Mid-May 2021 update

The rhododendrons in the parkland between the House, and the football pitches are at their best at the moment,

The bluebells in Woodwalk are still very much in evidence.

Despite being swamped in places by brambles, they are still worth a visit.

There are also masses of buttercups, both in the field behind The Readings, and also the field adjoining North Hill.

The flooded picnic area by the Chess, which has been under water since February is at last being investigated by the Water Company.

Even though April was the driest on record, it followed the wettest February ever. The very high aquifer in the Chilterns has meant that the river has been in spate, and the high rainfall so far in May hasn’t helped.

December 2020 Update

Those of you who have driven or walked along the A 404 during the year will have noticed a continued improvement in the Estate boundary.

At the beginning of the year, it was marked by a dilapidated ivy-covered fence, with a view of dense undergrowth behind.

It was uninviting, and unattractive.

In the Spring, TRDC replaced the fence with a new knee-high post and rail which gave a much better view of the jungle!

When Government restrictions have permitted, the “Friends” working parties have been removing the invasive elder and sycamore, and cutting back straggly holly.

This will allow more space for silver birch, laburnum and mature holly trees, and will give a much better view of the wonderful rhododendrons.

The view from the road is now much more inviting, and has attracted many more visitors not only during lockdown, but also in the summer.

If you are walking in the part of the Estate that we have been clearing, look out for rabbit holes. The other trip hazards are the 150 or so tree stumps remaining.

However, we are very grateful to TRDC who have paid for contractors to remove the stumps.

Do come and enjoy the Estate – and if you want to know more about our working parties, get in touch with timvenner@aol.com.

Here’s Dave, with his remote-controlled two-ton grinder.

When he’d finished, it looked like a WW1 battlefield.

However, one more session by our volunteers raked it smooth.

We’ve finished for 2020, and will seed it in the Spring.

And finally, here’s a useful tip we’ve discovered if you can’t get a bonfire going when everything is wet – a leaf-blower works wonders!

Chorleywood House Estate and the Second World War

At the start of the Second World War, Chorleywood was designated as one of the reception areas for London evacuees.

On 1st September, the first evacuees arrived by train.

Several hundred children were assessed for suitability to live with local families.

Some were housed in the top floor of Chorleywood House, in dormitories under the care of a Canadian Matron Mary Brady Thornton from 1939 to 1944.

Evacuees with Mary on an outing down to the river Chess

The early years of the war –

• Staff at Chorleywood House completed 5,038 ration books.

• The Red Cross set up the House as a casualty-clearing centre.

• The old walled garden was used as a training place for the Land Army

• However the most important use of the Estate in 1940 was as a prisoner of war camp: 20-30 Nissen huts at the back of the house were built for about 200 prisoners of war with a British force of 20 soldiers and officers to look after them.

• The Summer House was also put to use by the WVS to sort rivets.

• The House and grounds were requisitioned by the Ministry of Defence and used as base for various regiments a large hut was built by the open tennis courts and used as a NAAFI.

The large ornamental entrance gates to the Estate and the railings were removed for the war effort but they were never collected and have since mysteriously disappeared.


COVID19 update | 18th April 2020

Welcome to Chorleywood House Estate – a hidden jewel in the local council’s crown.

We are very fortunate in that during the current Covid19 crisis, the Estate remains open to visitors who live in the local area.

If you live close by, please consider visiting the Estate for your exercise.

It is easy to reach on foot from Chorleywood or Chenies Village. There is some limited car parking available, however please don’t travel a long distance by car to visit the Estate.

The Estate is closely following the Government’s requirements for social distancing, but individuals, or families/people living together are welcome to walk the Estate. With common sense, there is plenty of room for people to roam and enjoy this beautiful area.

If you wish to visit the Estate to exercise, please use the entrance by the Parish Council Offices, opposite the cricket field on the A404, and PLEASE observe the rules on social distancing.

You will find a downloadable map and leaflet on the “About Us” page.

Below, you will find some recent photos of what flowers there are to see on the Estate at the moment. Please click to enlarge.

Summerhouse Museum and Exhibition | Update

The Summerhouse Museum and Exhibition will be closed until further notice.





Lady Ela's Summerhouse Museum | Easter 2020 Opening Dates

Discover the history of Chorleywood House Estate, its residents, varied wildlife, plant species and interesting places to walk and visit.

2020  OPENING DATES – from 11am to 4pm

Easter weekend

We shall NOT now be opening the exhibition over Easter weekend.

Early Spring Bank Holiday

Friday May 8th & Sunday May 10th

Late Spring Bank Holiday

Sunday May 24th & Monday May 25th

Two August Sundays

August 16th & 23rd

Entrance by the Parish Offices on Rickmansworth Road opposite the Cricket ground.  Postcode WD3 5SL. (when you see the public tennis courts just follow the signs TO THE LEFT)

Click here to view poster

Green Flag Vote

Chorleywood House Estate was recently awarded another Green Flag because of the excellence of the environment it offers, and the diverse, well maintained landscape. The inspectors applied tougher criteria when making the awards this year, so we are especially pleased to have been recognised again in this way, and to have acknowledged that the Estate is a wonderful place for people of all ages to walk, rest and play.

Three Rivers District Council have drawn our attention to the ‘Green Flag People’s Choice’ competition. Throughout September people can vote for their favourite Green Flag site in the world (!). With Apple Day approaching – Saturday 6th October – providing a great family opportunity to see the Estate (including the chance to visit the Lady Ela Russell Red & White Summerhouse, please vote for us. Here is a poster and a link to the competition: http://www.greenflagaward.org/park-summary/?park=824

Satisfaction Survey for Chorleywood House Estate

Visitor opinions are very important to Three Rivers District Council. Feedback helps to ensure that the Council works towards providing the quality and facilities expected by visitors. Would you like to have your views heard? Well now’s your chance. Complete the online Chorleywood House Estate Survey and help the Council improve your local open space. The survey should take about 10 minutes to complete. Paper copies of the survey are available upon request by phoning the Council on 01923 776611. There is no closing date – results will be reviewed throughout the year and appropriate actions put in to place.