Described as a ‘pretty manor place’ in 1533 by the King’s Antiquary and in 1796 as ‘one of the greatest curiosities in the country’ by Samuel Rudder, Ellenborough Park’s position in the county’s archives dates
back more than 500 years.
The many layers of history at Ellenborough Park are personified by the overlying centuries of oak beams, stone fireplaces and intricate stained glass. The hotel’s name is taken from the Ellenborough era, when in 1833 the 1st Earl of Ellenborough, former Governor General of India, purchased the estate as his home.
History recalls Earl Ellenborough for his wedding to Jane Digby, a ‘scandalous society beauty’ who was seventeen years younger than himself when they wed in 1824. Lady Ellenborough’s carefree joie de vivre sealed her place in history alongside her former home and her spirit continues to live on within the hotel.
From 1906, the house was lived in by Mrs C M Ratcliff and her daughter, until the estate was broken up in 1927. In 1947, a Miss Bellamy opened the Oriel Private School for Girls on the site. This ran for 25 years until the school and property were sold again to become the Hotel De la bere, which also closed in 2008.
The restoration of Ellenborough Park commenced in early 2008 and took three years to complete. The vision was to transform a dated hotel by breathing new life into its historical elements and intersperse within it the modern luxuries of the world’s finest hotels, revitalising Ellenborough Park for the next chapter of its history…