Whitaker Wright was a financier and self-made millionaire. He had mining interests around the world and, closer to home, his business empire included the London & Globe Finance Company, principal backers of London’s Bakerloo line.
About 1890 Wright assembled a huge 9,000 acre (3,644ha) estate stretching from Thursley to the Devil’s Punchbowl and engaged leading architects and engineers to construct a vast mansion and lavish pleasure gardens. But whatever the scale of the house and grounds, it’s Wright’s dream-like follies that send your imagination into overdrive.
Like a children’s den, it all starts with a hollow tree and a door. Beyond the door, a ramp spirals down past musty subterranean rooms towards a flooded tunnel, 50ft (15m) below the ground. Your feet would take you no further; but luckily enough, there’s a boat here. Climb aboard, and feel your way through the tunnel until it brings you out onto a lake.
There’s an island over there. Row across and tie up the boat; things are starting to get interesting. A flight of stairs lead down to a light, airy room directly below the island. Time to change into party clothes here, before more steps and another tunnel take you through to the miniature iron and glass ballroom, totally submerged beneath the surface of the lake. If you’d like a dance, only the fish will notice. Another submarine tunnel leads us back into the warm sunshine, to ponder what all this must have cost. It’s said that Wright spent around £1.5m on Witley Park in the 1890’s; perhaps as much as £200m by today’s standards. But that was the least of it.
By the turn of the century, Wright’s business enterprises were collapsing like a set of dominoes; he was arrested on charges of fraud, tried at the Old Bailey, and sentenced to seven years imprisonment. Waiting in an anteroom to the court, Whitaker Wright had other ideas. He asked for a cigar, and a glass of whiskey - then swallowed a cyanide capsule, and died where he fell.
The entire Witley Park estate is private property, and not open to the public at any time.
Underwater smoking room (by odin’s_raven)

This is perfect.

Whitaker Wright was a financier and self-made millionaire. He had mining interests around the world and, closer to home, his business empire included the London & Globe Finance Company, principal backers of London’s Bakerloo line.

About 1890 Wright assembled a huge 9,000 acre (3,644ha) estate stretching from Thursley to the Devil’s Punchbowl and engaged leading architects and engineers to construct a vast mansion and lavish pleasure gardens. But whatever the scale of the house and grounds, it’s Wright’s dream-like follies that send your imagination into overdrive.

Like a children’s den, it all starts with a hollow tree and a door. Beyond the door, a ramp spirals down past musty subterranean rooms towards a flooded tunnel, 50ft (15m) below the ground. Your feet would take you no further; but luckily enough, there’s a boat here. Climb aboard, and feel your way through the tunnel until it brings you out onto a lake.

There’s an island over there. Row across and tie up the boat; things are starting to get interesting. A flight of stairs lead down to a light, airy room directly below the island. Time to change into party clothes here, before more steps and another tunnel take you through to the miniature iron and glass ballroom, totally submerged beneath the surface of the lake. If you’d like a dance, only the fish will notice. Another submarine tunnel leads us back into the warm sunshine, to ponder what all this must have cost. It’s said that Wright spent around £1.5m on Witley Park in the 1890’s; perhaps as much as £200m by today’s standards. But that was the least of it.

By the turn of the century, Wright’s business enterprises were collapsing like a set of dominoes; he was arrested on charges of fraud, tried at the Old Bailey, and sentenced to seven years imprisonment. Waiting in an anteroom to the court, Whitaker Wright had other ideas. He asked for a cigar, and a glass of whiskey - then swallowed a cyanide capsule, and died where he fell.

The entire Witley Park estate is private property, and not open to the public at any time.

Underwater smoking room (by odin’s_raven)

This is perfect.

(via abandonedography)

  1. syrahkiyaiyu reblogged this from neil-gaiman
  2. mfkopp reblogged this from mfkopp
  3. dark-precipice reblogged this from toporcelainivoryandsteel and added:
    I’m almost certain that Witley Park was described, if not mentioned, in Arthur Machen’s ‘The Three Impostors’.
  4. erkennedichselbst reblogged this from weltderathanasie
  5. blahmitzvah reblogged this from abandonedography
  6. citizencinemaniac reblogged this from neil-gaiman
  7. brevity-wit reblogged this from neil-gaiman
  8. theobscureone reblogged this from blackphoenixalchemylab
  9. lynkhart reblogged this from cloakedinmystery
  10. ciridae reblogged this from cloakedinmystery
  11. snuff-has-no-folders reblogged this from abandonedography
  12. eclaireevans reblogged this from jessamygriffin
  13. sharpeblud reblogged this from jessamygriffin
  14. jessamygriffin reblogged this from myintimatefriend
  15. theblackcatknowsall reblogged this from lynkhart
  16. cloakedinmystery reblogged this from abandonedography
  17. officialcharlemagne reblogged this from an-inanimate-fucking-object
  18. marginwalker reblogged this from abandonedography
  19. crackninja reblogged this from whatjamesdrawws
  20. ana-milya reblogged this from lucitania
  21. justajunkdrawer reblogged this from abandonedography
  22. artntyouglad reblogged this from abandonedography
  23. 6stronghands reblogged this from neil-gaiman
  24. beaxy reblogged this from neil-gaiman
  25. verseofivan reblogged this from neil-gaiman
  26. dancers-amphitheatre reblogged this from wedance2thebeat
  27. wedance2thebeat reblogged this from abandonedography
  28. tutorialsandreferences reblogged this from neil-gaiman
  29. laser-guns-and-wonder-knights reblogged this from neil-gaiman
  30. sfumatosoups reblogged this from abandonedography
  31. gyro123 reblogged this from abandonedography
  32. failedsainthood reblogged this from greeenarrow
  33. evaot-main reblogged this from alexnt
  34. atouchofmidnight reblogged this from abandonedography
  35. tominky reblogged this from erinnightwalker
  36. truth-be-t0ld-im-lying reblogged this from abandonedography
  37. accidonut reblogged this from accidonut
Short URL for this post: http://tmblr.co/ZvoEtwY6QNJz