Warbrook House

Ranken purchased Warbrook House, Eversley, Hampshire, in 1918 after the success of his first visit to America. At that time, Warbrook’s Estate was described as being set in 104 acres of grounds which included 20 acres of rich woodland, 2 lodge houses, a long carriage sweep, formal gardens, a tennis lawn, stabling, coach houses, a farmery and a large kitchen garden.

The house was built in 1724 by the famous English architect, John James, for his own use. Ranken commissioned a considerable amount of structural repair and reconstruction to restore the house back to James’s original plan. The work included the restoration of the T shaped canal of water created by James at the rear of the house. He also did much to enhance the gardens, including the addition a large wall, almost certainly attempting to re-create some of the beautiful walled gardens to be found in his childhood homes in Scotland. In hard winters when the canals were thick with ice, Ranken is known to have invited the children (his nephews among them) from the local school along with their teachers to skate on them. The maintenance and costs associated with the property proved to be too much in the depression of the early 1930’s and he was forced, very reluctantly, to give up his beloved Warbrook.

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