The Sandringham house located near the village of Sandringham in Norfolk, England is a real treasure. It is a spectacular site that has been the private home of four generations of the British Royal Family as follows: King Edward VII, King George V, King George VI, and the present Queen Elizabeth II.
The mansion has been occupied since the Elizabethan era and today the Sandringham house is the much-loved country retreat of Queen Elizabeth II.
The Sandringham Hall was built in 1771 by the architect Cornish Henley and in the nineteenth century it was modified by Charles Spencer Cowder.
About a hundred years later, in 1862, the hall was bought by Queen Victoria for her son the future King Edward VII.
After seven years the estate was demolished and replaced with the present Jacobean style with red brick structure. Edward commissioned the architect A. J. Humbert to create a larger building and to raze the hall because the size of the current building didn’t satisfy his personal needs.
The son of King Edward VII did not move into Sandringham House until after his mother’s death. George V and his wife Queen Mary made the house a popular holiday retreat for many members of the Royal Family. The king loved the house so much and said that this place he loved better than anywhere else in the world. After his death, the house was bought by his second son King George VI who was the father of the present Queen Elizabeth II.
Set on an estate of nearly 20 thousand acres, the house is perhaps the most famous stately home in Norfolk. There are nearly 600 acres of gardens, parks, and woodlands surrounding the house which are listed Grade II on the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens.
They can be entered through elaborate wrought iron gates known as the Norwich gates and the house can be entered through the Saloon which previously was used as a ballroom. The Saloon contains several royal portraits displayed between the windows. The most amazing part is the fireplace and the early eighteenth century dishes which are displayed above and designed with portraits of Queen Anne and George of Denmark.
The house was opened to the public in 1977 and at least 3 hours are necessary to make a full day’s visit. At the Visitor Center, there are restaurants, gift shops, and a plant center.
The estate also has a museum and one of the most remarkable places is the Sandringham Church, St Mary Magdalene. The Sandringham House with its surrounding splendor lies within the Norfolk Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.