History

The House

From grandeur to grain store and back again

Ugbrooke House has a fascinating history covering 900 years, originally featuring in the Domesday book of 1086, and today it remains the private home of the Clifford family. It exhibits a variety of alterations made over the centuries, particularly the alterations made by Robert Adam when he and Capability Brown were commissioned by the 4th Lord Clifford to remodel the house, grounds and garden in the mid 18th century.

Ugbrooke Wyvern Dargon

As one of the earliest examples of Adam’s “toy fort” style, the house has had a thoroughly varied past, journeying through periods of stately grandeur and desperate, troughs of disrepair. Requisitioned as a school during the Second World War, then serving as a refuge for the Polish Army, the house was subsequently relegated to a grain store. However, it was rescued in 1957 by the 13th Lord and Lady Clifford who painstakingly restored it back into a family home.

Outstanding Adam interiors and unique external features remain, with the House containing many fine paintings, furniture, beautiful needlework and ceramics. But above all, Ugbrooke remains the private home of the Clifford family who are delighted and privileged to be able to share the house’s history and welcoming ambience.

The Chapel

The oldest Catholic Parish Church in the south west

St Cyprian’s Chapel is yet another Robert Adam enhanced masterpiece here at Ugbrooke House.

The Chapel is claimed to be the oldest Catholic Parish Church in the south west of England. Originally an Anglican Chapel, it was rededicated in 1673 when the 1st Lord Clifford became a Catholic. Mass has been continuously said here since 1673 and continues to this day, held every Sunday morning at 8.45am.

The Family

The nation’s history has sported Clifford names in war, politics and religion. Our tour guides relate tales of Clifford Castles, ‘Butcher Clifford’, Clifford of the CABAL, a Secret Treaty, a King’s Mistress, a Cardinal’s daughter, tales of espionage, intrigue, bravery and disaster.

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