This combined house and country park provides tangible evidence of the fortune of the duke of Wellington and his descendants. The complex's centerpiece is the Stratfield Saye House, the home of the dukes of Wellington since 1817, when the 17th-century house was bought for the Iron Duke to celebrate his victory over Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo. A grateful Parliament granted a large sum of money for its purchase. Many memories of the first duke remain in the house, including his billiard table, battle spoils, and pictures. The funeral carriage that once rested in St. Paul's Cathedral crypt is on display. In the gardens is the grave of Copenhagen, the charger ridden to battle at Waterloo by the first duke. There are also extensive landscaped grounds, together with a tearoom and gift shop.
If you're looking for greenery and lovely landscaping, you'll find it 5km (3 miles) away, on the opposite side of the A33 highway, at the Wellington Country Park.
- © Frommer's 2013
- Recommended 2010