Polesden Lacey

Prologue

 

 

 

Polesden Lacey is a yellow washed Regency villa, surrounded on all sides by beautiful gardens and standing in 600ha of downland and ancient woods. The house is situated on high ground with fine views from the south terrace across the park-like landscape. The present mansion, begun in 1821 was purchased by Captain the Honourable Ronald Greville and his wife in 1906. Sadly he died in 1908 but his wife lived at Polesden Lacey until her death in 1942. She was a famous society hostess and entertained royalty and the rich and famous at her suitably elegant and well managed estate.

The gardens around the house included formal rose gardens enclosed by yew hedges and a rockery on the south-facing hillside below the south terrace. The Long walk, which runs eastward from, the house terminates in a Doric portico, which was removed from the house. Mrs Greville bequeathed Polesden Lacey to the National Trust in 1942 as a memorial to her father, the Right Honourable William McEwan.

In addition to the house and its gardens, and an estate of 450ha, Mrs Greville left an endowment and her collection of pictures and other works of art. It was her wish that the house should become a museum and picture gallery and she wished the grounds to be open to the public.