Famous Visitors

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HRH King George VI
King of England
HRH Prince Charles
Future King of England
HRH Prince Edward
Youngest son of HRH The Queen of England
Lord Robert Alexander Q.C.
British barrister, banker and conservative politician.
Lord Jeffrey Archer
English author and conservative politician.
Dame Mary Archer DBE
British scientist. Fellow of Newnham College.
Sir David Attenborough OM, CH, CVO CBE
British broadcaster, naturalist and conservationist
James “J G” Ballard
English novelist, short story writer, and essayist. 
Sir Cecil Beaton CBE
English fashion, portrait and war photographer. Academy Award winning stage and costume designer.
Jocelyn Bell 
Discovered the first pulsar in 1967 whilst making to make radio observations of the universe.
Sir John Betjeman
English Poet Laureate, writer, and broadcaster.
Lord William Birkettt QC Kt.
British barrister, judge, and politician who served during the Nuremberg Trials. 
Rupert Brooke
English poet and writer.
Tim Brooke Taylor OBE
Comedy actor and writer. Best known as a member of The Goodies and as a panellist on I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue.
Lord Richard “RAB” Butler KG, CH, PC
British Conservative politician. Most famous for the Education Act 1944. Held several posts including, most notably, Chancellor of the Exchequer, Home Secretary and Deputy Prime Minister
Leslie Charteris
British-Chinese novelist and screenwriter. Best known for his “The Saint” books.
Kenneth Clarke CH, QC
British Conservative Politician.  Held several posts, including most notably, Chancellor of the Exchequer, Home Secretary and Lord Chancellor.
John Cleese
English actor, comedian, writer, and film producer. Best known as a co-founder of Monty Python’s Flying Circus.
Sir Christopher Cockerell CBE
English engineer, best known as the inventor of the hovercraft
Alistair Cooke KBE
British journalist and television broadcaster. Best known for his radio show Letter from America
Peter Cooke
English actor, satirist, writer and comedian. Best known for his partnership with Dudley Moore and the weekly TV show “That Was the Week That Was”
Francis Crick OM
British molecular biologist, biophysicist and neuroscientist. Best known for co-discovering the structure of the DNA molecule with James Watson and Maurice Wilkins.
Lowes Dickinson
English portrait painter and photographer
Robert Donat
English film and stage Academy Award winning actor. Best known for The 39 Steps and Goodbye, Mr. Chips.
James “Jimmy” Edwards DFC
English comedy writer and actor on radio and television. Best known as Pa Glum in Take It From Here and as “Professor” James Edwards in Whack-O!
James Elroy Flecker
English poet, novelist and playwright
Edward “E M” Forster
English novelist, short story writer, and essayist. Best known for “Howard’s End”, “A Room With A View” and “A Passage to India.”
Sir David Frost OBE
English journalist, comedian, writer, and television presenter personality and television Best known for his television interviews with senior political figures, among them the interviews with President Richard Nixon
Stephen Fry
English actor, comedian, author, journalist, broadcaster and film director.
Graham Garden
British comedian, author, actor, artist and television presenter. Best known as a member of The Goodies.
Bamber Gascoigne
British television presenter and author, best known for being the original quizmaster on University Challenge
Germaine Greer
Australian-born academic and writer. Best known as the author of “The Female Eunuch”.
Gilbert Harding
English journalist and radio and television personality. Best known for his appearances on radio’s “Twenty Questions” and the television panel game “What’s my line?”
Sir Norman Hartnell KCVO
British fashion designer. Best known for designing the Coronation gown for Elizabeth II and many other of her clothes.
Stephen Hawking
English theoretical physicist, and cosmologist. Best known as author of “A Brief History of Time.
James Hilton
English novelist. Best remembered “Lost Horizon” and “Goodbye, Mr Chips.”
Alfred “A E” Housman
English classical scholar classical and poet, best known for “A Shropshire Lad”, a collection of sixty-three poems.
