Maps & Travels
Towns & Villages
Castles & Houses
Odds & Ends
with Sunninghill &
Sunningdale: Places of Races & Robbers
- Sunninghill and Ascot & Sunningdale are adjoining parishes in
- Ascot was an important area for the people of the Bronze Age. They
buried their dead there in large round burial mounds.
- In Saxon times, a chief called Sunna set up a kingdom covering East
Berkshire. He lived at Sonning, near Reading,
but he also had a hill and a valley named after him at Sunninghill and
- In Medieval times, a nunnery was set up on the Surrey border at
Bromhall. The nuns did not have any rich patrons and were always very
poor. They argued with the King about grazing pigs in the forest!
- In Tudor times, King Henry VII had a hunting lodge at Sunninghill.
His son, Prince Arthur, visited. Another son became King Henry
He held a Royal Council there.
- After the Civil War, King Charles II let his girlfriend, Nell
Gwynne, live at the Hunting Lodge.
- Ascot Racecourse was laid out for Queen Anne in 1711. She wanted
somewhere near her home at Windsor
Castle to watch the horse races. The Duke of Cumberland made it
very popular in the 1760s.
- In Georgian times, Ascot Heath was a very dangerous area to travel
through. There were lots of Highwaymen waiting to rob you. A rich man
once shot one there, but said he "thought nothing more of it than
- During this period, Sunninghill became famous as a 'health spa'.
There was a spring of water there. Rich people, including the King,
came to drink the water and bathe in it.
- In the 1920s, Agatha Christie, the famous mystery writer, lived in
Sunningdale. She created her own real life mystery when she
disappeared for eleven days. She turned up in Harrogate but never
revealed what she'd been doing!