Elizabeth I saved on the upkeep of the court by lengthy progresses round the country that required her nobles to foot the bill for feeding her household. The queen stayed at the fifteenth-century manor house of Fawsley in 1575 as a guest of the MP, Sir Richard Knightley. Sir Richard later fell from royal favour for secretly printing Puritan tracts at Fawsley Hall. The bedroom Elizabeth is thought to have used – overlooking the Great Hall - is now very popular with brides who book their weddings there.
In 1651 after Charles I was defeated at the Battle of Worcester his son, the future Charles II, went on the run. Disguised as a servant, Prince Charles passed through Stratford and Wooton Warren and may have spent the night at the Noel Arms in Chipping Camden before it too fell to the Parliamentarian Army. So many English inns and hotels claim Charles I OR II that it would have taken him a year to get out of Britain if he'd stopped at all of them, but the Noel Arms was certainly on his route to the sea. The hotel today retains many original seventeenth-century features.
Coul House with its remarkable octagonal core was built for Sir George Steuart Mackenzie, Seventh Baronet of Coul in 1821. His descendant, Robert Ramsay Mackenzie, the Tenth Baronet, was for many years Governor General of Queensland but returned to live in the house from 1868 until his death in 1873. The Mackenzies then abandoned Coul, but the house was used in 1888 to entertain Queen Victoria, a great enthusiast for Scotland, who had been visiting the nearby spa town of Strathpeffer. In her honour there was a Highland gathering at Coul House and a painting of that occasion is in the possession of Stuart and Susannah Macpherson, the current owners.
In May 1901 Edward VII had only been king four months when he came to Eastbourne for a royal house party at Compton Place in the company of the Marquis of Abergavenny. By this stage Compton Place had been made into a golf course by its owner, the Seventh Duke of Devonshire. The Duke had also turned half the Compton estate into the seaside town of Eastbourne and The Grand Hotel (built in 1875 by William Earp) was its undoubted showpiece. Before leaving Eastbourne, the king inspected the hotel. To this day the Dukes of Devonshire have a suite reserved for them in The Imperial.
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