History

A Hatchlands love story

A portrait of Frances Boscawen from c.1747/8 by Alan Ramsay © Titsey Place

A portrait of Frances Boscawen from c.1747/8 by Alan Ramsay

Edward and Frances Boscawen fell in love with Hatchlands Park, built the house you see today and made it a family home.

Sadly they were only able to enjoy it for a short time, their relationship tinged with tragedy.

Francis Mathew and The Times

Francis Mathew who installed a mobile printing press in our courtyard © Lady Norbury

Francis Mathew who installed a mobile printing press in our courtyard

Francis Mathew managed The Times newspaper in the 1950s and 1960s and lived at Hatchlands for part of this period.

In 1959, amid a series of print strikes, he used Hatchlands to help keep The Times in circulation.

Rendel and Gladstone

Lord Stuart Rendel who bought Hatchlands Park in 1888 © National Library of Wales

Lord Stuart Rendel who bought Hatchlands Park in 1888

Captain of industry, Stuart Rendel, bought the Hatchlands estate in 1888 and moved here with his family.

One of his great friends was a legendary figure of British politics, the four-time Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone.

The scandalous Beatie Sumner

Beattie Sumner, from polite society to scandal © Hatchlands Park

Beattie Sumner, from polite society to scandal

Celebrated beauty, Beatie Sumner was born at Hatchlands. Her family tree boasted the Berkeley's, Danish royalty, and Lady Godiva.

Already a controversial figure she regularly shocked society, but in 1885 she was struck by scandal.

Hatchlands families

Before the Boscawens

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The early ownership of the property is complex and the estate has passed through many hands. The Domesday records first reference the estate in 1086 belonging to Chertsey Abbey.

The Boscawens

A portrait of Admiral Boscawen who built Hatchlands Park © National Maritime Museum

Discover more about the lives of Admiral Edward Boscawen and his Wife Frances, the family who are most responsible for the way we see Hatchlands Park today.

The Sumners

The Sumner family departing for Ascot c.1860 © Alec Cobbe Archive

The Sumner family lived at Hatchlands Park for over a century from 1770. They made many changes to the house and parkland before they sold the estate to the Rendel family in 1888.

The Rendels

The Rendel family in 1908 © Sir Thomas Dunne

The Rendel family bought Hatchlands Park from the Sumner family in 1888. Lord Rendel left the Hatchlands estate to his grandson, Harry, who then gave it to us in 1945.

Gertrude Jekyll

Gertrude Jekyll was one of Britain’s great garden designers. In 1900 Lord Rendel of Hatchlands commissioned her to design a small summer parterre garden for him.

Humphry Repton

When George Holme Sumner bought Hatchlands and decided the parkland needed a new lease of life, he turned to one of the day's foremost landscape designers.

Robert Adam

Celebrated architect Robert Adam designed the interiors here, in his earliest country house commission. Much of his work can still be seen throughout the house.

Hatchlands and us

Harry Goodhart-Rendel who gave Hatchlands to us in 1945

Harry Goodhart-Rendel who gave Hatchlands to us in 1945

In 1945 Lord Rendel's grandson, Harry Goodhart-Rendel, gave Hatchlands to us. He continued to stay here until the late 1950’s. From then on Hatchlands had a variety of tenants including Francis Mathew, manager of The Times newspaper, and Mr and Mrs Hargreaves who ran a school here until 1980.

In 1987 the house was leased to Alec Cobbe who brought to it his family collection of portraits, old master paintings, fine furniture and the Cobbe Collection of composer-related keyboard instruments.

Did you know?

  • No one is really sure why the estate is named Hatchlands Park
  • Humphrey Repton updated the grounds in one of his famous red books
  • There is a 25 foot deep well hidden at the bottom of the dell
  • A flower garden designed by Gertrude Jekyll was commissioned in 1900
  • The manager of The Times, Francis Mathew, lived here in the late 50s
  • He turned the music room into a newsroom & created a portable printing press
  • Hatchlands was used as a school during the war ...
  • ... and then as a finishing school in the 60s and 70s
  • In total there are seven floor levels across the house

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