Stanwell Place

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Stanwell Place
Stanwell Place.jpg
General information
Type Rendered brick
Location Stanwell, Middlesex, United Kingdom
Coordinates 51°27′32″N 0°29′28″W / 51.459°N 0.4912°W / 51.459; -0.4912
Completed Early 19th Century
Demolished 1960s
Dimensions
Other dimensions Approximately 30 rooms

Stanwell Place was a manor house and associated estate and tenant farms, located to the west of the village of Stanwell, Middlesex. During the early part of the 20th century parts of the estate were sold off to create a reservoir and a series of local small holdings.

The manor house was constructed in the 17th century at least, standing about half a mile to the west of the parish church, north of Park Road.[1] The last house to stand on the site is believed to have been built in the early part of the 19th century by the Gibbons family, who owned the manorial rights from 1754 to 1933. The house had two storeys and was cement rendered with a low-pitched roof behind a parapet. The later west wing was built of red brick, and some of the outbuildings were older than the main house.

The surrounding park land was laid out in the 18th century. The bend at the entrance gates in Park Road is probably due to Sir John Gibbons diverting the road in 1760. After Gibbons had enclosed Borough Field in 1771, the Park extended from Oaks Road in the east to Borough Green to the north and was over 300 acres (1.2 km2). The size of the park went down over the years, however.[2][3]

The last of the Gibbons family to live there sold Stanwell Place to a civil engineer, Sir John Watson Gibson, in 1933. Gibson moved to Stanwell whilst building the Queen Mary Reservoir at Littleton (then the largest water storage reservoir in the world). He lived at Stanwell Lodge before his purchase of Stanwell Place (90 acres), and the adjoining Stanhope farm (261 acres, including Hammonds farm).[4] In 1936 the Metropolitan Water Board bought most of Gibson's estate, in a contract encompassing 346 acres.[5] It used this land in 1947 to develop the King George VI Reservoir.[4]

During the Second World War, Gibson, as deputy director-general civil engineering (special) at the Ministry of Supply (1943–4), was one of the principal people responsible for the construction of the top secret Mulberry Harbours. It was as a result of this that he lent Stanwell Place to the SHAEF Commanders, and they held two top level meetings there during the buildup to D-Day and the Normandy Invasion. The highest level US commanders, including Henry L. Stimson, General George C. Marshall, General Dwight D. Eisenhower, Admiral Ernest J. King, and General of the Air Force Henry H. Arnold, stayed at Stanwell Place for these meetings.[6]

After Gibson’s death, Stanwell Place and 22 acres were sold to King Faisal II of Iraq, leaving 17 acres of Stanhope farm still in the ownership of Gibson's sons.[5] After the assassination of King Faisal in 1958,[3] the house and its grounds was purchased for gravel extraction. Despite local attempts to prevent it, the house was allowed to become derelict and was eventually knocked down.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Google. "Location of Stanwell Place" (Map). Google Maps. Google. 
  2. ^ [1] 'Stanwell: Introduction', A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 3: Shepperton, Staines, Stanwell, Sunbury, Teddington, Heston and Isleworth, Twickenham, Cowley, Cranford, West Drayton, Greenford, Hanwell, Harefield and Harlington (1962), pp. 33-36.
  3. ^ a b [2] 'Stanwell: Manors', A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 3: Shepperton, Staines, Stanwell, Sunbury, Teddington, Heston and Isleworth, Twickenham, Cowley, Cranford, West Drayton, Greenford, Hanwell, Harefield and Harlington (1962), pp. 36-41
  4. ^ a b Local List - Statement of Public Consultation. Stanwell Borough Council. December 2003. 
  5. ^ a b Susan Reynolds (1962). "A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 3". british-history.ac.uk. Retrieved 2010-01-02. 
  6. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-03-08. Retrieved 2012-03-21.  Spelthorne Borough Council - Local List of Buildings and Structures of Architectural or Historic Interest - February 2004: Burial Monument of Sir John Gibson