Eastcote House was built in the late 15th century but, following its demolition in the 1960s, its grounds were allowed to fall into disrepair. Only the walled garden, a dovecote and stable buildings still stand at the site and all three Grade II listed buildings are on the English Heritage Buildings at Risk Register.
The Friends of Eastcote House Gardens was set up in 2008 to restore the neglected site and establish it as a key visitor destination in the area. After two years of hard work in partnership with landowner the London Borough of Hillingdon, with a grant from the Big Lottery, the first stage of the project is complete and the walled garden is now open to the public.
Taylor Wimpey’s donation has been used to excavate and replant a delightful rockery at the entrance to the garden – one of the first things people encounter when they visit the new attraction.
Lesley Crowcroft, Chairman of the Friends of Eastcote House Gardens, says: “When we first began work here, the garden was very neglected and overgrown – so much so that you couldn’t even see the walls for creepers and ivy.
“The restoration of the rockery was a particularly difficult task; the more weeds we cleared away, the more of it we revealed and this part of the garden eventually turned out to be three times larger than we had initially thought!
“The donation from Taylor Wimpey has helped us revitalise the rockery completely and enhance the walk to the walled garden itself for the enjoyment of visitors.”
The work to restore the rockery was carried out with the help of Giles Hayward, of Haste Hill Nursery, in Fore Street, Eastcote, who drew up the planting plans, sourced the plants and delivered them to the site free of charge.
Tim Betts, Sales and Marketing Director for Taylor Wimpey West London, adds: “We are always keen to help good causes in our area and as soon as we heard about the project at Eastcote House, we knew it was something we wanted to be involved with.
“We are proud that our small contribution has enabled the first stage of this fantastic conservation scheme to be completed and hope many local people will enjoy the results for years to come.”
The Friends of Eastcote House Gardens group is hosting a special event at 12pm on Saturday 17th July, when local schoolchildren will be invited to celebrate the official opening of the walled garden by the Mayor of Hillingdon.
Fundraising is continuing towards the next stage of the project – the restoration of the dovecote and stables – and copies of a new booklet Eastcote House: A Short History and a 2011 calendar are being sold to help the appeal. The book can be obtained by emailing Lesley at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Taylor Wimpey West London is currently constructing two developments of new homes for sales in Eastcote – at Sandringham in Lime Grove, Eastcote, where one and two-bedroom apartments are priced from £207,995 and three and four-bedroom houses are priced from £389,995; and new homes for sale in Ruislip – Sandringham Gate in Eastcote Road, Ruislip, where luxury executive four and five-bedroom houses range from £740,000 to £1.025 million.
Further information is available by calling 01256 745203 or by visiting the Taylor Wimpey website at www.taylorwimpey.co.uk.