Donnington Grove
Shaw-cum-Donnington, Berkshire

The Donnington Grove Estate is set in a delightful and secluded position on the outskirts of Newbury and is overlooked by the historic Donnington Castle. The present house was built by James Pettit Andrews between 1763 and 1772 to designs by John Chute. This style is now known as Strawberry Hill Gothic, after the house created for his friend, Horace Walpole, in Twickenham. The land purchased by Andrews, adjoining his brother's estate at Shaw House, was, at the time, not extensive and, during his ownership, Donnington Grove could more properly be described as a house with grounds rather than a country estate.

Records show the house was expensive to construct and the house and grounds costly to maintain. For whatever reasons, the estate was sold to William Brummell in 1783 and it was this gentleman who turned Donnington Grove into a proper country seat. By the time of Brummell's death, in 1794, the estate covered some 800 acres, the house and stables had been extended, Grove Farm created and the entrance lodges erected.

There is no doubt that it was Brummell who was responsible for much of the landscaping that can be seen today. Although no record of a landscape architect can be found, it was likely that William Brummell, the father of Beau Brummell, would have mixed in the sort of circles to have picked up an extensive knowledge of estate landscaping.

Brummell's will stated that the estate should be sold after his death and the proceeds divided amongst his children. In 1795, Donnington Grove transferred to John Bebb, an East India Company Official and, after the death of his widow in 1850, the estate again changed hands to Head Pottinger Best. The house remained in the family until 1936, when it was sold to a Mrs. Amy Swithinbank. However, like so many other country estates, the house was requisitioned in 1940 for Allied Supplies Ltd. After the War, the estate was sold to the Hon. Reginald Fellows and remained in the family until its purchase by Shi-tennoji International in December 1991.

The estate, which comprises of 550 acres, was a mixture of parkland, farmland and woodland, with the River Lambourn running through it. These variations in the landscape provided an ideal setting for a championship golf course. Dave Thomas, one of Britain's foremost golf architects was assigned the task of creating a golf course that was in keeping with the listed landscape gardens and lake to the south of the house. The construction of the course started in November 1991 and on the 12 June 1993 the Donnington Grove Country Club opened.

As of the 1st April 2000, Donnington Grove changed names to Parasampia Golf & Country Club. This name was already being used by the company in Japan and was brought to the forefront to give the Golf and Country Club a more distinctive name. Parasampia comes from Sanskrit meaning "distant heavenly place". It has since reverted to the Donnington Grove name.

From notes prepared by  Donnington Grove Country Club.

Donnington Grove is now an hotel and golf club. It is available for wedding receptions.

 

    Nash Ford Publishing 2002. All Rights Reserved.