A Brief History of Castle Hill

An overview of the 17 generations of the Fortescue family custodians at Castle Hill Estate


Joining of Estates

Martin Fortescue marries Catherine Denzell - combining her estates with those of the Fortescue family, including the Castle Hill Estate


Remodelling the Mansion

Arthur Fortescue started remodelling the mansion house


Hugh Fortescue

Hugh Fortescue was responsible for the building of Castle Hill and the formal landscape as we see it today


Palladian Style

It was Hugh’s inspiration from a visit on the Grand Tour with his friends Lords Burlington and Lord Herbert that gave Castle Hill its Palladian style and name


Parkland Landscape

Hugh dies childless, so the Barony passed to his half brother Matthew. He married Anne Campbell and was responsible for the parkland landscape to the East & West of the house. He deformalised the cruciform pond to form a large lake, and a succession of small ponds and cascades.


Lord Clinton's Temple - Holwell Temple

In 1770 Matthew built a beautiful Doric temple called Lord Clinton’s Temple as a memorial to his half-brother Hugh Clinton. Sadly this temple has not fared well. Having been burnt out at the beginning of the 20th century it became a ruin. It has since been restored to its former glory and used for weddings and events (Holwell Temple)


1st Earl Fortescue

Matthew was succeeded by his son as 3rd Baron Fortescue and he was the first Earl Fortescue in 1789. Hugh married Hester Grenville, sister of Lord Grenville who was Prime Minister in 1804 seen here with her sister Catherine


2nd Earl of Fortescue

Hugh the 2nd Earl of Fortescue - he engaged Edward Blore to enlarge Castle Hill raising its roof to accommodate another floor


3rd Earl of Fortescue

Hugh the 3rd Earl of Fortescue fathered 14 children, his wife the Hon Georgina Dawson-Damer dies age 40. He was also very politically motivated


4th Earl of Fortescue

Hugh the 4th Earl of Fortescue married the Hon. Emily Ormsby-Gore. He was Lord Lieutenant of Devon and very involved with the Territorial Army


Castle Hill Burns Down

A terrible tragedy overtook Castle Hill when a huge fire broke out. Castle Hill was burnt down with the loss of life of two members of staff who were on the top floor. Lord and Lady Fortescue immediately decided to rebuild the house back to its original Palladian proportions.


Killed in Battle

Their only son Peter was killed at the battle of El Alamein. He was serving in the Royal Scots Greys. During the second World War they shared the house with St Peter’s School from Sussex which had been evacuated to Castle Hill.


Lady Margaret marries Bernard van Cutsem

Without his son as his heir, the Fortescue Earldom would pass on his death to his brother Denzil. But he chose to leave the house and the Estates to his daughter Lady Margaret. Lady Margaret married Bernard van Cutsem in 1947 and they had 2 daughters together living between Newmarket, where he was a very successful race horse trainer, and Castle Hill


Knight of the Garter

Hugh the 5th Earl married to the Hon. Margaret Beaumont. He became Knight of the Garter. At the Queen's Coronation he held the canopy over her (as seen in a Netflix episode of 'The Crown')


Lady Eleanor Marries 9th Earl of Arran

Lady Margaret's eldest daughter Eleanor married the 9th Earl of Arran and later had 2 daughters, Lady Laura and Lady Lucy Fortescue Gore. They moved to Castle Hill in 1989 to take on the running of the Estate


Storm destroys parkland

January 30th 1990, when a horrendous storm in excess of 100 miles-an-hour cut a swathe through the Estate, up-rooting anything and everything in its path. Over a year and a half they replanted the avenues, parkland copses and woods and the statues and balustrades were also restored


Lady Laura marries James Duckworth-Chad

Lady Laura marries James Duckworth-Chad and they have 4 children together


New Custodians of the Estate

Lady Laura and James Duckworth-Chad and their family move to Castle Hill and become the new custodians

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