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History Of The Area

History Of The Area

The area of Grove Park in Chiswick has a rich History. Read on to see a timeline travelling all the way from Ice Age to current day!

 

 

 

 

Ice Age    Flint axes have been found at various sites in Chiswick, dating back to the Ice Age (nothing to do with the Ice House in Grove Park Terrace!). 



Iron Age (650BC-43AD)   Tools and pottery found on Chiswick Eyot suggest an Iron Age settlement on the island. Skulls were dredged up at Strand-on-the-Green from river burials, believed to be offerings to the Iron Age gods.

 
Romans (100-410AD)   The Romans arrived, and of course built roads, two through Chiswick, probably from Turnham Green down to the river.

 
Saxons (600-1066)   There is less evidence of Saxon settlements, but they did give Chiswick its name, a Saxon word meaning ‘cheese farm’. Meanwhile the land was being cultivated for general farming, the barley was, apparently, ‘exceptionally fine’ – hence the later breweries, orchards, nursery gardens, trees and hedging to supply the formal gardens of landowners, and osiers were grown along the river bank for making baskets. Down by the river was a fishing hamlet.

 
1181   The first recorded settlement in Grove Park was Little Sutton, one of two manors in Chiswick. A hamlet had grown up around Sutton Manor, a large farming estate belonging to the Dean and Chapter of St Paul’s

 
1396   King Richard II had a house built in the manor, on the site of what is now the corner of Sutton Court Road and Fauconberg Road, which became home to Lord Fauconberg and his wife Mary (the third daughter of Oliver Cromwell). The house was finally demolished in 1905, and a large block of flats built in its grounds. Wealthy landowners began eyeing up the land in this desirable area for their mansion houses. 

 
1412   Grove House is first mentioned in a record of its sale to Mr Thomas Holgill, a large house with extensive grounds, covering most of what is known as Grove Park, and sited at the west end of Kinnaird Avenue. Its gardens were to be described as ‘the finest in England’.

 
1540   The Barker family moved in and stayed for 200 years, and co-incidentally today there is a Barker family living in almost exactly the same spot (probably no relation). 

 
1611   Up in the Eastern corner there was a bit of building work going on, Chiswick House – the timber Jacobean version, and in 1682 it was bought by the First Earl of Burlington. The Jacobean house was demolished in 1788.

 
1725-9   When it was inherited by the Third Earl of Burlington ‘the architect earl’, he designed and built the Palladian Chiswick House next door, probably to  house his collection of paintings, sculptures and furniture, his library and his offices. On his death in 1753, the Dukes of Devonshire became the owner, by virtue of the Fourth Duke’s marriage to Burlington’s daughter.

 

chiswick 1746 

1747   The Barkers finally moved out of Grove House, and the Grove estate was sold to the Earl of Grantham, who enjoyed over 80 acres of formal gardens, orchards, an orangery, stables and a lake close to the river bank. In his will, Grove House was left to his daughter and her husband, Lord Heathfield. On his demise, the next occupants were Humphry Morice (son of the Governor of the Bank of England),then Mrs Luther, the Rev. Robert Louth.........

 
1861   .........and then in 1861, it came into the hands of the Duke of Devonshire. By the mid 19th century the Dukes of Devonshire owned more than half of Chiswick, having steadily acquired the main estates over the previous 100 years. 

 
highroad 1863 
 
1849   The railway came to Chiswick, giving easy access to Waterloo. The area was attracting nobility, prominent artists, poets, horticulturalists, and becoming very sought-after.

 
1867   Back at Grove House, the Duke was carrying out extensive alterations, but also developing the land on the estate. The Grove Park Hotel (now The Station House) was believed to be the first building on the site, to cater for visitors to the area for river sports, and marks the start of modern day Grove Park.

 
1871   The Duke of Devonshire started developing the land of the Grove Park estate as a high-class residential area for wealthy merchants. The earliest housing is said to be on the river side of Grove Park Road, where large Victorian villas were erected, and soon extended to Hartington Road.

 
1872   St Paul’s church was built, with the help of a large donation from the Duke. 

 
Late 1870s   Saw the establishment of the ’Grove Park Society’.

 
1894   Grove House was rented to Lt Col Robert Shipway who subsequently bought it three years later. 

 
1928   He lived there until he died in 1928, when the house was demolished. It is rumoured that it was taken down brick by brick, each brick numbered, and shipped to the United States where it was rebuilt exactly the same. Some say that this is true, others say it is unsubstantiated. 

 
Early 1920s   The Duke started selling off his land – Dukes Meadows, Chiswick House, and the Grove estate, which was acquired by the Kinnaird Park Estate Company.  Architects and builders moved into the area, and houses and flats, such as the art deco Hartington Court, shot up until the outbreak of World War II.

 
Post War - Present
  A time of austerity restricted further development until about 1956 when ‘Thames Village’ was built. 1960s to the mid 60s saw the erection of the more modern houses of Chiswick Staithe, and in 1971 building started at Chiswick Quay. Despite Hounslow Council have seemingly managed to squeeze blocks of flats into almost every available space since then, we still have our open spaces in Hartington Road and Chiswick House, and the wide avenues and chestnut trees to remind us of Grove Park’s verdant horticultural past.
Published on July 07, 2012