A timeline through Burrough Court’s first 96 years (1905 – 2001).

Burrough Court has over 100 years of history dating back to 1905, with links to the Royal family, Walter Brierley and Mamaduke Furness. The below timeline identifies just why, bringing together the first 96 years up until 2001. 


Where it all began… Back in 1905 Captain Alffrey commissioned and designed the build of Burrough Court. During 1906 the grand country house was built in the Arts and Crafts style, by the great northern architect Walter Brierley. Burrough Court was built as a popular hunting lodge for the gentry and Royal family.

Burrough Court House


Marmaduke Furness, one of the world’s richest men, brought Burrough Court and used it as his country retreat for entertaining guests and socialising.

Marmaduke and Thelma Furness
Marmaduke and Thelma Furness


Lord Furness developed a deep love for Africa and brought back Zebras and Giraffes. Which is the inspiration behind our logo and branding.

Lady Furness riding a Zebra in the Paddock


Edward VIII, Prince of Wales visited Lord & Lady Furness regularly and met his future wife Wallis Simpson who had a close relationship with Lady Furness.

Edward VIII, Prince of Wales and Wallis Simpson


Thelma Furness was the second wife of Marmaduke Furness who divorced her in 1933 because of her public affairs with Edward VIII, Prince of Wales and Aly Khan.

Prince of Wales and Thelma at Burrough Court [Source: The Bell Family, an Exploration by Michael Bell]

Edward VIII, Prince of Wales and Thelma were lovers when she introduced the Prince to her close friend and fellow American socialite Wallis Simpson at one of their house parties in November 1931. Their relationship took a few years to blossom and Thelma made a trip to America and asked Wallis to keep an eye on the Prince in her absence.

On returning to England, she was faced by the public news story that the Prince of Wales and Wallis had forged a relationship. In anger it is said that she had a three-seater sofa (which had been frequently used by all three of them) altered into a two-seater sofa which we are in possession of.


Wallis Simpson sued her husband for divorce in July 1936 so that she was able to marry Edward VIII, Prince of Wales.


Sadly during 1944 at the end of World War II Burrough Court house was destroyed in a fire, allegedly due to the 10th Battalion Parachute Regiment using explosives to get access to a sealed wine cellar!

The house was situated where the grainstore is today which is to the left of the main car park


Willfred Keene buys Burrough Court and the farm at auction.

Wilfred Keene


It was during 1975 that Burrough Court acted as a store for Walkers crisps potatoes.

Tony Keene on top of the Walkers boxes


And then the journey to the Burrough Court you now see began. Planning permission was granted for Fred Wilson, husband to Dawn Keene for the courtyard and grooms’ quarters to be restored into offices and meeting rooms. 

The groom’s quarter (before) & the Duke of Windsor entrance (today)


2001 was an exciting time and a year that we saw our very first businesses move up to Burrough Court. We also had our 1MB leased line installed and, the Bower House Story DVD was created on the Royal romance. A USB version is available to purchase at the Coffee Shop for £10. 

The Courtyard today – offices, meeting rooms, co-working space, a coffee shop & yoga & pilates studio

If you would like to learn more about Burrough Court or to get in touch you have the following options;