Lord Geoffrey Howe CH, PC, QC, Kt
British Conservative politician who held several posts including, most notably, Chancellor of the Exchequer, Foreign Secretary and Deputy Prime Minister.
Edward “Ted” Hughes
English Poet Laureate and children’s writer. Was married to American poet Sylvia Plath.
Lord Douglas Hurd CH, CBE PC
British Conservative politician who held several posts include, most notably, Home Secretary Foreign Secretary and Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. At 1979 to 1995.
Eric Idle
English comedian, actor, author, singer-songwriter, musician, and comedic composer. Best known as being a co-founder of Monty Python and author of the Broadway musical Spamalot.
Julio Iglesias
Spanish singer and songwriter who is one of the best-selling artists of all, and the best-selling Latin artist in history
Christopher Isherwood
English novelist and literary collaborator.
Clive James AO, CBE
Australian author, critic, broadcaster, poet, translator and memoirist. Best known for his chat shows and documentaries on British television.
Henry James
American writer. Best known for his novel “The Portrait of a Lady”.
Chris Kelly
English television presenter, producer and writer
Lord John Maynard Keynes CB
English economist whose ideas established the basis for the Keynesian
Hugh Laurie OBE
English actor, writer, director, musician, singer, comedian, and author. Best known for playing the role of Dr Gregory House in the television medical drama series “House”.
David “D H” Lawrence
English novelist, poet, playwright, essayist, literary critic and painter, best known for his novels “Sons and Lovers”, “Women in love” and “Lady Chatterley’s Lover”. 
Herbert Lom
Czech -born British film and television actor best known for his roles in “The Ladykiller’s” and as Chief Inspector Charles Dreyfus, Inspector Clouseau’s superior in the “Pink Panther” films.
George Mallory
English mountaineer who took part in the first three British expeditions to climb Mount Everest. Died trying to make the first ascent
James Mason
English actor who became one of Hollywood’s biggest stars appearing in “A Star is Born”, North by Northwest, and “The Verdict.”
Peter May
Scottish television screenwriter, novelist, and award winning crime writer. Best known for writing the three books in “The Lewis Trilogy. 
Sir Jonathan Miller CBE
English theatre and opera director actor author television presenter humourist and medical doctor. Best known for appearing in the comedy revue beyond the French with fellow writers and performers Peter Cook and Dudley Moore.
Alan “A.A.” Milne
English author, best known for his books about the teddy bear Winnie-the-Pooh. 
Pandit Nehru
First Prime Minister of India and a central figure in Indian politics before and after independence.
William “Bill” Oddie, OBE
English writer, composer, musician, comedian, artist, ornithologist, conservationist and television presenter. He became famous as one The Goodies.
Lord David Owen CH, PC
British politician who held the post of Foreign Secretary. He was a founder member of the Social Democratic Party.
Sylvia Plath
American poet, novelist, and short-story writer.
Enoch Powell MBE
British conservative and Ulster Unionist politician, classical scholar, linguist, and poet.
John “J B” Priestley OM
English author, novelist, playwright, scriptwriter, social commentator, man of letters and broadcaster. Best known for The Good Companions and his moral boosting radio talks during the Battle of Britain
Frederik Raphael
American-born, British-educated, screenwriter, biographer, nonfiction writer, novelist and journalist. He won an Oscar for the screenplay for the movie “Darling” He also wrote the screenplay for the film adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s, “Far From the Madding Crowd”.
Mike Read
English radio DJ, writer, journalist and television presenter. Best known for his association with Radio 1and as host of the 1980s Saturday morning children’s television show Saturday Superstore.
Brian Redhead
British author, journalist and broadcaster. Best known as co-presenter on Radio 4’s “Today” programme.
Gryff Rees-Jones
Welsh comedian, writer, actor and television presenter. Best known for his comedy partnership with Mel Smith in the television sketch shows “Not the Nine O’Clock News” and “Alas Smith and Jones”.
