Frogmore House


Frogmore House

Frogmore House is a 17th century country house standing at the centre of the Frogmore Estate, amongst beautiful gardens, about a kilometre south of Windsor Castle in the Home Park at Windsor in the English county of Berkshire. It is a Grade I listed building.

Early tenants

The original house on the site was a farmhouse known as Gwynn's Farm and then Frogmore Farm. It was rented from the Crown by the Gwynn family, followed by their heirs, the Aldworths. The present Frogmore House was built in 1680–1684 for Anne Aldworth and her husband, Thomas May, a Tory politician from Sussex, by Charles II's architect and Thomas' uncle, Hugh May. The Aldworths continued there for some years before removing themselves to the adjoining house of Little Frogmore. Frogmore House became known as Great Frogmore and had many tenants, including George FitzRoy, Duke of Northumberland and Edward Walpole, father of the Duchess of Gloucester.

Royal residents

In 1790, Queen Charlotte, wanting a country retreat for herself and her unmarried daughters, purchased the lease on Little Frogmore. Two years later, she took on Great Frogmore instead and the smaller dwelling was demolished. James Wyatt was employed to enlarge and modernise Frogmore House. On her death in 1818, Frogmore House passed to her eldest unmarried daughter, Princess Augusta. After the Princess's death in 1840 Queen Victoria gave it to her mother, the Duchess of Kent. The Duchess died there in 1861.

From 1866 to 1873, the house was home to Princess Helena, third daughter of Queen Victoria, and her husband Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein. Since then the Royal Family have used the home intermittently. In 1900 the future Earl Mountbatten of Burma was born there. From 1902 to 1910 the future King George V and Queen Mary were frequent residents. From 1925 until her death in 1953 Queen Mary collected and arranged in the house souvenirs of the Royal Family, making it a sort of private museum.

The house

During the 1980s the house underwent extensive restoration, revealing the lost early 18th century wall paintings by Louis Laguerre. In 1988, it was planned that the newly married Duke and Duchess of York would move into Frogmore House, but they decided against doing so. The house was opened to the public in 1990. It is open for the late Bank Holiday weekend in May and August plus group tours during August to the end of September each year.

Frogmore House has 18 bedrooms, and a number of rooms retain 18th and 19th century decoration. These include the Duchess of Kent's sitting room, Mary Moser's Room, Cross Gallery, and a dining room by Wyatt.

In the 33 acre gardens, which are open when the house is, are the Royal Mausoleum (burial place of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert) and the Duchess of Kent's Mausoleum, together with a 'Gothic Ruin', and 'Queen Victoria's Tea House'.

External links

* [http://www.royal.gov.uk/output/page579.asp Official Website of the British Monarchy: Royal Residences: Frogmore] — includes opening dates.
* [http://www.thamesweb.co.uk/windsor/frogmore/frogmore.html Royal Windsor Website: Frogmore House, Gardens & Mausoleum] .
* [http://www.berkshirehistory.com/castles/frogmore_house.html Royal Berkshire History: Frogmore House]
* [http://www.presscom.co.uk/frogmore1.html Frogmore Lodge press]


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