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Goodwood House


Goodwood has pleasure grounds and a landscape park developed in the mid-18th century. The park covers some 549 hectares (512 registered hectares) set within a much larger country estate.Goodwood is now home to a vast array of events and activities and features a golf course, aerodrome and race track. Goodwood Home Farm is the largest lowland organic farm in the United Kingdom (2008) and was the first 100% organically-fed dairy in the country.


The southern quarter of the site lies on the edge of the flat coastal plain, while northwards the land rises in the form of a central ridge flanked by deep, dry combes onto a high crest of the South Downs.
The following is from the Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest. For the most up-to-date Register entry, please visit the The National Heritage List for England (NHLE):

An early 18th-century, semi-formal, woodland garden, further developed with ornamental features and planting in the mid-18 th century and with late 20th-century additions, set within an 18th-century park (containing significant 18th-century garden buildings) which is of medieval origin and which has additional late 19th- and 20th-century planting.



Goodwood is situated c 2.5km north-east of Chichester, midway between the A286 running north to Midhurst and the A285 north-eastwards to Petworth. The southern quarter of its c 512ha registered area, which comprises 12ha of ornamental gardens set within 500ha of wooded parkland and farmland, lies on the edge of the flat coastal plain, while northwards the land rises in the form of a central ridge flanked by deep, dry combes onto a high crest of the South Downs. The site is bounded to the north and east, and along the northern half of the west boundary by minor roads (Kennel Hill to the west and New Barn Hill to the east), with views into the park screened along much of its perimeter by internal tree belts or hedgerows. The surrounding downland, which rises to St Roche's Hill immediately to the north-west, is largely under arable cultivation and forestry plantations, with Goodwood racecourse and stands on the northern boundary. To the south-west, The Valdoe wood, separated from the park by the continuation of Kennel Hill, is abutted to the south by gravel-extraction pits while the southern boundary of the park is marked by a hedgerow and ha-ha with flat arable land and a golf course extension beyond.


The main public entrance is from the west, on the north side of South Lodge (listed grade II), a south-facing pair of single-storey, stone and flint-faced lodges, built probably by Matthew Brettingham c 1747 (Goodwood archives) and between which the drive formerly entered (alteration to the present position took place in the late C20). The drive follows a straight, north-easterly course for 0.9km (lined for 0.5km from the entrance by a lime avenue planted in the late C20), a short spur then leading northwards to a grassed turning circle on the south-east, entrance front of the House. A further main drive enters from the east at the two-storey, flint-faced, Waterbeach Lodge (James Wyatt c 1800, listed grade II) and leads westwards for 0.5km along a mature lime avenue (the trees largely dating from 1902, Banks Assocs 1989) to a junction with the drive from South Lodge some 200m south of the House. Colen Campbell's plan of Goodwood of 1725 shows the House approached by two straight drives from due east and west and the main road from Chichester to Petworth cutting across the park to the south of the House. This road, which then continued northwards through the park via Molecomb to Pilleygreen, was moved eastwards to its present course along the A285 by the third Duke in 1765 (Hunn 1975; guidebook 1998). The flint-built pair of lodges at Pilleygreen, in separate private ownership, stand east and west of New Barn Hill, at the extreme north-east corner of the site (listed grade II). The two present main drives are shown established along similar courses by 1770 (Yeakell and Gardner).


Goodwood House (listed grade I) stands centrally, on level ground towards the southern end of the registered park. Forming three sides of an octagon in plan and faced with squared, knapped flints, it stands two storeys high with a three-storey tower topped by a domed copper roof at each angle. The south-east-facing front features a central, two-storey portico supported by Doric (lower storey) and Ionic (upper storey) columns topped by a balustrade. The first known house on the site was built in 1616 by the ninth Earl of Northumberland and was used as a hunting lodge by the first Duke of Richmond. It was enlarged in the 1740s by Matthew Brettingham (the elder, 1725-1803, CL 1997) and internally in a minor way in the 1750s by Sir William Chambers (1726-96). From 1771 onwards, James Wyatt (1748-1813) was engaged to alter and extend the house, its present form being completed between 1800 and 1806 and incorporating Brettingham's earlier south-west wing. The House underwent restoration and refurbishment after the Second World War, again between 1968 and 1973 and most recently in 1997(8. Some 50m to its south-west and forming an ensemble with it is the two-storey stable quadrangle (listed grade I), built by Chambers from 1757 to 1761, which is faced with knapped flint and has a triumphal entrance arch on the south-west side. To its immediate north-west, around a further courtyard, is a two-storey, L-shaped gothick range with flint facing and a castellated parapet, known as the Laundry Green and Gordon Rooms (listed grade II*), possibly built by John Nash; adjacent to the south end of its west wing stands the small, square, Huntsman Cottage (late C18 or early C19, listed grade II).


