Coudreye, Cowdry, and then Cowdray
The name Cowdray (or Coudreye) has been associated with Midhurst since the 11th century when Sir John Bohun built a fortified manor on the site where Cowdray ruins are today.
The ruins are Grade I listed and from a much later building, constructed in the 16th century. In it's prime, Cowdray House was a very fine Tudor country house and was visited by Henry VIII and Elizabeth I.
Destroyed by Fire
Over the centuries the land and house had several different owners until, in 1793 it was destroyed in a fire and left in ruins.
The title Viscount Cowdray was created in the early part of the 20th century when the estate was bought by Sir Weetman Pearson. He became the first Viscount Cowdray in 1917. The current Viscount Cowdray is his great-grandson.
The Cowdray Estate is an important local employer and contributes significantly to the overall economy of the town and through various sporting and hospitality events. The golden yellow doors and window frames are a distinctive feature of the properties owned by the estate.
The town benefits from its connection with the Cowdray name. Lord and Lady Cowdray are patrons of various societies and the land around the Cowdray ruins is often used for community events like Madhurst.