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Selsdon Park Hotel - Rich in links to the Monarchy

The Queen's ancestor George Smith once resided at Seldon's Park Hotel and her ancestor's graves can be found at Sanderstead's All Saints Parish Church.

The destiny of Selsdon Park Hotel, formally known as Selsdon Mansion, as a noble residence was marked long ago when as far back as the ninth century, the area was named Selle Dun meaning mansion on the hill.

The Earl of Alfred once owned this mansion and its history spans almost a thousand years and has many royal connections.

Selsdon Mansion was once an Anglo-Saxon hall, a medieval farmhouse, a Tudor and Elizabethan manor house and a Victorian country seat and is now a very fine Hotel.

In 1538 King Henry VIII gave the manor to his financial advisor Sir John Gresham and it is believed the King stayed there whilst secretly courting Anne Boleyn who was staying nearby.

In the time of Edward the Confessor (1042-1066) the Selsdon mansion was worth 100 shillings (£1 in modern day money). 

In Sanderstead's All Saints Parish Church there lies a memorial which links past and present with the Royal family.

The vault of the Smith family can be located on the North side of the church and it is the Queen mother's grand mother, great grand parents and great great great father who are buried there.

The Queen Mother's great great grand father, George Smith was an MP and a banker, whose bank Smith Payne Smith has now been taken over by the National Westminster Bank.

He married Frances Mary and had 15 children including a son named Oswald. Oswald's daughter Frances Dora Smith married the 13th Earl Of Strathmore, Claude Bowes-Lyon in 1853.

Their Son Claude George Bowes-Lyon is the father of Elizabeth Bowes Lyon popularly known as the Queen Mother.

George Smith who resided at Selsdon House now known as Selsdon Park Hotel, is also buried in the Church yard.

Image: Photograph of the rear of Selsdon House - date unknown. (John Elverson)

Local historian Joy Gadsby and local parishioner at the church said : "The Smith family set up one of the first banks in England".

There's certainly a lot of very interesting people like the Smiths family buried in the Sanderstead Church including a captain of the East India Shipping Company".

The family connection with the local church was recently acknowledged by the Queen Mother who contributed to the restoration of the turret clock.

In 1844 her ancestor George Smith of Selsdon House gave the Church the clock to put in the tower and the Queen Mother's contribution has been commemorated by a plaque located inside the church.

Last modified: 14th January 2013 - Copyright Canning and Clyde Residents Association
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