Henry Tredcroft was an important figure in the area and was a magistrate at Horsham. In 1828 he commissioned a well-known architect of the day, Henry Harrison to design a substantial country house where previously the farmhouse had stood.
By co-incidence, not only was there a reminder of Harrison when we arrived at the start of each term but immediately across from where boarded our Warnham-bound coaches at County Hall was another design by Harrison, the General Lying-In Hospital.
The building was more of a square shape then, and was designed with the east wing facing gardens that sloped down to give a view of the South Downs towards the south-east. Henry Tredcroft died in 1844, his wife remarried and continued to live at Warnham Court
In 1855 the house was sold to Sir John Henry Pelly, a Governor of the Bank of England and Chairman of the Hudson's Bay Company.
Ten years later the house again changed hands and was bought by Mr Charles Lucas, A civil engineer who, with his brother, controlled a large conglomerate of building Contractors who were responsible for some of the great civil engineering works of the day.
After Mr Lucas bought the house, great changes were carried out. A leading architect of the day, A.W. Bloomfield made a large number of changes to the house. Bloomfield Left his mark elsewhere in Warnham in the form of the imposing gate house to the estate And a renovation of Warnham Parish Church, funded by Mr Lucas who was a patron of St Margaretís Church
The grounds were also laid out by Mr Lucas and large areas of exotic trees and plants were laid out.
In the fashion of Victorian magnates, Mr Lucas invested in paintings, unfortunately on Christmas day 1901, a fire broke out in the billiard room destroying a large part of the collection.
Clearly this fire left a great impression because shortly afterward, Mr Lucas raised The Warnham Court Fire brigade complete with horse-drawn fire appliance and a fire crew made up workers from the estate. There is no record of them dealing with fires on the estate but there is no doubt their Crowning moment came in 1904
THE STEAM ENGINE FROM WARNHAM. The Warnham Court Fire Brigade Proves Its Worth
On 22 January 1904, a large fire broke out at Knepp Castle, just south of Horsham,
From the West Sussex County Times:
Upon receiving the call, Captain Brooks of the Horsham Fire Brigade, also sent for the steam engine at Warnham Court, the residence of Mr C J Lucas, JP. The men promptly responded to the call, and were smartly driven over by Mr J Morrison. Their arrival was of the utmost service to the Horsham Brigade. The Warnham steam fire engine was manned by Messrs. J Morrison, S. Booth, G. Branch, Chris, Branch, J, Walford, and H, Forest.
Fortunately, the Warnham Brigade arrived in the nick of time, and they were able to put on more jets. The Warnham Court Brigade remained on duty last night, together with Superintendent Hall, of the Horsham Fire Brigade, Captain Brooks wished to convey on behalf of the Fire Brigade, his sincere thanks to Mr. Lucas for his great kindness in allowing his men to attend with his engine and to remain during last night. They proved most valuable assistants.
The actual fire engine is, I believe, on display in Horsham Fire Station
Then war came in 1939 and the house was requisitioned for government use until after the war ended in 1945