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Hermitage Gate - its historical and famous connections
7th Jun 2012
The house and 57-acre estate was sold to the Hon. James Hamilton in 1788 who set about enlarging the house by commissioning Sir John Soane, the foremost architect of his day. Notable visitors to the house included Prime Ministers William Pitt and George Canning, the Duke of Wellington, Sir Walter Scott and Lady Hamilton. In 1848 the Dowager Queen Adelaide, widow of William IV, leased the house, which was frequently visited by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.
Eventually it came into the possession of the Air Ministry and remained its home for more than 80 years – playing the vital role during the Second World War as Fighter Command HQ. Air Chief Marshall Lord Dowding successfully executed command of the Battle of Britain and the D-Day landings from the house.