Cowdray Ruins

Midhurst West Sussex GU29 9DJ

What makes Cowdray so fascinating are the ghosts of what’s no longer there, for this grand Tudor mansion, once one of the finest houses in the country, was burnt down in 1793 by a careless workman, destroying not only the building but also its priceless contents: splendid furniture, two hundred paintings by Raphael, Rubens, Van Dyke, Holbein and other great masters, and relics from the Norman Conquest which reputedly included the sword and coronation robe of William the Conqueror. As you wander around the site, you get a glimpse of the splendours that once were, from boards displaying poignant drawings made just before the fire by Samuel Grimm, a visiting Swiss artist. One area of the house that did survive was the Tudor kitchen (protected by the same thick walls that, ironically, were intended to prevent fires in the kitchen spreading to the rest of the house), and today you can still see the original spits and fans. Cowdray has an absolutely fascinating history, encompassing the Gunpowder plot (Guy Fawkes was butler here), and the famous “Curse of Cowdray” (which supposedly dispatched both the house and the eighth viscount) – you can hear some of the stories in a fifteen-minute film playing in the wine cellar.

Best Places to stay near Cowdray Ruins

What Customers say about Cool Places

Everything I needed for a stay

I'm already looking forward to going again and would highly recommend this hotel to anyone visiting the area. It definitely deserves a five star rating!

Nathan, Verified Customer

6 out of 5!!!!

This place was amazing… I could not recommend this place enough, I’ll be singing their praise for many years to come and we are going to book again soon.

Barbara, Verified Customer

Easy to navigate

Great site that offers a really broad range of places to stay across the UK. Easy to navigate and book holidays.

Patrick, Verified Customer

Such a great variety of properties

Found this website when looking to book a staycation for later in the year. Such a great variety of properties and the website is really easy to use. Already shared with my family and friends.

CT, Verified Customer

Great, simple, straightforward

Great, simple and straightforward. I will definitely be using Cool Places again.

SM, Verified Customer