The house and estate
The house has four reception rooms, seven principal bedrooms, and six bathrooms. It is a 40-room Grade II eighteenth century manor house, with origins dating to 1586. The estate now comprises 2,500 acres (10 km2) farmed by the present Duke of Gloucester.
The estate also includes the ruined Barnwell Castle, built c.1266 by Berenger le Moyne, who sold it to Ramsey Abbey in 1276. The abbey held the castle until 1536, when it passed to the king. The Elizabethan manor house became the principal residence, and the living quarters and all internal buildings of the castle were demolished in 1704.
In 1938 Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester, the third son of King George V, bought the house and estate with the bulk of his legacy from the late king. The Duke's wife Alice was the daughter of John Montagu Douglas Scott, 7th Duke of Buccleuch, a descendant of the Montagu family.
It was announced in January 1995 that the Gloucesters would vacate the house, which costs £35,000 to £50,000 a year to maintain. It was leased for seven years to Berenger Antiques. The family retains the estate, but they now live solely in Kensington Palace, where they have an apartment.
In 2013 the High Court disallowed an application by West Coast Energy to build a wind farm close to the manor's lodge. An appeal was subsequently dismissed. The appeal gained increased media attention because Justine Thornton, wife of the Labour leader Ed Miliband, was representing the appellant. The Duke of Gloucester had supported the proposal.
- BBC "Barnwell Manor wind farm Court of Appeal case quashed", 18 February 2014. Accessed 20 August 2015
- "Ed Miliband's barrister wife fails to overturn court ruling banning wind turbines in Duke of Gloucester's garden", The Telegraph, 18 February 2014. Accessed 20 August 2015
- "Duke puts wind up the locals", Mail Online, 28 July 2011. Accessed 20 August 2015