Story of the Estate
Going back 400 years…
There has been a building on the site of Farncombe House, at 750 feet near the top of the Estate, for more than four centuries. A title deed relating to the site dates back to around 1560. The first building was an ox hall, replaced by a mansion house in 1780. Over the years, Farncombe House has been extended and modernised for many uses.
During World War I, for instance, Farncombe House was used as a military hospital. A plaque commemorating this and a framed letter from Sir Winston Churchill hang in the reception area of the House. There is another link with Churchill. Towards the end of his life, Group 4 provided security protection for his home, Chartwell. On his death, Lady Churchill expressed her appreciation to the company with a gift of goldfish from Chartwell. Their descendants still thrive in the lake below the terrace gardens on the west side of Farncombe House.
In 1964, Group 4 bought Farncombe House, then a hotel, and the old Farncombe farmhouse, with 100 acres of land. Group 4 moved its UK head office into Farncombe House and converted the farm buildings to provide a training centre. Today the house and farm buildings are offices for G4S. Village-style setting Farncombe House stands in Worcestershire on Fish Hill. In 1970, Foxhill Manor, half a mile down the hill and over the county boundary into Gloucestershire, came on the market.
Group 4 bought the Manor and its 100 acres for more Head Office accommodation. Other buildings were gradually converted into training rooms, bedrooms and other spaces. Cotswold Conference Centre – which becomes Farncombe Estate Centre at weekends – now occupies most of the lower part of the Estate, offering a village-style setting for delegates and students from all over the country. The most recent development – in 2011 – was the addition of Maudslay Court, a Cotswold stone courtyard with 32 ensuite bedrooms. This attractive new building makes a stunning addition to the Farncombe landscape.