The great Tudor Palace of Cowdray House was built in the early 16th Century by Sir David Owen and was sold by his heir to Sir William Fitzwilliam, who received license to empark and crenelate from Henry VIII. Henry made three visits during his reign and it was later visited by his son Edward VI and daughter Elizabeth I. The house passed to Sir William's half brother Anthony Browne whose son Sir Anthony Browne was ennobled as 1st Viscount Montague. During the Civil War the house was garrisoned by parliamentary forces. In 1770 the 7th Viscount employed Capability Brown to landscape the grounds (see lot 502). The house and its contents were destroyed by fire in September 1793 and within two weeks the 8th Viscount drowned while trying to cross the Rhine Falls. The estate was inherited by his sister Elizabeth, the wife of William Stephen Poyntz (1770-1840). The house remains a picturesque ruin.