Earlier Houses: Elements of an earlier house that was the home of James II before his accession were incorporated into the current house.
House & Family History: In 1607 there was a house here that belonged to Sir James Pemberton; in 1633 it passed to Andrew Pitcairne, groom of the chamber to Charles I; by 1636 Pitcairne also held the freehold. After his death it was sold, in 1656, to Edward Montagu, 2nd Earl of Manchester, the leader of the Puritans in the House of Lords during the Civil War. In 1661 the House passed to Henry Hyde, Lord Cornbury, the eldest son of Edward Hyde, Earl of Clarendon, the lord chancellor, and, subsequently, to his second son, Lawrence, Earl of Rochester, who lived here in the 1680s. (Their sister, Anne, was the first wife of James II and mother of Queen Mary II and Queen Anne.) The Earl of Rochester sold the House in 1689 to Sir Charles Tufton, who raised several children here between 1690 and 1710. The style of today's House is later than that of the 1630s building (when it was probably much smaller), and probably dates from the period of the Earl of Manchester's residence, with further rebuilding round about 1690-1700 by Sir Charles Tufton. In 1864 York House was sold to the Duc d'Aumale, then living at Orleans House, for his nephew, the Comte de Paris. Both the comte and the comtesse were the grandchildren of Louis Philippe, Duc d'Orleans and later king of France (Louis Philippe lived at Highshot House from 1800 until 1807, and later in Orleans House); these two were also, in turn, grandparents to King Manoel of Portugal, who later came to live at Fulwell Park. From 1877 until 1896 the resident of York House was The Hon. Mountstuart Grant-Duff, MP for Elgin, a junior minister under Gladstone and governor of Madras from 1881 until 1886. Grant-Duff was a great reader, a keen gardener, and an enthusiastic host; he indulged all these interests during his time at York House and recorded them in his meticulously kept diaries, from which 14 volumes of extracts were published. After letting the House for a year, he sold it in 1897 to the comte's son, Louis Philippe Robert, Duc d'Orleans, who had been born here in 1869. Louis Philippe Robert made many changes to York House and famously had a museum of stuffed animals on the grounds. The last private resident, Sir Ratan Tata, an Indian industrialist, came in 1906; he laid out formal Italianate gardens, noted for their over-scaled fountain. After Sir Ratan's death in 1918 his widow lived here until York House was purchased by Richmond Borough Council in 1923.
Title: London's Parks & Gardens
Author: Billington, Jill; Lousada, Sandra (Photographer)
Year Published: 2003
Reference: pg. 176
Publisher: London: Frances Lincoln Limited
Book Type: Hardback
Title: Worldwide Guide to Movie Locations, The
Author: Reeves, Tony
Year Published: 2003
Reference: pg. 21
Publisher: London: Titan Books
Book Type: Softback
House Listed: Grade II*
Park Listed: Grade II
Past Seat of: SEATED AT EARLIER HOUSE: James, Duke of York, 17th century. SEATED AT CURRENT HOUSE: Sir James Pemberton, 17th century. Andrew Pitcairne, 17th century. Edward Montagu, 2nd Earl of Manchester, 17th century. Edward Hyde, 3rd Earl of Clarendon, 17th century; Laurence Hyde, 1st Earl of Rochester, 1680s. Sir Charles Tufton, late 17th-early 18th centuries. Duc d'Aumale and Comte de Paris, mid-19th century. The Hon. Mountstuart Grant Duff, 1877-96. Louis Phillippe Robert, Duc d'Orleans, late 19th century. Sir Ratan Tata, 1906-18.
Current Ownership Type: Government
Primary Current Ownership Use: Offices
Ownership Details: Owned by the London Borough of Richmond-upon-Thames, who use the House as council offices.
House Open to Public: Grounds Only
Historic Houses Member: No