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Grovelands Park was originally a heavily wooded area, close to the southern border of Enfield Chase (a hunting forest formed in the 12th and 13th centuries) up until 1777. In the 1700's Southgate became a fashionable place for the wealthy London merchants to build their mansions.
The earliest known owner of the Grovelands Estate was Mr. Walker Gray (related to the Walkers who owned the Arnos Grove Estate). Mr. Walker Gray purchased 230 acres of land in 1796 and in 1798 built the existing house to the design of the eminent architect, John Nash. The grounds, including the lake, were designed by Humphrey Repton a leading landscape gardener of that era.
Following the death of Mr. Walker Gray the house and grounds were purchased by Mr. John Donnithorne Taylor, a relative of Mr. Walker Gray who was connected to the Taylor Walker Brewery. He added 100 acres to the estate and renamed it Grovelands.
Mr. Taylor enjoyed hunting and had a small herd of deer on his estate. To prevent the deer getting near to the house or damaging flower and vegetable gardens, he arranged for a ha-ha (sunken fence) to be constructed, most of which is still visible today. At the time of Mr. Taylor's death in 1885, the Grovelands Estate had increased to 600 acres.
In 1916 the house was temporarily used as a hospital for wounded troops returning from France in the 1914-1918 Great War. The house remained in use by the NHS until 1977. The house re-opened some years later as a private hospital and continues to be so today. Southgate Urban District Council purchased 64 acres of land from the Taylor Family in 1911 for the sum of £22,893 and Grovelands Park was officially opened in April 1913.
Grovelands Park still features many trees found in the original wooded area, for example, oak, beech, birch and hornbeam. An outlet stream flows under Church Hill towards Houndsden Road , where it joins Houndsden Gutter. This eventually joins with Salmons Brook at The Chine. Church Hill was originally named "Gallows or Gallis Hill", after the gallows which were erected there. The main gate is named after Lord Inverforth who owned Arnos Grove Estate in 1903. The house is a Grade II listed building and Grovelands Park is on the register of Historic Parks and Gardens.
More information on Repton and Nash
This page was last updated on 11-Feb-2013.