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The Manor & Grounds » A symbol of a special relationship

The opening ceremony
The opening to the public in 1921.
“There is no richer symbol of the deep historical and cultural connection between our two nations than the ancestral home of the leading founder of the United States.” – Dr Steven Knapp, President of George Washington University, Washington DC

In 1914 some of the most influential people of the day funded the purchase and restoration of the home of George Washington’s English ancestors. The initiative for the purchase of Sulgrave Manor came from the Peace Centenary Committees set up in 1911 to determine how to commemorate the centenary of the Treaty of Ghent, which established peace between Britain and the USA in 1814.

The list of donors for the purchase and refurbishment was headed by HM the King and HRH the Prince of Wales, and included many of the senior businessmen and major businesses of the day - Lord Beaverbrook, Lord Cadogan, Lord Cowdray, Lord Rothschild, Sir Henry Wellcome and Gordon Selfridge to name a few. In the USA, the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America (NSCDA) raised a significant sum of money, which contributes to the upkeep of the manor house to this day.

In 1921 the house was opened to the public by the Marquess of Cambridge and dedicated as “a centre from which sentiments of friendship and goodwill between the British and American peoples will forever radiate”.

Today, our mission is to preserve this important heritage site for the public’s benefit and to aid education about Sulgrave Manor and its role in Anglo-American relations.

We carry out our mission through:

  • ·      Opening the house to the public and providing guided tours to explain its history
  •         Running educational programmes with 9000 children a year from 200 schools
  •         Hosting lectures and meetings relating to American history and culture, including the Watson Chair lecture and Congress to  Campus dinners
  •         Celebrating American anniversaries including George Washington’s birthday, Independence Day and Thanksgiving
  •         Proudly flying the flags of both the UK and the USA over the manor

Sulgrave Manor exists today thanks to kind support from both sides of the Atlantic, however, it is struggling to cope with the repairs and on-going maintenance this Tudor house and its associated buildings desperately need.  If you would like to help save this important heritage site please visit our donation pages.

The United Kingdom and America are tightly bound together by custom and culture, and Sulgrave Manor, by illuminating the origins of America’s most famous family, helps us to understand how this came about.” Lord Fairfax of Cameron


Teck speech at the opening ceremony
Signing the Treaty of Ghent
Opening day programme
Centenary appeal poster