At the front of the House, between the entrance front and the south-east range of the stables, is an area of lawns with shrub and flower borders, enclosed within a tall, mixed hedge, with further areas of open lawn extending along the south-west front of the stables. The main ornamental gardens lie to the north and north-west of the House in a roughly triangular shape and are enclosed almost entirely within a high flint wall (first shown on Yeakell and Gardner's survey of 1770) which, at its northernmost point (350m from the House) drops to retain a semicircular bastion offering views out over the park. The southern third of the gardens, opening off the west and north-west fronts, is laid to a broad east to west open lawn, known as the Tapestry Lawn, with a few clumps of evergreen trees on small mounds at the east end. At the west end, the enclosing wall drops to retain a ha-ha from which there is a vista focused on the principal front of the Kennels, standing on the western site boundary (a two-storey, flint-faced, grade 1 listed building of 1787 by James Wyatt, now the Goodwood Golf Club and with, to the south-east, a pair of pedestrian arches in a flint wall, listed grade II).

Of the northern two-thirds of the gardens, the main, western part, known as High Wood, is planted as light woodland with exotic trees of mixed ages and species, the replanting of which, following severe storm damage in 1987, included collections of American species and of species originally supplied to Goodwood by the horticulturalist Peter Collinson (1694-1768) in the mid C18 (Sussex Archaeol Collect 1979). High Wood, with the adjacent Garlic Wood (beyond the wall to the north-west) is shown on Colen Campbell's 1725 plan as a rough square of woodland with formal walks and vistas and ornamented with glades and built features which, from c 1730, was planted up with exotic trees acquired by the second Duke from contemporary horticulturalists. It is also said (Hunn 1975) to be the site of the second Duke's menagerie, for which a list of animals kept is first documented in 1728 (Goodwood archives). High Wood is cut by two major avenues, which run north from the Tapestry Lawn to meet and terminate at a statue of a lioness within the bastion, and by several shorter, connecting avenues, oriented both north to south and east to west, most of which have been recut and replanted with lime, chestnut and ash following storm damage. The present pattern of avenues, shown on Yeakell and Gardner's survey of 1770, largely survived until the early C20 (OS edition of 1912). Within High Wood, some 230m north of the stable quadrangle, is the Dell, a shallow artificial hollow some 25-30m across which contains a series of features built into the grassed slopes including a shell grotto, the ruined wall of a chapel, a rustic alcove, a hermitage and a hermit's cell. The Dell, now (1998) largely in a ruined state, was referred to in contemporary descriptions as the rock dell or Catacombs and was constructed in the early 1740s by the second Duke (Sussex Archaeol Collect 1979, 190)

East of High Wood and enclosed within a section of the surrounding wall erected between 1780 and 1874 (Yeakell and Gardner; OS 1st edition) lawns, lightly dotted with trees of mixed ages and species, are bisected by a north to south pleached beech avenue planted in 1997 and terminating at the south end (c 80m north of the House) in a semicircle of beech hedge. Immediately to its west and screened by shrubbery is a small, rectangular enclosure containing a swimming pool and overlooked at the north end by a flint-faced orangery (attributed by Pevsner (1965) to James Wyatt, listed grade II).


The main area of planted parkland lies within the southern half of the site and extends c 1km to the north-west and north-east of the gardens and south-east of the House to the site boundary. To the north-west, the combe known as Swans Bottom is laid to grazing with occasional tree clumps shown established in the late C19 and now (1998) being replanted. Some 200m north-east of the gardens, on the slopes above Swans Bottom, is the Pheasantry, an oval flint-walled enclosure surrounded by a dense belt of trees and with, at its south end and facing over a ha-ha into the park, a two-storey, flint-faced, early C19 house (listed grade II). Some 100m to its north-west and backed by woodland stands Carné's Seat (listed grade II*), a stone belvedere in the form of a temple flanked either side by sphinxes and enclosed by an apron of lawn and a ha-ha along its south-east side. Built in c 1743 and attributed (guidebook 1998) to Roger Morris (1695-1749), the temple enjoys panoramic views over the park to the coast. Immediately to its north-west is the Shell House (listed grade I), constructed and decorated from 1743 to 1747 by the Duchess of Richmond and her daughters and last restored between 1989 and 1995.

South-east of the House, open grass and the cricket pitch give way to mixed clumps and an extensive scatter of mature and late C20 trees including a significant number of cedar of Lebanon, a few of which date from about 1787 (Banks Assocs 1989). Northwards from the parkland the combe on the east side of the site is divided into small fields and laid to grazing. It is bounded to the east by the largely replanted clumps (following storm damage) on New Barn Hill with, 0.6km north-east of the main house, Dairy Cottages (listed grade II). On the west side, Molecomb drive runs c 1km northwards through a belt of mature trees including holm oak and cedar (with post-storm replacements) to the flint-faced Molecomb Dower House (listed grade II*), built c 1777 by James Wyatt and restored, with the adjacent coach house and barn (listed grade II), in the mid 1990s.

