DiCamillo Companion

Sandwell Park (Sandwell Hall)

  • Earlier Houses: The house was built on the site of the 12th century Sandwell Priory (the excavated ruins of the priory are visible today).

    Built / Designed For: 1st Earl of Dartmouth

    House & Family History: Sandwell was the ancestral seat of the Legge family, earls of Dartmouth. William Legge, 2nd Earl of Dartmouth, was secretary of state for the colonies from 1772 until 1775; he is most noted today as an evangelical Methodist and the leading trustee for (and major donor to) the English trust that financed the establishment of Dartmouth College (see "Images" section), which was named in his honor. The school was formed to educate the children of the Native Americans and of "English youth" in the wilds of New Hampshire. By the late 19th century Sandwell Park was used as an asylum; in 1907 it had become Sandwell Hall Industrial School for Mentally Defective Boys, which was replaced in 1911 with a school for daughters of the clergy. The house was demolished in 1928 because of mining subsidence from Sandwell Park Jubilee Colliery, after which the site was allowed to return to nature. The house was within yards of the Holy or Sand Well from which the valley and the modern metropolitan area derive their names.

  • Garden & Outbuildings: On the former estate is Sandwell Park Golf Club, a traditional members' golf club. It was formed as West Bromwich Golf Club in 1895 and moved to Sandwell Park at Christmas 1897 on land owned by the 6th Earl of Dartmouth. In 1946 the club purchased the land from the earl; since that time the park has continued to be developed. The larger estate was recast as Sandwell Valley Country Park, a public park.

  • Architect: Henry Hakewill

    Date: Probably 19th century
    Designed: Unidentified work for 4th Earl of Dartmouth

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    Architect: Thomas Rickman

    Date: Circa 1822
    Designed: Work for 4th Earl of Dartmouth, including alterations to Stables.

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    Architect: Smith Family

    Date: 1705-11
    Designed: William and Francis Smith rebuilt House for 1st Earl of Dartmouth

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  • Title: Biographical Dictionary of British Architects, 1600-1840, A - HARDBACK
    Author: Colvin, Howard
    Year Published: 2008
    Reference: pgs. 466, 867, 942
    Publisher: New Haven: Yale University Press
    ISBN: 9780300125085
    Book Type: Hardback

  • House Listed: Demolished

    Park Listed: Not Listed

  • Past Seat / Home of: William Legge, 1st Earl of Dartmouth, 1710-50; William Legge, 2nd Earl of Dartmouth, 1750-1801; George Legge, 3rd Earl of Dartmouth, 1801-10; William Legge, 4th Earl of Dartmouth, 1810-53; William Walter Legge, 5th Earl of Dartmouth, 1853-91; William Heneage Legge, 6th Earl of Dartmouth, 1891-1928.

    Current Ownership Type: Government

    Primary Current Ownership Use: Demolished

    Ownership Details: In the 1960s the former grounds of the house were developed as Sandwell Valley Country Park, a public park operated by Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council.

  • House Open to Public: House Demolished - Grounds Open to Public

    Historic Houses Member: No