Gog Magog House

Gog Magog House

Both my great, great grandfather, Peter Dean Sr. and his son, my great grandfather, Peter Dean Jr. worked as gardeners at Gog Magog House, the seat of George Godolphin Osborne, 2nd Baron Godolphin,[1] from about 1840 to 1890. Peter Jr’s older brother, Elbourn,  also worked there as a servant in the 1870s & 1880s[1]. It is possible my grandfather, (John) Travis Dean started working there as well, as a carpenter when he was a teenager. All, at some point, also worked at Lord Obsorne’s Hornby Castle when he inherited it and became the 8th Duke of Leeds.

 In about 1685 a racing stable was built inside the old, iron age hill fort at Wandlebury[2] for King James II which was later acquired by Francis, 2nd Earl of Godolphin, in the 1730s. He created a major racing stable, also building a substantial house and garden called Gog Magog House.

Godolphin Arabian

Francis Godolphin was famous for raising the Godolphin Arabian[3] (c. 1724 – 1754), one of the three stallions that were the founders on the modern thoroughbred racing bloodstock[4].

The house was passed on through the generations to George Godolphin Osborne (1802 – 1872) who later became the 8th Duke of Leeds[5].

Gog Magog was demolished in 1954. The restored stables remain and are part of The Magog Downs an area for conservation and informal recreation owned and operated by the Magog Trust (http://www.magogtrust.fsnet.co.uk/index.htm).

[1] Nine years later, George’s cousin, the 7th Duke of Leeds, died and he also inherited the dukedom of Leeds, thus becoming styled His Grace The Duke of Leeds. The Godolphin barony and the dukedom remained united until the death of the last duke of Leeds in 1964, when both titles became extinct.

[1] See 1871 & 1881England Censuses

[4] The other two are the Darley Arabian and the Byerley Turk.  Many famous American horses of the past trace their sire line back to the Godolphin Arabian. These include Seabiscuit, Man o’ War, War Admiral, and Silky Sullivan.

[5] The Dukes of Leeds were all from the Osborne family. Lady Mary Godolphin, the 3rd daughter of Francis[Godolphin, 2nd Earl of Godolphin and eventually his sole heiress, married Thomas Osborne 4th Duke of Leeds in 1740 and Gog Magog house passed to the Osbornes through her.

 Photo Credits: Gog Magog Househttp://lh.matthewbeckett.com/houses/lh_cambridgeshire_gogmagoghouse_info_gallery.html

Godolphin Arabian: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godolphin_Arabian


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