Hatchlands

BY CHARLES EVANS

Hatchlands Park is a red-brick country house with surrounding gardens in East Clandon, Surrey, covering 430 acres. It is located near Guildford.

The park initially belonged to Chertsey Abbey with the park being mentioned in the Domesday Book. In 1544, after the dissolution of the monasteries, it was granted by Henry VIII to Sir Anthony Browne and his wife, Lady Elizabeth Fitzgerald (‘The Fair Geraldine’ of Henry Howard).

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The park was purchased in 1750 by Admiral Edward Boscawen who landscaped the grounds; for the house he employed the architect Stiff Leadbetter. Admiral Boscawen’s widow, Fanny sold the estate in 1770 to the Sumner family of the East India Company; both father and son made further alterations to the property. The father, William Brightwell Sumner commissioned Benjamin Armitage to make alterations, and his son, George Holme Sumner asked Humphry Repton (1752–1818) to redesign the park and garden. Towards the end of the century, Joseph Bonomi, ARA, was commissioned to alter several rooms and to impose a frontispiece on the west front.

In 1888, the Sumner family sold the estate to Stuart, later Stuart Rendel, 1st Baron Rendel. He had extensive changes made to the fabric of the house. Rendel was mainly his own architect but he also employed his nephew by marriage, Halsey Ricardo, and commissioned Reginald Blomfield to build the Music Room. Rendel coloured and gilded Adam’s ceilings, embellished the staircase with rococo decorations and switched the main entrance of the house to the east. Rendel also commissioned Gertrude Jekyll to design the gardens which contain a parterre.

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In 1945 Hatchlands Park was passed to the National Trust by architect Harry Stuart Goodhart-Rendel, grandson of Lord Rendel.

The Parkland is now open 363 days a year. There is a café and a shop. There is a cobbled courtyard and in the grounds, there is a disused ice house.

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