DiCamillo Companion

The Grove (Grove House)

  • Earlier Houses: There was an earlier Elizabethan house on the site of the current house.

    House & Family History: The Grove is an early 18th century red brick house with stone quoins that was altered to the designs of Robert Taylor, probably in 1756, and enlarged circa 1780 and again circa 1850. The house was the seat of the Villiers family, earls of Clarendon, from 1753 until 1920, when the family sold up. After the Villiers decamped The Grove was used as a girl's boarding school, a gardening school, a health care center, and a riding school. During World War II, when it was called Project X, the house was the secret wartime headquarters for the London, Midland & Scottish Railway; six air raid shelters can still be seen today beside the football pitch (today home to one of Europe's largest colonies of Pipistrelle bats). In 1996 the derelict house was purchased by the Levy brothers, who restored the estate and opened it in 2004 as a luxury country house hotel, spa, and golf resort. In 2006 Tiger Woods won the World Golf Championship at The Grove.

  • Garden & Outbuildings: There is extant a balustraded stucco bridge of circa 1800 over the Grand Union Canal. Athenian Stuart designed a "Doric Portico" at The Grove for Thomas Villiers, then Lord Hyde. Though we cannot be sure today exactly what this building was (it was long ago demolished and might have been the peripteral Doric Temple of Pan, known to have been built at The Grove), there is every reason to believe it was the first Greek Revival building in Britain, having been erected at least five years before the much more famous temple at Hagley. (There is a pen and ink drawing of the Temple of Pan at The Grove in the collection of The British Library.)

  • Architect: Robert Taylor

    Date: Circa 1756
    Designed: Altered House

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    Architect: James Stuart

    Date: 1760s?
    Designed: Doric Portico (demolished) for Thomas Villiers, 1st Lord Hyde.

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    Architect: Edward Blore

    Date: 1841-42
    Designed: Repaired House for 4th Earl of Clarendon

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  • John Bernard (J.B.) Burke, published under the title of A Visitation of the Seats and Arms of the Noblemen and Gentlemen of Great Britain and Ireland, among other titles: 2.S. Vol. II, p. 166, 1855.

  • Title: Buildings of England: Hertfordshire, The
    Author: Pevsner, Nikolaus; Cherry, Bridget
    Year Published: 2000
    Reference: pg. 391
    Publisher: London: Penguin Books
    ISBN: 0140710078
    Book Type: Hardback

    Title: James "Athenian" Stuart, 1713-1788: The Rediscovery of Antiquity
    Author: Soros, Susan Weber (Editor)
    Year Published: 2006
    Reference: pgs. 325-326
    Publisher: New Haven: Yale University Press
    ISBN: 0300117132
    Book Type: Hardback

    Title: Biographical Dictionary of British Architects, 1600-1840, A - SOFTBACK
    Author: Colvin, Howard
    Year Published: 1995
    Publisher: New Haven: Yale University Press
    ISBN: 0300072074
    Book Type: Softback

  • House Listed: Grade II*

    Park Listed: Not Listed

  • Past Seat / Home of: SEATED AT EARLIER HOUSE: John Heydon, early 15th century. SEATED AT CURRENT HOUSE: Sir William Buck of Hanby, early 18th century. Thomas Villiers, 1st Earl of Clarendon and 1st Baron Hyde, until 1786; Villiers family here from 1753 until 1920.

    Current Ownership Type: Corporation

    Primary Current Ownership Use: Hotel

    Ownership Details: Today The Grove hotel

  • House Open to Public: By Appointment

    Phone: 01923-807-807

    Email: [email protected]

    Website: https://www.thegrove.co.uk/

    Historic Houses Member: No


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