Cliveden House

Maidenhead, Berkshire

Built in 1851, for the Duke and Duchess of Sutherland, the two mansions that stood here before it had both burned down. In 1893, the former New Yorker William Waldorf Astor (1848-1919), 1st Viscount Astor, bought the Sutherland's home for $1.2 million. In 1906, he gave it as a wedding present to his eldest son and new (also American) daughter-in-law, the power couple Waldorf Astor, 2nd Viscount Astor and his wife, Nancy, the first female Member of Parliament. It was a magnate for the highest members of society and the political elite who became known as "The Cliveden Set"....

This house is best associated with...

William Waldorf Astor

The Rt. Hon. "Willy" Astor, 1st Viscount Astor, of Hever Castle, Kent


Waldorf Astor

Major The Rt. Hon. Waldorf Astor M.P., D.L., 2nd Viscount Astor


Nancy Astor

The Rt. Hon. Nancy Witcher (Langhorne) Astor, M.P., Viscountess Astor


The Astors leant their home to the Canadian Red Cross during World War II and the scandalous Profumo Affair that unfolded in 1963 spelled the end an era at Cliveden. In 1966, their eldest son, Bill, died and the National Trust now took over the running of the property and opened it to the public. In the 1970s, Cliveden became the overseas campus of Stanford University and today it's operated as a luxury five-star country house hotel.


Contributed by Mark Meredith on 21/11/2018 and last updated on 08/09/2020.


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