The Wise Family of Woodcote

Henry Christopher Wise was the great-great-grandson of Henry Wise of The Priory, Warwick, Royal Gardener successively to William III, Anne and George I.

He inherited The Priory (now the location of Warwickshire County Record Office) in 1850 and had been renting Woodcote (the building currently owned by Warwickshire Police), since 1830. In 1851 he sold The Priory and 37 acres of adjoining land to the Oxford Junction Railway Company and bought Woodcote, which joined up with the remainder of The Priory estate.

Photograph of the east front of Woodcote House, Leek Wootton. The photograph dates from 1860 and must have been taken shortly before the house was demolished and rebuilt by Henry Christopher Wise. The posts visible in the foreground of the shot may relate to the new build. | Warwickshire County Record Office reference CR 26/5/5/1

During his ownership the estate was enlarged and improved, the old house was demolished, a new house built and gardens and pleasure grounds developed. He had six sons and two daughters by his first wife, but was survived by only two sons, George and Augustus (who was ‘an invalid’) and one daughter. George inherited the property in 1883, but on his death in 1888, it was entailed away to the descendants of Henry Christopher Wise’s sister, Catherine, due to Augustus’s poor health (he died in 1912 in a psychiatric asylum) and by-passing George’s paternal half-brother Eddie, who was in line to inherit the Disbrowe family estate in Derbyshire from a maternal maiden aunt.

During the Wise family’s time at Woodcote, they contributed to church and community life and George and Augustus established the Annual Flower Show in 1868, which continues to be one of the key events of life in Leek Wootton.

Link to Horticultural Society