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Cliveden





Fast Facts

  • Location: In Taplow in Buckinghamshire, England
  • Attraction type: A mansion
  • Significance: A stately mansion with gardens, theater, and hotel
  • Best Time to visit: April to September
  • How to reach: By train to Taplow or Burnham; alternatively by road M4, A4 and A404
  • Nearest International Airport: All London Airports, viz., Heathrow, Gatwick

Cliveden overlooking River Thames is a majestic mansion with significant historic, political and cultural importance. With a history of over 300 years, this building representing Italian architecture has been an attraction for not only scholars and tourists, but also filmmakers. In ‘Help’ the second Beatles film, the shots of Buckingham Palace were shot in Cliveden Mansion. In the film ‘Thunderbirds’, this magnificent mansion was used as Lady Penelope’s Creighton Ward Mansion. Rex Harrison, Shirley MacLaine,and George C. Scottt starring ‘the Yellow Rolls Royce also features Cliveden.

Cliveden in Buckinghamshire presently owned by the National Trust is distinctive with neo-classical Italian architecture with sprawling landscape gardens surrounding it. The earliest construction of this building goes back to 1666, when architect William Winde designed a house for George Villiers, the 2nd Duke of Buckingham. From 1739 to 1751, Cliveden was let out to Fredrick, Prince of Wales, during whose period ‘Rule Britannia’ was performed in the adjoining garden.


The present three storey building built on a 20 foot high terrace of length 400 meters was designed by architect Charles Barry in English Palladian style. Before being handed over to National Trust, Cliveland house was owned chronologically by George Villiers, the second Duke of Buckingham; George Hamilton, second Earl of Orkney; George Warrender; Duchess and Duke of Sutherland; Hugh Lupus Grosvenor Duke of Westminster; and the Astor family.

Discovering Cliveden

This impressive structure featured by Roman cement, terracotta balustrades, keystones and capitals has been designed over the years by a number of illustrious architects. Apart from William Winde and Sir Charles Barry there were others who helped in creating the entire premises of 375 acres. Thomas Archer constructed the corridors joining the East and West wings, while Charles Bridgeman designed the cliff side theater and the landscaped gardens in the 18th century. Architect Giocomo Leoni is credited with designing the Octagon Temple and Blenheim Pavilion. The clock tower that you view is actually a water tower designed by Henry Clutton. Architect George Devey was responsible for designing the Boathouse, the Dairy, and six cottages. The gardens were designed by John Fleming and Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe in addition to Charles Bridgeman. The latest addition was the pavilions designed by Julian Harrap surrounding the swimming pool used by Cliveden Hotel.

The sculptures that you discover inside Cliveden are amazing. The Fountain of Love made of shell and the Tortoise Fountain are magnificent. The Queen Anne Vase and the Parterre Borghese Balustrade with 17th century carvings are brilliant. The Villa Borghese gardens featuring ornate brick tiles by Paolo Massini and Giuseppe De Giacomo are marvelous.

Accommodation in Cliveden

Clivedon Hotel with 37 elegant bedrooms decked up with Edwardian furniture allows you to stay in style and comfort during your vacation in Cliveden. Their two dining facilities Waldo’s and Terrace Dining Room take care of all your culinary needs.
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