The first Duke of Richmond, a keen fan of fox hunting, bought himself a modest old house set deep in the heart of the Sussex countryside way back in 1697 as the local hunt, Charlton was based in a neighbouring village of the same name.
End of an era
His son, the second Duke was equally interested in the sport and, together with his wife, a daring and courageous horsewoman, was often seen on horseback following a fox. But, with his sudden death in 1750 and his son and heir away on the Grand Tour, the Charlton Hunt died out.
It's in the family
Charles, the third Duke of Richmond found his own hunting passion and eventually restarted the pack in 1757.
Thirty years later, having had a beautiful stable block added to Goodwood House as well as a new substantial north wing, the Duke asked famous classical architect, James Wyatt to build some kennels for his own pack of hounds.
The building was made up of a central, four square house for the Huntsman with low wings to each side for the hounds. The Duke of Richmond’s Hounds, as they were known, came to Goodwood in 1790 to what were acknowledged to be the best quarters in the country.
After 1813 the house was given over to John Kent who trained the fifth Duke’s racehorses and eventually, with the popularity of the races increasing, the roof from the sides of the huntsman’s house were raised to provide attic dormitories for the policemen who worked at the race meetings.
When the sixth Duke decided to recreate the Goodwood Hunt in 1883. A flinted house was built for the huntsman known as Huntsman’s Cottage (now Greenkeeper’s Cottage), with kennels for whelping next to it. In the twentieth century, the new kennels were replaced by Hound Lodge. The original Wyatt designed kennels were adapted to provide accommodation for the four senior members of the hunt with the central part still occupied by the ageing John Kent.
In the early twentieth century, once the Goodwood golf course was laid out by James Braid in 1914, the Kennels building became the clubhouse. Nowadays, it revels in a spectacular restoration and now plays host to members from all of Goodwood’s sporting and social clubs – horseracing, golf, motorsport and aviation.
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