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Sandringham House and Estate: your questions answered

Sandringham House is an iconic English country estate famous for its stunning architecture, beautiful gardens, and rich history. With its connection to the monarchy, it’s a popular tourist attraction, drawing visitors from around the world to Norfolk.

In this article, we’ll cover some of the most commonly asked things about Sandringham House.

Sandringham House, home to the Royal Family

How many rooms are there in Sandringham House?

It can’t be overstated just quite how large Sandringham House and the estate is. The estate covers around 20,000 acres, and the gardens alone cover around 600.

The exact number of rooms in the house itself isn’t publicly known, as many are private and not open to the public. However, it’s estimated to be 100-200 in total, including several state rooms, the ballroom, offices, and staff quarters.

How long does it take to walk around Sandringham House?

If you were to explore every room of the house on your own, it’d take you several hours to walk around Sandringham House. However, it’s not open all year round to the public but when it’s open, there are guided tours of the house that cover the principal rooms. These last around an hour. Look out for the late Queen Elizabeth’s unfinished jigsaw!

There are also vast gardens and parklands at Sandringham, which are well worth exploring. Walking these could take a further few hours, depending on how much you want to see and whether you stop for refreshments.

If you want to explore Sandringham House thoroughly and take in all the surrounding gardens and parklands, then you should plan to spend at least half a day there.

Sandringham House West Norfolk

Who owns Sandringham House?

Sandringham House is privately owned by the British Royal Family, not the estate or the British government. Specifically, it’s the personal possession of King Charles by right of the Crown.

The estate has been owned by the Royal Family since 1862 when it was purchased for Queen Victoria’s eldest son, Prince Albert Edward, who later became King Edward VII. In fact, for four generations it has been the private residence of the British monarchs. Queen Elizabeth II spent part of her year every year at the estate until she passed in September of 2022.

Who lives in Sandringham House?

Sandringham House is primarily used as a country retreat for the Royal Family. Until recently, Queen Elizabeth II spent part of every year at Sandringham, typically from December to February. Prince Philip, before his passing in 2021, was also known to use it as a retreat, as well as the Prince and Princess of Wales and their children who have a home on estate at Anmer.

Where the Windsors spend Christmas

The Royal Family attend a Christmas church service on the estate.

With the ballroom, dining hall and reception rooms, the estate is a popular location for family gatherings and celebrations. It’s also used for official events and engagements, with the house’s state rooms sometimes being used for hosting visiting dignitaries and other important guests.

The estate itself is managed by the Sandringham Estate Office, which oversees the running of the house, gardens, and parklands, as well as other commercial and agricultural activities on the land.

The traditional Royal Christmas at Sandringham

How old is Sandringham House?

Sandringham House has a long and rich history, with parts of the house dating back to the 18th century.

The Sandringham House we know was built in 1870 for Prince Albert Edward, who later became King Edward VII. It was intended to be a comfortable and modern country home for the prince and his family. Throughout the years, the building has been extended and renovated by subsequent generations of the Royal Family, including King George V and King George VI.

Prince Charles Sandringham Flower Show Norfolk

King Charles III at the Sandringham Flower Show.

Was part of Sandringham House pulled down?

What’s fascinating is that the Sandringham House we now know isn’t the original on the estate. The original house on the site was built in 1771 by Cornish Henley. Part of it was pulled down and replaced by a new building in the late 19th century.

When the old house was finally demolished completely a new wing was added to Sandringham House to replace it. This new wing was designed by architect W.D. Caroe and built between 1902-1904.

Who built Sandringham House?

The current house was built between 1869 and 1870 in the popular Jacobean style that spanned the 16th and early 17th centuries.

It was designed by architect A.J. Humbert and the construction overseen by the estate’s agent, John Turner, who worked closely with Humbert to ensure that the house met the prince’s requirements. This included the modern, and incredibly luxurious, amenities of the time – central heating and hot water.

Robbie Williams at Sandringham August 2023

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