert school, Gatton Park constitutes 250 acres (1.0 km 2) of manor and parkland. The property is Grade II listed and is in part administered by the National Trust. The manor's history can be traced to the Domesday Book of 1086. The manor of Gatton had the privilege granted in 1451 of sending two members to Parliament, a privilege it retained, as a " rotten borough" until the Parliamentary reform of 1832. During the medieval period the manor demesne was enclosed as a deer park. About 1748 Sir James Colebrooke acquired Gatton Park from William Newland, with the proprietorship of the borough of Gatton, and his brother Sir George Colebrooke had the park landscaped by Capability Brown between 1762 and 1768. In 1830, Gatton was purchased by Frederick John Monson, 5th Baron Monson (1809-1841), for £100,000, for the ancient privilege of sending two members to the House of Commons, a perquisite that was cancelled two years later, "and all Lord Monson had for £100,000 was the land". He set about remaking Gatton Hall splendid: for him Thomas Hopper made alterations to Gatton, and further plans that were not executed. The Marble Hall at the center of the main block was revetted in marbles, even to the inlaid marbles of its floor, taking as a general model the Corsini Chapel in San Giovanni in Laterano, though Lord Monson did not cap his hall with a dome. The walls were frescoed by Joseph Severn with the Four Classical Virtues, embodied by historical ladies. Gatton church, essentially a chapel for the Hall that is reached from the house by a covered walkway, was richly improved within its simple exterior with imported woodwork at the same time (1834): the pulpit and altar, bought from Nuremberg were hopefully attributed at the time to Albrecht Dürer; the carved doors came from Rouen; the presbytery stalls from a disestablished monastery in Ghent, the altar rails came from Tongeren; stained glass for the windows, and the wainscoting of the nave and carved canopies came from Aarschot, near Leuven. The Gothic screen at the West end came from an unidentified English church, where it had been dismantled and was about to be burnt. "Gatton, rebuilt in the 1830s, is a bijou" reported Nikolaus Pevsner "perhaps the best example in the country of the tendency for the church to become an extension of the landlord's parlour or sculpture gallery." The estate was purchased in 1888 by Sir Jeremiah Colman whose family had established the Colman's mustard food brand in the early 19th century. After a period when the property was requisitioned during the Second World War the estate was purchased by the current owners, the Royal Alexandra and Albert School.