Dorton House

Last updated
Dorton Landscape.JPG

Dorton House, formerly known as Wildernesse, is a Grade II listed Georgian mansion house in Seal, Kent, near Sevenoaks; until 2013 it was used as the headquarters for the Royal London Society for the Blind (RLSB) and as housing for the blind and partially sighted children who attended its school.



Dorton House is over 300 years old, although nothing remains of the original house which was built by Sir Charles Bickerstaffe in 1669. In the mid 18th century, the southern end of the present house was built and fifty years later, the house was enlarged. In 1884, the house was bought by Charles Henry Mills of Hillingdon who later became Baron Hillingdon. The house was enlarged again and an immense amount of work was carried out. Baron Hillingdon built his own gasworks as well as a laundry and an orphanage from where he employed many of his staff. He was a great philanthropist and eventually gave the allotments, recreation ground and village hall to Seal. His philanthropy was carried on through the generations, resulting in the Mills family still being involved with a number of children's charities to this day. In 1890, he founded a Golf Club, Wildernesse, which formed the beginnings of the present Wildernesse and Knole Golf Clubs. The Mills family presently live at Lound Hall in the village of Bothamsall

In 1923, Wildernesse was sold to a syndicate, becoming a Country Club and Golf Course which had, as an early brochure states, “probably the most palatial nineteenth hole in England”. After use as a sector hospital during the Second World War, Wildernesse continued as a Country Club until 1954 when it was sold to the RLSB and became known as Dorton House, named after the Society's previous home in a Grade 1 listed Jacobean Mansion in Dorton, Buckinghamshire.

On the Dorton campus the RLSB ran its Nursery and Dorton College as well as a support service for the families of visually impaired children. The RLSB closed Dorton House School in 2013. [1]

Dorton House served as a principal shooting location for the 2012 TV adaptation of Ford Madox Ford's Parade's End .

Related Research Articles

Addington Palace Mansion in Addington in Greater London, England

Addington Palace is an 18th-century mansion in Addington near Croydon in south London, within the historic county of Surrey. It was built on the site of a 16th-century manor house. It is particularly known for having been, between 1807 and 1897, the summer residence of the Archbishops of Canterbury. Between 1953 and 1996 it was occupied by the Royal School of Church Music. It is now a conference and wedding venue and country club, while the grounds are occupied by a golf course.

Sevenoaks Market town and civil parish in western Kent, England

Sevenoaks is a town in Kent with a population of 29,506 situated south-east of London, England. Also classified as a civil parish, Sevenoaks is served by a commuter main line railway into London. Sevenoaks is 21 miles (34 km) from Charing Cross, the traditional centre of London. It is the principal town of the Sevenoaks district, followed by Swanley and Edenbridge.

Eynsford Human settlement in England

Eynsford is a village and civil parish in the Sevenoaks District of Kent, England. It is located 3.3 miles (5 km) south east of Swanley, 7 miles (11 km) south of Dartford and 7.7 miles (12 km) north of Sevenoaks.

Sevenoaks (UK Parliament constituency)

Sevenoaks is a constituency represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament since 2019 by Laura Trott, a Conservative.

Moor Park (house)

Moor Park is a Palladian mansion set within several hundred acres of parkland to the south-east of Rickmansworth in Hertfordshire, England. It is called Moor Park Mansion because it is in the old park of the Manor of More. It now serves as the clubhouse of Moor Park Golf Club.

New Beacon School Preparatory school in Sevenoaks, Kent, England

The New Beacon Preparatory School is an independent all-boys preparatory school, located at Sevenoaks in the English county of Kent. It admits both day students and boarders aged between 4 and 13. The school also now offers a co-educational nursery for children 3 years of age and over. The school was founded in 1863, and has been on the current site since 1900. It had 62 students in 1913, and had grown to 400 students by 2008.

Baron Hillingdon

Baron Hillingdon, of Hillingdon in the County of Middlesex, was a title in the Peerage of the United Kingdom held by the Mills family.

