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Exning’s the Rosery Country House Hotel with royal connections is back on the market

A historic village property with royal connections is up for sale for the second time in two years, with a price tag of £1,050,000.

The Rosery Country House Hotel, in Church Street, Exning, is on the market again having been previously purchased by a private buyer as recently as June 2022.

The 16-bedroom hotel, which also has a coach house and garden room, has been closed for some time and is described by Swaffham Prior-based agents Noyes and Noyes as dilapidated and in need of refurbishment.

The Rosery Hotel in Exning
The Rosery Hotel in Exning

It is a far cry from the Victorian manor house where Queen Mary was often entertained by her close friend Beatrice Fetherstonhaugh, who bought The Rosery in about 1932 after the death of her husband, Major Frederick Fetherstonhaugh, who was equerry to King George V and manager of the royal stud at Sandringham.

The couple had previously lived at Royal Lodge in Windsor Park at the gift of the royal family and were frequently invited to social functions.

The King appeared to value Beatrice’s opinions on the thoroughbred as a number of letters exist in which His Majesty thanks her for advice about breeding and she continued to buy horses for him at Newmarket.

Queen Mary would often call at The Rosery on her way to and from the royal estate in Norfolk, sometimes accompanied by her daughter-in-law Queen Elizabeth, later the Queen Mother, when Beatrice would be hostess for lunch or tea.

Beatrice lived at the Rosery until her death in 1951.

An earlier owner of The Rosery was William Gardner, who also owned the adjoining property called The Yews, where he established a stud.

His wife was Mary Hayhoe, whose father Joseph was trainer to Baron Meyer de Rothschild at Palace House Stables, now part of the Horseracing Museum.

The Rosery was converted to a hotel and restaurant in the 1970s, when it soon became popular among visitors to Newmarket and Cambridge and, with its large dining room, function rooms, patio and gardens, also hosted corporate as well as private events including weddings.