The Estate at Upton is one of the oldest sites in Poole, containing a Roman Road
and a pottery within it.
We know from records that in 1592, the farm at Upton was in the hands of the CURRY
family, variously described as CAREY, CARY or CRAY.
Dorset historian Hutchings records that the Earl of Huntingdon owned the land and
sold Upton farm and the Island, then known as Rookhey, to Edward ROGERS, who leased
them in 1615 to Henry ALYE and Garwan MALLETT, and later to Thomas FRAMPTON and Thomas
In 1652 Haviland HEELY (later HILEY) and George PHILLIPS, who were Poole Merchants,
purchased the farm and island. The Hileys were descended from a Rector of St. James
who married into another former Poole family, the HAVILANDS and died in 1611. They
were to remain owners for the next 150 years. In 1665 Peter HILEY entertained King
Charles 2 at his High Street home and who later visited Brownsea Island.
We have traced back to Nicholas CAREY of Fish Street Poole and Upton Farm; one of
his descendants Mary BEALE, the daughter of a former Mayor of Poole, was the first
wife of William SPURRIER. The farm buildings occupied a site on a prominent knoll
when William Spurrier bought them. He was Mayor of Poole four times. 1784, 1786,
1787, and 1802. He always dreamt of building a mansion.
The SPURRIER'S were engaged in the Newfoundland trade and operated in the southern
peninsula of the Avalon at a place called Burin. Timothy SPURRIER was born in 1672
and founded the business. His son, another Timothy would serve as Mayor in 1747.lt
was his grandson William who had married Mary.
Pride of the Spurrier fleet was a three masted barquentine named "Upton" built in
Newfoundland in 1787. It foundered in 1796.
After Mary's death in 1782, William married his second wife. Ann JOLLIFFE, who came
from another very successful Poole family.
Professor Keith MATTHEWS of Memorial University, St, Johns, Newfoundland, unearthed
a story of greed and ambition. The full story is contained in a now out of print
book published by the Poole Historical Trust entitled "Mansions and Merchants of
Poole and Dorset”
Brian Galpin President, Friends of Upton Country Park