Wartime leader Churchill’s links to Easton Lodge estate revealed

Mawbyns at Little Easton

Mawbyns at Little Easton - Credit: Archant

A SIX-BEDROOM house formerly owned by a friend of Winston Churchill – and still featuring a Second World War air raid shelter in the grounds – is up for sale.

Mawbyns in Little Easton was originally part of the Countess of Warwick’s Easton Lodge Estate. It was built in the 16th century and remained part of the estate until it was sold in 1921.

It was bought by H A Gwynne, then editor of the Morning Post newspaper until it merged with The Daily Telegraph. Gwynne, a former colleague of Rudyard Kipling and a friend of Winston Churchill, owned the property until his death in 1950.

The current owners of Mawbyns bought it nearly 20 years ago. During that time Trevor and Denise Ingrey have collected a range of records and documents about the history of the house.

Mr Ingrey said: “There’s a selection of articles and features about the house that describe Gwynne living here and I’ve even got the deeds that show he paid around £1,200 for the property in 1921.

“We’ve been told that Churchill visited here and played tennis on the courts that once stood next door.

“Gwynne must have built the air raid shelter, perhaps because of the US base nearby. It’s a good size with a door both ends and the walls are about 18 inches thick – we’ve always thought it would make an ideal wine cellar.”

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Trevor and Denise Ingrey moved to Little Easton from Epping where their former home was bought by the actor Nick Berry.

Extended over the years, Mawbyns now has six bedrooms, a study, conservatory, indoor pool and games room. The 5.5 acres of grounds leading to the River Chelmer include a lake and a revolving summer house.

Tim Trembath, director of Mullucks Wells, the estate agent dealign with the sale, said: “This is a landmark house that makes a fine family home. Little Easton village is highly regarded and one can see why King Edward VII was a frequent visitor to this beautiful part of Essex.

Mawbyns is on the market for £1,850,000. For information, contact Mullucks Wells on 01371 872117.