Denville Hall

Last updated

Denville Hall
Denville Hall.JPG
The building in December 2013
Denville Hall
Former names
  • Maze Farm
  • Northwood Hall
General information
Address62 Ducks Hill Road
Town or city Northwood, London
CountryEngland
Coordinates 51°36′37″N0°26′26″W / 51.61029°N 0.44049°W / 51.61029; -0.44049 Coordinates: 51°36′37″N0°26′26″W / 51.61029°N 0.44049°W / 51.61029; -0.44049
Renovated2004
OwnerDenville Hall Ltd.
Designations Locally listed
Website
denvillehall.org.uk

Denville Hall is a historic building in Northwood, a town in the London Borough of Hillingdon, England, which is used as a retirement home for professional actors, actresses and other theatrical professions. The present building incorporates part of a 16th-century house, which was substantially rebuilt in 1851 and later considerably extended after becoming a retirement home in 1926. Many well-known British actors and actresses have resided there.

Contents

History and description

The hall includes part of a 16th-century house called Maze Farm. [1] In the 18th century it belonged to the judge Sir John Vaughan. [2] In 1851 it was rebuilt in Victorian Gothic style by Daniel Norton, and renamed Northwood Hall. [1] [2] Alfred Denville, impresario, actor-manager and MP, [3] bought the hall in 1925 and dedicated it to the acting profession in memory of his son Jack, who had died at the age of 26 after onstage complications with re-aggravated World War I injuries. He renamed the building Denville Hall and created a charity in the same name. [2] It was opened formally as a rest home in July 1926 by Princess Louise, the then Princess Royal. [4]

The building, heavily extended in the intervening years, is locally listed. [1] A further remodelling and expansion project with landscaping, by Acanthus LW Architects, was completed in 2004. [5]

Simon Williams, who was co-chairman of Denville Hall for 15 years, based Yew Tree House in his play Laying the Ghost on it. [6]

Facilities and services

Though actors have priority, [7] the home is available to other people in the entertainment industry (including the circus), [8] such as agents and dancers, [7] and their spouses [9] over the age of 70 and offers residential, nursing, convalescent, dementia and palliative care. Residents can stay on a long-term or short-term basis, and physiotherapy is provided. [10] [11] There is also a subsidised bar. [9] [12]

Notable residents

Many British actors and actresses have spent their retirement years at Denville Hall, [13] including:

Supporters

The hall and charity have had a number of notable supporters. Lord Attenborough, whose widow Sheila, Lady Attenborough, resided at Denville Hall, was president. [52] In the late 1960s and early 1970s, performers including Sean Connery, Michael Caine, Paul Scofield and Elizabeth Taylor (for her television debut) donated their fees to rebuilding the house. [53] [54] In 1999 the original set from The Mousetrap, after 47 years' continuous use, was auctioned to raise money for Denville Hall. [55] Restaurateur Elena Salvoni donated a portion of the profits of her 2007 autobiography, Eating Famously, to the hall. [52] Terence Rattigan left his estate to charity, with all royalties from his plays being donated to Denville Hall and the King George V Fund for Actors and Actresses.

See also

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References

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