Report - Prime Minister's Equine Graveyard and Grotto. Epsom July 2010

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professor frink

Reppin Bumbaclaat
28DL Full Member
Nov 1, 2009
London / Surrey
This is a little bit different but thought I would stick it up anyway.

Whilst looking on the internet at listed buildings in my locality I turned up a Grotto in Epsom and decided to do a bit of investigation.

Located in the grounds of a large house called the 'Durdans' lies an 18th century grade 2 listed grotto.

The Durdans was previously owned by the 1894-1895 Prime Minister Lord Rosebery.

Lord Rosebery was a horse racing fanatic and in 1881 he built the Durdans Stables, which were once described as being the 'finest in the country'.

This enabled him to fulfil his dream of winning the Derby, he still remains to this day the only Prime Minister to own a horse that has won the Derby.

In the grounds of the house were the graves of the Derby winners.



Ladas - Lord Rosebery's 1894 Derby winner. (The shortest-priced winner in the history of the Derby)

Sir-Visto - Lord Rosebery's 1895 Derby and 1895 St. Leger winner.

Cicero - Lord Rosebery's 1905 Derby winner.

Amato - Sir G. Heathcote MP and former owner of the Durdans 1838 Derby winner.

Amato never raced before or after winning the Derby.

Eventually after falling down badger holes and getting stung to f00k we stumbled across the Grotto.
It was in such remarkably good condition I felt compelled to fashion a besom from a nearby pine tree branch and sweep it out.

The 18th century brick and flint grade 2 listed grotto.

Three of the five arched seats inside.

Ornately carved flowers and fruits once adorned the walls.

The flint and crystal domed roof.



Managed to get a sneaky shot of the Durdans before leaving. (There was a garden party in full swing)