A BRIEF HISTORY
Thank to Nicholas Lapthorn, head of centre
Field Studies Council, Juniper Hall Field Centre for his kindly permission of publishing
The earliest known building on the site is the Royal Oak. This was an ale-house, probably dating from the early 17th century. It would be nice to think that it might have been built on the site of some former staging-post on Stane Street, the Roman Road which passes in front of the west front of the house!
Sir Cecil Bisshopp (d. 1779) acquired the Fredley estate which included Juniper Hall. He extended the original Royal Oak alehouse, converting it to a family residence. Originally intending to add only a west wing, he was apparently persuaded by his architect to add the east wing as well. He meant to live at Juniper Hall only while building Juniper Hill house, but work at Juniper Hall continued until his death in 1779. During his time - probably in 1778 - Lady Templeton, (actually Lady Templetown), wife of an Irish peer, who worked closely with the Wedgwoods, designed and supervised the execution of the Templeton Room, which is in the style of Robert Adam. The plaque over the fireplace represents "Friendship comforting Affliction", one of her favourite themes.
David Jenkinson (a wealthy “lottery owner”) bought Juniper Hall and built Juniper Hill; the Cedars of Lebanon were planted during his tenure, in 1780, by Benjamin Elliott. The Plane tree by the Lodge almost certainly dates from the same time. Lime trees were planted in the deer park in the same year - one still survives in the field south of the Centre, while another blew down in the storm of January 1990. Also in 1780, according to the Victoria County History of Surrey, the skeletons of two Anglo-Saxons "in full war apparel" were found while the house was being extended. Jenkinson lived in Juniper Hill and in 1792-3 let Juniper Hall to some notable French Emigres, including Talleyrand, Madame de Stael, le Comte de la Chatre, and General d'Arblay.
Fanny Burney lived with the Phillipses of Mickleham (her sister and brother-in-law) at about this time and met General Alexandre d'Arblay at Juniper Hall - reputedly in the Templeton Room - later marrying him at Mickleham Church, on 28th July 1793.
Jonathan Worrell was a wealthy landowner with a London house and estates in Barbados and on Prince Edward Island (Canada). He bought Juniper Hall after the death of Jenkinson, when the Fredley estate was disposed of in lots. On his death in 1800 the house was sold together with about 50 acres of freehold land. Thomas Broadwood, a member of the famous piano manufacturing family, bought Juniper Hall from Mrs. Worrell on 18th March 1815 -for £8,236/10s/0d! He built the tower which stands on Lodge Hill, south of Juniper Hall - rumour has it that he used to send a servant with semaphore flags to pass messages to friends in Westhumble! (There was then no woodland on Lodge Hill.) He lived here until 1825 when he bought the Holmbush Estate near Crawley. He later became High Sheriff of Sussex (1833). During his time at Juniper Hall he gave a fortepiano, manufactured by the family firm, to Beethoven; this was later bought by Franz Liszt and is now in the care of a Budapest museum. It came "on tour" to Britain during 1992 and was played by Melvin Tan at the Bath Festival and at the Barbican Centre.
Miss Beardmore and her sister owned Juniper Hall from 1825 until about 1860 when the Hall was sold to Mr. Richardson. He altered the location of the drive and moved the front entrance of the house to the south side - building the cast-iron porte-cochere - and added a bay window to the Templeton room. He also built a parapet in front of the roof of what had been the Royal Oak, in order to disguise the outline.
Probably during his time the west lawn was made up and the line of Stane Street, the old Roman road from Chichester to London, was uncovered. A more recent survey (2006) however revealed no trace of the road
The last private owners of the house were the MacAndrew family who had major building works carried out from 1882-1885, which resulted in the building having its present form. Much of the earlier layout is now hidden, but the main office (formerly the morning room) and the Templeton room are little altered.
During World War II the house was a Canadian military base, and in 1945 it was sold by Miss MacAndrew to the National Trust; it forms part of the Trust's Box Hill Estate.
In 1946 Juniper Hall was leased from the National Trust by the Council for the Promotion of Field Studies and was the second CPFS Centre to be opened, early in 1947. The Council became the Field Studies Council (FSC) in 1956. In 1966 the Wooldridge Laboratory - named after Professor Wooldridge who was Chairman of the CPFS/FSC from 1952 to 1963 was opened. In 1979 work commenced on the accommodation block at the east side of the lawn. This building was made possible by an anonymous donation of £100,000 to the FSC specifically for this project.
The Friends of Juniper Hall Field Centre was re-formed in 1988 and a steering committee formed to start up the organisation. Their first venture was the Coach-House project, the conversion of the 18th-century building into two new classrooms with access and facilities for the disabled, a resources room, darkroom and visiting staff room, with Centre staff study facilities, successfully completed in 1993. One of the classrooms has been named the "Sankey Room", in grateful memory of the late John Sankey's outstanding contributions to Environmental Education and Nature Conservation in Surrey, and the other the "Ellis Room" for the late Chairman of the Friends, David Ellis, who contributed so much to the success of the project.
In 1994 Mrs. Stammers of Dorking donated a stained glass window, created by her brother, of scenes from Fanny Burney's life; this is now mounted on the main stairs.
The next Friends' project was the upgrading of visitor accommodation in the West wing of the main house, which began in late 1995 and has been followed in recent years by the move of the dining-room to its current location.
"Mickleham - the Story of a Village" by Ronnie Shepperd; Mickleham Publishing. ISBN 0 9S183O5 0 3.
"Juniper Hall - an English Refuge from the French Revolution" by Linda Kelly; Weidenfeld & Nicholson. ISBN 0 297 81078 2
"Fanny Burney: Her Life 1752 - 1840" by Kate Chisholm; Chatto & Windus 1998. ISBN 07011 16378 X.