Early history: 3000BC – 1977
Early history: 3000BC – 1977
The landscape around Hooke Park is rich with evidence of Iron Age settlement – including several hillforts within a few miles.
Recreational hunting ‘parks’ established for the land-owning aristocracy – enclosures for deer and other animals. The woodlands would also be used for coppice and firewood.
Paulet, Marquis of Winchester, made Enclosures of the North Poorton Wastes – which included what is now Hooke Park – in 1630.
1794: Ownership to Duke of Cleveland and the Earl of Sandwich, whose seat is the neighbouring Mapperton Estate.
1840s: Documentary records of timber sales from Hooke Park, demonstrating that the woodland was being managed for productive foresty in the period.
1919: Sale to the Salt family, then the Unilever Pension Fund.
This map (below) shows dates from that sale, with the Hooke Park estate in green. The north-eastern part of the estate (towards Hooke village) was subsequently separated. Note that the main entrance road and forestry tracks are all established, and that the uphill part of the estate is not yet forested. (Thanks to Carlos Chen for finding this map).
Post-World War II, shortages of building material for reconstruction led to the felling of many of England’s woodlands to provide timber. Almost all of Hooke Park was clear felled, including most of its ancient woods and coppices.
The Forestry Commission is a government department responsible for forestry in England and Scotland. It was set up in 1919 to increase Britain’s wood production, and is the largest landowner in the country. Post-war, it purchased land for new industrial-scale forestry – including Hooke Park.
The Parnham ownwership: 1982-2000
John Makepeace sees the potential of Hooke Park as an extension of the Parnham College and proposes a School for Woodland Industries, integrating furniture making and design with forestry management activities.
At John Makepeace’s request, Frei Otto hand-draws at set of ideas for building projects at Hooke Park
Richard Burton leads Ahrends Burton Koralek’s work to develop a masterplan for the Hooke Park campus for the School of Woodland Industries.
The Prototype House – now used as Hooke Park’s refectory – used spruce roundwood thinnings in its tension roof. More details here.
Chris planted Hooke’s American Redwood trees whilst working with Andy Poore, the head forester at the time. The trees, now semi-mature, are an example of the experimental species planting at Hooke Park.
The students of the Parnham Trust’s new School for Woodland Industries start at Hooke Park.
Architectural Association ownership: 2001-present day
The pattern of use, of AA London student groups visiting with their tutors, continues today.
The AA’s Intermediate Unit 2, led by tutors Charles Walker and Martin Self (Co-director of Design + Make), produced at Hooke Park a student-designed pavilion that has explored the architectural potential of experimental timber construction.
Under tutorship of Andrew Freear and Elena Bartel, a group of 4th and 5th years students spend most of their year at Hooke Park and drew up propositions for the future of Hooke Park.
Authored by Andrew Freear and Elena Bartel, the 2008 Strategic Plan sets out the AA’s ambitions and plans for Hooke Park, including the premise of the Design & Make programme and the principles for a new masterplan.
The project received an Honorable Mention at the International Architecture Awards 2015.
The Sawmill Shelter was shortlisted for the 2017 Wood Awards.
Through 2017, we put our focus to the design and production of its first component – the Library – whose assembled timber skeleton forms the tangible inheritance to be taken forward by a subsequent generation of students