DiCamillo Companion
England

Wandlebury House (Gog Magog House) (Gogmagog Hills House)

  • House & Family History: In 1954, when Cambridge Past, Present & Future took over the property, the 18th house was a roofless ruin that was declared unsafe for the public, and was therefore demolished (only the foundations remain). The mansion house had a ground floor drawing room, garden room, library, dining room, and billiard room, with 14 bedrooms above. (We are grateful to Cambridge Past, Present & Future for this history of Wandlebury House).

  • Garden & Outbuildings: Located on the Gog Magog Hills two miles south of Cambridge, the Green Flag Award-winning (the best green spaces in the country) Wandlebury Country Park has been owned since 1954 by the charity Cambridge Past, Present & Future. In the 18th century Wandlebury was used to breed racehorses, including the famous Godolphin Arabian, one of the three Arabian stallions who were brought to Britain in the early 18th century by Francis Godolphin, 2nd Earl of Godolphin. This horse, called the Godolphin Barb, founded the bloodlines of all modern Thoroughbreds. Lord Godolphin built a grand racing lodge (demolished) that was 12 bays long and two stories high as the showplace of horse racing. The very large 17th and 18th century Grade II-listed stableblock is extant and features an impressive octagonal domed clocktower. The grave of the Godolphin Barb, who died in 1753, can be seen today under the archway of the stableblock, which was restored and converted into residential housing by Cambridge Past, Present & Future in the 1970s. Also extant is the delicate, conical-roofed Regency entrance lodge and the 1,640-foot-long garden. The site also includes a magnificent example of a 5th century BC Iron Age hill fort and ring ditch, which is protected as a Scheduled Ancient Monument, together with some 100 acres of mature woods and chalk grassland. Also within the park is a 15th century granary, which was reconstructed on the site. Open to the public from dawn to dusk every day of the year, the park has seven miles of footpaths that are used by 100,000 visitors each year. (We are grateful to Cambridge Past, Present & Future for contributing to this history of the gardens and park at Wandlebury).

  • Architect: Unknown (designed by an unknown architect)

    Date: Regency
    Designed: Entrance lodge

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  • 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. 137, 1855.

  • 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
    Reference: pg. 15
    Publisher: London: Burke's Peerage
    ISBN: 0850110351
    Book Type: Hardback

  • House Listed: Demolished

    Park Listed: Not Listed

  • Past Seat / Home of: Francis Godolphin, 2nd Earl of Godolphin, 18th century. Sir Harold Grey, until 1950s.

    Current Ownership Type: Preservation Organization

    Primary Current Ownership Use: Visitor Attraction

    Ownership Details: Since 1954 the park, stables, and other outbuildings have been owned by Cambridge Preservation Society, today Cambridge Past, Present & Future.

  • House Open to Public: Yes

    Phone: 01223-243-830

    Website: http://www.cambridgeppf.org

    Historic Houses Member: No