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Goodwood House

Known for its racing and its motors, an ancient estate with an aristocratic mansion at its heart.

Chichester, West Sussex, PO18 0PX

Goodwood House in West Sussex

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History

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The first Duke of Richmond, illegitimate son of Charles II by his French mistress, Louise de Kérouaille, originally rented Goodwood to enjoy the foxhunting with the nearby Charlton Hunt, then the most fashionable hunt in the country

In 1697 he bought the house, built in 1616-17 by the 9th Earl of Northumberland – known as the ‘Wizard Earl’ – whose main home was at Petworth. There is evidence that a house had existed at Goodwood as early as 1570. Colen Campbell’s floorplan of 1724 shows the small Jacobean house with gabled ends and, later, sash windows which must have been added by the first or second Duke.

Visit the house's website
for the latest information.
Goodwood House is a beautiful historic house next to the famous racecourse

The second Duke of Richmond employed Matthew Brettingham to enlarge the house to the south, with a pedimented front based on William Kent’s Devonshire House in Piccadilly. This was unfinished when the Duke died in 1750 so it was left to Sir William Chambers to complete the interiors. His son, the third Duke of Richmond, employed a young James Wyatt to remodel and extend the north wing (now mainly demolished) in 1771. This included the Tapestry Drawing Room which was decorated in 1776-7.

In 1791, the family’s main seat, Richmond House in Whitehall, London, burnt down. Much of the great art collection was saved and James Wyatt added two great wings to showcase it, taking advantage of the sweeping views across the park. To give unity to the two new wings and Brettingham’s south wing, Wyatt added copper-domed turrets framing each façade.

When the third Duke died in 1806 he left massive debts, so the wing containing the Ballroom was only completed in 1836, when the fifth Duke of Richmond inherited the Scottish properties of his maternal uncle, the last Duke of Gordon.

When the tenth Duke and Duchess of Richmond moved into the house in the late 1960s, the north wing was riddled with dry rot. The decision was taken to demolish the wing but preserve the Tapestry Drawing Room. During this period, the external colonnade and modern kitchens were added to the rear of the house. In 1994 the Duke’s son and daughter-in-law, the eleventh Duke and Duchess of Richmond, moved into the house and completed an extensive refurbishment programme, restoring the rooms to their original Georgian glory.