Our Rich Heritage

Woodhill Park boasts a rich tapestry of history and heritage. This estate has witnessed a myriad of historical events, shaping its unique character and charm over time. Its enduring legacy continues to captivate visitors, offering a glimpse into the deep-rooted traditions and culture of the region.

The House

The history of Woodhill Park is steeped in architectural beauty and notable historical associations. Constructed in the early-to-mid 18th century, Woodhill Park stands as a Grade II-listed Georgian house within a 156-acre estate. This magnificent property, nestled in the unspoiled countryside of Shropshire, has remained largely intact over the centuries, preserving its original red-brick structure and Georgian characteristics, including well-lit rooms and fine decorative details​.

Notable Residents

Woodhill's past is intertwined with prominent families and notable figures. Initially built for Richard Jones, the estate saw significant extensions under the stewardship of his daughter's husband, Lazarus Venables, a member of a distinguished Welsh landowning family. In the late 19th century, Woodhill was the residence of George Dumville-Lees, a master of the Tanatside Harriers and a known writer on hounds. After World War 2, the property was acquired by David Ormsby-Gore, Lord Harlech, who became an MP in 1950, a cabinet minister in 1957 and Ambassador to the United States in 1961.

The Proposal

Perhaps the most intriguing chapter in Woodhill Park's history involves its connection to the Kennedy family. Lord Harlech and President John F. Kennedy had known each other since the 1930s, and Lord Harlech became one of the president’s closest friends, often staying at the White House. The president told friends that next to McGeorge Bundy, Kennedy’s security adviser, Lord Harley was the most brilliant man he had ever met. He was leading advisor to Kennedy during the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962.

This friendship with the Kennedy family continued after JFK's assassination, as evidenced by Jackie Kennedy and her brother-in-law, Bobby Kennedy, both staying at Woodhill Park. Lord Harlech's proposal to Jackie Kennedy years after the death of her husband is catalogued in many letters. These historical ties add a layer of international political and personal intrigue to Woodhill Park's history.
President John F. Kennedy shakes hands with Sir David Ormsby-Gore in the White House
Jackie Kennedy brushes her wind-blown hair out of her eyes as she enters a car at Barnstable Airport in Hyannis
Jackie Kennedy and Sir David Ormsby-Gore pictured departing a hotel together in New York

Join the Waitlist

Woodhill Park Estate is set to officially open in 2024. Enter your email address to be notified about the launch of bookings for accommodation, experiences, and live events.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.