Burhill Clubhouse

Burhill History

The Burhill Estate, home to Burhill Golf Club has an intriguing history. The stunning mansion that we see today has had its share of ups and downs, residence for several important and affluent individuals and the setting for some incredible historical achievements. Below is a snapshot of some key dates in the mansion’s history.



The mansion was built as a private residence by Peter De La Porte, a wealthy London Thread Merchant.


Brigadier-General John Johnson inherited the house.


Grandson of the above Charles Kemeys-Tynte, MP for Bridgewater, Somerset, inherited the property from his father Lieutenant-Colonel John Kemeys-Tynte.


Francis Thomas Bircham, a Parliamentary lawyer acquired the property.


Fire destroyed the whole mansion, which was rebuilt the same year.


Bircham granted a lease to Elizabeth Wellesley – Duchess of Wellington (who died in 1904).


Sir Edward Cecil Guinness (the future 1st Earl of Iveagh) purchased the property from Samuel Bircham, son of Francis Bircham.


Already settled at Elvedan Hall, Thetford and his son Rupert (future 2nd Earl of Iveagh) put the Burhill Estate up for auction (over 1,500 acres) without success and it was withdrawn from the market.


Rupert Guinness leased the mansion (and land for two 18 hole golf courses) to a syndicate of local businessmen.


Burhill Golf Club opened.


Lord Iveagh agreed with club members that the new course would close in order to provide grazing for sheep and highland cattle to assist the government in providing home grown food to support the war effort.


Lord Iveagh agreed with the government that the Ministry of Aircraft Production could requisition Burhill Golf Club for use of a workforce of 200, headed by Barnes Wallis, (later Sir Barnes Wallis CBE FRS) creator of the famous ‘Bouncing Bomb’. Barnes was also known for his design of several aircraft including the Wellington, Warwick and Windsor bombers. Miss Olga Mills was appointed the Club Secretary from her boss, Major F.A. Stephens, which was a big deal given that there were hardly any female Club Secretaries at this time.


The Clubhouse was restored to the members.


Building of the New Course commenced. and took roughly 6 months. The course was built on mostly the same land as the the original New Course back in 1932. Work also began on the restoration of the mansion.


The New Course opened in May 2001, with the Clubhouse being officially re-opened by the 4th Earl of Iveagh on 3rd September. This was 62 years to the day of the outbreak of WW2 that caused the course to be closed for food production. The opening featured guests such as Tour Players, Gary Orr and Paul Casey.


Burhill Golf Club celebrated its centenary.


Burhill Golf Club was chosen to host the Regional Qualifying for The Open Championship until 2020. Burhill’s 6,957-yard New Course joined a plethora of five-star venues as one of 13 Regional Qualifying venues around the UK. Since opening in 2001, the New Course’s undulating greens, strategic bunkering, and meandering water hazards, have presented elite players with a stern test in Senior Open Qualifying and on the EuroPro Tour.