Vol 13 No 11; The Master Garder's Cottage

Non-Hampton & Richmond Borough related posts.
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Things you may not know, or didn’t know you knew!

Prestbury House

The previous article dealt with King George II’s and King George III’s Master Gardeners, George Lowe (Snr) & (Jnr) who lived and worked on Hampton Court’s estate from the mid-18th Century to the early 19th Century. Responsible for laying out the gardens and planting the Great Vine.

The Lowe’s lived in what was described as a cottage, overlooking what is now Hampton Court Green, backing on to Bushy Park.

George II commissioned the building of Prestbury House, as it was called in 1743, to be the residence of the Master Gardener. The house was designed by George Lowe (Snr) himself and is no doubt named after Prestbury, in Cheshire, where the Lowes originated.

At the time Bushy Park was being enclosed which did cause some local antipathy against the royals, however in 1752 a protest by Timothy Bennett, a Cobbler, led to public access being granted in perpetuity.

The house is hardly what you would call a cottage. After 1881 it was decided that Prestbury House would become a ‘grace and favour’ residence. One of those granted use of the house was Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna of Russia (1875-1960), (the sister of Russia’s last Tsar, Nicholas II). Xenia used the house as offices and accommodation for her staff, whilst living in Wilderness House (also in Bushy Park), where she died in 1960.

A ’modest’ manor with eight bedrooms, an artist’s studio, staff kitchen, wine cellar and substantial gardens are amongst its selling points.

I use the term ‘selling points’ wisely as in 2020 it was put up for sale for a modest £6.5m, however if you are a bit short of the ‘readies’, £4,500 a WEEK rent could be negotiated.

Sadly, I have no information as to who, if anyone, purchased or rented the property. Perhaps a Lottery Winner, perhaps an Oligarch, who knows!

The Old Historian
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