History of Coworth Park
Coworth Park House is a handsome Georgian building dating back to 1776. Throughout the 1800’s the estate has passed through the hands of a number of owners. It is perhaps best known as the home of the 17th Earl of Lord Derby who bought it in 1899 and lived there for almost 50 years until his death in 1948. His love of racing led to three winners of the Derby, named after the 12th Earl, and six of the St Leger. However an association with equestrianism began even before he bought the estate; the Prince and Princess of Wales, the future King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra stayed there in 1879 and 1883 to enjoy the racing at nearby Ascot.
After Lady Derby’s death in 1957, the house was converted first into a convent school and later into offices. In the mid 1980’s Selfridges and Fortnum & Mason founder, Galen Weston took over ownership and developed its first polo field. In 2001 it was taken over by Dorchester Collection who have painstakingly recreated the Georgian Manor House and picturesque grounds to create a truly stunning Country House Hotel and Spa.
Timeline history of Coworth Park
1776 – William Shepheard constructed Coworth House.
1810 – Shepheard died and Coworth House passed to his son, William who some 25 years later sold the house to George Arbuthnot, a Scottish colonel.
1841 – George Arbuthnot shared the house with the family of his nephew and son-in-law, John Alves Arbuthnot.
1875 – John Arbuthnot inherited Coworth House from his uncle.
1875 – John Arbuthnot died aged seventy-three leaving Coworth House to his daughters and then to his eldest son, William Arbuthnot.
1883 – William Arbuthnot sold Coworth House to William Farmer, Sheriff of London 1890-1891, High Sheriff of Berkshire in 1895 and Master of the Gardeners’ Company in 1898.
1899 – Coworth House was sold to Edward George Villers Stanley who in 1908 succeeded his father as 17th Earl of Derby.
1948 – Lord Derby passed away and Coworth House became the home of his widow, Alice Stanley, Countess of Derby.
1957 – Lady Derby died aged ninety-four. Coworth House was advertised for sale in The Times and converted into a Roman Catholic convent school. The entrepreneur Harold Bamberg later converted the house to multi-occupation use as offices.
Mid 1980s – Coworth House was purchased by Selfridges and Fortnum & Mason founder, Galen Weston.
2008 – Work started on renovating the main Georgian manor house and creating a luxury country house hotel estate and spa.
2010 – Coworth Park opened as Dorchester Collection’s 8th property on the 25th September 2010.