Conservation Of Cobham Park

Cobham Park is situated in surrey, England; it is a mansion and estate which is quite ancient. The written existence of the mansion has been known since 12th century. Since then the mansion passed from hands to hands, degrading and building again. It cannot be considered as an ordinary house or just a mansion, as it has been in the existence from a very long time. Besides this, there have been various modifications and restructuring of the mansion from time to time, which makes it quite elegant and superficial as of today’s structures.

In 1990 under planning act a term ‘Conservation Area’ was coined, according to which any place or architecture, potentially important from historical perspective should be named as a conservation area. The law was made keeping in mind the developmental changes that were increasing at a faster pace, eventually ending up destruction of such historically important places and architectures.


Cobham park as a whole conclude four major architectures and places of interest namely Church Cobham, Downside Village, The Tilt and the Plough Corner. All of these structures and places are of utmost importance and needs to be conserve, so as to protect them from future developmental and natural calamities. These places are designated as the conservation areas by the government officially, although nothing much clearly has been stated about the Cobham park mansion, which is quite a concern.

Another aspect of this conservation are the changes made by the humans, which is quite more degrading than the nature itself. In such case the Cobhma street is of utmost importance, as it is under critical threat of being demolished due to developments and restructuring of the area made in the recent years. On a good node, there are many activist groups that have been working to restore Cobham park to its golden days. Specifically, ancient pond which was deteriorated in the past has been restored to a good working capabilities. In the starting of 2007, the pond began to emerge again. This has been made possible by the efforts of the selfless volunteers and the residents of the area, who cut down the overgrown thicket and bring the pond to life again.

Similar efforts are to be made to help Cobham park replenish and resurrect itself!

Cobham Park Ancient History

Cobham Park is a well-known estate and a country mansion, located in Surrey, England. It is situated to the south of Cobham. There are been various owners of it, since it was built. This mansion is known to be built in 12th century. In the very initial history of the mansion it was the John Ligonier, who was the owner of this ancient mansion. Later it was owned by the mayor of London, Harvey Christian Combe. The mansion with its spectacularity is still well known among the historical mansions all around the globe. Although, with each passing year the mansion is being reaching close to its destruction. It needs to be restored, for which suitable plans needs to be incorporated.

History of Cobham Park:

As per the first records found about this ancient mansion, Cobham Park, which reveals that the mansion was built in 12th century. Then it was known as Downe Place, it was named after a family who have been residing there for generations. The mansion was that spectacular as you can see it today. Later in around 1720’s, the house was rebuilt to what you can a mansion. The design was built according to classical style modelling mainly around an Italian villa.


Each and every part of the mansion was perfected, as per the designs. Cobham Park was a huge built up, nearly of square form with all the amenities that you would consider a house possess. It had beautifully landscaped grounds, a salon embosses with ornamental ceilings, a library, numerous apartments etc.

In the early 1750’s the mansion was owned by John Ligonier, who considered the mansion splendid and spent most of his leisure time in the mansion. John mainly focussed this mansion as a retreat for him and her four daughters; and build harems for his daughters. The mansion was passed to Edward, John’s nephew after his death in 1770.

Later in the very beginning of 1800, specifically in 1806 the mansion was owned by Harvey Christian Combe. After Harvey’s death the mansion was passed onto his son, who late died in around 1857. Uptill this period no major modifications were made in the mansion, till Harvey’s Nephew Charles Combe took the house under his property. In around 1870s the Cobham Park met an accident and was fully destructed.

Reconstruction of the house took nearly 3 years, and in 1873 new house was constructed fully by a designer Edward Middleton Barry. The combe family doesn’t seem to have liked the new design given to it by the designer. Later in 1930’s the combe family give the up the house as their residence and moved to a nearby location.

The mansion was then given on a lease to Eagle Star, an insurance group; who made it their administrative centre. Following this the mansion transferred hands to hands on lease. Lastly it was sold out by Logicia in 2001 to Frogmore Estates in 5.5 Million euros, who then converted the mansion into 22 apartments.

