House & Gardens

In this, the first ‘special feature’ in The Vintage Magazine, we look at the Goodwood Estate in West Sussex, including all the activities which take place on the Estate, and the world famous events such as the Festival of Speed; the Goodwood Revival Meeting, and Glorious Goodwood, a celebration of the best in horseracing.

We will also look at the everyday activities which carry on all the time at the Airfield, the Motor Racing circuit, Golf at Goodwood Club with two championship courses, The Goodwood Hotel, the Kennels Private Members Club, and at Goodwood House with its superb art collection. Goodwood, it would seem, is a great place to be!

Goodwood is, without any doubt, one of the finest agricultural and sporting Estates in the UK, and has something to offer everyone, but let us look at the history of this wonderful place, so that we can better understand its origins and influences.

History of the Estate

By anyone’s standards, King Charles II was clearly a man of exceptional energy and great passion, and managed to father at least nine illegitimate children (of which we know), by six mistresses, and of these nine children, six were created Dukes, including Charles Lennox, the first Duke of Richmond, who was the son of Charles II’s French mistress, Louise de Keroualle.

Diana, Princess of Wales, was descended from two of Charles II’s illegitimate sons; Henry Fitzroy, the 1st Duke of Grafton, and Charles Lennox, 1st Duke of Richmond. This means that Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, will become the first descendant of Charles II to occupy the British Throne.

It also explains why the Gordon-Lennox family are so well-connected, because they were, and remain, at the very heart of the British aristocracy!  Goodwood House was built in 1697 but the story goes back to a much smaller house in a nearby downland village, and back still further to the city of London.

Charles, 1st Duke of Richmond

The first Duke of Richmond had a passion for hunting which led him to search for a country retreat away from Richmond House, his town house in London.  He bought the original Jacobean house in Goodwood Park in 1697, and hunted in the nearby village of Charlton where he later used Fox Hall as his base for what had become a highly popular and fashionable hunt.

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Saturday, September 1st, 2012