|Eastcote House Gardens||Hillingdon|
This is the gardens and small part of the former grounds of Eastcote House, the home of the Hawtrey family from 1532. Built on the site of an older house, Eastcote House stood close to the junction of Eastcote High Road and Field End. In the 1930s much of the estate was sold for development but the grounds were purchased by Ruislip-Norwood UDC in 1938 as public open space. The house was initially used for communal activities but demolished as unsafe in 1964. Within the grounds are the old Coach house, C17th walled garden, C18th dovecote and a ha-ha. There are many fine mature trees and more recent garden features include a herb garden planted for Queen Elizabeth's Silver Jubilee in 1977, orchard, rockery and wildflower meadow.
The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/02/2012
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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.
Eastcote was the eastern settlement of the Manor of Ruislip, a small rural community near the River Pinn, with the High Road marking the former village centre. The Hawtrey family and their descendants, the Deanes, lived at Eastcote House until the late C19th, after which it was leased and in 1878 Sir Samuel Morton Peto lived here, a railway engineer and contractor. By the late C19th the Hawtrey-Deane family were the largest landowners in Ruislip. Eastcote Station opened in 1906 after which the area was increasingly developed for housing. In the 1930s Ralph Hawtrey, younger son of the owner of Chequers in Buckinghamshire, sold the property for development but the grounds were retained as open space and the house initially used for communal activities. It was finally deemed unsafe and was demolished by the local council in 1964. The foundations are still visible in the grass in front of the early C17th Old Coach house, a timber framed building that was restored and later used as a billiard room.
The grounds are entered through an attractive wooden pedestrian gate at the junction of Eastcote Road and Field End, and planting includes notable Scots pine, oak, and Wellingtonia on the rising lawn dominating the western approach to the village, with oaks and shrubs overhanging the road into the village. Near the Old Coach house is the old Orchard with yew, laurel and holly shrubberies, an C18th dovecote with revolving ladder inside for taking doves from their nesting holes that replaced a previous one, and the C17th walled garden. This was re-planted in 1981 as a herb garden in celebration of Queen Elizabeth II's Silver Jubilee, with plaques providing information about the herbs. In 1983 box edging was added and the laburnum and wisteria pergola was created in 1986 when tarmac paths were replaced by brick paviors. Beside the wall approaching the walled garden by the Coach house, formerly the area where rubbish was tipped, a small topiary garden of box and yews was created in 1983 on both sides of the path, one side laid out within gravel and paving.
Much planting has been added over the years of public management with a wide variety of species including a dove tree, walnut, black mulberry and quince, and an azalea bed planted in the orchard. Elsewhere in the grounds the Elizabeth Copse was planted for the Queen Mother's 80th birthday and the Wild Orchard was planted in 1984. A footbridge was built in the late 1970s over the River Pinn providing access to Long Meadow to the north, where cows undoubtedly once grazed, now a mown field with fine trees; nearby is a group of poplars known as Hinman Copse. The park also has remains of the flint and red-brick faced Ha-Ha, which was repaired in 1985 and is over 35 m long and nearly 2m deep.
E M Bowlt, 'Ruislip Past', 1994, 27ff; R Edwards, 'Eastcote: from village to suburb', 1987, 27ff.; 'Gardens of Excellence', LB Hillingdon 1996; Joanne Verden 'Ten Walks Around Pinner', (The Pinner Association) 1999 ed; Ben Weinreb & Christopher Hibbert, 'The London Encyclopaedia' (Macmillan, revised ed. 1993); LB Hillingdon 'Eastcote House Gardens Management Plan 2010-2014'