Located in the Main Mansion (first floor). Lady Astor was the most famous hostess in Cliveden's colourful history. Her bedroom is little changed from that time and now offers guests one of the very grandest suites in England.
The mighty over mantel, with its myriad of mythical creatures, heraldic devices and exuberant ornamentation provides a stunning focus of attention that dates from the reign of Elizabeth I. The windows flood the room with light and provide sweeping views over the Parterre and River Thames beyond, while the furnishings are particularly lavish.
The suite also opens out onto an enormous private terrace, with a table and chairs for six, benches and sun loungers. The scheme of this guest room is white and the panelling is American oak. This suite has a large bathroom with separate makeup area. Also, this bedroom is the only registered bedroom for up to 60 people for a wedding ceremony.
As you admire John Singer Sargent's famous portrait on her bedroom wall, it is easy to imagine Nancy's extraordinary personal magnetism and understand what a remarkable character she was. Not only was she the first woman to become a member of parliament but she exerted enormous influence with everyone from politicians to royalty and industrialists to artists. Staying in what was her personal room is a special experience that will be savoured for many years to come.
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A National Trust admission fee of £11.50 per person will be added to your bill (excluding National Trust members, with valid membership cards).
The History of the Lady Astor Suite
Lady Astor (1879-1964), born Nancy Witcher Langhorne was born on 19th May 1879 in Danville, Virginia.
In 1906 Nancy Langhorne married William Waldorf Astor's eldest son, Waldorf, who gave them Cliveden as a wedding present. They employed 50 gardeners, 12 stablemen, six housemaids and six laundry maids before the First World War. The Astors made Cliveden into a centre of political and literary society, both in this period and during the inter-war years. Regular guests included Henry James, George Bernard Shaw, Rudyard Kipling, Balfour and Churchill.
Waldorf Astor became the 2nd Viscount Astor on the death of his father in 1919 and so had to resign as a Member of Parliament. Lady Astor fought the subsequent by-election at Plymouth and became the first woman to take her seat in the House of Commons. Her subsequent political career and her extraordinary personal magnetism have become legendary.
She and Lord Astor gave Cliveden to the National Trust in 1942 but continued to live there until her death in 1964. The National Trust has loaned the famous portrait of Nancy Astor by John Singer Sargent, which hangs on the left of the fireplace in the hall.