In 1868 the Buxton family moved to Stanstead Abbotts, having taken over the manor-ship and bought much property across the area. Here, on the slopes of Easneye Woods, they commissioned famous architect, Alfred Waterhouse, to build them a home. The first owner of this large Gothic mansion was Thomas Fowell Buxton (1821-1908), son of the anti-slavery campaigner of the same name and the manor of Stanstead Abbotts is still in the hands of the Buxton family. The family were then involved in missionary work, and the family home eventually passed into other hands.  Easneye Mansion is today the home of the All-Nations Christian College, believed to be the largest missionary college in the world.

Sir Thomas Fowell, the campaigner (1786-1845).  His picture was recently to be seen on the rear of the £5 notes used prior to the introduction of plastic notes.

Plaque on brewery wall

SIR THOMAS FOWELL BUXTON took over from William Wilberforce as the leading anti-slavery campaigner. In 1824 he was founding chairman of the R.S.P.A. and he campaigned vigorously for prison reform and the abolition of the death penalty.   The campaigners were eventually successful in reducing the number of crimes punishable by death by two-thirds.  In 1840 he was made a baron. One of his famous sayings: ‘With ordinary talent and extraordinary perseverance all things are attainable.’

Easneye Mansion, today the home of the All-Nations Christian College, Stanstead Abbotts (picture: Brian Johnson)

Ron Dale, May 2017