Cornbury House

Has been described as a Questionable Palace (Royal)

There are no visible remains

NameCornbury House
Alternative NamesCornbury Park Logge
Historic CountryOxfordshire
Modern AuthorityOxfordshire
1974 AuthorityOxfordshire
Civil ParishCornbury And Wychwood

Late C16 country house on the site of an alleged royal hunting lodge. Enlarged in 1632-3, with further alterations of 1663-77, c1850 and 1901-6. The latest alterations were demolished in 1972. Irregular courtyard plan with chapel. (PastScape)

Cornbury was a hunting lodge in the Royal Forest of Wychwood and there is known to have been a house here in 1537. The rangership of Cornbury Park was granted to prominent and deserving courtiers, hence the employment of Stone and May, both members of the Office of Works in their time. Stone's wing was one of the earliest classical country house fronts in the country. Although the Forest of Wychwood is much reduced Cornbury House still stands in an extensive wooded deer park, with lakes and further woodland beyond. (Listed Building Report)

The earliest mention of Cornbury is in the Domesday book, where it was recorded as being adjacent to Wychwood Forest. The park became included in Wychwood Forest as royal property, and a Keeper, normally a royal favourite, was appointed. He was responsible for the provision of royal hunting facilities and the supply of venison to the royal kitchen.

The earliest mention of a house in Cornbury Park is in the Close Rolls of 1337, when the Exchequer was ordered to pay for

"a stone wall about Cornbury Park, a post towards the King's forest there, a house called 'Logge' of stone and timber in that park, and a dike of wood forty feet broad by the circuit of the park, and two deer leaps in the park."

The status of royal property was maintained until 1642 when Charles I gave Cornbury Park to Henry Danvers "forever". Danvers, the Earl of Danby, had occupied the property since 1615 and had built a new house there in the 1630s (the present south wing). (Cornbury Park Estate)

1337 Dec. 15. Westminster. To the treasurer and barons of the exchequer

Order to cause Peter de Dodecote, receiver of the ferm of the manor of Wodestok, to have allowance in that ferm for what they shall find him to have spent by reason of the king's order, by writ of privy seal, to cause certain repairs to be made by the view and testimony of William de Monte Acuto, earl of Salisbury, keeper and fermor of that manor, or of him who supplied his place there, to wit: a house called 'Logge,' of stone and timber within Wodestok park, for the parkers there, a stone wall about Cornbury park, a post towards the king's forest there, a house called 'Logge,' of stone and timber, in that park and a dike of the wood 40 feet broad by the circuit of the park next the paling thereof, and other dikes by the middle of the park, and two deer leaps in that park. (CCR)

Gatehouse Comments

Seems fairly evident this was a park keepers residence not a royal residential hunting lodge.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

This is a Grade 1 listed building protected by law

Historic England Scheduled Monument Number
Historic England Listed Building number(s)
Images Of England
Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSP350181
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  • Pevsner, N. and Sherwood, J., 1974, Buildings of England: Oxfordshire (London) p. 553-5

Primary Sources