DiCamillo Companion

Gamlingay Park

  • Built / Designed For: Sir George Downing, 3rd Bt.

    House & Family History: Sir George Downing, 3rd Bt., who built Gamlingay, was the founder of Downing College, Cambridge. He was also the grandson of the first Sir George Downing, who was born in Ireland, graduated from Harvard College in 1642, and was responsible for the building of Downing Street and Horse Guards Parade in London. Gamlingay Park had an impressive Baroque façade of three stories and an elaborate cornice topped with urns. After a short life, the House was demolished in 1776, the result of a famous, protracted legal battle between the third baronet's heirs (Sir George died in 1749) and the intent of his will to found Downing College (see painting in "Images" section). The College did not acquire the property until 1800, after which the House had long been demolished; what Downing acquired was the grass-covered site of the former House, which the College continued to own until it was sold in 1945. The former land of Gamlingay remains in private ownership.

  • Garden & Outbuildings: Remains of the terraced gardens and ponds are extant.

  • Title: Burke's & Savills Guide to Country Houses, Volume III: East Anglia
    Author: Kenworthy-Browne, John; Reid, Peter; Sayer, Michael; Watkin, David
    Year Published: 1981
    Reference: pg. 15
    Publisher: London: Burke's Peerage
    ISBN: 0850110351
    Book Type: Hardback

  • House Listed: Demolished

    Park Listed: Grade II

  • Past Seat / Home of: Sir George Downing, early 18th century.

    Current Ownership Type: Demolished

    Primary Current Ownership Use: Demolished

  • House Open to Public: No

    Historic Houses Member: No