There have been four buildings called Tottenham House on this site on the southern edge of Savernake Forest. The present palladian mansion was built in 1820.
The previous building, made of brick, was built by Lord Bruce in 1742, and designed by his brother-in-law the famous architect Lord Burlington.
When a subsequent Lord Bruce was created 1st Marquess of Ailesbury in 1820, he asked the architect Thomas Cundy to design a hugely bigger mansion, which was largely accomplished by building a much larger structure around the old Burlington house and covering the old bricks with blocks of Bath stone. In 1870 two large symmetrical wings were added. Tottenham House is a Grade 1 Listed Building.
Facing Tottenham House, on a hilltop, is the Ailesbury Column, erected in the 1770s to commemorate the restoration "to perfect health from a long and afflicting disorder" of his majesty King George III.
The family lived at Tottenham House until 1940, when they started to share it with the officers of the large US Army contingent based in Savernake Forest in preparation for D-Day. After the War ended, the family moved out to a smaller house on the Estate, and Tottenham House was then leased to Hawtreys boys school, until that school went bankrupt in 1994. Since then the House has been leased to the Amber Foundation, a registered charity for unemployed young people.
In 2002 the Earl of Cardigan announced that he had signed a deal with the Buena Vista Hospitality Group of Tampa, Florida, to turn Tottenham House into a Luxury Resort Hotel. A Planning Application for that was lodged in September 2004, and Full Planning Permission was granted to the project in July 2006. The completed project - which will take nearly 3 years to build - will have some 200 bedrooms, a Golfcourse, a state-of-the-art Conference Centre, and a luxury Spa. The project is currently on 'hold', pending the end of the world-wide recession.