Saint Hill Manor

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Saint Hill Manor
Saint Hill Manor.jpg
General information
Type Country house
Location Saint Hill Green, near East Grinstead, Sussex, England
Coordinates 51°6′19.99″N 0°01′36.55″W / 51.1055528°N 0.0268194°W / 51.1055528; -0.0268194Coordinates: 51°6′19.99″N 0°01′36.55″W / 51.1055528°N 0.0268194°W / 51.1055528; -0.0268194
Completed 1792
Design and construction
Architect Gibbs Crawfurd

Saint Hill Manor is a country house at Saint Hill Green, near East Grinstead in Sussex, England. It was constructed in 1792 and had several notable owners before being purchased by L. Ron Hubbard and becoming the British headquarters of the Church of Scientology.

Early history[edit]

Saint Hill Manor was built by Gibbs Crawfurd in 1792, situated on 59 acres (239,000 m²) of landscaped gardens overlooking the hills of the Weald. Subsequent owners included Edgar March Crookshank and Mrs Drexel Biddle, who commissioned the famous Monkey Mural which was painted by John Spencer-Churchill, nephew of Sir Winston Churchill. It was once owned by William Thomas Berger and for many years in the late 1800s served as the headquarters of the China Inland Mission. Hudson Taylor and Berger met there often and it was a centre for training recruits for the mission field.

L. Ron Hubbard purchase[edit]

L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology, bought the mansion from Sawai Man Singh, the Maharajah of Jaipur, in 1959. He lived there until early 1966.

Under Hubbard's ownership, the manor was extensively modified, with a series of extensions and new buildings constructed on the estate during the 1960s and 1970s. The largest was a mock-Norman castle built behind the main manor house after 1968 to provide a purpose-built training facility for Scientology students. The development was controversial, with the East Grinstead Urban District Council initially refusing planning permission. After a public enquiry, however, the Church of Scientology was granted permission to go ahead with the construction of "Saint Hill Castle".[1]


  1. ^ Rolph, C.H. (1973). Believe What You Like: What happened between the Scientologists and the National Association for Mental Health. Andre Deutsch Limited. Chapter 6: Scientologists and the Law I [1]. ISBN 0-233-96375-8. 

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