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photos of sunninghill and ascot

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 melksham council

Sunninghill & Ascot Parish Council
The Courtyard (Ascot Racecourse)
High Street

Telephone: 01344 630141

a brief history of the parish

The village of Sunninghill is steeped in history. The church of St Michael’s and All Angels is of Saxon origin. It was started in 890A.D. and rebuilt in 1120A.D. Henry V111 signed his first document as king at Eastmore, now Sunninghill Park. The Picture House specially built around 1920 by the Ranee of Sarawak now houses the Novello Theatre. The village still retains the narrow streets and pretty cottages of the Victorian Era and has a busy, thriving High Street.

Near to the village of Cheapside, lies Silwood Park, where the last Lord of the Manor lived. His widow built Cordes Hall in Sunninghill and bequeathed it to the community. A Mr Holloway who manufactured medicinal pills and built Royal Holloway College on the A30 with his fortune occupied Tittenhurst, a manor house off Buckhurst Road. The Wells Public House (now renamed) opposite Cheapside Road, on the London Road was famous for its ‘benefiting good health waters’. The Thatched Tavern is one of the areas oldest buildings and manages to retain some of its ancient 16th century timbers. On Cheapside Road the magnificent Golden Gates mark the Royal entrance to the racecourse and were first used by Edward V11 in 1878.

In South Ascot the road names have an association with Lewis Carroll. The Rev.Liddell, father of Alice (Alice in Wonderland) lived in the area. You will find Carroll Crescent and Liddell Way on what is now the Bouldish Farm Estate. Before the Railway Bridge was built this area was known as ‘the bog’ and provided the poor of the area with a living, digging peat.

Queen Anne put Ascot on the map in 1714. It was then heath land with a preserved area in the centre for racing. A railway was built in 1840 providing easy access to London. This attracted racegoers and wealthy people to settle in the area, building the large houses still characteristic of the parish. The original police station was situated in The Old Courthouse and a hospital for the treatment of T.B. was built at Heatherwood.

Off the Windsor Road, by the side of the racecourse is Kennel Avenue. This avenue of majestic redwood trees leads to Old Huntsman’s House where Queen Anne kept the royal buckhounds. Hunting was a part of life in this area of heath and woodland.

The Royal town and castle of Windsor is within easy reach and there are strong historic links with the neighbouring parish of Sunningdale.

golden gates, cheapside road

Whilst every care has been taken in compiling this publication and the statements contained herein are believed to be correct, the publishers and promoters cannot accept responsibility for any inaccuracies. Reproduction of any part of this publication in any format, without permission, is strictly forbidden. Photographs courtesy of David Hilton and Ascot Racecourse.