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Hunton Park: A Journey Through History

Introduction Welcome to Hunton Park, a place steeped in history and charm. Join us as we take a journey through almost 190 years of captivating stories and fascinating characters. From its humble beginnings as Hazelwood...

Introduction

Welcome to Hunton Park, a place steeped in history and charm. Join us as we take a journey through almost 190 years of captivating stories and fascinating characters. From its humble beginnings as Hazelwood House to its transformation into the renowned Hunton Park Hotel, this is a tale that will transport you to a bygone era.

Unveiling the Origins

The history of Hunton Park begins in 1810 when Henry Botham, a wealthy Londoner, sought a peaceful retreat in the countryside. With 43 acres of land in his possession, he built the original Hazelwood House, a haven for his family and future generations. Over the years, additional acres were acquired, and the estate flourished under the care of Henry and his wife, Lydia.

A Shifting Legacy

As time passed, the house changed hands, bringing new life and fresh perspectives to Hazelwood. Samuel Charles Gambier, a relative of Lydia, inherited the estate but never chose to call it his home. He sold the property to his cousin, Henry Robinson Montagu, who would later become Lord Rokeby. Lord Rokeby, a distinguished soldier, poured his heart into improving the property and creating splendid grounds for his daughter Elizabeth.

Trials and Transformations

The house witnessed its share of challenges and rebirths. Admiral Ralph Cator and Henry Stewart Gladstone, the Vicar of Honingham, took turns as its custodians. It was Gladstone who made extensive improvements before tragedy struck in the form of a devastating fire in 1908. Undeterred, Gladstone embarked on the task of rebuilding, resulting in the birth of the second Hazelwood House.

New Beginnings

In 1930, Hazelwood House found a new owner in Francis Edwin Fisher, an esteemed landowner and dairy herds expert. During their ownership, Francis and his wife, Violet Olivia Cressey-Marcks, traveled extensively, leaving Hazelwood unoccupied for long periods. Notably, Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia sought refuge here during his exile.

Uncertain Times

The years between 1939 and 1945 remain somewhat of a mystery for Hazelwood. However, a portion of the estate served as an airfield, known today as Leavesden Aerodrome. After the war, the Fisher family faced financial burdens, and Hazelwood fell into disrepair.

A Battle for Preservation

In 1971, a property company sought to demolish the house and replace it with a housing estate. Thankfully, this proposal was rejected, and the cinema industry, with films like "Raging Moon" and "The Executioner," provided much-needed funds for repairs. Soon after, Paul Edwin Hembler, an enterprising entrepreneur, acquired the house and rechristened it as Hunton Park.

Restoring its Splendor

The Dexion Group, a renowned company, took ownership in 1979, transforming Hunton Park into their headquarters. After a period of vacancy in the 1980s, The Prudential stepped in, renovating the house and adding new amenities. In 1989, Hunton Park opened as a conference center, welcoming guests from near and far.

A New Era

The property changed hands once again in 2005, when the Alternative Hotel Group, now known as DeVere Venues, acquired it. With their signature attention to detail, they continued to enhance the splendor of Hunton Park. Today, it stands as an exquisite venue, offering a blend of old-world charm and modern comforts that create an unforgettable experience for all who visit.

A Picture-Perfect Haven

Hunton Park Captivating grounds of Hunton Park

Conclusion

As you explore Hunton Park, its rich history will undoubtedly leave an indelible mark on your heart. Whether you're attending a conference, celebrating a special occasion, or simply seeking a tranquil retreat, Hunton Park offers the perfect setting. Allow yourself to be enveloped by the stories held within its walls and the beauty of its meticulously preserved surroundings. Welcome to Hunton Park, where history truly comes alive.

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