The Sunningdale Park story

Close to the north tip of the park stands a magnificent Grade II listed neo-Georgian mansion called Northcote House. Built by Rowland Paul of Cheltenham, it stands on a plateau above the parkland and offers staggering views over Coworth Park and the hills, with Windsor Great Park lying beyond.

The history of this place dates to the 18th Century. The original house was built in 1785 as a private home, designed by James Wyatt.

The first known owner of Sunningdale Park was James William Steuart (c.1770-1842), great-grandson of General William Steuart (1643-1726), from whom the family’s wealth can be traced.

Following a few different owners, the site was purchased in 1931 by Sir Hugo Cunliffe-Owen who replaced the original mansion with the current Grade II listed neo-Georgian mansion. After he died, Sunningdale Park was sold to the Crown in 1947.

From 1975 until its closure in March 2012, Sunningdale housed the National School of Government. Subsequently it was temporarily occupied by the College of Policing, then managed by De Vere Venues as a whole site under a PFI contract providing conference, meeting and events facilities.

In depth: a history of Sunningdale Park

What connects a clergyman, a tobacco magnate and a Shetland pony ride up the stairs? Our historical blog post has the answers.