Colworth House

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Colworth House
Colworth atg.jpg
General information
Type Manor house/Science park
Location Sharnbrook, Bedfordshire
Country England
Coordinates 52°13′50″N 0°33′54″W / 52.23053°N 0.56505°W / 52.23053; -0.56505
Owner Wrenbridge

Colworth House is an 18th-century mansion set in an area of parkland on the edge of the village of Sharnbrook in Bedfordshire. The current house was started 1715 by Mark Antonie, a self made man who aspired to become part of the landed gentry. The surrounding site has been occupied since prehistoric times. It is a Grade II* listed building.[1]


The house and extensive grounds, also once the home of Henry Mond, 2nd Baron Melchett, were acquired by Unilever in November 1947 and restored and developed into a research laboratory through 1948, with the first staff moving in during 1950. Unilever employed up to 1,750 people at Colworth during the 1970s and constructed several laboratory buildings surrounding a central grassed park.

In 2004 Unilever entered into a joint venture with property investment company Arlington Securities to manage Colworth Science Park, with the aim of turning it into a science cluster by attracting science businesses, academic outposts, and science-based entrepreneurs. Arlington was subsequently acquired by Goodman, a property group involved in long-term ownership, development, and management of commercial and industrial property. In 2015, the joint venture vehicle was acquired by Palmer Capital and Wrenbridge Land. Colworth Science Park remains one of Unilever's six research centres located around the world with around 750 Unilever employees. An additional 200 personnel are employed by several of small companies located on the site.[2]

The Colworth House grounds was the location of a Channel 4 Time Team programme, first broadcast on February 22, 2009. Numerous finds by amateur archaeologists led to the discovery of a Roman villa and farm in a field adjacent to the property.[3]

Colworth House has also given its name to the Colworth Medal, established by the late Professor Tony James of Unilever Research and Professor Henry Arnstein of the Biochemical Society in 1963. The award recognises outstanding research by a young biochemist of any nationality who has carried out the majority of their work in the UK.


  1. ^ "Name: COLWORTH HOUSE List entry Number: 1160878". Histic England. Retrieved 25 April 2015. 
  2. ^ Unilever website, "Colworth UK" Online reference
  3. ^ "Roman villa unearthed in Sharnbrook". Luton Today. Luton, United Kingdom: Johnston Publishing Ltd. 14 January 2009. Archived from the original on 6 August 2014. Retrieved 6 August 2014. 

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