Ewart Park is a Grade-II listed Italianate-style mansion set in over 1,000 acres in rural Wooler, Northumberland.
It consisted of 14 bed and dressing rooms, three bathrooms, a hall, gallery, four reception rooms, domestic offices, and kitchens. There was also a turret inside the mansion with a staircase leading to the bedrooms upstairs. Outside, there was stabling and a coach-house. The surrounding area was ideal for fishing, with the River Glen nearby.
Ewart Park was built by Sir Horace St. Paul, who born in 1729 and found himself in hot water in 1751. He had killed a man during a duel and his death was ruled “wilful murder.” In an attempt to escape justice, St. Paul fled from England to France and then later, Brussels.
St. Paul became acquainted with the Archduke Prince Charles of Lorraine, Governor of the Austrian Netherlands. At the outbreak of the Seven Years War, St. Paul followed Archduke Prince Charles to the Austrian Empire where he fought alongside him.
Afterwards, St. Paul was created a Count of the Holy Empire for “having devoted himself to arms, and having followed the Royal-Imperial Standards in the last two Campaigns at his own expense, and having therein displayed pre-eminent fortitude and proved beyond doubt his soldierly valour and his exalted zeal in the arts if war..”
Due to this, St. Paul received a Royal Pardon and returned to England. At the time, his brother, Robert, had purchased Ewart Park estate, and upon St. Paul’s return, he purchased Ewart Park estate from him. St. Paul completely redeveloped the site, building the Italianate-style mansion that can be seen today. He was said to be inspired by Twizell Castle.
By 1787, Ewart Park was fit for a family so St. Paul, his wife, and their children moved into the mansion.
In 1798, St. Paul gathered volunteers from Wooler to form a home defence force to combat the threat of the French invasion. These volunteers became known as the Royal Cheviot Legion, and comprised of two troops of calvary and four companies of infantry. Their headquarters was in Wooler. In 1799, St. Paul became the first commandant of the Cheviot Legion, before they were disbanded in 1808 and transferred to various regiments.
Two ancient swords were discovered at Ewart Park in 1914. They were a compound of brass and copper and were 21 inches long from handle to the tip. They were discovered buried in a perpendicular position. This discovery led to the period of 800 to 700 BC being named: “The Ewart Park Phase.”
Ewart Park remained in the St. Paul family until 1937. It was sold following the 1935 death of George Grey Butler, whose son, Horace, could not afford the upkeep. The sale of Ewart Park described it as an “agricultural and sporting property” which included the main building, two secondary residences, 12 cottages, a farm, grass parks and woodlands.
During WWII, Ewart Park was occupied by the military. Former soldier, Albert Blockwell, described the camp at Ewart Park as “grim when we got there.” He described how there was a large field surrounded by thin woodland, and among these trees were huts where the soldiers were housed. The main mansion was used as the Battalion HQ building. Since Ewart Park was isolated, there was little for the soldiers to do for entertainment at night, other than walk the 4 miles into Wooler, which had little other than a small canteen, a small cinema, and half a dozen pubs.
In the wake of WWII, Ewart Park was left abandoned.