Cattle Return To Cobham Wood

Cattle have been brought back to graze in Cobham Wood for the first time in over 20 years.

Bringing cattle into the Wood will allow scrubby vegetation to be managed in a sustainable way, maintaining the open strucure of the landscape through a combination of grazing and trampling, and reducing the need to clear vegetation mechanically.  This ‘wood pasture’ habitat is rare, and when managed effectively can support a wide range of wildlife.


The reintroduction of grazing follows three seasons of landscaping works in the Wood, which have thinned much of the younger trees and scrub that were choking many of the veteran trees of light and air and reducing the amount of wildlife.  There has already been a visible recovery since work began early last year.

Historically, cattle and deer had always been a feature of Cobham Park, the first reference to an enclosed deer park at Cobham appearing in 1559.

In 2006, 3 miles of stock fencing was installed, along with cattle troughs, to allow management of the herd in three large grazing compartments.  Kissing gates have been put into place to allow access between the compartments.

The herd is from Luddesdown Organic Farm, whose cattle already graze the parkland west of Cobham Hall.  For the safety of the cattle, we advise all visitors to exercise care when walking, and keep dogs under control.

Dignitaries climb the Mausoleum to complete its pyramid

A host of dignitaries made the daunting climb to the top of the Darnley Mausoleum in Cobham, Kent on 2 April to witness the topping out ceremony where the final stone was placed at the top of the pyramid roof. It was probably the last chance anyone in our generation would get to witness the tremendous views at the top of the Mausoleum as the scaffolding enveloping it will shortly be removed. Representatives from partner organisations of the Cobham Park Heritage Project took full advantage of this once in a lifetime offer; Maggie Morgan from the National Trust, Ted Allett from Union Railways, Gravesham Mayor Harry Smith and Cobham Park Heritage Project Team Chairman David Nessling, all donned safety helmets to climb narrow ladders 23 metres to reach the top.


‘Restoring the pinnacle to the pyramid roof is a significant milestone for the Darnley Mausoleum and the Cobham Park Heritage Project. It is symbolic of ten years of successful efforts by the project partners to tackle decades of neglect and vandalism. The partners’ ongoing objective is to protect and enhance the internationally important buildings and landscapes of Cobham Park, at the heart of initiatives to provide quality countryside for the people of Thames Gateway Kent to enjoy for generations to come’ said David Nessling Chairman of the Cobham Park Heritage Project Team.

The Cobham Park Heritage Project is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Department of Communities and Local Government, and English Heritage.

Improvements to Strood Gateway

Work is underway to improve public access to Cobham Park and the neighbouring Ranscombe Farm Reserve, through the Knights Place underpass beneath the M2 motorway at Strood, Medway. The route is very popular with local visitors, but has long faced the pressures of joyriding, flytipping, and vandalism.

Landscaping works have been undertaken to improve pedestrian access along the public footpath from the underpass to the Channel Tunnel Rail Link, making the site more physically accessible and more inviting to visitors, whist maintaining a high level of security against cars and 4x4s.


On Sunday 25 March, local volunteers turned out in force for a morning of shrub planting and flytipping clearance. The day was a great success! The following Friday, year 5 children from nearby Bligh Primary School planted further hedge plants and spread grass seed, which will go a long way to improve the appearance of this important gateway site.

All works were 50% funded by the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Unit.

CAMS and Plantlife International (managing Ranscombe Farm) have been working closely with the CTRL operators, Highways Agency, Medway Council, local landowners and other stakeholder groups – including the local community – over the past 18 months. It is intended that work to date will be further built upon in the coming months

New trees planted in Cobham Wood

8 volunteers turned out on a very sunny Mothers Day to for a morning’s tree planting in Cobham Wood, to help replace those lost and damaged in the 1987 storm and following years of fire damage and abuse.


This was an important contribution to a major programme of works that are restoring the historic wood pasture habitat of this historic landscape.