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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Main Entrance Foliejon Park
Main Entrance Foliejon Park

Foliejon Park is a manorial country house in the civil parish of Winkfield in the English county of Berkshire. The building has been listed as Grade II since 7 December 1966[1][2] and was the temporary residence of King Haakon VII during the Nazi occupation of Norway.


Foliejon was originally known as Belestre, a hunting lodge granted by King Edward I to John Drokensford, Bishop of Bath and Wells, later co-regent for his son, Edward II. He changed the name of his Berkshire residence to 'Folies Johan', which in Anglo-Saxon means 'owned by John'.[citation needed] It is mentioned in the 'Rotulorum Originalium Abbreviatio' that "the palaces of Hyremere and Belestre, commonly called folye Johan were taken by the King in 1313 as payment for debts of the bishop and assigned in 1317 to Oliver de Bordeaux for the rent of a red rose with license to surround the estate of Foly Johan and make it a park". The property was inherited by Olivier de Bordeaux's step-son, William Trussell. However, Edward III, wanting to unify Foliejon with Windsor Great Park, forcibly exchanged it for the manor of Eaton Hastings in the Vale of White Horse in 1359.

Side view
Side view

Foliejon continued as a Royal estate for the next three centuries, until sold to Serjeant Henne in 1630, who was invested with a baronetcy in 1642. The property was inherited by his son, Henry, in 1667, grandson, Henry, in 1675, great-grandson, Richard, in 1705, and the co-heiresses, Penelope and Alice, in 1710. In 1735, Penelope sold her share to a Mr. Bennett. Lord Henry Beauclerk bought out Mr. Bennet in 1744 and Alice in 1748. In 1771, Foliejon was sold to George Phillips Towry, who sold it to Thomas Bingley in 1800, who, in turn, sold it to William Blane[3] in 1802. William left his estates to Thomas Law Blane,[4] who, in turn, left them to his nephew, Captain Gordon Gilbert Blane, in 1885.[5]

During the German occupation of Norway in World War II, the King, Haakon VII, and his son Olav, resided at Foliejon Park from March 1942 to June 1945. During this period, the property was also the seat of the Norwegian government in exile.

In 1957, the property was bought by Gerald T. Hodge as a conference centre for the company Mining and Chemical Products Ltd.[6] At that time it was the avenue of poplars planted in front of the residence, with seeds brought from his world travels. Several other rare trees were planted in the gardens.[7] Hodge and his family lived in the property until his death in a plane crash in 1966.[8]


  1. ^ "Foliejon Park". British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 16 January 2014.
  2. ^ Historic England. "Foliejohn Park  (Grade II) (1390444)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 5 May 2016.
  3. ^ "Blane, Sir Gilbert". Biographical Dictionary of the Living Authors of Great Britain and Ireland. 1816. p. 30. William Blane was a brother of Sir Gilbert Blane, one of whose 3 daughters accidentally drowned in a pond on William Blane's estate.
  4. ^ William Blane of Foliejon Park,
  5. ^ P.H. Ditchfield; William Page, eds. (1923). "Parishes: Winkfield". A History of the County of Berkshire: Volume 3. Institute of Historical Research. Retrieved 14 October 2013.
  6. ^ Ford, David Nash (2013). "Foliejon Park". David Nash Ford's Royal Berkshire History. Nash Ford Publishing. Retrieved 5 May 2016.
  7. ^ "BBC Domesday Revisited". Retrieved 6 November 2011.
  8. ^ Bridget Hole. "Yahoo Groups: Maidenhead Mailing List: Foliejon Park". Retrieved 6 November 2011.

This page was last edited on 21 October 2017, at 20:39
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