Our History

Victorian Horse Carousel Ride

History of Paultons

At Paultons Park we aim to give families the best day out for the greatest value for money, we strive for excellence in everything we do and this is what makes us one of the top family days out in the country. Since the Park opened in 1983 it has been family owned and run by the Mancey family, who are still operating the park today.

The estate can be traced back to 1086 where the ‘Paulet’ manor was in the possession of Glastonbury Abbey. Between 1086 and 1512 the land exchanged between many hands before eventually being sold to Henry VIII. Edward VI then granted the manor to William Paulets in 1547. Nearly 100 years later the land and manor “called Paltons” was sold to William Stanley Esq. of Southampton. William Stanley left the land to his son George.

In 1719 George Stanley married Sarah, who was the eldest daughter and co-heiress of the renowned Sir Hans Sloane of Chelsea. Sir Hans Sloane was one of the founders of the British Museum and president of the Royal Society and College of Physicians. George Stanley died in 1738, his wife Sarah took this very badly however took solace from the success of her son, the Rt Hon. Hans Stanley (1731-1780) who was elected to Parliament for St. Albans at the age of 21 and served as the Governor of the Isle of Wight until he died. Hans Stanley had inherited his mother’s share of the Sloane property as well as the Paultons estate, during his life he rebuilt the house, planted considerably and formed a small stream that intersected the park. Hans Stanley died in 1780 Paultons’ ownership moved to Hans Stanley’s nephew, Hans Sloane.

Hans Sloane (who assumed the name Stanley) rebuilt a great part of the house but died on 28 June 1823. Hans Sloane-Stanley’s estate was inherited his son William, who was married to Rt. Hon. Lady Gertrude Howard, a daughter of the 5th Earl of Carlisle. William Sloan-Stanley made considerable improvements to the house which included the main bridge over the artificial river.

When William Sloane-Stanley died in 1860 Paultons was passed to his son, William Hans Sloane-Stanley who served as High Sheriff of Hampshire. William Hans Sloane-Stanley died in 1879 and the estate moved to his eldest son Hans Sloane-Stanley. Upon Hans Sloane-Stanley’s death in 1888 his thirteen-year-old son, Roger Cyril Hans Sloane-Stanley, a Major in the 7th Battalion of the Hampshire Regiment, took ownership of Paultons.

Major Sloane-Stanley died at Paultons in November 1944 and his ashes were laid to rest at Copythorne. He was the last in his family to occupy Paultons, an ownership spanning over 209 years.

The Second World War

Through the Second World War, the estate played host to 15 school girls and their teacher, Phyllis Wilkins, from Northern Parade School, Hilsea, Portsmouth. In 1944 the manor house was opened as a luxury hotel, where guests could stay for 10 guineas a week, however in 1954 the hotel closed. The house became derelict and burned down in a great fire on 5 November 1963.

In 1979 the whole estate was divided into Lots and auctioned again, with parts zoned for recreational use. John and Anne Mancey, along with their son Richard and his wife Sara, bought Lot 2 which included the site of the house, its gardens and the parkland north of the lake designed by Capability Brown, which they began to develop as a family attraction.

In 1995 John and Anne retired and Richard and Sara took over. Richard and Sara still run the park today along with their three children; James, Charlotte and Lawrence.