Out and about: Polesden Lacey (Claire Messenger)
Written by Claire Messenger, International Training Programme Manager
Today I visited Polesden Lacey – an Edwardian country retreat owned and managed by the National Trust.
Both the house and gardens are magnificent, and the National Trust tells a wonderful story of the family who owned the house and the staff that worked there.
The house was owned, and gifted to the National Trust, by Dame Margaret Greville who lived at Polesden Lacey from 1906 – 1942. Through her husband, Captain Ronald ‘Ronnie’ Greville, heir to a baronetcy and a member of the Marlborough house set, the social circle around the future King Edward VII, Maggie (as she was known) hosted many parties at Polesden with guests including the Royal Family, Winston Churchill, Beverly Nichols and Queen Ena of Spain.
The house was even used by the future King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother for their honeymoon in 1923.
As a ‘party house’ and weekend retreat, Polesden Lacey, was designed to impress and visitors can enjoy 15 rooms that are currently open to the public including the gold Saloon designed by the Ritz Hotel architects Mewès and Davies. Throughout the house you find very knowledgeable and passionate volunteer guides who are happy to share stories of the house, the guests who stayed there and the staff who worked to make their visits so memorable.
Currently the National Trust are working on an exciting and ambitious Unlocking Polesden project to restore and open 10 further rooms in the house, including King Edward VII’s suite, more guest bedrooms and the servants’ bedrooms.
Just a short journey from London, on a beautiful summer day, the estate is the setting for a wonderful day out and something I would highly recommend to our ITPer’s this summer for a weekend ‘away day’.