Steeped In History Since 1767

 

1767

The lands came into the possession of King George III and were later developed by Lord John Scott, 2nd son of the 4th Duke of Buccleuch.

1804

The estate was acquired by the Oxford Union Canal Navigation Company for £700, who arranged the building of a fine red brick mansion, known as Dunchurch Lodge.

1805

Richard Tawney, a proprietor of the Oxford Union Canal Navigation Company, moved into the Lodge and lived there until his death in 1832.

1834

Oxford Union Canal Navigation Company leased out the Lodge to Colonel John Rochford.

1851

William Keach a gentleman farmer of Dunchurch, moved in with his family and servants.

1861

Thomas Hazlehurst occupied the Lodge with his wife and servants.

1868

The estate was acquired by Alfred Hyde Harrison who converted the house into a preparatory school for the sons’ of gentlemen. John Robert Edwards Sumner was an amateur footballer and teacher at the school who, in later life played in the FA Cup against Wanderers FC.

1882

The preparatory school prospered and grew until it was moved to Dunchurch Hall in the village.

1883

Extensive repairs to house and outbuildings were completed for the arrival of Walter Sandilands, 12th Lord Torpichen of Scotland and his wife. His two sons were later born at Dunchurch Lodge.

1890

£4000 was spent on refurbishment in November before sub letting to honourable Douglas Leigh for the hunting season. Disaster struck in December when a fire broke out in the Lodge. The location of the house made it extremely difficult for the fire fighters and volunteers to extinguish the fire, so by the time the fire was out only the East Wing remained. The exact cause of the fire is unknown although it is rumoured to have begun in the servant’s quarters.

1903

John Lancaster commissioned Gilbert Fraser a reputable architect to design a new mansion house for the site. It incorporated the old East Wing where there have been several sightings of a female ghost.

1908

The building of the new mansion house and three lodges for estate workers was complete. A landscape architect, Thomas Mawson was commissioned to design a garden with pleasant grounds to enhance the house.

Thomas Mawson has become one of the most successful landscape gardeners of the Victorian era. The gardens surrounding the Lodge remain today and have been Grade II* listed.

1920

The Cayzer family bought the estate and stayed there until Major Harold Stanley Cayzer, the High Sheriff of Warwickshire died in 1948.

1950

The estate was purchased by The English Electric Company, which later became GEC Marconi and utilised the house as a training college for its apprentices. Famous attendees include Iain Duncan Smith the Conservative MP.

2001

In January, Rugby Borough Council listed the lodge and grounds Grade II*

Dunchurch Lodge is the outstanding centrepiece of a major estate, designed by Gilbert Fraser with his long-time collaborator, Thomas Mawson, the celebrated landscape architect. This is one of their most complete surviving ensembles.

2001

Bought by first! Venues and transformed into a conference centre.

2003

Signature Hotel Group developed the centre further by adding additional function rooms and bedrooms.

2004

Dunchurch Park Hotel held its first wedding, which paved the way for the hotel to become one of the most popular, premier wedding venues in Warwickshire.

2004

The Draycote Suite, Bar 1823 and a decked area within the beautiful Victorian gardens were completed.

2005

A marquee was erected within the rose garden for weddings, meetings and functions.

2015

A full refurbishment program on the original manor house and public areas was completed.

2016

Refurbishment of the bedrooms, gymnasium, Garden Rooms and meeting rooms commenced.