Hanwell Park Estate

Much of the northern half of Hanwell, including the land that became Framfield Allotments, was once part of a large country estate called Hanwell Park.

Wealthy Londoners began to take an interest in the quiet backwater called Hanwell towards the middle of the 18th century. At that time, farmers in the northern part of the parish sold their land to Charles Gostling, who created Hanwell Park. He built the house on what is now Drayton Bridge Road, with the west side of the house near the entrance to the modern Drayton Manor High School.

By 1746, Hanwell Park had fair-sized grounds on the north side of the house, laid out with straight avenues of trees.

Gostling died in 1766 and Hanwell Park and 286 acres of land passed to his brothers, Henry and William Berners (lessee and trustee respectively of the Hobbayne lands). In 1775, they secured a private Act of Parliament exchanging lands with Hobbayne’s charity so as to improve the southern aspect of the house. They closed both the lane running up from Church Road and the west end of what is now called Cuckoo Lane and extended the grounds of the house right down to East Field (ie south to roughly where the main railway line now lies). In the north, the estate ran all the way to the modern Ruislip Road East.

The house itself was rebuilt or altered about this time or rather later. It had an H-plan design with two storeys, a parapeted roof and a portico with coupled columns between the wings on the south front. It was the largest house in the parish.

Following the death of Henry Berners in 1782, the outlying portions of the estate were sold for two more large houses, Brent Lodge (now Brent Lodge Park) and The Grove (now Brent Valley Golf Course), which set the tone for the prosperity of this part of the parish. At the turn of the 19th century, Hanwell Park was owned by Sir Archibald MacDonald, Chief Baron of the Exchequer. By 1816 the estate had passed to Thomas Willan of Twyford Park, and then in 1828 to the Turner family.

The estate covering all the land east of Cuckoo Lane (now Greenford Avenue) was bought from John Turner by Benjamin Sharpe in 1848, who dramatically reduced the size of the estate by disposing of the 170-acre Cuckoo Farm north of the house. When Sharpe died in 1883, it passed to his son, Sir Montagu Sharpe, who decided to sell the house and estate. He had the miscellaneous effects sold by auction. The 108 acres of land went up for auction on 18 October 1883 as a first-class building estate suitable for small villas. It appears it did not sell. On 9 May 1884 the furniture was auctioned off and on 16 May 1884 the house and land were auctioned off. In 1886 the final break-up of the Hanwell Park estate began with the construction of the south end of Greenford Avenue. Mr Campbell Johnson bought Hanwell Park in 1897, although its size was much reduced.

By 1913 the house had been demolished, and terraced and semi-detached houses were going up on its site and over much of the former Hanwell Park to the west of the Greenford branch line of the Great Western Railway (which opened in 1904-5). Soon afterwards, Framfield Allotments was established on land that was formerly part of the open fields of Hanwell Park Estate. Therefore, Framfield Allotments has never been built on.