DiCamillo Companion

Gamlingay Park (Shackledon Grange)

  • Earlier Houses: There was an earlier house, Shackledon Grange, on, or near, the site of the 18th century house.

    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 Sir George Downing, 1st Bt., 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 "Images" section). The college did not acquire the property until 1800, after which the house had long been demolished; what Downing College acquired was the grass-covered site of the former house, which the college owned until it was sold it in 1945. The former park of Gamlingay, today Grade II-listed, is in private ownership.

  • Garden & Outbuildings: Remains of terraced gardens and ponds survive in the former grounds of Gamlingay Park.

  • 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: SEATED AT EARLIER HOUSE: Sir Roger Burgoyne, until 1677. Sir George Downing, 1st Bt., 1677-84; Sir George Downing, 2nd Bt., 1684-1711; Sir George Downing, 3rd Bt., 1711-13. SEATED AT 18TH CENTURY HOUSE: Sir George Downing, 3rd Bt., 1713-49; Sir Jacob Garrard Downing, 4th Bt., 1749-64.

    Current Ownership Type: Demolished

    Primary Current Ownership Use: Demolished

  • House Open to Public: No

    Historic Houses Member: No