History

Before Boscawen

Lady Elizabeth FitzGerald was known as the Fair Geraldine

The Doomsday records first reference the Hatchlands estate in 1086 belonging to Chertsey Abbey.

Granted by Henry VIII to Sir Anthony Browne and his wife Lady Elizabeth Fitzgerald in 1544, the first visual record of Hatchlands appears on a John Sellers map of 1693.

The Boscawens

Admiral Edward Boscawen in a portrait by Sir Joshua Reynolds © National Maritime Museum

Admiral Edward Boscawen in a portrait by Sir Joshua Reynolds

They bought the estate in 1750 and are probably most responsible for the way the house looks today.

The Sumners

The Sumner family departing for Ascot around 1860 © Alec Cobbe Archive

The Sumner family departing for Ascot around 1860

William Brightwell Sumner bought the estate in 1770 with a fortune made in the East India Company.

The Rendels

The Rendel family gathered in front of the house entrance in 1908 © Sir Thomas Dunne

The Rendel family gathered in front of the house entrance in 1908

Lord Rendel bought Hatchlands in 1888 and his grandson, Harry or Hal, gave it to us in 1945.

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A history in pictures

The scandalous Beatie Sumner

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

Already a controversial figure known for her defiant nature she regularly shocked society, but in 1885 she was struck by scandal.

The Gertrude Jekyll garden

The small formal garden designed by Jekyll is at its best in summer © Matt Batchelor

The small formal garden designed by Jekyll is at its best in summer

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 at Hatchlands

The West face of Hatchlands settled in Reptons beautiful surrounding park © Sue Streeter

The West face of Hatchlands settled in Reptons beautiful surrounding park

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.

Hatchlands and us

Harry Goodhart-Rendel

Harry Goodhart-Rendel

In 1945 Lord Rendel's grandson, Harry Goodhart-Rendel, gave Hatchlands to us. He stayed here until 1959.

From 1959 Hatchlands had various tenants including Francis Mathew, editor of The Times and then a Mr and Mrs Hargreaves who ran a school here until 1980.

In 1987 the house was leased to Mr and Mrs Alec Cobbe who brought to it their historic family collections of portraits, old master paintings, books, furniture and the collection of 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 & installed a 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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