|Wilton Park Estate|
Wilton Park at Beaconsfield in 1888
|Country||England, United Kingdom|
|Client||Josias Du Pre, Governor of Madras|
|Design and construction|
In 1702 it was acquired by the Basill family, who built a house on the estate. Sometime between 1760 and 1770 they sold the estate to Josias Du Pre, the future Governor of Madras. He commissioned the building of a mansion house on the estate, also known as the "White House", from Richard Jupp which was completed in 1779.
In 1939 the house was taken over by the War Office and used as an interrogation centre for Nazi prisoners of war: German refugees working for the allies would listen into prisoners' conversations. After the War the house was used by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to re-educate prisoners of war into the British way of life: between January 1946 and June 1948 approx 4,500 Germans were made to attend re-education classes there. The house went on to become the home of the Army School of Administration from 1949 and also the home of the Army School of Education from 1950. The Foreign Office "re-education" facility, still known as Wilton Park and still organising conferences, moved out in 1951 and is now based at Wiston House in West Sussex.
A single-storey blockhouse was constructed in the grounds of Wilton Park in 1954, to provide a protected wartime headquarters for the senior Army officers of Eastern Command and London District. From 1957, alternative provision was made for the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Command and his staff as part of the Regional Seats of Government planning; but the blockhouse was retained and remained available for use by London District until the end of the Cold War.
In the 1960s a School of Languages was established on the site (Colonel Gaddafi of Libya studied there at that time). Although the house was demolished in 1968, the school remained on the site until April 2014.