Stratfield Saye House

Stratfield Saye House is a large stately home at Stratfield Saye in the north-east of the English county of Hampshire. It has been the home of the Dukes of Wellington since 1817.

Stratfield Saye House
Type Country house
Location Stratfield Saye
Coordinates

51°20′57″N0°59′47″W

OS grid reference SU 70018 61566
Area Hampshire
Owner Duke of Wellington
Listed Building – Grade I
Official name Stratfield Saye House
Designated 26 Apr 1957
Reference no. 1092773
Official name Stratfield Saye Park
Designated 31 May 1984
Reference no. 1000866

Location of Stratfield Saye House in Hampshire

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The line of the Roman Road the Devil’s Highway (Roman Britain) passes East to West just within the Northern boundary of the grounds of Stratfield Saye House [1]

The Manor of Stratfield Saye was created by the joining of two older manors. In the 12th century Stratfield was owned by the Stoteville family, and then early in the 13th century this passed by marriage to the Saye family.

Before 1370 the manor passed on again by marriage to the Dabridgecourts,[2] and in 1629 they sold the property to the Pitt family, cousins of the great father-and-son Prime Ministers.

The main part of the house was extensively enlarged around 1630 by Sir William Pitt, Comptroller of the Household to King James I. Sir William’s eldest son, Edward Pitt (1592-1643), MP, of Steepleton Iwerne, Dorset and later of Stratfield Saye, bought the estate for £4,800 in 1629.[3] Further extensive alterations were carried out to the house and park in the 18th century by George Pitt, 1st Baron Rivers.

The coachhouses and stable blocks at Stratfield Saye House.

The estate was purchased by the state in 1817, in order that it could be given by a grateful nation to the victorious Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington. The government gave £600,000 for the construction of a proposed “Waterloo Palace” to rival Blenheim Palace, home of the Dukes of Marlborough. The Hampshire site Wellington chose was the 5,000-acre (20 km2) estate of Stratfield Saye, home of the Pitt family. He was advised on the purchase by the architect Benjamin Dean Wyatt who had once been his private secretary.[4] He originally planned to demolish the existing house, and replace it with a more prestigious home, to be known as Waterloo Palace. The Duke abandoned these plans in 1821 when they proved to be too expensive, and subsequently made numerous additions and improvements to the existing building. All but the 1st and 6th Dukes are buried at Stratfield Saye House.

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