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A History of Kingswood House


Price: £3.50


By Patrick Darby

Known as King’s Coppice from 1576; Kingswood acquired its present name in the 1800s when William Vizard was granted a 63 year lease for Kingswood Lodge. The House was re-built much as it is today by John Lawson Johnson in the late 1800s. Lawson Johnson invented the drink 'Bovril' and the house became known locally as 'Bovril Castle'. The house next became the home of the pioneering aviator Prince Serge Vincent Constantinovitch de Bolotoff, his widowed mother Princess Maria Wiazemsky and three other family members.

During the first World War it was used as a hospital for Canadian troops, then as a Nurses home.

In 1919 Sir William Vestey was granted an 80 year lease on the House and when he was made a Lord in 1922 he took the title Baron Vestey of Kingswood.

During the Second World War it was used as offices and the RAF had a barrage balloon in the grounds.

Some of the fireplaces and other fittings come from St Cloud Palace which was destroyed in the Franco-Prussian War.

The House became the nucleus of the present Estate in 1956.

The house is nationally listed Grade II and is rich in oak panelled walls, machine tapestry friezes in the hall, marble and polished oak floors, handwork plaster ceilings.

This is a completely revised, and updated version of the original book.

34 pages paperback 25 illustrations