|Drayton Hall Park||Hillingdon|
The small park was once part of the grounds of Drayton Hall, a historic house that was owned by the De Burgh family from 1786 until 1939. It was purchased by Yiewsley and West Drayton UDC in 1948 and used as council offices with events in the grounds. The Hall later became the headquarters of United Biscuits, who laid out a garden behind the house, and in 2011 it was purchased by Ferrings Pharmaceutical Company. The park contains fine trees.
The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/02/2011
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The information below is taken from the relevant Local Authority's planning legislation, which was correct at the time of research but may have been amended in the interim. Please check with the Local Authority for latest planning information.
The original Drayton Hall was built in the C16th or C17th, the current house largely dating from the early C19th, with no evidence remaining of the earlier house. It has an east wing of c.1840, plus more recent additions, and in the C19th had 25 acres of grounds. In 1786 it was purchased by Fysh Coppinger, who had earlier purchased the Manor of West Drayton, which at that time had no manorhouse so Drayton Hall became his manorial seat. He was already Lord of the Manor of Colham. Coppinger claimed to be distantly related to Hubert de Burgh, a descendent of William the Conqueror, and he consequently changed his name to Fysh de Burgh in 1790. The parish church of St Martin's (q.v.) has a number of family memorials including that of Fysh de Burgh (d.1793) and Catherine de Burgh (d.1809). The De Burgh Arms by the railway in Yiewsley High Street also recalls the family. After his death the manorial estate passed to his widow and it remained in the family until 1939. Among those who visited the de Burghs was Lord Cardigan and from 1856 it was let to various tenants. Napoleon III stayed here in 1872, and in 1882 a Grand Military Tournament was held in the grounds when Lt Gen Taylor, Adjutant General to the Forces, was the occupant.
After the death of Eva de Burgh in 1939, Drayton Hall became a hotel from 1945 until 1948 when it was purchased by Yiewsley and West Drayton UDC. It was converted for use as offices and officially opened on 11 April 1952. Three years later an extension was added to the west and it remained in use until 1965 when the new Borough of Hillingdon was formed. During this period various events were held in the grounds, which remain a public park. The Hall was later sold to United Biscuits as its headquarters who laid out a walled garden behind the house, remaining here until c.2005. By 2011 Drayton Hall had been purchased by Ferrings Pharmaceutical Company, whose proposal to erect high railings around the perimeter have been disallowed by Hillingdon Council who deem this to be detrimental to the setting of the historic house.
The small park contains notable cedar of Lebanon, sweet chestnut, yew, holly, beech and laurel shrubbery and also a good swamp cypress. Paths run through the grass but scrub growth of sycamores blurs the planting in the park. A rectangular stone remnant beside one of the paths is possibly the plinth of a statue. New seating was put in the park as part of improvement works in 2003 and new boundary railings were installed in 2009.
The garden area behind the house, separated from the main park by railings and a section of wall, has lawns with perimeter beds and a small formal area with pergola, lavender beds and box hedges; there are a number of evergreen trees and new planting by the path. South-east of the house is a raised bank with yews that may be the remains of a terrace walk.
Bridget Cherry and Nikolaus Pevsner, 'The Buildings of England London 3: North West' (Penguin, 1999 edition) p368; 'Drayton Hall' entry on UB7, community website of Yiewsley and West Drayton, and Heathrow villages (www.ub7.org)