Hendon Hall is a fine old diamond of a mansion. Originally known as Hendon Manor, it was mentioned in the Doomsday Book. Any income generated by the Manor was granted to Westminster Abbey, but was later seized by the Crown for the Church of England, during King Henry VIII’s English Reformation.
King Henry’s son King Edward VI gave the Manor to the Earl of Pembroke in return for good and faithful services and he, in turn, gave it to his son Edward as a wedding present in 1569.
The Pembroke family lost the Manor during the Civil War, having followed their consciences and backed the ‘wrong side’ as Loyalists to the Crown. Needless to say, they regained title to the Manor at the time of the Restoration of King Charles II.
In 1688, the Lord of the Manor was a staunch supporter of the Catholic King James I and fled with him to France, thereby losing both his land and title. Once again Hendon reverted to the Crown, but was soon occupied by the Powis family.
The memorial title, rights and income of Hendon Manor were sold for £13,000 in the late 18th Century to David Garrick, the famous actor and manager of the Drury Lane Theatre. David Garrick achieved such fame that his head was even engraved on the halfpenny coin. He fervently admired Shakespeare and created a memorial to him in the grounds of Hendon Manor.
The simple tribute reads:
Born A.D. MDLXIV
Died A.D. MDCXVI
There is also a memorial to David Garrick, who died as Lord of the Manor of Hendon in 1779. This still stands in the front of the grounds, although Garrick was buried in Westminster Abbey. The memorial reads:
Born A.D. MDCCXVI, Died A.D. MDCCLXXIX
He was owner of the estate
Viarial Patron and
Lord of the Manor of Hendon
In 1852, Hendon Hall became a girl’s school and we know that plays were often performed on the lawns in the grounds on summer evenings.
Hendon Hall first opened its doors as a hotel in 1911, but was closed during the Second World War to become an RAF convalescent home. After the war it became a hotel again, starting off with a grand re-opening that local residents remember to this day.