Townhill Park House is the former home of Lord and Lady Swaythling. The building dates from around 1790 and was extended and re-designed by the architect Leonard Rome Guthrie in an Italian-style in 1911.
Guthrie also designed the terraced gardens to complement the style of the house, with planting plans produced by the noted plantswoman, Miss Gertrude Jekyll. Guthrie returned to Townhill Park House after the First World War to add a music room, panelled in polished walnut, and a boudoir for Lady Swaythling.
Guthrie also designed a garden at the rear of the house that the new boudoir overlooked and this became known as the "Boudoir Garden". Queen Mary, a close friend of Lady Swaythling’s, visited Townhill Park House on a number of occasions, regularly enjoying a walk through the gardens.
The house was handed over to the Red Cross in 1939 and was used a convalescent home for British and American soldiers during the Second World War. Middlesex County Council owned the house from 1948 until 1969, when it was used as an education centre for underprivileged children.
Between 1969 and 1984, Townhill Park House was used for training marine cadets. The Gregg School moved to the site in 1994. Since 1994 The Gregg has sought to conserve and enhance the Grade II listed house and gardens so that it is a wonderful environment for the development of young people and the local community.
The gardens have in recent years have been restored by the Friends of Townhill Park House Gardens and volunteers are always sought to help with the upkeep of the of the listed Gertrude Jekyll gardens.
If you would like to become a member of The Friends, the annual subscription is £5.00 for single or £8.00 for family. Members get additional viewing access to the gardens twice a year on 'Members only afternoon'. Members also receive regular newsletters and invitations to restricted entry events. The subscription and proceeds from open days are held by the Treasurer and used to buy items such as plants. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer please contact Peter Wilkinson for further details.
A book is available to buy which gives a fascinating and detailed account of life and times of this grand country house estate. Please email email@example.com for details of The Life and Times of a Gertrude Jekyll Garden by Rosaleen Wilkinson.
If you would like to volunteer in the Gardens there are some 'Posse Days' where volunteers are welcome to come along and help in the garden. If you would like to become a volunteer please contact Liam Cross.