In 1798 King George III gave this land to John Penn, Grandson of the founder of the State Pennsylvania USA. John built the Castle and landscaped the Cliff where the lodges are built.
John Penn was Governor Of the Isle of Portland, a Member of Parliament, and friend of the Court of George III. King George gifted him the land whilst they rode in the area and John employed James Wyatt to build the Castle. This famous royal Architect had built John’s main residence, Stoke Park, Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire.
The interiors were resplendent in artefacts John had gathered from the State of Pennsylvania. He had built a house in Philadelphia called Solitude where he lived for three years and entertained dignitaries like George Washington.
The painter JMW Turner sketched the Cove, Thomas Hardy walked the grounds and based ‘The Well Beloved’ here. Churchill, Eisenhower, De Galle and King George looked out over Clifftops as they planned the D Day landings followed by 400,000 American Troops and 150,000 vehicles passing the Cove for the Normandy Beaches.
The Estate has been a private home and hotel in the past and is now part of Morris Group, an Australian Company with a diverse range of interests including hospitality venues in Australia. These include Orpheus Island on the Great Barrier Reef, Daintree Ecolodge, Mt Mulligan Lodge, MY Flying Fish and the The Ville. Visit Northern Escape to learn more or ask in the Estate Office to arrange an introduction.
Penn Estate is managed by a local team, many of whom knew the Castle and the Cove as they grew up in the area. We have a real passion for sharing this wonderful space and ensuring it sustainably grows as a location and business.