There have been four buildings called Tottenham House on this site on the southern edge of Savernake Forest. The present palladian mansion was built in 1820.
The previous building, made of brick, was built by Lord Bruce in 1742, and designed by his brother-in-law the famous architect Lord Burlington.
When a subsequent Lord Bruce was created 1st Marquess of Ailesbury in 1820, he asked the architect Thomas Cundy to design a hugely bigger mansion, which was largely accomplished by building a much larger structure around the old Burlington house and covering the old bricks with blocks of Bath stone. In 1870 two large symmetrical wings were added. Tottenham House is a Grade 1 Listed Building.
Facing Tottenham House, on a hilltop, is the Ailesbury Column, erected in the 1770s to commemorate the restoration "to perfect health from a long and afflicting disorder" of his majesty King George III.
The family lived at Tottenham House until 1940, when they started to share it with the officers of the large US Army contingent based in Savernake Forest in preparation for D-Day. After the War ended, the family moved out to a smaller house on the Estate, and Tottenham House was then leased to Hawtreys boys school, until that school went bankrupt in 1994. Since then the House has been leased to the Amber Foundation, a registered charity for unemployed young people.
Despite the wishes of the Earl of Cardigan and his father the Marquess of Ailesbury, Tottenham House and its surrounding Parkland was sold by the Estate's Trustees in 2015. Both Trustees were then asked to resign.