Pre-War History

11402978_377321885801841_6022176939153153240_n[1]‘The beautifully proportioned red-brick house, the blue bathing-pool surrounded by such a profusion of lilies that the scent at night became almost overpowering, the flamingos and ducks, the banks of exquisite flowers in the dressing room, the red carnation and the cocktail on one’s dressing table before dinner, were each a perfection of their kind.’ R.Boothby, I Fight to Live

The Grade II listed mansion house and heritage grounds once belonged to the Bevan family (founders of Barclays Bank) and later the Sassoons. The Bevans carried out benevolent work in the area and it was thanks to Robert Cooper Lee Bevan that the local parish church of Christ Church in Cockfosters was founded and consecrated in April 1839. It cemented historic ties between the church and the Trent Park estate for nearly 180 years – that continues today. Christ Church has strongly supported the creation of a museum in the mansion house at Trent Park.

From 1912 until 1939, as the home of Sir Philip Sassoon, Trent Park was a socialite’s paradise – regular guests included Charlie Chaplin, Lloyd George, Lawrence of Arabia, George Bernard Shaw and Edward VIII – as well as Winston Churchill who painted several paintings at the estate. The painted murals of the famous artist Rex Whistler still adorn the rooms and renaissance sculptures dignify the landscape. During the 1930s, it was the secret ‘love nest’ weekend retreat of Edward and Wallace Simpson. The glory of its stately rooms are captured in photographs now belonging to one of Philip Sassoon’s descendants. Winston Churchill, later to become wartime Prime Minister, painted the Blue Room at Trent Park. 

The present Queen Elizabeth II visited Trent Park as a child and on a visit to the borough a few years ago asked to see the site again. It is our hope that Her Majesty will visit Trent Park again after the restoration and the establishment of the museum.

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