Hanworth Park, Feltham, has a remarkable and chequered history that stretches back to Henry VIII, who built a hunting lodge on the estate so as to provide him access to the Royal Hunting Grounds of Hanworth Heath. 

However, the house that stands on the estate today dates back to 1828, having been commissioned by the Duke of St Albans. Built in stock brick with two wings and extensive basements, a simple veranda runs along the front of the building, with an ornate iron balcony above. A clock tower was added in the 1860s.

Like so many other grand country estates Hanworth Park House was repurposed during World War One. The House became a Red Cross hospital and the grounds were used for building and testing aircraft destined for the Western Front.

Image result for hanworth park house air park

After the War the estate became the clubhouse and central office for the newly established National Flying Service, which marked the beginning of civil aviation. During this time some of the most important aviation achievements took place from Hanworth, including the starting location for the first successful flight to Australia!

In 1936 the house was converted into a hotel. With the closure of the National Flying Service and the expansion of Heathrow nearby, Aston Martin used the now vacant aircraft hangers to build and test their new models.

Finally the council took responsibility of the house in the 1950s and converted it as an old people’s home. However, over time the building fell into disrepair and became derelict.

Now in the hands of a private freeholder there is real prospect of restoring the building, conserving the grand interiors, and opening it up to the public. The Environment Trust is working with the new freeholder, the Friends of Hanworth Park House, the local council, and Historic England to develop a scheme that will secure the future for this remarkable building for all to enjoy.

For more information on the house and current plans, please visit www.hanworthparkhouse.london

Read about our research project on the history of the London Air Park

Black and White Image: National Flying Services advertisement - FLIGHT magazine 20 December 1929. Image courtesy  FlightGlobal: part of RBI, reedbusiness.com