The history of Clumber Park

Birdseye view of Clumber House

A visit to Clumber today provides you with only a glimpse into the past of what once was a grand house.

Follow in the footsteps of Dukes

Clumber Park was home to the Dukes of Newcastle for over three centuries and was once part of the famous Sherwood Forest until the Duke of Newcastle enclosed the estate as a hunting park for Queen Anne in 1707.

Although there is no longer a house in the park there are many clues of its grand past to explore. The old house and estate has endured many changes over the last three centuries, visit our Discovery Centre to find out the full story and piece together how it once may have looked.

The history of the Chapel

The Chapel is a masterpiece of Gothic Revival architecture, designed by G.F Bodley (1827-1902) and considered one of the finest examples of his work.
Commissioned by the 7th Duke of Newcastle, construction began on the Chapel in 1886. The main structure took three years to complete with the Opening Ceremony taking place on 22 October 1889.
Much of the interior was designed by Watt’s & Co - a company set up by Bodley, Garner and Scott to rival that of William Morris.

Get closer

Later additions - such as the gilded stone statuary in the nave - were added by J.N. Comper (1864-1960) and the Rev. E. Geldart (1848-1929), some of whose work can be seen in the choir stalls.
C.E Kempe (1837-1907), a leading light in stained glass maker and closely associated with the Pre-Raphaelite movement, was responsible for the majority of the windows in the Chapel.
Come along and see for yourself, or take a behind-the-scenes tour between June and August.

Did you know?

  • the Serpentine Lake took 15 years to build
  • Clumber was once a sporting estate in the 18th Century
  • the house was largely destroyed by fire in 1879 and rebuilt
  • the 7th Duke, who was crippled as an infant, built the chapel
  • the house was demolished in 1938
  • We purchased the Park with the aid of donations in 1946
  • there were upwards of 30 gardeners employed on the Estate