22 June 2017
Set in the beautiful surroundings of 50 acres and parkland in Egham
Great Fosters is a Grade One listed hotel that is simply bursting with history, which many are unaware of. It has been so much more than a hotel over the years. So, to give you an insight into the very interesting history that surrounds this amazing hotel, we have included just some of our favourite facts for you …
The earliest part of the house at Great Fosters dates from the late 16th century. It is thought to have been a royal hunting lodge in the Great Forest of Windsor.
In fact, the house was commissioned as a hunting lodge for Henry the VIII in 1550 and although was not completed prior to his death was the private residence for a number of nobles over the years.
Making the most of the ground surrounding the main building in the early 1970’s Great Fosters was home to The Woolly Monkey Sanctuary in its gardens.
Passing through the years the hotel has been owned by a number of nobility including a succession of famous judges in the 17th century; Judge Doderidge and Chief Justice Robert Foster.
In 1715, Sir Charles Orby lived at Great Fosters before the house was purchased by Queen Alexandra’s lady in waiting, The Baroness Halkett. If in any doubt of past owners of Great Fosters, you just need to look at the names of the bedrooms within the Main House which bear their names.
Some would say that Great Fosters is a little crazy, as in 1818, a gentleman called Dr Furnivall who was one of the modern thinkers that mental illness was not solely related to physical illness. Great Fosters thus became a lunatic asylum. It is believed, although not confirmed by Windsor Castle records, that Great Fosters was where King George III was housed when he was being treated for his insanity.
In 1930, Sir Harold Sutcliffe bought Great Fosters, and with careful restoration and additions; this noble house became a hotel. It is interesting to note that the Sutcliffe family have owned the hotel for longer than any other family in its history, and are most concerned that the hotel should remain within the family for many years to come.
The iconic Charlie Chaplin stayed frequently after the war with his family. A hidden stair in the Tapestry room, and a trap door in the Nursery Suite cupboard above, was much used by him to say ‘goodnight’ to his children.
With all this history in mind, we definitely think that Great Fosters is worth a visit! The Afternoon Tea is simply amazing, and the award winning Michelin Star Tudor Room is certainly worthy of a visit!
The hotel is hosting some exciting events over the coming months, so if you are looking for something to do, perhaps pay a visit to one of these up and coming events at Great Fosters:
Dog Point Vineyard BBQ Lunch – Sunday 9th July
Dog Point focuses on just four wines all of which are low cropped, handpicked, estate grown fruit. The company’s philosophy is to make regionally distinctive wines with a point of difference. The forthcoming lunch give the opportunity to taste some of these wines with an accompanying BBQ in the gardens of the hotel – a great date for the summer diary.
Meet the Bees – Friday 14th July & Thursday 27th July
Join Great Fosters for a tour of the gardens with Head Gardener, Russell Dixon followed by a guided visit to the bee hives, with their resident Bee Keeper. A pre-lunch glass of champagne, por chilled Hiver Honey Ale or Beer will be served afterwards, followed by lunch in the Estate Grill.
Wedding Inspiration Lunch – Friday 8th September
Keen to find out what is hot and what’s not in the world of wedding styling or just need some ideas & inspiration?
Join Rebecca, from Lilys Flowers, for a talk about styling your special day, with do’s and don’ts, current trends, and lots of advice gained from years of working in the wedding industry – Brides won’t fail to glean plenty of ideas. After a glass of champagne lunch will be served. Should this have a comma after Champagne. Champagne needs to be capitalised.
For any enquires to host your event at Great Fosters, please contact their very helpful Events Team: