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Danesfield House Hotel & Spa

Henley Road, Medmenham, MARLOW, Buckinghamshire SL7 2EY
Tel: 01628 891010
Please note the venue will not be able to help with bookings for our events.

Click here to see a map for the Danesfield House Hotel & Spa
Exterior
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Set within 65 acres of magnificent estate grounds, high in the beautiful Chiltern Hills, this stunning 4-star hotel offers luxury and elegance, with stunning views overlooking the River Thames.

Danesfield House Hotel and Spa is a picturesque country house hotel, located between the attractive English towns of Marlow and Henley-on-Thames. Built in the Victorian era, the hotel was originally a country mansion house before its conversion in 1991 into the magnificent luxury hotel it is today.

With a Michelin-starred restaurant, award-winning spa, beautiful grounds and glorious views overlooking the River Thames, Danesfield House Hotel is the perfect way to spoil yourself on a weekend away.
Set within 65 acres of magnificent estate grounds, high in the beautiful Chiltern Hills, this stunning 4-star hotel offers luxury and elegance, with stunning views overlooking the River Thames.

Danesfield House Hotel and Spa is a picturesque country house hotel, located between the attractive English towns of Marlow and Henley-on-Thames. Built in the Victorian era, the hotel was originally a country mansion house before its conversion in 1991 into the magnificent luxury hotel it is today.

With a Michelin-starred restaurant, award-winning spa, beautiful grounds and glorious views overlooking the River Thames, Danesfield House Hotel is the perfect way to spoil yourself on a weekend away.
Danesfield House, as it stands today, is the third property to have been built within this glorious setting, amidst 65 acres of formal gardens with outstanding views over the River Thames and to the Chiltern Hills beyond.

4,000 years ago, the site was reputed to have been a resting place of nomadic tribes who paused to hunt nearby land and fish in the then untamed river. If you stand on the crest of the bank between the present house and the river and look west there is a steep ravine directly in front of you which is the remnant of the ramparts of a prehistoric fortification. Because of the ample game and the discovery of flint within the chalk-based cliffs, the site became a settlement throughout the ages and although not named "Danesfield" until many years later, this name originated from the fact that Danish adventurers made an encampment here.

The next recollection of the estate is the transfer of land ownership in 1664 to an Edmund Medlycott. He and his wife Margaret built what is assumed to be the first property on the site, known at that time as "Medlycotts" and they lived there with their son James for over 60 years. Little more is known about the family and their name seldom occurs in any local record.

In 1725 James Medlycott, or his executors, rented "Medlycotts" to a Mrs Morton, whose son John was to be the creator of Danesfield. He purchased the freehold of the estate in 1750, had the house completely rebuilt and named it Danesfield. John Morton was a barrister and was appointed Attorney-General to Queen Charlotte. He was a contemporary in parliament of William Pitt, as MP for Abingdon (1747-70), New Romney (1770-74) and Wigan (1775). At this time, the Danesfield estate was not as large as it is now; John Morton later purchased land surrounding the property.

After Morton's death, his widow continued to live at Danesfield for some years, but eventually sold the estate in 1787 because of financial difficulties.
The new owner was Robert Scott of Wimpole Street, London, the heir to a fortune made in the world of commerce. He rebuilt the house and erected a roomy building of the classical Georgian type, which remained standing for more than a century. Robert Scott died in 1808 and was buried at Medmenham. The property remained with his descendents - most notably his nephew Charles Robert Scott-Murray, whose conversion to the Catholic faith in 1845 saw the erection of a Roman Catholic Church at Marlow and subsequently, a domestic chapel at Danesfield. It was Charles Robert Scott-Murray who diverted the Marlow Road away from the river to its present route and constructed the footbridge over that road which can be seen today. He died in August 1882 and was buried in the founder's tomb of the church he had built at Marlow.

The estate was passed to his son, but the old home at Danesfield never recovered its former prosperity. A period of agricultural depression set in and the value of the land was on the wane. The house was let to a succession of tenants who came principally for shooting, and was eventually sold in 1897 to Mr Robert William Hudson. He had inherited his fortune from his father Robert Spear Hudson, the Victorian "Sunlight" soap magnate.

