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It was built by the famous American socialite Barbara Hutton in the 1930s. She was dubbed the 'poor little rich girl' because of her troubled life and lived there for a period with her husband Cary Grant.

The 35-room mansion replaced a John Nash building and was named after Hutton's grandfather Frank Winfield Woolworth, founder of the retail stores. It has been the US Ambassador's residence in London since 1955.

The house stands behind fifteen-foot high iron gates on land that was once part of a 'great forest, with wooded glades and lairs of wild beasts, deer both red and fallow, wild bulls and boars'. 

President Eisenhower escorts Sir Winston Churchill into Winfield House in 1959

President Eisenhower escorts Sir Winston Churchill into Winfield House in 1959

Half a century before the Norman Conquest the land belonged to the Abbey of Barking. Over the years, King Henry VIII hunted there, Queen Elizabeth I used it for entertaining dignitaries, King James I offered it as collateral to raise money to go to war and King Charles II had the whole area 'disparked' and opened to the public.

Winfield House is unique among American residences because it was originally a gift to the US Government. 

It has since been showered with riches in the form of antique furniture, paintings, porcelain, china, glass, chandeliers, objets d'art – all the things that make it the beautiful house visitors see today.

The Queen is greeted at Winfield House by then US President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle in 2011

The Queen is greeted at Winfield House by then US President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle in 2011

The first to use the house as the ambassadorial residence was Winthrop Aldrich. Ambassador and Mrs Aldrich moved in on January 18, 1955 after a significant restoration had taken place.

When Ambassador Elliot Richardson arrived in 1975 his wife said, 'the house was absolutely wonderful. . . a joy to move into' and when Ambassador Anne Armstrong moved in in 1976

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