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Waldegrave Drawing Room

Interior of the Waldegrave Drawing Room

The Waldegrave Drawing Room was built around 1855 when Frances Braham, the wife of the 7th Earl of Waldegrave, extended the Gothic villa "Strawberry Hill".

Strawberry Hill belonged to Horace Walpole, the 4th Earl of Orford and the youngest son of British Prime Minister Sir Robert Walpole.

The mansion, in Twickenham south west London, eventually passed to George Waldegrave in 1835. George became the 7th Earl of Waldegrave and married Frances Braham - his late brother's wife.

George Waldegrave died in 1846 leaving Strawberry Hill to his wife. Frances extended the house in 1855 when married to Liberal MP G.G. Harcourt and became a leading Liberal hostess.

Harcourt died in 1861, leaving Frances to marry her fourth husband, Chichester Fortescue MP, who became Lord Carlingford. Lady Waldegrave died in July 1879 aged 58.

Three years later, Carlingford, who inherited the estate, put it up for sale. It was bought by an American Hotel Company but sold on in 1883 to Baron de Stern. His son, created Lord Michelham in 1905, inherited the property in 1887 and when he died his widow sold the property to the Catholic Education Council.

Today, the Waldegrave Drawing Room is part of St Mary's University College, Twickenham and will host the Interreligious meeting on Friday 17 September.