Cliveden from Maidenhead Bridge
Artist: Grimm, Samuel Hieronymus
Medium: Ink on paper
Cliveden was built in 1666 by George Villiers, the Second Duke of Buckingham, as a hunting lodge and a place of entertainment for his extensive circle of hedonistic, aristocratic and royal friends. When Villiers died, the house passed to Frederick, Prince of Wales, father of King George III. In 1751, after Frederick's death, Cliveden fell into disrepair and was eventually demolished.
A century later a new house was built, which rivalled the original in size and opulence. In 1893 the wealthiest man in America, William Astor, took over the property. Throughout its 350 year long history, the house has been frequented by the prime movers and shakers of their times, including Queen Victoria, Charlie Chaplin, Winston Churchill, George Bernard Shaw and President Roosevelt. It is perhaps best known as the scene of the Profumo affair - a political scandal which rocked the country in the 1960s. Probably a lesser known fact is that the first performance of Rule Britannia took place here in 1740.