Harefield Grove, Hillingdon
Only one London street atlas identifies this as a discrete locality, situated north of Harefield proper on Rickmansworth Road and consisting of little more than one farm and one mansion
There has been a farm here since at least 1684, when it was called Guttersdean Farm. It is now Harefield Grove Farm. In the late 19th century exotic fruits and vegetables were grown for the London market in over 100 greenhouses with 50 miles of hot water piping.
Harefield Grove is a grade II listed house, probably of late 18th- or early 19th-century origin but significantly altered on a least two subsequent occasions. It is most notable for its grounds, with lakes and a waterfall, which are among the few surviving landscaped gardens in London not to have been opened to the public.
In 1983–5 Harefield Grove was converted to offices for the towel rental company Initial. The conversion involved radical internal alterations and external demolition and reconstruction and must have barely scraped through the approval process. Initial moved out after Rentokil bought the company and Comer Homes acquired the site in 2003.
In recent years Harefield Grove has lain vacant long enough for the house to be placed on the English Heritage Buildings at Risk Register.
In 2013 the Greater London Authority rejected Comer’s proposal to convert the majority of the main Harefield Grove house into a single ‘dwelling unit’, with various outbuildings being converted, built or reinstated to create a further 23 homes. It seems likely that the developer will adjust its proposal to satisfy the GLA’s concerns and that a watered-down version of the plan will ultimately take shape here.
A small studio was constructed at Harefield Grove Farm to create CI5’s headquarters in the first season of The Professionals, a 1970s crime-action drama. Some exterior scenes were shot at locations nearby.
Postcode area: Uxbridge, UB9
Bird’s eye view: Bing Maps view of Harefield Grove