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Warley Lea

Gazetteer No. G0815

Date 1894

Address Brentwood, Essex CM13 3HT England


Warley Lea is an early nineteenth century house remodelled in the late nineteenth century to designs by Edwin Lutyens. Frederick Francis sold Warley Lea to Edward Mee Daldy on 11 October 1870, and it passed through various hands before being purchased by Ellen Willmott from Burnett Tabrum on 1 March 1894 (according to the conveyance dated 30 December 1928 following the sale of Warley Lea). The first edition 25” ordnance survey map, surveyed 1866-7 and 1872, shows Warley Lea with a small amount of garden around it.

Warley Lea was enlarged for Rose following her marriage to Robert Berkeley. The house was remodelled by Sir Edwin Lutyens (1869-1944): his drawings are dated March 1894 and are held in the Royal Institution of British Architects Library. Lutyens drawings were of a sundial and its surrounding paths, a design for a circular pool, and another of a wrought iron gate. RIBA also holds a Lutyens plan entitled Design for Jekylls, Great Warley, Essex: plan of garden layout and perspectives of gates and sundial. There is no trace of a Jekylls in Great Warley and as the date of the plan is the same as Lutyens drawings for Warley Lea, plus the connections both Lutyens and Willmott had with Gertrude Jekyll, it is possible the house name is an error. Ellen Willmott wrote in her obituary to Rose ‘that while at Warley Lea Rose made a flower garden where she commenced to cross-fertilise primroses, a work which was to give the garden primrose a new and wonderful development’. Warley Lea had a garden of about ten acres at this time and was situated across the road from the Warley Place estate with a small gate in the estate wall which made easy access for Rose and Robert to wander in the Warley Place gardens. (Essex Garden Trust, n.d.)


Essex Garden Trust.Warley Lea. [Online] Available from:

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Miss Ellen Willmott & Mrs Rose Berkeley (sisters)