For over a century The Warren Estate has been attracting visitors to its beautiful grounds, historically to enjoy a round of golf but in recent years for a new collection of leisure and entertainment pursuits. The modern estate now encompasses four key elements, with two golf clubs, a lodge park, wedding venue and health club welcoming over 200,000 visits through the estate entrances every year. With a stunning and tranquil setting, excellent facilities plus warm and friendly welcome, we believe The Warren Estate will continue to grow its burgeoning reputation as one of the leading leisure destinations in Essex.
Please read on for a summary of our facilities, and brief history of how we came to be here. We hope you enjoy our website, and are able to visit The Warren Estate very soon.
John Moran, Managing Director
The Warren Golf & Country Club
For many years golfers have enjoyed the lovely terrain through which the golf course of The Warren Golf & Country Club winds its way, with undulating fairways and mature woodlands so uncommon of the typical Essex golf course. The golf club has a vibrant, member orientated feel, enjoying a resurgence in popularity through recent years as the investment in facilities and service continues. The clubhouse always has a lovely atmosphere, with friendly staff on hand to welcome and assist members and guests as they arrive for their round of golf.
Bunsay Golf Club holds a special sentiment for many golfers in Essex, being the location of their first experience of the game of golf. Simply designed but with lovely golfing detail, Bunsay sets the perfect level of challenge, fair to new golfers but with interest for those more experienced in the game. Everything is set up for a great golfing day out, from pacy greens to delicious food, completed by a friendly clubhouse with large screens showing the best in live sporting events.
After opening in spring 2018 following a complete refurbishment, The Rose Barn has quickly established itself as one of the premier venues for weddings and events in Essex. With a design that sympathetically balances traditional 17th century heritage with contemporary and stylish features, the new layout and facilities provide an elegant and practical setting for hosting events of any nature. Completing the picture are our lovely terrace and gardens, perfect for outdoor ceremonies or a private party.
Now open for 10 years, Warren Active has developed a strong following within the local community as a compact but well equipped health club with excellent swimming pool and gym. Its lovely and peaceful location is very much part of its charm, set within The Warren Estate lodge park with easy access and ample parking. The staff pride themselves on the warmth and personal nature of their service, with a wide range of training and swim classes available to both members and guests.
Warren Lodges is a thriving destination for holiday homes or short break accommodation, supported by an excellent range of facilities either on-site or within easy reach of the estate. Built within an excavated gravel pit, the site has a wonderful secluded feel and its own sheltered micro-climate. Adjoining are lovely woodlands, with the park well serviced by a network of gorgeous nature trails and walks. Lodges can be rented for a few days vacation, or purchased as a second holiday home.
Human activity on the land which now constitutes The Warren Estate can be traced back to the Roman occupation. During the middle ages the land was incorporated into a large Red Deer park with associated carp ponds and rabbit warrens, features still evident today and that provide the origin of the name ‘The Warren’. From the early seventeenth century the land progressively turned to farming, and in 1744 then owner Thomas Fytche built the barns that now form the clubhouse. As a record, Thomas carved the date and his initials into timbers within the main building, a feature which can still be seen to this day.
The transformation into a golf course began in 1902 when H.W. Thomson, who had purchased the estate some years earlier, created a nine-hole loop as a private course for his enjoyment and that of his guests. As a Scot and keen golfer, H.W.T. planted copses of Scots pines to complement the heather that was predominant at this time. These trees now feature strongly on several holes of the current course. When H.W.T died in 1934 the estate passed to Fred Durham Snr, who along with his son Fred Jnr were fanatical golfers. They enlarged the course, converted the farm buildings into a clubhouse and started a formal membership.
Visitors to The Warren can find many interesting and unique photographs and memorabilia covering the progress of golf and the social life in the club from inception through the 1930's, 40's and 50's. Since the Second World War a special relationship has existed between The Warren and visitors from the USA and Canada. This started when servicemen from the many local bases were given courtesy of the club's facilities. This arrangement continued into the 1970's when the bases finally closed, and the last servicemen returned home.
The Warren Golf Club existed under the ownership and management of the Durham family for several decades, with Bunsay Golf Club being opened in the 1980’s and then the lodge park in 2008. Around the turn of this decade and with turbulent times within the world economy the business began to falter, eventually resulting in a change of direction for the estate.
Starting a New Chapter
In 2012, a consortium of local business people rescued the 325-acre Warren Estate from administration. Six years on and it is a thriving business, servicing the leisure needs of the local community, whilst making a sizable contribution to tourism in Essex.
Our primary goal is to grow a successful and sustainable business which has a long term, positive impact on Maldon and its surrounding district. While achieving this, we want to make a real difference to the health and wellbeing of those who enjoy the wide range of leisure and sporting activities we offer. We also wish to leave a legacy for our community, providing secure and rewarding employment for staff, while protecting the beautiful habitats and wildlife that make The Warren Estate so special.
The vision to continue to grow into a holiday and leisure destination to rival any in the country. With creativity, investment and support from our key stakeholders, The Warren Estate is being transformed again.