Stoke Park was created in 1331 when Sir John de Molyns received a royal licence to enclose three woods.
When John Penn, son of Thomas Penn returned after 28 years in America, he found the Manor House in a very bad state of repair. He therefore set about building the present mansion between 1792 and 1808. He used much of the compensation he received from the new Commonwealth for the loss of his family’s lands in Pennsylvania, following the American Revolution in 1776, to pay for it.
James Wyatt who was architect to George III, designed the Mansion. He also worked on the designs for the monuments, which can be seen in the park in honour of Thomas Gray and Sir Edward Coke, Lord Chief Justice of England.
The historic parkland was laid out by two outstanding landscape designers of the 18th century, ‘Capability’ Brown who designed the grounds and lake in 1750 and Humphry Repton who improved the landscape and built the Repton bridge.
One of the later owners of Stoke Park was Edward Coleman (1863 to 1885). Red deer had existed in the Park since Norman times but they were at their best under Coleman, who improved the herd.
Sir Edward Landseer was a regular visitor to the Park and used the deer as models for his paintings.
Wilberforce Bryant, son of William Bryant, the founder of Bryant and May matchmakers, bought the estate in 1887. Bryant died in 1906 and in 1908 the Park was acquired by ‘Pa’ Lane Jackson (Founder of the Corinthian Football Club).
He leased the mansion and half the land to the Stoke Poges Golf Club. The other half was sold for development and so the deer departed after hundreds of years, to other parks and to the Scottish Highlands.
In 1928 the mansion and golf course came into the ownership of Sir Noel Mobbs, the founder of Slough Trading Estate. He also subsequently acquired the old Manor House
In 1958 the Eton Rural District Council became the owner and its successor South Bucks District Council granted a 250 year lease to IHG Ltd who sub-leased it to Stoke Park.
Working with English Heritage and the National Trust, Stoke Park has invested an enormous amount of time and money in restoring the Mansion, the ‘Capability’ Brown lakes and the Humphry Repton landscape. In addition they have restored the famous 18 hole golf course and laid out a further 9 holes.
A new Heritage Walk footpath was opened in 2000 which affords superb views of the Stoke Park Mansion, the Manor House and other parts of the original estate.