Thame Local History
The Front of Thame Park House
Thame Park, south east of Thame, has a long and remarkable history.
It is reputed to contain some of the oldest enclosed parkland in England.
Thame Park was home for four hundred years to a Cistercian Abbey, and a community of monks, founded at the time when the famous order of white monks was enjoying great wealth and power.
It became the property of Lord Williams of Thame at the Reformation, and passed through his daughter into the Wenman family, who built the grand eighteenth century country house we see today.
After the First World War Thame Park passed out of the hands of the long running Wenman family dynasty which had dominated much of local life.
In a bizarre turn of events, part of the original library of Sir Isaac Newton was auctioned off after the war, along with the ordinary domestic contents of Thame Park House.
During the Second World War, Thame Park and House played a vital part in the training of the Special Overseas Executive.
After the Second World War the park and house remained in settled ownership until 1982, belonging to the heir to the Raleigh Bicycle fortune, Sir Frank Bowden.
In the hands of absentee owners after 1982, both the park and the house featured in countless film and television shots.
In the year 2000, Thame Park and House were offered for sale. On offer were the park and house, together with the adjoining farm land at Sydenham Grange, roughly similar in size to the park itself.
Following its purchase, the farm lands were sold off, leaving the park and house, with boating lake and historic chapel, as a very up market private residence. Renovation work has begun.
Thame Park on the Map,
Thame Park Census Returns
1841, 1851, 1861,
1871, 1881, 1891