DiCamillo Companion
DiCamillo Griffin Logo

Polesden Lacey

  • Earlier Houses: There were at least two earlier houses on the site of the current house: a 14th century and a 17th century house, the latter of which was partially incorporated into today's house.

    Built / Designed For: Joseph Bonsor

    House & Family History: Cubitt's Regency house was greatly enlarged in the classical style in the early 20th century to the designs of Sir Ambrose Poynter for Sir Clinton Edward Dawkins, a career civil servant. Poynter's new entrance hall contains an oak staircase and reredos of 1682-85 designed by Edward Pierce and taken from Christopher Wren's Church of St. Matthew in the City of London, which was demolished circa 1883. The famous architects of The Ritz Hotel in London, Mewés and Davis, further enlarged the house for The Hon. Mrs. Ronald Greville between 1906 and 1909, leaving Polesden Lacey as seen today. The architects designed the saloon with various 18th century elements, including a "salone" of circa 1700 removed from an Italian palazzo. The Duke and Duchess of York (later George VI and Queen Elizabeth) spent part of their honeymoon here in 1923 as the guest of Mrs. Greville. Upon her death in 1942, Mrs. Greville bequeathed the estate, together with a large endowment, to the National Trust in memory of her father (she left her extensive jewelry collection to Queen Elizabeth, later the Queen Mother). Polesden Lacey was reputedly the inspiration for Hartfield in Jane Austen's "Emma," according to W.A. Craik in "Jane Austen in Her Time" (London: Nelson, 1969).

    Collections: In November 2016 thousands of pounds worth of high-value artifacts were stolen from Polesden Lacey. Law enforcement officials believe that the thefts occurred around 4:00 PM on November 17 and November 19.

  • Garden & Outbuildings: Polesden Lacey sits in a 1,400-acre estate containing the famous 30-acre Edwardian garden and 10 additional acres of lawns and terraces, including the walled rose garden. In 1977 the Queen Mother planted a tree on the estate to commemorate the silver jubilee of her daughter, Queen Elizabeth II.

  • Architect: Thomas Cubitt

    Date: 1820s
    Designed: House

    View all houses

    Architect: Ambrose Poynter

    Date: 1902-06
    Designed: Enlarged in Classical Style for William McEwan

    View all houses

    Architect: Mewes & Davis

    Date: 1906-09
    Designed: Enlarged and redecorated House for Mrs. Greville

    View all houses
  • John Preston (J.P.) Neale, published under the title of Views of the Seats of Noblemen and Gentlemen in England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland, among other titles: 2.S. Vol. I, 1824.

    Country Life: CIII, 526, 1948. CXXXVII, 1410 [Pictures], 1965. CLXIX, 378, 442, 1981.

  • Title: Victorian: The Magazine of The Victorian Society, The
    Author: NA
    Year Published: NA
    Reference: Jul 2002, pg. 29
    Publisher: London: The Victorian Society
    ISBN: 14677970
    Book Type: Magazine

  • House Listed: Grade II*

    Park Listed: Grade II

  • "Windmills of the Gods" (1988 - TV, as Abbeywood). "Jeeves and Wooster" (1991 - TV series, in the episode "Jeeves in the Country" [aka "Chuffy"], the gardens of Polesden were used as those of Chuffnell Hall). "Bargain Hunt" (200? - TV game show series). "Dealing with Dickinson" (2005 - TV reality series). "Miss Marple: At Bertram's Hotel" (2007 - TV series, as the hotel interiors). "Revealed: Camilla's Family Affair" (2008 - TV documentary on Alice Keppel). "Midsomer Murders" (2009 - TV series, as Chettham Park House in the episode "The Creeper").
  • Past Seat / Home of: SEATED AT EARLIER HOUSES: Anthony Rous, 17th century. Sir Francis Geary, 1st Bt., 18th century. Richard Brinsley Sheridan, early 19th century. SEATED AT CURRENT HOUSE: Joseph Bonsor, 1821-35. Sir Walter Rockcliff Farquhar, 1853-1902. Sir Clinton Edward Dawkins, 1902-05. Margaret and Ronald Greville, 1906-42 (her death).

    Current Ownership Type: The National Trust

    Primary Current Ownership Use: Visitor Attraction

  • House Open to Public: Yes

    Phone: 0137-245-204

    Fax: 01372-452-023

    Email: polesdenlacey@nationaltrust.org.uk

    Website: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk

    Historic Houses Member: No