History of Coworth Park
If you’ve ever wondered who our grand mansion house was built for, or who created our polo fields, you’ve come to the right place.
Take a trip back in time with us to share some of our favourite historic highlights.
Our royal connections go way back. In 1066, Edward the Confessor, the last Saxon king of England, gave the land on which the hotel now stands to Westminster Abbey. The land was later repossessed by William the Conqueror for the crown.
Coworth House with the family playing croquet on the lawn
Coworth House was built in 1776 for William Shepheard, a prosperous East India merchant. The house took its name from the surrounding hamlet of Coworth.
In the 1800s, between 1810 and 1893, the house was owned by three successive generations of the aristocratic Arbuthnot family.
The Prince and Princess of Wales, the future Edward VII and Queen Alexandra
The Prince and Princess of Wales, the future Edward VII and Queen Alexandra, stayed at Coworth Park in 1879 and 1883 when they attended the races at nearby Ascot.
Coworth Park’s Farmer’s Cottage today, named in honour of William Farmer
William Farmer, who served as Sheriff of London and High Sheriff of Berkshire, purchased the estate in 1883 and our two Farmers Cottages are named in his honour.
In 1899 Lord Stanley, who became the 17th Earl of Derby, bought the house and lived here for 50 years. He was one of the most influential men of the time and a keen horseman who won the Derby several times – the famous race is named after his ancestors. He was also the first person to introduce rhododendrons to the UK.
Hilary Weston and Galen Weston
In the 1980s Galen Weston, owner of Selfridges and Fortnum & Mason, bought the estate. It was his idea to create a polo field and village area with stables to house the polo ponies and their groomsmen.
Following a complete restoration, Coworth Park opened as a Dorchester Collection hotel in September 2010.