rosemary verey

Official British Royal Residences: Highgrove House

Highgrove House is the country home of Prince Charles, in Gloucestershire, England. Situated at Doughton, southwest of Tetbury, Highgrove House was purchased in 1980 by the Duchy of Cornwall. The Duchy also manages the estate surrounding the house.

The Crawley-Boevey Baronetcy (originally Barrow Baronetcy), termed “of Highgrove in the County of Gloucester”, was created on 22 January 1784. The family had inherited Flaxley Abbey in 1727, which was their seat until 1960. Highgrove House was built in 1796 to 1798 by John Paul Paul, and believed to have been designed by architect Anthony Keck. The estate itself came to the family through the marriage in 1771 of Josiah Paul Tippetts later Paul (his mother’s family name, which he adopted under the terms of the will of his uncle, her brother) with Mary Clark, whose father Robert was the local squire. It belonged to Paul’s descendants until 1860. In 1850 his grand daughter Mary Elizabeth Paul died after her gown caught fire during a soiree held for her brother in the ballroom. The house was sold again in 1864 to a lawyer, William Yatman. During his time at Highgrove Yatman was described as one of the “chief preservers of foxes” in an 1872 discussion on the Duke of Beaufort's hounds. It was restored in 1894 by new owners after another fire gutted the interior and damaged the west façade, where a window collapsed onto the terrace, bringing down the wall above. It has four reception rooms, nine main bedrooms, a nursery wing and staff quarters. The Duchy of Cornwall acquired Highgrove House from the MP Maurice Macmillan, son of former Tory Prime Minister Harold Macmillan in 1980.

The Prince and Princess of Wales moved into Highgrove in the autumn of 1981, using it as a weekend house. In 1988, the plain exterior of the house was embellished with new balustrade, pediment, and classical pilasters to the Prince of Wales’s own design. A new single-storey staff annexe was also added. The family spent weekdays at Kensington Palace and weekends at Highgrove, where Prince William and Prince Harry’s ponies were kept.

A keen gardener, the Prince of Wales has devoted much time to planning and designing the gardens. He has created a wild garden, a formal garden and a walled kitchen garden. He has also planted a large number of trees in the grounds, and holds the NCCPG national beech collection. He placed a bust of Dr Alan McGlashan, MC, in the garden.

In 1980 the Prince of Wales was especially drawn to the 200-year old Highgrove Cedar of Lebanon to the west of the house. After the diseased tree had to be felled in 2007 for safety reasons, a new oak pavilion with church-like spire was constructed over the base of the tree. The organic design by Mark Hoare has a rustic cruck frame on Cotswold staddle stones.

Charles was initially assisited in his creation of Highgrove’s gardens by Miriam Rothschild. He was further assisted by Lady Sailsbury, who had restored the gardens of Hatfield House, and Rosemary Verey.

The Highgrove Estate consists of parkland fringed by woods surrounding Highgrove House, a number of farm buildings and around 900 acres (364ha) of land farmed by the Duchy of Cornwall – the Home Farm. The beef herd based at Highgrove includes pedigree Aberdeen-Angus females and yearlings, Angus bulls and Angus cross Friesian cows. Sharing the permanent pasture with the beef herd is the flock of Masham and Mule sheep. The estate backs onto the grounds of Westonbirt Arboretum.

In 1985, organic farming was introduced on three blocks of land as part of a move to what has been called biologically sustainable farming linked to conservation. The step to full organic status on the whole estate was completed in 1996.

(Source: Wikipedia)