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Windlesham Moor, Surrey, England

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Windlesham Moor, Surrey, England

Shown right - painting of the house and gardens circa 1934, attributed to Winston Churchill, was discovered and auctioned in September 2008.

Windlesham Moor is a country house and, for a time in the 20th century a royal residence, at Windlesham in the English county of Surrey.

History

Mr Philip Hill bought the Victorian home and grounds in a state of disrepair in 1942 for £40,000 (equivalent to £1,660,000 in 2015). Later the Royal Family bought the renovated Sunninghill Park house and park from Hill. He renovated the house in 1944. It was rented furnished from his widow, Mrs. Warwick Bryant, for The Princess Elizabeth, Duchess of Edinburgh and The Duke of Edinburgh between 1947 and 4 July 1949.

The house has by design four reception rooms including a reception hall, dining room, a 50-foot (15 m) drawing room, and a Chinese room. Other room names during the royal tenure included a study, games room, and loggia and five main bedrooms. The nursery comprised two guest rooms joined.

The house bore with it 58 acres (0.23 km2), largely of light woodland in the acidic heath of Surrey Heath on the elevated Bagshot Formation (Bagshot sands).

Neighbours

To the north and west is (in Berkshire) part of Swinley Forest lying in the Crown Estate, separated by the Ascot to Guildford Line from its heart. To the south is Erl Wood Manor European research laboratory established in 1967 for Eli Lilly and Company, a USA-based pharmaceutical company. To the south-west corner across the minor train line is a private racecourse and to the east are smallholdings and gardens of detached homes such as Windlesham Hill Farm which is divided into three. A 21st century care home has been established on part of the former farm.

Present

The current owner is Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum who has invested in vast renovation and extensions, the addition of a large security gatehouse in 2002 and the inclusion of two homes into the estate, "Winklands" and "Rose Cottage". The house is enjoyed throughout the summer months (July to September) by its current owner, his family, and other Arab dignitaries and occasionally by the Sheikh's invitees during the remainder of the year. The property is maintained all year round by a team of property managers, gardeners and security personnel.