Sulgrave Manor Trust

Sulgrave Manor Trust

Charity information

Sulgrave Manor Trust

Sulgrave Manor is unique.

It shares with many English houses a proud tradition stretching back nearly five hundred years to the time of Henry VIII. But it was the first of these houses to be regularly open to the public, in1921. And, in the twenty-first century, it goes further than just being open. It is embarked on a campaign to deliver to its visitors an opportunity to understand and appreciate both a history and a shared heritage. Sulgrave Manor believes in the value of history and a vital part of its mission is to encourage this belief in others – through the exposure to the artefacts and documents of the past, through the imaginative reliving of the past, through the intellectual discussion of the past – with all our visitors from the school-children through to the retired. There is no one right time in life to come to an appreciation of the past – but life is the poorer for those to whom it does not come.

Sulgrave Manor shares with no other historic house the distinction of its symbolic role, expressed in 1921 by the Marquess of Cambridge, the King’s brother-in-law, as “a centre from which sentiments of friendship and goodwill between the British and American peoples will for ever radiate. ” This role received concrete expression in the arrangement made for the Manor’s ownership – it is held in trust for the peoples of the United States and the United Kingdom. For the peoples, not the governments, not large organisations. It has survived without government or large organisational funding for nearly a century through unremitting efforts to earn its own living. Sulgrave Manor’s unique role arises from the movements of one family – the Washingtons. The Manor was established in 1539 by Lawrence Washington who emigrated from the north of England. His great-great grandson, John, emigrated to Virginia in 1657. John’s great grandson, George, grew up as a loyal subject of King George II and became the leader of the first nation to break free from the British Empire. Since the final ending in 1814 of the conflict between the United States and Britain, the two nations have been at peace. Despite the difficulties arising in a changing world, the relationship, described as “special” for the first time by Winston Churchill, himself half-American and yet the epitome of Great Britain, continues. So too, will Sulgrave Manor, a tangible and lively monument to a rare and lasting friendship between nations.

Founded 1921

  • Projecting the Past into the Future

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  • Help Sulgrave Manor tell its stories

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