Monday, 21 May 2012

White Lodge, Richmond, Surrey

White Lodge is a Georgian house situated in Richmond Park. The house was built as a hunting lodge for George II. It was later occupied by George II's daughter, Princess Amelia, who also became the Ranger of Richmond Park. She closed the entire park to the public, except to distinguished friends and those with permits, sparking public outrage. In 1758 a court case made by a local brewer against a park gatekeeper eventually overturned the Princess's order, and the park was once again opened to the public. After restoration of the house following disrepair in the late 18th century, George III gave the house to Prime Minister, Henry Addington, 1st Viscount Sidmouth, who enclosed the lodge's first private gardens in 1805. The King made himself Ranger, with Lord Sidmouth as Deputy Ranger. Among the more famous visitors to White Lodge during this period was Lord Nelson in the month before the Battle of Trafalgar. He is said to have explained his battle plan to Lord Sidmouth by drawing lines on the table with a wine-moistened finger. It is now occupied by the Royal Ballet School.

Nearest tube Richmond or Kew Gardens and a very, very long walk!

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