Known as Mercheshala in Saxon times Marks Hall was occupied after the Norman conquest by the Merkshall family who took their name from the Estate.
In 1605 it was bought by Robert Honywood. Following a dispute over the inheritance, the Estate was sold at auction in 1897 to Thomas Phillips Price.
Mr Phillips Price had a great love of trees and woodlands at Marks Hall and on his death in 1932 he left the Estate to the nation for the advancement of agriculture, arboriculture and forestry. His third wife was left a ‘life interest’, the bequest to the nation not taking place until she died in 1966.
During the war substantial parts of the Estate were requisitioned for the occupation of the service personnel based at Earls Colne airfield.
After the war the Estate was greatly neglected; the buildings and lakes falling into disrepair.
The massive Honywood Oaks in the deer park, having been preserved for centuries, were felled to make way for coniferous plantings.
In 1971 the Thomas Phillips Price Trust, a registered Charity, was formed. Since that time the Trust, now renamed Marks Hall Estate, has worked to restore the property and create an Arboretum of national significance.
The Estate was opened to the public in 1993.