Our History

Ashridge House’s history dates back over 700 years with significant residents such as King Henry VIII, a wartime hospital and most recently, a world-renowned business school.

The Egerton Collection

The Egerton Collection of portraits and paintings returned on loan to Ashridge House in 1996. The portraits in this collection depict members of the Egerton family and others connected to the Egerton family. Many of the portraits had hung at Ashridge until the death of the Third Earl Brownlow in 1921. After the break up of the Ashridge Estate in the 1920’s  the paintings were dispersed to other properties before being gathered together and returned on loan.


1283 – Monastery

The College of Bonhommes monastery is founded by Edmund, Earl of Cornwall in 1283 and flourished as a seat of learning and debate.

1539 – Royal Residence

King Henry VIII turns Ashridge into one of his many private residences in 1539.

1550 – Royal Residence

Ownership of Ashridge is formally transferred to Princess Elizabeth as stipulated in her father’s (King Henry VIII’s) will. Princess Elizabeth lived here until she was arrested by her sister by Mary in 1554.

1604 – Private House

Sir Thomas Egerton (Queen Elizabeth I’s Lord Keeper) buys Ashridge. It becomes home to the Dukes and Earls of Bridgewater for 245 years.

1808 – Private House

The house is almost completely rebuilt by James Wyatt and, following his death, his son Benjamin and nephew Sir Jeffry Wyatville.

1929 – Training centre for the Conservative Party

The house was bought by Urban Hanlon Broughton.  It was used as a training centre for Conservative Party workers to commemorate Andrew Bonar Law, the Prime Minister.

1939 – WWII Hospital

Ashridge is used a hospital during WWII. The concrete overspill wards remain Crown property until 1983 for use as a Public Records Office.

1959 – Present, Ashridge Executive Education, Hult International Business School

Ashridge Management College is established with the support of leading companies including Guinness, Shell and Unilever.  Part of Hult International Business School, we strive to be the most relevant business school in the world.