Cumberland Lodge


Cumberland Lodge is a house in Windsor Great Park located 3.5 miles south of Windsor Castle. The house was built by John Byfield, an army captain, in 1650 when Oliver Cromwell divided up and sold off lots in Windsor Great Park. The house was called Byfield House until 1670. It was then renamed New Lodge, and at times was also known as Windsor Lodge or Ranger Lodge. After the Restoration, King Charles II made the house the official residence of the Ranger of the Great Park " a Crown appointment always held by someone close to the Sovereign. Among those who have lived at the Lodge were:
  • Baptist May, the first resident Ranger;
  • Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough (1702”“1744); John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough who died there in 1722;
  • John Spencer (1744”“1746);
  • Prince William, Duke of Cumberland, son of King George II (1746”“1765);
  • Prince Henry, Duke of Cumberland and Strathearn, son of Frederick, Prince of Wales (1765”“1790);
  • Anne, Duchess of Cumberland and Strathearn, widow of Henry (1790”“1803);
  • George Spencer-Churchill, 5th Duke of Marlborough (until 1822);
  • Augustus Frederick, Duke of Sussex, son of King George III (1830”“1843);
  • Princess Helena, daughter of Queen Victoria and wife of Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein (1846”“1923);
  • Lord Fitzalan of Derwent, last Viceroy of Ireland (1923”“1947).
During 1936 Cumberland Lodge was used for key meetings between the King’s Private Secretary and the Prime Minister, Stanley Baldwin, which eventually led to the abdication of King Edward VIII. In 1947, King George VI granted the use of the lodge to the St Katharine’s Foundation " now known as the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Foundation of St Catharine’s. The foundation is a Christian educational trust which was the product of the imagination and insight of Miss Amy Buller. Drawing on her experiences in Germany between the two world wars, she believed that the rise of Nazism had been significantly aided by the great German universities not teaching students to use their critical judgment on the world around them and not providing an environment where the great issues of the day could be openly discussed. Amy Buller thus conceived the idea of a residential centre where students could come with their teachers and, in a relaxed atmosphere, consider important ethical and social issues outside the normal confines of their degree courses. She gained the active support of the King and Queen. To recognise the prime role played by their Majesties in establishing the Trust, its name was changed in 1968 to the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Foundation of St Catharine’s. Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother was Patron of the Foundation, and Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon, was its Visitor. Today Cumberland Lodge is used for academic workshops and short residential courses by groups of students, primarily from universities, who come here to examine, in the context of Christian philosophy, the fundamental assumptions underlying political, economic and scientific activities. It is not open to the general public.