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A slice of Windsor history: Beaumont Estate Hotel

From the beginnings of democracy, to royalty, to education, the majestic Beaumont Estate hotel enjoys a rich and fascinating history. Its 40 acres of stunning parkland house an 18th century Chapel, a beautiful executive wing – The White House – along with 414 stylish bedrooms and 75 conference, training, wedding and event spaces that have been beautifully restored.

It’s no surprise that such an opulent property has an equally opulent past. In fact, there are many facts about the Beaumont Estate that may surprise you.

For example – did you know?
• The swimming pool at the Beaumont Estate was the first heated indoor swimming pool to be built in England
• Beaumont Estate was once a school where Coco Chanel’s nephew was a pupil. It’s said that the school blazer was the inspiration for the 1924 Chanel Suit
• The first motorist in England was the Hon Evelyn Ellis, who in 1885 drove a car from his home to Beaumont
• The Chapel is said to be inspiration for the chapel in English writer Evelyn Waugh’s ‘Brideshead Revisited.’ The current window is a replacement as the original was destroyed by a doodlebug which landed on the school during the 2nd World War

From the signing of the Magna Carta, one of the most famous documents in the world, to royal connections to the Catholic Eton, to the stunning hotel it is today, let’s discover the journey of Beaumont Estate through the ages.

The Early Years in Windsor...

Following Hugo de Remenham, the estate (which was over 91 acres at the time) was then owned for a period by the Tyle family, and subsequently by John Morley, Francis Kibblewhite, and William Christmas.

It then was acquired by Henry Frederick Tynne who had architect James Gibbs – one of Britain’s most influential architects – re-design the house in 1705 and named it Bowman’s Lodge.

By 1714 Thomas Tynne, 2nd Viscount Weymouth inherited the property and by the mid- eighteenth century it was acquired by Sophia, Duchess of Kent. In 1751 The Duke of Roxburghe purchased the estate for his son – Marquis of Beaumont (then a boy a Eton College) who renamed it Beaumont Lodge.

In 1786 Warren Hastings, the first Govenor-General of India (Beaumont’s most celebrated tenant), acquired Beaumont Lodge at the cost of £12,000. In 1789 the estate was sold to Henry Griffith (which then still included the Bells of Ousley), who had Henry Emlyn rebuild the house in 1790 as a nine-bay mansion complete with extensive improvements.

The 19th Century & Beyond: Beaumont as St. Stanislaus College

In 1805 the Beaumont property was bought for about £14,000 by Viscount Ashbrook, a friend of George IV.

After his death in 1847, his widow disposed of The Bells of Ousley but continued to reside there until 1854, when she sold it to the Society of Jesus as a training college.
For 7 years it housed Jesuit novices of the (then) English province and on 10th October 1861 it became a Catholic boarding school for boys with the title of St. Stanislaus College, Beaumont, widely known as the ‘Catholic Eton.’

Famous visitors included Queen Victoria, who is known to have visited Beaumont 3 times during the time in which it was a school.

In 1870 a chapel was built by renowned architect Joseph Hansom with a barrel-vaulted ceiling. It was carefully painted in 1902 by William Romaine-Walker who described his style as ‘The Grandchild of the Pompeian.’

The school enjoyed a fine reputation – until 1967 – when the order rejoined the faculty and moved to Stoneyhurst in Lancashire. In the gardens are poignant reminders of the school such as a memorial erected in remembrance of the old boys who lost their lives in the two world wars.

Her Majesty the Queen planted a tree close to the memorial on 15th May 1961 to commemorate Beaumont College’s centenary.

Beaumont Estate Today...

Once the school closed, Beaumont Estate was purchased by British computer company ICL who used it as their training centre. In 2003, Hayley Conference Centres bought the venue and developed it into an upscale conference venue. The original and iconic White House in the grounds and the Chapel were left untouched and under-utilized, until Principal Hayley Hotels acquired Beaumont House in 2007.

In June 2008, Beaumont Estate embarked on an ambitious refurbishment programme to completely renovate The White House and restore the Chapel. Just 5 months and £8.1million later, the beautiful and exclusive White House opened and the magnificent Chapel was unveiled.

The entire estate continues to be operated as a sought-after conference and event hotel that many have come to love today.

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