Hudson was determined to rebuild the property. Mr Romaine Walker, FRIBA, was employed to assist in the rebuilding of the property in the style of the Italian Renaissance. The house was finished with such disregard of expense that it became an architectural show place. The re-building started in 1899 and was completed in 1901 and this is the Danesfield House that stands today, faced with locally quarried rock-chalk and with imposing terraced gardens overlooking the river. On completion of the new mansion, the old house was pulled down and the chapel demolished. Robert Hudson's work was scarcely completed when he decided to sell the whole of his Medmenham possessions.

The property was then owned for a short time by a property speculator, Mr Hossack, who passed it on a couple of years later to Mrs Arthur Hornby Lewis, who made many changes to the interior of the building and the layout of the gardens. Mrs Hornby Lewis was very attached to Danesfield; it was her wish to be buried in the grounds and when she died in 1930 this wish was observed. However, when her trustees found it difficult to dispose of the estate with the deceased owner still resident, permission was sought to transfer the coffin to Hambleden cemetery in 1938.

The settled property of Mrs Hornby Lewis was left to a grand niece, Elizabeth Whitelaw (then a school girl of about sixteen), when she attained her twenty-fifth birthday. A period of financial depression led the trustees to seek permission to sell the estate. It passed to Mr Stanley Garton, who made preparations to take up residence, renovating the house and improving the amenities. He had hardly settled in before war clouds began to gather. When trouble was imminent Colet Court School was evacuated from Hammersmith to Danesfield with an influx of approximately 80 boys.

As the war proceeded Danesfield was requisitioned as a base to develop the intelligence Section of the Royal Air Force (Reconnaissance and Photography Section), Mr Garton moved to Kingswood (1941) and Colet Court School departed. Wooden structures appeared like mushrooms scattered over the landscape. An agreement to rehabilitate the property when war ceased seemed likely to cost more than the place was worth. Danesfield was therefore purchased by the Air Ministry in 1948 and was made Divisional Head Quarters for No. 90 Group (Signals). During this time the RAF residents formed a club called the Hell Fire Club (named after the notorious Hell Fire Club of Medmenham), whose members one night piled up all the tables and chairs in the grand hall and left a footprint on the ceiling!

The RAF used the "clocktower" side of the house for Officers' accommodation, with the Grand Banqueting Hall offering what must been the most luxurious Officers' Mess in the country. The Commanding Officer and his family also lived in the house, although at the opposite end to that of the Officers. Much of the house was as it is today, with the bar located in a similar position to the one the RAF residents would have utilised. However the door which offered the Commander his own personal access to the bar, no longer exists.

The property remained in the hands of the RAF until 1977 when it was sold to Carnation Foods to be used as their Corporate Headquarters.

Danesfield opened on the 1st July 1991 as a luxury Country House Hotel with a charm and character that cannot be compared. It is a property with a most unusual history and when walking around the grounds it is easy to imagine the strange events that must have taken place over the centuries.

At twilight the Grey Lady of Danesfield Park has often been seen taking a stroll. Dressed in the apparel of the Roman Sisterhood with a pale and solemn face and an old fashioned lantern in her hand, this ghostly lady walks from where Danesfield Chapel once stood, down the hill towards the school which was formerly Medmenham Gate and there she disappears!
* Tennis Court
* Spa with Indoor Swimming Pool, Jacuzzi, Steam and Sauna Rooms and treatment rooms
* The Orangery Restaurant
* The Oak Room Restaurant
* Fully equipped Technogym Gymnasium
The facilities available in each bedroom include:

* Complimentary WiFi
* Tea and Coffee making facilities
* Flat Screen TVs
* Hairdryers
* Robes
* Trouser press
* Complimentary mineral water
* Bathrobes and slippers
* L'Occitane bedroom amenities
The following attractions are all nearby:

* Windsor
* Henley-on-Thames
* Oxford
Click on a photo to enlarge it.
Exterior
Exterior
  
 
Exterior in snow
Exterior in snow
  
Grand Hall
Grand Hall
  
 
Swimming pool
Swimming pool
  
Terrace
Terrace
  
 
Double bedroom
Double bedroom
  
Executive Double bedroom
Executive Double bedroom
  
 
Junior Suite
Junior Suite
  
Twin bedroom
Twin bedroom
  

For more information about the hotel please visit their web site

Events at this venue
There are no public events currently planned at this venue, but we can arrange a private event here for 25 or more people.
 
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11 Aperdele Road, Leatherhead, Surrey KT22 7QT, England      Tel: 03300 882851      
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