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Royal Residences: A brief history of Bagshot Park

Bagshot Park, home of the Earl and Countess of Wessex
By Diane Sambrook, CC BY-SA 2.0, Wiki Commons

Where is it located?

Bagshot Park is a royal residence which is located near the village of Bagshot in Surrey. It is approximately 11 miles south of Windsor. The 51-acres occupied by this Grade II listed building are located within a designated area of Windsor Great Park.

When was it built and when was it used as a royal residence?

The original building was known as Bagshot Lodge and was built between 1631 and 1633. It was one of several smaller homes designed by Inigo Jones which were built for King Charles I. The house was then redesigned for the Earl of Albemarle between 1766 and 1772, before being home to the future William IV.

It was later used and lived in by several other royals before being requisitioned by the Army as their staff college from 1942 to the end of the war in 1945. In 1946, King George VI offered the house to the Royal Army Chaplain’s Department before they relocated to Hampshire in 1996.

The original house was demolished in 1877-78 and a new building which comprised of 120 rooms was completed in 1879.

Who has lived there?

After King Charles I, the next royal association came when the Duke of Clarence, later King William IV, lived there until 1816. Subsequent to that, King George III’s nephew and son-in-law, Prince William Frederick, Duke of Gloucester lived there until his death in 1834.

From 1880, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert’s seventh child and third son, Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn, lived at Bagshot Park until his death in 1942.

The next royal tenancy began in March 1998 when the Crown Estate leased the house to Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex for 50 years. The house was substantially renovated by the Queen’s youngest son, with the renovations totalling an estimated £2.18 million. They were part funded by the Crown Estate and partly by Prince Edward.

The Estate is still the home to the Earl and Countess of Wessex, as well as their two children, Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn.