Grove Park, Hounslow

Grove Park, Hounslow

The south-western part of the Chiswick peninsula, consisting of a popular residential zone and extensive sports grounds

Hidden London: Dental practice, Sutton Court Road and Park Road

The first Grove House stood here from at least 1412. The Duke of Devon­shire bought the estate in 1833 and remod­elled the house. After the open­ing of Chiswick sta­tion in 1849 the duke began to plan a set­tle­ment at Grove Park but this was slow to get under way. Grove Park Hotel was built in 1867, fol­lowed by the first few hous­es and then St Paul’s church in 1872.

The pop­u­lar­i­ty of Bed­ford Park prompt­ed two attempts at build­ing a gar­den sub­urb here. Thomas Kemp Welch adver­tised a devel­op­ment called Chiswick Park and Jonathan Carr, Bed­ford Park’s cre­ator, planned a new town called Burling­wick, which would have cov­ered 330 acres and housed 40,000 peo­ple. Noth­ing so grand ever even­tu­at­ed and Grove Park con­tin­ued to grow with a series of small­er projects, such as the Riverview estate of 1904.

Soap-mak­ers Dan and Charles Mason began to pro­duce Cher­ry Blos­som boot pol­ish at their fac­to­ry in Burling­ton Lane in 1906. The com­pa­ny acquired land on Duke’s Mead­ows in the 1920s for a pack­ag­ing plant and an employ­ees’ sport ground. The rest of the mead­ows were pre­served by the coun­cil after schemes for a gas­works and a pow­er sta­tion were dropped.

The Kin­naird Park estate replaced Grove House fol­low­ing its demo­li­tion in 1928. There seems to be some truth in sto­ries that the house’s build­ing mate­ri­als were export­ed to the Unit­ed States but they were not all reassem­bled in one place. In Stave­ley Gar­dens the Chiswick Pol­ish Com­pa­ny built semi-detached hous­es for its work­ers in 1930 and maisonettes for retired employ­ees in 1960. Cher­ry trees were plant­ed to line the walks.

Chiswick Quay is an estate of mid-1970s town­hous­es built around a mari­na that was once Grove House’s orna­men­tal lake and lat­er a yacht and house­boat basin. Many of the large homes of the orig­i­nal Grove Park estate have been demol­ished and replaced by flats or small­er hous­es but a few ear­ly vil­las sur­vive, notably on Grove Park Road. The built-up stretch of the river­front has seen sev­er­al new devel­op­ments in recent years, most­ly of mod­est pro­por­tions, includ­ing the con­ver­sion of the for­mer RAF Asso­ci­a­tion offices into flats.

Duke’s Mead­ows, to the south of Grove Park, are awash with sports facil­i­ties – for ten­nis, ath­let­ics, crick­et and more – as well as with bases for row­ing and sail­ing on the Thames.

Bernard Montgomery, later Field Marshal Viscount Montgomery of Alamein, lived on Bolton Road as a teenager.

Actor John Thaw lived on Grove Park Road for 20 years from 1978.

Postal district: W4
Station: South West Trains (Chiswick station is bang in the middle of Grove Park, zone 3)
* The picture of the triangular dental practice on this page is adapted from an original photograph, copyright Des Blenkinsopp, at Geograph Britain and Ireland, made available under the Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic Licence. Any subsequent reuse is hereby freely permitted under the terms of that licence.