Cliveden

Cliveden (pronounced /ˈklɪvdən/) is an English country house and estate in the care of the National Trust in Buckinghamshire, on the border with Berkshire. The Italianate mansion, also known as Cliveden House, crowns an outlying ridge of the Chiltern Hills close to the South Bucks villages of Burnham and Taplow. The main house sits 40 metres (130 ft) above the banks of the River Thames, and its grounds slope down to the river. Cliveden has become one of the National Trust's most popular pay-for-entry visitor attractions, hosting 524,807 visitors in 2019.[1]

Cliveden House
View looking north from the Ring in the Parterre showing Terrace Pavilion and Clock Tower to the left with Lower Terrace and Borghese Balustrade below
Location within Buckinghamshire
Cliveden (England)
Hotel chainIconic Luxury Hotels
General information
Coordinates51.558168°N 0.688258°W / 51.558168; -0.688258
OwnerNational Trust
Design and construction
ArchitectCharles Barry
Other information
Number of rooms47 (including Spring Cottage)
Number of suites15
Number of restaurants2
Number of bars1 (The Library Bar)
FacilitiesSpa, Tennis, Gym, 376 Acres of National Trust-Managed Grounds (including the Maze), Two Boats, Meeting Space
Website
Official website

Cliveden has been the home to a Prince of Wales, two Dukes, an Earl, and finally the Viscounts Astor. As the home of Nancy Astor, wife of the 2nd Viscount Astor, Cliveden was the meeting place of the Cliveden Set of the 1920s and 30s—a group of political intellectuals. Later, during the early 1960s when it was the home of the 3rd Viscount Astor, it became the setting for key events of the notorious Profumo affair. After the Astor family stopped living there, by the 1970s it was leased to Stanford University, which used it as an overseas campus. Today the house is leased to a company that runs it as a five-star hotel.

Cliveden means "valley among cliffs"[2] and refers to the dene (valley) which cuts through part of the estate, east of the house. Cliveden has been spelled differently over the centuries, some of the variations being Cliffden, Clifden, Cliefden and Clyveden.[3] The 375 acres (152 ha) gardens and woodlands are open to the public, together with parts of the house on certain days. There have been three houses on this site: the first, built in 1666, burned down in 1795 and the second house (1824) was also destroyed by fire, in 1849. The present Grade I listed house was built in 1851 by the architect Charles Barry for the 2nd Duke of Sutherland.