Park House on Three Bridges Road is a Grade 2 Listed property. Built around 1800, it has a 2 storey front with 3 stories to the sides. Underneath the pebbledash rendering is brick and the roof is tiled with slate. 16 sash windows are on the ground and first storey. The open porch has 2 Doric columns and the door is wood with 6 panels and a contemporary fanlight above.
Park House is the largest property at the Wharf and it is highly likely that it was built for Richard Worster, partner in the Worster, Stubbs and Bland Carrying Company. He is certainly the first recorded owner. After his death in 1842 his widow Jane remained in the house for a year rent free according to the terms of his will before moving to a property in Long Buckby. Her brother James Abbey rented Park House until 1864, and then William Arthur Judkins took over as tenant. In September 1868 the Trustees for Richard Worster sold his real estate at auction and Lot 1 was:
A Commodious Brick-built & Slated Dwelling-house, situate at Buckby Wharf, by the side of the Road leading from Long Buckby to Daventry, well adapted for a hunting box, only two miles from Crick Station and four miles from Weedon Station, on the main line of the London and North-Western Railway, and in the centre of the Pytchley Hunt;
Containing Entrance Hall, Dining and Drawing-rooms, Front and Back Kitchens, Larder, Pantry, and Dairy, Front and Back Staircases, Six Bedrooms, Three Attics, Water-closet, Store-room, good wine and ale Cellars, Stabling for five Horses, Saddle-room, Coach-houses, Pleasure Gardens, Croquet Lawn, Kitchen Garden and Orchard, well stocked with choice Fruit Trees and Yard, with convenient Outbuildings, containing altogether, with Plantations 2A 3R 15P
Three Closes of Excellent Pasture Land adjoining, known as Lower Park, Top Park, Middle Park, Also a Garden by the side of the road from Long Buckby to DaventryParticulars of Sale at Buckby Wharf. Properties sold by trustees of Richard Worster in Long Buckby and at Long Buckby Wharf 1868. Ref: ZB1091 Northamptonshire Archives
Park House and the surrounding land was bought by John Albert Craven Esq of Whilton Lodge for £3310 – roughly equivalent to £207,235 in today’s money. William Arthur Judkins remained as tenant until 1894 and the property was advertised for sale or to let in June 1896:
The Park House, Long Buckby, Northamptonshire (centre of the Pytchley and Grafton Hunts), one mile from Long Buckby Station, L & N-W Railway; 2 Welton Station. Contains Three Reception Rooms, Eight Bedrooms, Kitchens and Pantries; Good Cellerage, Conservatory, large Flower and Kitchen Gardens, Two full-sized Tennis Courts, Coach-house, Stabling for six horses, with 7 Acres of good Feeding Land adjoining.Rugby Advertiser 1896 20 June
A few changes to the house since the sale in 1868 – it’s gained 2 bedrooms and swapped a pleasure garden and croquet lawn for two tennis courts, and an extra horse can be accommodated.
There were three known residents over the next few years, John Thomas Parker, James Oldacres and Dorothy Hollins. After Dorothy Hollins left in 1913 the house was advertised to let again;
To Let, Park House, Long Buckby, containing Large Entrance Hall, 3 Reception Rooms, 9 Bedrooms, Large Attics, Bath (h. & c.), Stabling for 5, Motor Garage, beautiful Gardens, Tennis Lawn, and large Paddock; station one mile.Rugby Advertiser 1913 17 May
Apart from gaining another bedroom, the startling differences here are hot and cold running water in the bathroom and a garage for a motor vehicle. (I am not sure yet when the Wharf received piped water, but prior to this date the residents used well water) And the first appearance of a motor vehicle at the Wharf is on my list of things to research.
Later residents include Arthur Henry Hollister and Frederick and Emma Main. Park House has only been sold once since 1995 according to an online property service and is now a 6 bedroom house. Although the exterior has remained the same, it sounds like the interior has been altered by each successive inhabitant to suit their own requirements.
Just like the listed canal bridge, the exterior of Park House cannot be altered in any major way. It has views over the Wharf and canal, and has been a part of the community for around 200 years. It would have been noticeable as the ‘big house’ on the road between Long Buckby and Daventry, before the trees obscured it from the road. It is highly likely that before the trees reached their current height, Park House would have been seen from Watling Street, making it a landmark for the Wharf.