The Wise and Waller Families at Woodcote - Early Years

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
Photograph of the east front of Woodcote House, Leek Wootton, shortly before it was rebuilt.
Warwickshire County Record Office reference CR 26/5/5/1
"Woodcote", a large house in Leek Wootton. This is now the county police headquarters. 1900s
IMAGE LOCATION: (Warwickshire County Record Office)
Reference: PH, 239/417, img: 7375

In 1851, Henry Christopher Wise sold the Warwick Priory and 37 acres of its parkland to the Birmingham and Oxford Railway Co, which planned to lay its railway track through the park, close to the house. He was 46 when he inherited and for 20 years had been renting an estate called Woodcote in Leek Wootton, which bordered the Priory estate to the north. When Henry Christopher sold the Priory he bought Woodcote and set about improving the property. In 1852 he diverted the road which passed immediately in front of the house, creating Woodcote Lane, and used the old road as his drive. He also built and bought a number of properties in the heart of Leek Wootton and purchased more land.


His wife, Harriett, died in 1858, after 30 years of marriage and eight children. He married again, to Jane Harriett Disbrowe during the 1860s and had a further two children.

In 1861-1862 Henry Christopher demolished the existing house and built a fashionable new one, designed by John Gibson, which still stands. By the time of his death in 1883, only one of his sons by his first marriage, George, was still alive to inherit.

The text for this article was originally published in the leaflet Explore Warwick and surrounding villages through the lives of the Wise & Waller Families published by the Warwickshire County Record Office, and is re-used with their permission.

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