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This Grade I stately home and estate covering c.13,000 acres is situated to the north-west of
Northampton, and has been held by the Spencer family for more than 500 years. The founder
of the Spencer dynasty was Sir John Spencer, who, involved with politics was Feudal Lord of
Wormleighton in Warwickshire. He was also a businessman and sheep farmer in both
Northamptonshire and Warwickshire. Sir John Spencer was knighted by Henry VIII, in 1519,
buying land at Althorp and constructing a house in 1508. It is presently owned by Charles
Spencer, 9th Earl Spencer and brother of the late Diana, Princess of Wales, who is buried on
the estate.
The house seen today dates to 1688. It replaced the earlier house which was built in red brick
and has since undergone many improvements. Henry Holland made changes in 1788 when
he added Mathematical tiles to cover the brick on the front façade and four Corinthian pillars.
The famous French landscape designer André Le Nôtre was commissioned to design the park
and grounds in the 1660s and his formal style at Althorp linked rectangular flower beds with
lawns to the east and tree-lined avenues to the north and south. Further changes made to the
landscape by Henry Holland in the 18th century, included draining the deer-park lake and
remnants of Althorp’s moat, while in the 19th century William Milford Teulon updated the
gardens. In the 1990s Dan Pearson established the Diana memorial opposite her island grave
in the Round Oval Lake, and planted many trees adding to the rare collection found in the
garden and park.
Althorpe Estate, Northamptonshire NN7 4HQ
Althorp is around 6 miles north-west of Northampton, approximately 10 minutes from the
Further details of date, meeting time, place of meeting, and costings to be arranged with
Althorp in April 2024, when the estate releases visiting dates for July.
Organiser: Diane James
Email: topazlily65@gmail.com