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Stratfield Saye House

Coordinates: 51°20′57″N 0°59′47″W / 51.34917°N 0.99639°W / 51.34917; -0.99639
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Stratfield Saye House
TypeCountry house
LocationStratfield Saye
Coordinates51°20′57″N 0°59′47″W / 51.34917°N 0.99639°W / 51.34917; -0.99639
OS grid referenceSU 70018 61566
OwnerDuke of Wellington
Listed Building – Grade I
Official nameStratfield Saye House
Designated26 Apr 1957
Reference no.1092773
Official nameStratfield Saye Park
Designated31 May 1984
Reference no.1000866
Stratfield Saye House is located in Hampshire
Stratfield Saye House
Location of Stratfield Saye House in Hampshire

Stratfield Saye House is a large stately home at Stratfield Saye in the north-east of the English county of Hampshire. It has been the home of the Dukes of Wellington since 1817.

Early history[edit]

The line of the Roman Road the Devil's Highway passes East to West just within the Northern boundary of the grounds of Stratfield Saye House [1]

The Manor of Stratfield Saye was created by the joining of two older manors. In the 12th century Stratfield was owned by the Stoteville family, and then early in the 13th century this passed by marriage to the Saye family.

Before 1370 the manor passed on again by marriage to the Dabridgecourts,[2] and in 1629 they sold the property to the Pitt family, cousins of the great father-and-son Prime Ministers.

The main part of the house was extensively enlarged around 1630 by Sir William Pitt, Comptroller of the Household to King James I. Sir William's eldest son, Edward Pitt (1592–1643), MP, of Steepleton Iwerne, Dorset, and later of Stratfield Saye, bought the estate for £4,800 in 1629.[3] Further extensive alterations were carried out to the house and park in the 18th century by George Pitt, 1st Baron Rivers.

Purchase by the state[edit]

The coachhouses and stable blocks at Stratfield Saye House.

The estate was purchased by the state in 1817, so that it could be given by a grateful nation to the victorious Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington. The government gave £600,000 for the construction of a proposed "Waterloo Palace" to rival Blenheim Palace, home of the Dukes of Marlborough.

The Hampshire site Wellington chose was the 5,000-acre (20 km2) estate of Stratfield Saye, home of the Pitt family. He was advised on the purchase by the architect Benjamin Dean Wyatt who had once been his private secretary.[4] He originally planned to demolish the existing house, and replace it with a more prestigious home, to be known as Waterloo Palace. These plans were abandoned in 1821, when they proved to be too expensive, and subsequently the duke made numerous additions and improvements to the existing building. All but the 1st and 6th Dukes are buried at Stratfield Saye House.

The Wellington Exhibition[edit]

The stables are grade II listed buildings.[5][6] They now contain the Wellington Exhibition, which depicts the life and times of the 1st Duke. It houses a large collection of military mementoes. The Duke's cast bronze funeral carriage, made from melted-down French cannons captured at the Battle of Waterloo, was moved to Stratfield Saye in the 1980s.[7]

Duke of Wellington Commemorative Column[edit]

The Wellington Memorial at the entrance to Stratfield Saye House.

The Duke of Wellington Commemorative Column stands at the entrance to Stratfield Saye on the eastern Heckfield side. The Corinthian column, which can be viewed from the A33, is topped by a bronze statue by Baron Carlo Marochetti. The column was erected in 1863.[8]

Places named after Stratfield Saye House[edit]

Strathfieldsaye, now a suburb of Bendigo in Victoria, Australia, was named after Strathfield Saye House.[9] Between 1861 and 1994, there was also a Shire of Strathfieldsaye. The name of Strathfield, now a suburb of Sydney, Australia, also comes ultimately from Strathfield Saye House.[10] The names of the suburbs of North Strathfield and Strathfield South, and the Municipality of Strathfield have the same origin.

In popular culture[edit]

Filming of the Steven Spielberg film War Horse began in August 2010 with the cavalry scenes being filmed at Stratfield Saye House, where Wellington's war horse, Copenhagen, is buried.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hampshire Field Club and Archeological Society, Papers and Proceedings. Vol.VII, Part I. Printed 1914. H.M. Gilbert and Son, 24 Above Bar, Southampton and at Winchester. Sketch Map opposite page 24
  2. ^ John Gough Nichols, The Topographer and genealogist, Volume 1 (1846), pp. 198–208 read here on Google Books
  3. ^ The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1604–1629, edited by Andrew Thrush and John P. Ferris, 2010
  4. ^ Hibbert, Christopher (2010). Wellington: A Personal History. HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0-00-740694-4. Retrieved 26 December 2011.
  5. ^ North Side
  6. ^ South Side
  7. ^ Funeral carriage
  8. ^ "Duke of Wellington Commemorative Column". Art & Architecture. The Courtauld Institute. Retrieved 4 October 2014.
  9. ^ Victorian Places – Strathfieldsaye
  10. ^ Strathfield Heritage – ORIGIN OF THE NAME ‘STRATHFIELD’
  11. ^ "Jockeys jump at the chance to help Spielberg". The Daily Telegraph. 6 September 2010. Retrieved 20 September 2010.

External links[edit]