Denville Hall

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Denville Hall
Denville Hall.JPG
The building in December 2013
Former names
  • Maze Farm
  • Northwood Hall
General information
Address 62 Ducks Hill Road
Town or city Northwood, London
Country England
Coordinates 51°36′37″N 0°26′26″W / 51.61029°N 0.44049°W / 51.61029; -0.44049Coordinates: 51°36′37″N 0°26′26″W / 51.61029°N 0.44049°W / 51.61029; -0.44049
Renovated 2004
Owner Denville Hall Ltd.
Designations Locally listed

Denville Hall is an historic building in Northwood, a town in the London Borough of Hillingdon, England which is used as a retirement home for professional actors, actresses and other theatrical professions. The present building incorporates part of a 16th-century house, which was substantially rebuilt in 1851 and later considerably extended after becoming a retirement home in 1926. Many well-known British actors and actresses have been residents of the hall.

History and description[edit]

The hall includes part of a 16th-century house called Maze Farm.[1] In the 18th century it belonged to the judge, Sir John Vaughan.[2] In 1851 it was rebuilt in Victorian Gothic style by Daniel Norton, and renamed Northwood Hall.[1][2] Alfred Denville, impresario, actor-manager and MP,[3] bought the hall in 1925 and dedicated it to the acting profession in memory of his son Jack, who had died at the age of 26 after onstage complications with re-aggravated World War I injuries. He renamed the hall Denville Hall and created a charity in the same name.[2] It was opened formally as a rest home in July 1926 by Princess Louise, the then Princess Royal.[4]

The building, heavily extended in the intervening years, is locally listed.[1] A further remodelling and expansion project with landscaping, by Acanthus LW Architects, was completed in 2004.[5]

Simon Williams, who was co-chairman of Denville Hall for 15 years, based Yew Tree House in his play Laying the Ghost on it.[6]

Facilities and services[edit]

Though actors have priority,[7] the home is available to other people in the entertainment industry (including the circus),[8] such as agents and dancers,[7] and their spouses[9] over the age of 70 and offers residential, nursing, convalescent, dementia and palliative care. Residents can stay on a long-term or short-term basis, and physiotherapy is provided.[10][11] There is also a subsidised bar.[9][12]

Notable residents[edit]

Many British actors and actresses have spent their retirement years there,[13] including:


