The History of Billingbear

An aerial view of Billingbear Park in the 1940’s
  • At this time the land would have been dug up for crop farming during both World Wars.
  • Before this, in the Victorian period (1837-1901) there was a 9 hole golf course on the land.
  • We have circled the large woods and lakes for a reference point and the clubhouse’s location is in red
  • You can still make out the tree lines and some of the roads as they are today.
  • The woods were originally part of Windsor Great Park.

course map

 

 

 

1990
  • Martin Hawtree is given the job of reinstating the course and we think you’ll agree that he did a great job. Sunningdale, Royal Birkdale, Ballybunion and Trump International are some of the other courses that Mr Hawtree had a hand in desgining/ redesigning.
  • Luke Donald’s round with Mark Crossfield in 2016 proved that from the white tees our course is challenging enough to stop professionals tearing it apart while being very playable for amateurs. The elevated, small greens on our par 3 holes are particularly challenging.
19961999
  • Current owners, The Blainey family, purchased the course.
  • The M4, built in 1961, runs alongside the course
  • This picture shows the newly built Par 3 course in the lower half of the picture.
  • The old Portacabin was used as the clubhouse with a separate toilet block can be seen and the car park is much smaller

 

2015Present Day
  • Billingbear is now the beautifully kept, established course we know and love today
  • The clubhouse which was built in 2004 is in the top left of this picture.
  • Come and enjoy one of the best kept courses around.

Aerial view of Billingbear Both 9th greens and practice green

Billingbear House

The land that Billingbear Park Golf Course is on, was originally part of the land of Billingbear BillingbearHouse1669House.

Billingbear House, Berkshire, pictured here in 1669.
(1821 engraving derived from a 17th-century manuscript illustration).

Originally owned by the Bishop of Winchester, the land was given to Sir Henry Neville (father of politician and diplomat, Sir Henry Neville) in 1549 by King Edward VI. He finally took possession in 1567 and began construction of a Tudor mansion.

With the identification in 2005 of the younger Sir Henry Neville as a candidate for the authorship of the Shakespearean plays and sonnets, it is conceivable that some of those works might have been composed at Billingbear. It has been noted that the play The Merry Wives of Windsor displays a knowledge of local towns, a Windsor inn, and a local tale called Herne the Hunter.

When the house was visited by Cosimo III de’ Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany and Lorenzo Magalotti in 1669, their host was Colonel John Neville. A member of the duke’s retinue painted a view of the house during the two-day stay, which is one of various images to be found in an illustrated manuscript in the Laurentian Library, Florence. An English translation of this manuscript was published in London in 1821; Indian ink copies of the original 17th-century paintings, by Thomas Hosmer Shepherd, were reproduced as scaled-down engravings for inclusion in this publication.

The house stood until 1924, when it was destroyed by fire, and the shell then torn down. The surviving architectural features were used to restore the dilapidated Bulmershe Court, also in Berkshire, in 1925. One room of Billingbear House was transported to the United States in the early 20th century and survives today at Pace College in Manhattan, near the New York City Hall. It is reputedly haunted.