Sir Tim Rice
English author and Academy Award, Golden Globe Award, Tony Ward and Grammy Award-winning lyricist. Best known for his collaboration with Andrew Lloyd Webber with whom he wrote “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”, “Jesus Christ Superstar”, and “Evita”. He is also famous for his collaborative work on “Aladdin”, “Beauty and the Beats”, “The Lion King” and “Aida”.
Dame Flora Robson
English actress of stage and cinema, particularly renowned for her performances in plays demanding dramatic and emotional intensity.
Rt. Rev Lord Robert Runcie MC
Archbishop of Canterbury.
Bertrand Russell OM
British philosopher, logician, mathematician, historian, writer, social critic political activist and Nobel laureate. He co-authored Principia Mathematica with a N Whitehead, one of the 20th century’s most important works in mathematical logic.
Sir Salman Rushdie Kt.
British Indian novelist and essayist. Best known for his novels “Midnight’s Children” and “The Satanic Verses”, the latter resulting in Ayatollah Khomeini issuing a fatwa and calling for his assassination. 
Lord Ernest Rutherford OM
New Zealand physicist who became known as the father of nuclear physics.  He discovered the concept of radioactive half-life for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry. He conducted research that led to the first “splitting” of the atom. He discovered (and named) the proton.
George Bernard Shaw
Irish playwright, critic and polemicist. 
He wrote more than sixty plays, including major works such as “Pygmalion and “Saint Joan”. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.
Rt. Rev Lord David Shephard
High-profile Bishop of Liverpool who played test cricket for England.
Lord Donald Soper
Methodist minister, socialist and pacifist.
Lytton Strachey
British writer and critic. Founding member of the Bloomsbury Group. Best known for establishing a new form of biography in which psychological insight and sympathy are combined with irreverence and wit.
Emma Thompson
British actress, comedian, and writer. She had won Academy Awards for her roles in “Howards End”, the Remains of the Day” and “In the name of the Father.”
George “G M” Trevelyan OM CBE
British historian academic and author. At one time very widely read the currently his work is out of academic favour.
Alan Turing OBE
Pioneering English computer scientist, mathematician logician cryptanalysis and theoretical biologist. Bletchley Park code breaker in World War II. He is widely considered to be the father of theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence Highly inflected influential in the development of theoretical computer science.
James Watson
American molecular biologist, geneticist and zoologist. Best known for co-discovering the structure of the DNA molecule with Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins.
Herbert “H G” Wells
English writer in many genres, including the novel, history, politics, and social commentary, and textbooks and rules for war games. Best remembered for his science fiction novels including “The Time Machine”, “The Invisible Man” and “War of the Worlds”.
Alfred “A N” Whitehead
British mathematician and philosopher. He is the defining figure of the philosophical school known as process philosophy. He co-authored Principia Mathematica with Bertrand Russell one of the 20th century’s most important works in mathematical logic.
Viscount Willian “Willie” Whitelaw KT, CH, MC,
British Conservative politician who served, most notably, as Home Secretary and Deputy Prime Minister.
Air Commodore Sir Frank Whittle OM, KBE, CB
English royal air force engineer air officer credited with single-handedly inventing the turbojet engine.
Ludwig Wittgenstein
Austrian-British philosopher who worked primarily in in logic, the philosophy of mathematics, the mind and language.
Virginia Woolf
English writer and significant figure in London literary society. She was a central figure in the Bloomsbury Group.  in the. Her most famous works include the novels “Mrs Dalloway”, “To the Lighthouse” and the essay “A Room of One’s with its famous dictum “A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.”
Xu Zhimo
One of the most renowned romantic poets of 20th-century Chinese literature best known in China for his promotion of modern Chinese literature. He is most probably one of the most famous people to have visited The Orchard as his work is studied by every Chinese school student.
The Cambridge Spy Ring
Comprised Anthony Blunt, Guy Burgess, John Cairncross, Donald Maclean and Kim Philby. They were recruited by the Soviet Union during World War II and actively passed secrets to the Russians at least into the early 1950s

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