The House from an 1831 hand-colored engraving
Built / Designed For: Sir John Wentworth
House & Family History: Gosfield was built in 1545 for Sir John Wentworth, a member of Cardinal Wolsey's household. Because of the House's high visibility during the Tudor years, Gosfield was visited by Queen Elizabeth I. The East and South ranges were rebuilt for Sir Thomas Millington post 1691. The North Range and the paneled bedroom were rebuilt for John Knight, circa 1715. John Knight's widow married Robert Nugent (1st Earl Nugent and 1st Viscount Clare) in 1736, the same year that Nugent added the Library and other rooms in the South Range. Sanderson Miller heightened the center of the House and added the corridor to East Range in 1755. Gosfield was inherited by the 1st Marquess of Buckingham in 1788 (Lord Buckingham was noted for cultivating the local production of straw bonnets). In the aftermath of the French Revolution Gosfield Hall became the home of King Louis XVIII and his queen, Marie-Josephe-Louise of Savoy. The royal couple fled France and lived at Gosfield, together with more than 350 courtiers and staff, from 1807 until 1809. Samuel Courtauld purchased Gosfield in 1851 and spent large sums to restore the House. Courtauld's adopted daughter resided at Gosfield until the 1930s. After Courtauld's daughter's death, the House passed through a number of owners, including the Essex County Council, which acquired Gosfield after World War II, and the Wayfarers Trust. In the late 20th century Gosfield became a retirement community owned by the Country Houses Association; the House was sold by CHA circa 2002 during their financial collapse and is now a country house wedding venue.
Garden & Outbuildings: Landscaping and addition of the mile-long lake was carried out for Robert Nugent.
John Bernard (J.B.) Burke, published under the title of A Visitation of the Seats and Arms of the Noblemen and Gentlemen of Great Britain and Ireland, among other titles: 2.S. Vol. II, p. 83, 1855.
Country Life: CXV, 278, 1954.
Title: Burke's and Savills Guide to Country Houses, Volume III: East Anglia
Author: Kenworthy-Browne, John; Reid, Peter; Sayer, Michael; Watkin, David
Year Published: 1981
Publisher: London: Burke's Peerage
Book Type: Hardback
House Listed: Grade I
Park Listed: Grade II
Past Seat / Home of: Sir John Wentworth, 16th century. Sir Thomas Millington, late 17th century. John Knight, early 18th century. Robert Nugent, later 1st Earl Nugent and 1st Viscount Clare, 18th century. E.G. Barnard, 19th century. Marquess of Buckingham. King Louis XVIII of France, 1807-09. Courtauld family, 1851-1930s.
Current Ownership Type: Corporation
Primary Current Ownership Use: Wedding & Event Venue
Ownership Details: Today a member of the Country House Weddings Group.