Saint Hill Manor
|Saint Hill Manor|
|Location||Saint Hill Green, near East Grinstead, Sussex, England|
|Design and construction|
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.
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. There are a number of archeological artefacts in the immediate area which have been attributed to the existence of a small Priory or early 17th Century dwelling on the site. The original name (Sinta Hill) itself is thought to have come from the local Roman occupation and latter-Medieval iron-workings found here and throughout the area. 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
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 before moving abroad to conduct his studies and researches into the Ancient Greek and Phoenician empires in the Mediterranean area aboard his 65-foot ketch 'The Enchanter' with his wife Mary Sue Hubbard (De Witt) and children.
Under Hubbard's ownership, the manor was extensively modified, with a series of extensions and new buildings constructed on the estate during the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s to accommodate the training facilities and attendant administration functions. The largest was a mock-Norman castle built adjacent to the main manor house after 1968 to provide a purpose-built training facility for Scientology students. The East Grinstead Urban District Council initially refused planning permission. After a public enquiry, however, the Church of Scientology was granted permission to go ahead with the construction of "Saint Hill Castle".
The Church of Scientology’s renovations on the Saint Hill Manor were completed in the summer of 2015 and is reported to have cost a total of US$16 million. The church claims that they are preserving it as a “historic monument.” Church leader David Miscavige and Scientologist actor Tom Cruise donated US$10,000 to cover the local sports team’s costs and invited director of rugby Phil Major to an annual gala when their activities were disrupted for six months because of the renovations.
- 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 . ISBN 0-233-96375-8.
- "Tom Cruise set to move to Saint Hill Manor Scientology UK headquarters". Mail Online. Retrieved 2016-04-16.
- "Tom Cruise moving into Scientology UK headquarters". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2016-04-16.
- Official website
- Aerial photograph of Saint Hill (Multimap.com)
- Advanced Organization & Saint Hill United Kingdom (official home page)
- Saint Hill Manor (AboutBritain.com)
- L. Ron Hubbard when living in Saint Hill (brief biography) A favourable biography from a website with links to Church of Scientology.
- Scientology.org: L. Ron Hubbard A Chronicle (1959 - 1967)
- Official Scientology UK site
- Saint Hill (Jon Atack, A Piece Of Blue Sky, chapter 2)