Of special interest to American visitors, Sulgrave Manor was the home of George Washington’s ancestors. Today it presents a typical wealthy man’s home and gardens of the Elizabethan age.
The house was built about 1560 by Lawrence Washington but was sold by his grandson, Lawrence, to his cousin Lawrence Makepeace who took up residence in the house in 1626. In 1656, John Washington, grandson of the Lawrence who sold the house, emigrated to Virginia. There, in 1732, his great-grandson, George, was born and the rest, as they say, is history.
The house remained in private hands until 1914 when, as part of the celebration of 100 years of peace between the United States and the United Kingdom, a sum of £12,000 was raised from British subscribers for the purchase and restoration of Sulgrave Manor. After the First World War a further sum was raised from British and American subscribers, thus allowing a beginning to the refurbishment of the house, which was opened to the public in 1921. Then, in 1924, the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America raised a sum of $112,000 to endow the Manor in perpetuity.
Sulgrave Manor is a charming house, furnished in contemporary 17th century style and presented extremely well by a dedicated team of guides.