The Oak Bedroom was witness to one of the most romantic episodes in the Spencer family history.
On 20th December 1755, during a ball to celebrate the coming of age of John (later the First Earl) Spencer, he and his fiancée Georgiana Poyntz, slipped away from the celebrations with close family members and John’s tutor (who was conveniently also a priest), and were secretly married in this bedroom. Afterwards, the group left the bedroom and rejoined the ball, joining in the dancing so that no one knew of their secret marriage.
In 1934 Sir Winston Churchill slept in the Oak Bedroom whilst doing research for his book on the Duke of Marlborough. The Churchill family married into the Spencer family in 1699 and many of the treasures housed here today were inherited from Sarah Churchill, 1st Duchess of Marlborough.
The bed is an oak half tester dating from 1846. The Spencer ‘S’ on the curtains are the earliest recorded pieces of needlework in the house and were embroidered in the 17th century by Lady Dorothy Sidney, 1st Countess of Sunderland, and her ladies.