Sunninghill Park

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Sunninghill Park is a 2.69 km² country estate in the Civil parish Sunninghill and Ascot village of Cheapside in the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead , Berkshire . The property borders the southwest side of the large park of Windsor Castle .

From 1990 to 2004 it was the official residence of Andrew, Duke of York and his wife Sarah Ferguson .

Oldest mentions

Sunninghill Park was part of Windsor Park until 1630; In 1630 it was given by King Charles I as a gift to Parliamentarian Thomas Carey. Only three years later it was bought by Sir Thomas Draper, 1st Baron Baber; his great-grandson Thomas Draper Baber sold it to Jeremiah Crutchley in 1769, whose family owned it until 1940.

Sunninghill Park on an engraving by John Preston Neale 1818

The first Sunninghill Park

At the beginning of the 19th century, an existing previous building was replaced by a new building in Georgian style decorated with rich stucco . The two full storey house was expanded in the following decades with a number of extensions and conversions.

During the Second World War it served from November 1943 as the headquarters of the 9th Air Force of the United States Army Air Forces as a British base of operations in the air war .

In 1945 it was bought back from the Crown Estate and in 1947 it was rebuilt and renovated as a country residence for Crown Princess Elizabeth, now Queen Elizabeth II, and her husband Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh ; however, a devastating fire destroyed it on August 30, 1947 - three months before their wedding - except for the outer walls. In the mid-1960s, plans arose for a new building as a country residence for Princess Margaret and her family, but these were never realized.

Sunninghill Park, front view
Sunninghill Park, garden view

The new Sunninghill Park

In 1986, a 20,000 m² section, the so-called enclosed garden, was bought out of the crown property by Queen Elizabeth II as a wedding present for her son Prince Andrew and his wife Sarah.

Based on designs by Sir James Dunbar-Nasmith , Professor of Architecture at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh , a two-storey property including outbuildings with exposed brick facades was built in the following years. It offers six official rooms, 12 bedrooms and 12 bathrooms, among other things, and was the first new construction of a residence for a member of the royal family since Bagshot Park was built in 1879 for Prince Arthur , Queen Victoria's third son .

The building complex, classified as not overly successful, was often mocked in the press as Southyork Ranch - based on the TV series Dallas, which was very popular at the time and its main venue Southfork Ranch . Other sites attested the property the charm of a Tesco supermarket.

Meanwhile divorced, Prince Andrew moved to her Royal Lodge on the grounds of Windsor Park after Queen Mum's death .

Which has since vacant property Sunninghill Park made in recent years for plenty of headlines: on the one hand because of the parlous state of land and buildings, on the other as from the HM Land Registry records (Public register) it was announced that the estate in 2007 for 15 Million pounds sterling - at least 3 million over appraisal - was sold to an offshore trust in the British Virgin Islands , whose main investors include a. the controversial Kazakh billionaire Timur Kulibayev , son-in-law of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev and friend Prince Andrews. In 2009 it became known that the Bracknell Forest Borough Council would confiscate the vacant property as accommodation for the homeless. In autumn 2015, it was demolished in favor of a new building for the new owners.

Individual evidence

  1. British History online - Parishes: Sunninghill / Sunninghill Park (English)
  2. Will of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother. The Royal Household, May 17, 2002.
  3. Richard Orange: Timur Kulibayev to head $ 80bn Kazakh Sovereign wealth fund. In: The Telegraph, April 12, 2011 (English)
  4. ^ Martin Robinson: Sad decline of Fergie and Andy's love nest. In: Daily Mail of October 7, 2014 (English).
  5. Stephen Bates: From royal fairytale to crumbling eye sore; The mystery of Prince Andrew's old home. In: The Guardian, March 1, 2009 (English).
  6. Susie Boniface: Prince Andrew's 15 million former royal residence could be seized and used for the homeless. In: The Mirror, July 9, 2009 (English).
  7. Richard Spillett: Farewell to the house of York. In: Daily Mail, October 21, 2015 (English).

Web links

Coordinates: 51 ° 25 ′ 33.7 "  N , 0 ° 38 ′ 59.6"  W.