About us History Gift to the Nation Thomas Phillips Price One man’s desire to preserve an English Country Estate Phillips Price had an immense passion for Marks Hall and a particular affection for the majestic oak trees that graced the parkland here. He used to commute into London to fulfil his duties as an MP, travelling from Marks Hall to Kelvedon station and then into Liverpool Street Station. Phillips Price was quite a pioneer for his time. In 1907 he began a detailed correspondence with his friend, William Jackson Bean at Royal Botanic Gardens Kew. Price wanted to explore how he might leave Marks Hall to Kew in the interests of botanical science. In his 1927 will, Thomas Phillips Price did just that and bequeathed the Estate upon Trust for the nation to be administered by Kew and to be used for the advancement of Agriculture, Arboriculture and Forestry. He died in 1932, leaving a life interest for his widow. Mrs. Phillips Price survived her husband by 34 years and died in 1966, at which point the Estate reverted to the nation. The intervening years however had been unkind.