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Highgrove House is the country home of HRH The Prince of Wales, in Gloucestershiremarker, Englandmarker. Situated at Doughton, near Tetburymarker, Highgrove House was purchased in 1980 by the Duchy of Cornwall. The Duchy also manages the estate surrounding the house.

Built in 1796 to 1798 by John Paul Paul (a Huguenot), and believed to have been designed by architect Anthony Keck, it belonged to Paul's descendants until 1860. In 1850 his grand daughter Mary Elizabeth Paul died after her gown caught fire during a soiree held for her brother in the ballroom. The house was sold again in 1864 to a lawyer, William Yatman. It was restored in 1894 by new owners after another fire gutted the interior and damaged the west fa├žade, where a window collapsed onto the terrace, bringing down the wall above. It has four reception rooms, nine main bedrooms, a nursery wing and staff quarters. The Duchy of Cornwall acquired Highgrove House from the MP Maurice Macmillan, son of former Tory Prime Minister Harold Macmillan in 1980. The purchase added to the nation's speculation that the Prince was considering marriage.

The house was redecorated by Dudley Poplak, the interior decorator who also worked on the Prince and Princess of Wales's apartment at Kensington Palacemarker, and the royal couple moved into Highgrove for a weekend house in the autumn of 1981. In 1988, the plain exterior of the house was embellished with new balustrade, pediment, and classical pilasters to the Prince of Wales's own design. A new single-storey staff annexe was also added. The family spent weekdays at Kensington Palace and weekends at Highgrove, where Prince William and Prince Harry's ponies were kept.

A keen gardener, the Prince of Wales has devoted much time to planning and designing the gardens. He has created a wild garden, a formal garden and a walled kitchen garden. He has also planted a large number of trees in the grounds, and holds the NCCPG national beech collection. He placed a bust of Dr Alan McGlashan, MC, in the garden.

The current post of Head Gardener has been assigned to Debs Goodenough, who in July 2008 replaced former Head Gardener David Howard.

The Highgrove Estate consists of parkland fringed by woods surrounding Highgrove House, a number of farm buildings and around 900 acres (364ha) of land farmed by the Duchy of Cornwall - the Home Farm. The beef herd based at Highgrove includes pedigree Aberdeen-Angus females and yearlings, Angusmarker bulls and Angus cross Friesian cows. Sharing the permanent pasture with the beef herd is the flock of Masham and Mule sheep.

In 1985, the decision was taken to introduce organic farming on three blocks of land as part of a general move to what has been called biologically sustainable farming linked to conservation. The step to full organic status on the whole estate was completed in 1996.

Further reading

  • Architecture of England, Scotland, and Wales: Reference Guides to National Architecture - Nigel R. Jones, 2005
  • Highgrove: An Experiment in Organic Gardening and Farming. HRH Charles, Prince of Wales with Charles Clover, environment editor for The Daily Telegraph. Photography by Andrew Lawson. 1993, New York Citymarker: Simon & Schuster. Hardcover: ISBN 0-671-79177-X.
  • The Garden at Highgrove. HRH Charles, Prince of Wales with Candida Lycett Green. Photography by Andrew Lawson and Christopher Simon Sykes. 2001, London: Cassell & Co. Paperback: ISBN 1-841-88142-2.


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