It’s almost a cliché to call something historic these days. Every time anyone does anything of any note, it’s historic.
Any building that’s managed to survive since, well, the 1960s is historic.
But at Foxhills, the golf club and resort based in Surrey, this isn’t just an idle boast. The site boasts a pedigree that dates back to the Middle Ages. It was originally heath and woodland owned by Chertsey Abbey, the Benedictine monastery that was founded in the seventh century.
Foxhills really came to note in the 18th century, though, when the politician Charles James Fox came to live in the area with his mistress Elizabeth Armistead in 1780.
Fox, who it will cause no surprise is whom the estate is now named after, was a rising star in Parliament but a man with a predilection for gambling, drinking and the high life in general.
Foxhills’ website tells the story of how he once made a bet with the Prince Regent as to the number of cats they would see on Bond Street. Another legendary tale involved him surviving a duel in Hyde Park, arguing that he would have died from his wound had his opponent, William Adam, not used government issued gunpowder.
Following his death, the estate passed through several hands down the decades. It was even used as a home for wounded officers during the Great War.
A generation later, as Britain went to war with Hitler, the farm, which is now the site of the Bernard Hunt course, was handed over to the Dig for Victory campaign. Even today, Foxhills are still happily making news – though this time in the sporting arena.
Because aside from the two championship courses, and the first par 3 course of its kind in Britain, the estate also hosted Team GB’s ultra successful road race cycling team during the London Olympics six years ago.