The hall and charity have had a number of notable supporters. Lord Attenborough, whose widow Sheila, Lady Attenborough, resided at Denville Hall, was president.[44] In the late 1960s and early 1970s, performers including Sean Connery, Michael Caine, Paul Scofield and Elizabeth Taylor (for her television debut) donated their fees to rebuilding the house.[45][46] In 1999 the original set from The Mousetrap, after 47 years' continuous use, was auctioned to raise money for Denville Hall.[39] Restaurateur Elena Salvoni donated a portion of the profits of her 2007 autobiography, Eating Famously, to the hall.[44] Terence Rattigan left his estate to charity, with all royalties from his plays being donated to Denville Hall and the King George V Fund for Actors and Actresses.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Review of Local List of Buildings of Architectural or Historic Importance: Denville Hall". Hillingdon London Borough Council. May 2010. Retrieved 5 December 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c "Denville Hall - History". Retrieved 5 December 2013. 
  3. ^ "Rep. Pioneer left £57,400", The Bulletin, 15 June 1955; he left £5,000 to the Hall in his will.
  4. ^ "Denville Hall 1926". British Pathe. Retrieved 5 December 2013. 
  5. ^ Denville Hall, Projects, Acanthus LW Architects, retrieved 28 November 2013.
  6. ^ This is Cornwall, "Laying the Ghost: 'A fun play with a heart' in Polruan", Plymouth Herald, 20 January 2009.
  7. ^ a b Pearson, Katie (2005-04-18). "For my final act; Reportage". The Times. p. 6. Retrieved 5 December 2013.  (subscription required)
  8. ^ "Religious service in circus ring at Glasgow", The Glasgow Herald, 29 September 1938.
  9. ^ a b Michael Simkins, "Ageing thespians should stick together", The Telegraph, 11 July 2009.
  10. ^ Denville Hall official website
  11. ^ Denville Hall care home, Northwood
  12. ^ "A modest man but certainly not retiring", The Times, 10 June 2010: "I wonder how West, at 75, regards the prospect of the actors' retirement home, Denville Hall, north of London. 'Well, the bar opens sometime after breakfast'".
  13. ^ Denville Hall, actors video
  14. ^ The Independent, 6 November 2014, By Paul Gallagher, Residents at Denville Hall, the actors’ care home where Richard Attenborough died, were given incorrect drugs doses
  15. ^ "Margot Boyd", The Telegraph, 25 May 2008.
  16. ^ "Alan Brien", Obituaries, The Telegraph, 3 July 2008.
  17. ^ "Risque panto dame dies at 94", The Glasgow Herald, 26 August 1987.
  18. ^ "Patsy Byrne", The Telegraph, 21 June 2014.
  19. ^ [Resting Places: The Burial Sites of More Than 14,000 Famous Persons, 3d ed. By Scott Wilson]
  20. ^ "Brian Cant, Play School presenter, dies at 83". BBC News. BBC. 19 June 2017. Retrieved 19 June 2017. 
  21. ^ "Theatre PR Tony Barlow jailed for £100,000 scam", The Stage, 25 March 2011.
  22. ^ "Actress Pat Coombs dies", BBC News, 27 May 2002.
  23. ^ "Veteran actor Maurice Denham dies", BBC News, 25 July 2002.
  24. ^ Dennis Hevesi, "Dulcie Gray, Stalwart British Actress, Dies at 95", New York Times, 17 November 2011.
  25. ^ "Robert Hardy: Harry Potter and All Creatures Great and Small star dies". BBC News Online. 3 August 2017. 
  26. ^ "On the Buses star dies", BBC News, 31 May 2000.
  27. ^ "Robert Harris, Actor, 95", New York Times, 22 May 1995.
  28. ^ "Mark Kingston", Obituaries, The Telegraph, 26 October 2011.
  29. ^ "The importance of being Jack", Sacramento Bee, 14 January 2007: "He recuperated at Denville Hall, a home for retired actors in Middlesex, and will return there this spring. 'The marvelous thing about it is it's not ... regimented'".
  30. ^ Eric Pace, "Roger MacDougall, A Screenwriter, 82, And a Playwright", New York Times, 31 May 1993.
  31. ^ Betty Marsden's Obituary on the BBC News website
  32. ^ "Actress Peggy Mount dies", BBC News, 13 November 2001.
  33. ^ "Eileen O'Casey, 95; Actress and Author", New York Times, 10 April 1995.
  34. ^ a b "For My Final Act", The Times, 18 April 2005.
  35. ^ "Daphne Oxenford, voice of Listen With Mother, dies", BBC News, 4 January 2013.
  36. ^ Criddle, Cristina (21 August 2016). "Actor and disability campaigner Lord Rix dies after urging for assisted dying to be made legal". Retrieved 31 January 2017. 
  37. ^ "Fawlty Towers star Andrew Sachs dies 86". Daily Mail. 2 December 2016. Retrieved 2 December 2016. 
  38. ^ "Peter Sallis: Last of the Summer Wine actor dies aged 96". BBC News. BBC. 5 June 2017. Retrieved 5 June 2017. 
  39. ^ a b "Original Mousetrap Set Auctioned This Month", What's On Stage, 11 June 1999.
  40. ^ "'Allo 'Allo star dies", BBC News, 4 August 2002.
  41. ^ "Gerald Sim obituary", The Guardian, 4 March 2015
  42. ^ "Club comedian Oates dies does comic actor Stevens", Chortle, 14 November 2006.
  43. ^ Howard Loxton, "Edgar Wreford", Obituaries, The Stage, 8 February 2006.
  44. ^ a b Salvoni, Elena. Eating Famously. WSM Wordsworth Limited. ISBN 9780955617102. 
  45. ^ Los Angeles Times, 5 January 1969: "Sean Connery, Michael Caine and Paul Scofield pledged their wages to England's Theatrical Charity Council, primarily for the rebuilding of Denville Hall".
  46. ^ "Liz Taylor in dramatic TV debut", Schenectady Gazette, 27 December 1969.

External links[edit]