Who lives at Raynham?
Our ancestors have owned the land surrounding Raynham since the 12th century. Sir Roger Townshend was the founder of the present day Raynham Hall. He was created a baronet in 1617 and began work on the hall shortly afterwards in 1621. He was a great architectural innovator and the hall’s design and construction were considered to be many decades ‘before their time’.
The restoration of the monarchy in 1660 was a pivotal moment for the family. Sir Roger’s younger brother Sir Horatio Townshend, was a great favourite of King Charles II. In 1671 the king and his entourage stayed at Raynham Hall and Sir Horatio was created the first Viscount Townshend of Rainham in 1682.
The second Viscount was renowned agricultural innovator Charles “Turnip” Townshend, a pioneer of the four-course rotation crop system which was a driving force of the Agricultural Revolution and resulted in the large scale cultivation of turnips across England. We like to think that this spirit of innovation and early adoption of cutting edge technologies still colours so much of what we do here at Raynham.
Members of the family continued to make their mark on the world stage; from the infamous Townshend Acts of Charles Townshend in 1772 which led to the American Revolution, to the naming of the city of Sydney, Australia, after the (then) British Home Secretary, Thomas Townshend, Lord Sydney.
8th Marquess Townshend
Lord Charles George Townshend, 8th Marquess Townshend, succeeded his father to become the 8th Marquess in 2010. He was educated at Eton and later attended the Agricultural College at Cirencester.
As well as being responsible for the maintenance of Raynham Hall and its current renaissance, the Marquess Townshend is also highly involved in a variety of community, agricultural and heritage organisations.
Lord Townshend is pictured here with his second wife, Alison, the daughter of the late diplomat and ambassador Sir Willis Combs. Lady Townshend takes a key role in the care of Raynham Hall and has spear-headed the series of chamber music performances known as the Raynham Hall Recitals.
Lord Thomas Charles Townshend, styled Viscount Raynham, is the son of the 8th Marquess and his first wife, the late Hermione Ponsonby.
Tom qualified as a Chartered Surveyor in 2005 with Bidwells LLP and went on to work for Knight Frank in their Farms and Estates team, buying and selling Investment Farms to private and institutional investors.
Tom returned to take on the role of CEO of the Raynham Estate in 2016 and is driving forward diversification and sustainable growth to guide the estate and family into a new era of innovation.