Previous Exhibitions and Talks
Goodwood House: The Story of the House and Family by Hilly Sloan.
Hilly Sloan, a guide with seventeen years experience of Goodwood House and its local history gave an extremely interesting talk. The Dukedom was created in the seventeenth century by King Charles 2nd for one of his sons who was three years old. The income for the estate came from coal tax.
Hilly gave us a very good run down of all the Dukes of Richmond. The eleventh Duke was known to us for many years as Lord March. The first two Dukes were gamblers, in fact the second Duke was sold off in marriage to the 12 year old daughter of the Earl of Cadogan to settle gambling debts. Fortunately subsequent Dukes were more responsible with their money.
The main home in London, on the bank of the River Thames was burnt down in 1791. Things changed because the house was not insured and there was insufficient money to rebuild. The contents though were brought down and stored at Goodwood. The 4th Duke was a military man and with his large family he lived in Brussels. The 4th Duchess was left money by her brother the 5th Duke of Gordon who died without children - then there was enough to enlarge Goodwood House in its new design.
Throughout history the Dukes have been interested in different sports. Another of King Charles sons The Duke of Monmouth had started fox hunting based at Charlton until the 1780s. Later in 1883 it was moved to Good wood where there was central heating in the stables, but not in the house. It only lasted there for 12 years. Cricket was started by the second Duke where it continues to this day. The golf course was laid out in1914.
Throughout most of the time the various Dukes have all been interested in horse racing so they decided to build their own race course on the Downs in 1802 close to the house. Over the years royalty has often attended the meets.
Car racing was started by the 9th Duke and ran from 1948 until 1965. After earth banks were built the Festival of Speed was started in 1993 and the Revival Festival in 1998,
We have visited Goodwood House several times in the past, but the talk has reawakened our interest to visit again this time with a better understanding, We feel this view will have been echoed by most of the audience.
Picture above Hilly with Wendy Bright (Talks Organiser) and Margaret Rogers (Vice Chairman).