Northwards and westwards from Molecomb to the site boundaries, the park ridges are covered with hardwood plantations to a pattern largely reflecting that shown on the survey by Yeakell and Gardner of 1770.

To the south-west and west of the House, beyond Emperor's Brow wood and the site of The Cottage (a C19 building largely destroyed by fire in 1995), one or two C19 clumps survive in former parkland, which was laid out with new planting as a golf course in 1986. West of Kennel Hill is an area of coppice and standards known as The Valdoe, which is shown as woodland and extending south to twice its present extent on Campbell's plan of 1725. Reduced to its present size in the mid C20, it contains vestiges of the formal walks shown established by 1770. At the northern limit of The Valdoe, the pair of square, flint-faced Kennel Lodges built by Wyatt in 1787 (listed grade II) stand either side of the road, while at its western corner is East Lavant Lodge (listed grade II), an early C19, stuccoed house.


The kitchen gardens lie in the south-east corner of the park and extend some 250m south from Waterbeach Lodge drive. Several lengths of high, red-brick walls which formerly enclosed an area of c 3ha survive, including those along the roadside boundary and on the south-west side. Shown established by 1770, the gardens remained partially in horticultural use until the 1970s. From the mid 1980s onwards, they have undergone progressive development associated with the formation of the present Goodwood Park Hotel and Country Club. This establishment incorporates the main two-storey building on the road frontage, formerly the Richmond Arms Hotel, and the C18, single-storey former stables to its north (both listed grade II).


Country Life, 72 (9 July 1932), pp 38-44; (16 July 1932), pp 66-71; no 39 (25 September 1997), pp 78-91

I Nairn and N Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Sussex (1965), pp 227-9

B Jones, Follies & Grottoes (1974), pp 154-5

D Hunn, Goodwood (1975)

Sussex Archaeol Collect 117, (1979), pp 185-93

Goodwood Park, West Sussex, Grant Application to English Heritage, (Elizabeth Banks Associates 1989)

The Dell, Goodwood House, Preliminary Archaeological Survey, (Northamptonshire County Archaeology 1997)

Goodwood House, guidebook, (Goodwood 1998)


Colen Campbell, A Plan of the Park Gardens and Plantations... (from Vitruvius Britannicus ... 1715-25)

W Yeakell and W Gardner, A Survey of Goodwood House and Park ..., 1770

W Yeakell and W Gardner, A Plan of Goodwood Park and Warren, 1780

OS 6" to 1 mile: 1st edition surveyed 1874-5, published 1880; 2nd edition published 1898; 3rd edition published 1914

OS 25" to 1 mile: 1st edition surveyed 1875; 3rd edition surveyed 1910, published 1912

Archival items

F W Steer and J Venables, The Goodwood Estate Archives vols 1 and 2, (1970-2), (West Sussex Record Office)

Description written: March 1998

Amended: January 2000

Edited: June 2000

Visitor Access, Directions & Contacts


01243 755055

Access contact details

Part of the grounds is now a sculpture park. Please see: The house is open on Sundays and Mondays between March and October. Please see:


The following is from the Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest. For the most up-to-date Register entry, please visit the The National Heritage List for England (NHLE):


The land occupied by Goodwood was held successively from the 11th century by Earl Godwin, the Priory of Boxgrove and the lords of Halnaker, the earliest record of a park being of a medieval deer park in 1597. Charles Lennox, first Duke of Richmond, purchased Goodwood in June 1697 (guidebook) after which, from 1723 until his death in 1750, his son, the second Duke, laid out a semi-formal landscape around the Jacobean house, established a notable collection of exotic trees, and erected follies and buildings in the park. The third Duke, inheriting in 1750, considerably enlarged the estate, rebuilt the house to designs by James Wyatt and further added to the planting in the park. The Goodwood estate remained in the private ownership of the dukes of Richmond and Gordon until the mid-20th century when it was transferred to the Goodwood Estate Company Ltd.

Associated People
Features & Designations


  • The National Heritage List for England: Register of Parks and Gardens

  • Reference: GD1054
  • Grade: I


  • Great House (featured building)
  • Description: The house was originally built in 1672 but subsequently enlarged and altered particularly in the early 19th century.
  • Earliest Date:
  • Latest Date:
  • Planting
  • Description: 12 hectares of ornamental gardens.
  • Ha-ha
  • Golf Course
Key Information





Principal Building

Domestic / Residential





Open to the public


Civil Parish




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