Maharaja Visits

Maharaja Duleep Singh

Maharaja Duleep Singh (as he became in June 1861) bought or rather the India Office purchased for him, the Elveden Hall estate in 1863.

Elveden Hall is a large stately home located some 20 miles away, just over the county border towards Thetford.  In 1863 the estate was some 17,000 acres and contained a church, cottages and a school. 

Placed into power at the age of 5, the Maharaja was later kidnapped by the British Crown at the age of 15 and exiled to Britain, where we became a close confidante of Queen Victoria.  Such was the strength of this friendship that the Queen became godmother to several of his children.   

It was whilst he resided at Elveden Hall that the Maharaja visited on several occasions Mr and Mrs Routh  Clarke here at Wattlefield Hall.  On one such visit, he was the guest of honour and opened the fete!

The Maharaja transformed the then run-down Elveden Estate and turned it into an efficient game preserve and it was here that he gained his reputation as the fourth best shot in England.  Upon his death in 1893 it was found that several large expenses remained unpaid and the estate was sold to settle his debts.