Copenhagen, the 1st Duke’s favourite charger, was a chestnut stallion. He carried the Duke throughout the Peninsular campaign and the Battle of Waterloo. The Duke was in the saddle for eighteen hours at Waterloo, but when he dismounted, Copenhagen still had the energy to lash out and break free taking a groom half an hour to catch him.
Copenhagen retired to the Stratfield Saye and was frequently ridden by the Duke and his children until his death in 1836, aged 28. He was buried with military honours and his grave can be seen in the Ice House Paddock below a turkey oak planted as an acorn by the Duke’s housekeeper Mrs. Apostles, in 1843.
The gardens offer a peaceful atmosphere, and are home to a wide range of plants and trees. The American garden is named after the vogue for American shrubs in the early 19th Century. This and the handsome rose garden were laid down in the time of the 1st Duke and restored during the past twenty-five years.
The Pleasure Grounds, which have been so called for at least two centuries, lie on each side of the house and contain many rare and interesting trees. Some of these were planted by Lord Rivers in the 18th Century, by the 1st Duke and more recently by the eighth Duke since 1972. These include a number of Wellingtonias which were named in honour of the 1st Duke on their introduction to this country in 1853, a year after his death.