Anmer Hall

Anmer Hall

Building work at Anmer Hall, 2013
Location in Norfolk, England
General information
Architectural style Georgian
Location Anmer, Norfolk, England
Coordinates 52°50′3.3″N 0°34′47″E / 52.834250°N 0.57972°E / 52.834250; 0.57972Coordinates: 52°50′3.3″N 0°34′47″E / 52.834250°N 0.57972°E / 52.834250; 0.57972
Current tenants Duke and Duchess of Cambridge
Renovated 2013–2014
Renovation cost £1.5 million

Anmer Hall is a Georgian country house in the village of Anmer in Norfolk, England. It is about 12 miles (19 km) north east of Kings Lynn, about 2 miles (3.2 km) east of the Queen's residence at Sandringham[1] and about 2 miles (3.2 km) west of Houghton Hall. Anmer Hall was a wedding gift to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge from the Queen.[2]

The current house was built in the 18th century and has formed part of the Sandringham estate since 1898. The house was registered as a Grade II* listed building in 1984 but was later de-listed.[3]


The current late-Georgian house dates from the 18th century, although it may be built around an earlier core. It has two storeys and attic with dormer windows. The long south front comprises 13 bays, and was refaced with red bricks c. 1815. It has 13 ground-floor windows set in blank arches and a semicircular porch on two Tuscan columns, with 11 windows on the first floor. The three central bays are topped by a pediment. The north front is of rubble carstone and includes four c. 17th century ogee-headed sashes on the first floor. Renovations c. 1900 added a brick dressed skin to the north front, together with a projecting entrance porch and a tower towards the eastern end, in the corner formed with a carstone service wing also added c. 1900.

The surrounding estate became a scheduled ancient monument in 2003, and includes earthworks marking the sites of buildings from the medieval village of Anmer.[4] The village church, St Mary, lies close to the house, but a short distance away from the modern village.


Anmer Hall was the seat of the Coldham family from at least 1705. The Sandringham estate was bought by Queen Victoria in 1862 as a wedding present for the Prince of Wales, later Edward VII, and neighbouring land was added to the estate in the subsequent years.

In 1896, the estate was purchased at auction for £25,000 by the famed serial fraudster[5] Ernest Terah Hooley before his first bankruptcy. The Prince had attempted to purchase the property prior to Hooley's acquisition.[6] Through an intermediary, the Prince asked Hooley that he be allowed to purchase it from him, ostensibly for his daughter Maud. Hooley agreed, allowing him to buy it at cost in 1898. It has been alleged that a motivation for the Prince's action was to avoid the possibility of Hooley's business promoter Alexander Meyrick Broadley, whom the Prince had earlier forced from Society, from becoming a constant guest on the estate, and therefore near-neighbour.[7] Together with the Prince's eldest son and an equerry, Broadley had been implicated in the Cleveland Street Scandal.[8][9]

Anmer Hall, shown with new roof, in October 2014

Anmer Hall was leased to John Loader Maffey, 1st Baron Rugby (1877–1969), who was to become Governor-General of the Sudan, Permanent Secretary of the Colonial Office and wartime Ambassador to Dublin. His daughter Penelope (1910–2005) socialised with the Royal Family, and was reportedly a favourite of King George V.

From 1972 to 1990, the house was leased to the Duke and Duchess of Kent as their country house. In February 1990, the Duke and Duchess of Kent left Anmer Hall, moving to Crocker End House in Nettlebed in Oxfordshire. From 1990 to 2000, it was rented by Hugh van Cutsem (1941–2013).[1] It was then leased to the family of James Everett, owner of kitchen timber company Norfolk Oak.[10]

In January 2013, it was reported that the Queen had allocated Anmer Hall for use by William, Duke of Cambridge, his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and family.[11][12][13] The lease to the Everett family was terminated early, before its expiry in 2017, to allow redevelopment.[14]

To accommodate the Duke and Duchess using the house as their main residence whilst William worked as a pilot for East Anglian Air Ambulance, a £1.5 million refurbishment programme was put in place. Paid for from private Royal family funds, this included: a complete new roof; new kitchen; the addition of a conservatory designed by architect Charles Morris (who previously designed extensions to Highgrove House);[1] complete internal redecoration; and an extensive tree-planting programme to afford the Duke and Duchess greater privacy.[15]


  1. 1 2 3 Martin Robinson, One requires a conservatory! Wills and Kate set to join Middle Britain with glass-roofed extension at new Sandringham home as aides apply for planning permission, The Daily Mail, 1 October 2013
  2. Birchley, Emma (3 May 2015). "New Norfolk Home For Royal Family Of Four". Sky News. Retrieved 3 May 2015.
  3. "Anmer Hall, Anmer". British Listed Buildings.
  4. Medieval settlement around Anmer Hall, English Heritage
  5. Robb, George White-Collar Crime in Modern England: Financial Fraud and Business Morality, 1845-1929, Cambridge University Press, 1992, pp105-107
  6. Hooley, Paul (2014-11-18). "The secret crook who owned William and Kate's new home". Retrieved 2016-05-14.
  7. La Marquise de Fontenoy (pseudonym of Marguerite Cunliffe-Owen), Chicago Tribune, 8 May 1916
  8. Another London Society Leader Gone., The Salt Lake Herald Wednesday, January 1, 1890
  9. The West End Scandal: Another Flight, Evening News (Sydney, Australia), Tuesday 14 January 1890,
  10. "Norfolk Oak – Contact details".
  11. "Prince William to swap armed forces for royal and charity duties". BBC News. 12 September 2013. Retrieved 12 September 2013.
  12. "Plenty of room for the little ones! Queen has 'earmarked' huge country house on Sandringham estate for William and Kate", Daily Mail
  13. Rayer, Gordon. "Queen seeks permission for 'major development' on Sandringham estate,", 10 January 2013, accessed 11 January 2013.
  14. So can the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge avoid the scandals of Anmer Hall?, Daily Express, 13 January 2013
  15. "Anmer Hall: inside Kate and William's new home- News – The Week UK". The Week UK.

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