Cumberland Lodge is a 17th-century Grade II listed country house in Windsor Great Park located 3.5 miles south of Windsor Castle. It is now occupied by a charitable foundation which holds residential conferences, lectures and discussions. The gardens of Cumberland Lodge are Grade I listed on the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens.
History of the building
The house was built by John Byfield, an army captain, in 1650 when Oliver Cromwell divided up and sold off lots in Windsor Great Park. The house was called Byfield House until 1670. It was then renamed New Lodge, and at times was also known as Windsor Lodge or Ranger Lodge.
Among those who have lived at the Lodge were:
- Baptist May, the first resident Ranger;
- Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough (1702–1744); John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough who died there in 1722;
- John Spencer (1744–1746);
- Prince William, Duke of Cumberland, son of King George II (1746–1765);
- Prince Henry, Duke of Cumberland and Strathearn, son of Frederick, Prince of Wales (1765–1790);
- Anne, Duchess of Cumberland and Strathearn, widow of Henry (1790–1803);
- George Spencer-Churchill, 5th Duke of Marlborough (until 1822);
- Augustus Frederick, Duke of Sussex, son of King George III (1830–1843);
- General William Wemyss of Wemyss, Scottish soldier in the British Army and Member of Parliament died at the lodge in 1852;
- Princess Helena, daughter of Queen Victoria and wife of Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein (1846–1923);
- Lord Fitzalan of Derwent, last Viceroy of Ireland (1923–1947).
During 1936 Cumberland Lodge was used for key meetings between Alexander Hardinge (the King's Private Secretary) and Stanley Baldwin (the Prime Minister), which eventually led to the abdication of Edward VIII.
Cumberland Lodge today
Today Cumberland Lodge is an educational charity. It is used for academic workshops and short residential courses by groups of students, primarily from universities. Their aim is particularly to explore connections in the following areas: International affairs, especially concerning the Commonwealth or Europe; Religion and Ethics; Education; Culture and Society; Law and Order; Media and Society.
It is not open to the general public for viewing, however there are open days, conferences and free lectures throughout the year. Various interior and exterior shots of Lodge can be seen in the film The King's Speech.
- Historic England. "Cumberland Lodge (1323664)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 7 December 2013.
- Historic England. "Cumberland Lodge (1001436)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 10 February 2016.
- "Death of Lieutenant-General Wemyss". The Morning Post. 29 November 1852. Retrieved 26 November 2015 – via British Newspaper Archive. (Subscription required (help)).
Letter from Queen Elizabeth to Queen Mary 13 November 1944, published in 'Counting One's Blessings, The Selected Letters of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother', Ed, William Shawcross, Macmillan, 2012, p374 - 375
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