Charles Mills, 2nd Baron Hillingdon

Charles William Mills, 2nd Baron Hillingdon was a British banker and Conservative politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1885 to 1892, speaking once, in 1889.

Dorton House, Buckinghamshire Grade I listed house in Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom

Dorton House is a Jacobean country house near the village of Dorton in Buckinghamshire, England. It was built between 1596 and 1626. It currently houses Ashfold School, an independent preparatory school. Dorton House is a Grade I listed building.

West Kingsdown Windmill

West Kingsdown Windmill is a Grade II listed smock mill in West Kingsdown, Kent, England, that was built in the early nineteenth century at Farningham and moved to West Kingsdown in 1880. It is the survivor of a pair of windmills.

The Royal London Society for Blind People (RLSB) was a UK charity that existed for 175 years to help blind and partially sighted young people in London and the South East through a blend of sports, education, and creative and developmental services.

High Elms Country Park

High Elms Country Park is an extensive 250-acre (100 ha) public park on the North Downs in Farnborough in the London Borough of Bromley. It is a Local Nature Reserve, and together with the neighbouring Downe Bank, a Site of Special Scientific Interest. The park surrounds High Elms Golf Course, and has extensive woodland, chiefly oak and beech, chalk meadows and formal gardens. It also has a cafe, a visitor centre, nature and history trails and car parks.

The Langley Park Estate was an English country house estate on the south side of Beckenham, Kent.

Overstrand Hall Country house in Norfolk, England

Overstrand Hall is a country house in Overstrand, Norfolk, designed by Edwin Lutyens for Charles William Mills, 2nd Baron Hillingdon, a partner in Glyn, Mills & Co. Bank. It was built between 1899 and 1901 and is Grade II listed as of 27 September 1972. The Mills family used Overstrand as a weekend residence, preferring their homes, Hillingdon Court and Dorton House as their main residences.

Hillingdon House

Hillingdon House is a Grade II listed mansion in Hillingdon, Greater London. The original house was built in 1717 as a hunting lodge for the Duke of Schomberg. It was destroyed by fire and the present house was built in its place in 1844.

Highgrove House, Eastcote

Highgrove House, also known as High Grove House or High Grove, is a Grade II listed mansion in the suburban area of Ruislip, within the London Borough of Hillingdon. Originally built in 1750 by the Reverend John Lidgould, the house was rebuilt in 1881 by Sir Hugh Hume-Campbell following a catastrophic fire. Along with Haydon Hall and Eastcote House, Highgrove was one of the three main houses of Eastcote and eventually became a residential hostel for homeless families, run by the local council from the 1960s until 2007. An area of the estate was sold to the local council in 1935 by the then-owner Eleanor Warrender to become what is now Warrender Park. In 1975, the house was granted Grade II listed status on account of its special architectural character.

Hillingdon Court

Hillingdon Court is a Grade II listed mansion in Hillingdon, within the London Borough of Hillingdon. Originally built in 1858 as the family home of the Mills family, the mansion has formed part of the ACS Hillingdon International School since 1978. Much of the remaining grounds came under public ownership in 1928 and have become public parkland and housing.

Radnor House Sevenoaks School Co-ed independent school in Kent, England (UK)

Radnor House Sevenoaks School is a coeducational independent day school located in Sundridge in the English county of Kent.

Amos Bartholomew was an English cricketer who played in four first-class cricket matches between 1853 and 1864.

Lamorbey Park

Lamorbey Park is a 57 hectare park in Lamorbey, in the London Borough of Bexley, set around a Grade II listed mansion, Lamorbey House. The original 17th century estate consisted of 119 hectares, but over time sections of the estate have been separated for other uses, including two secondary schools, Rose Bruford College, and Sidcup Golf Club. The area of the park still in public ownership includes The Glade, a 7.4 hectare area of historic landscape laid in the 1920s with a large lake. The park was added to the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens of special historic interest in 1988.


  1. "Latest Kent Sevenoaks news | Kent Live". 2017-02-23. Retrieved 2017-03-16.

Coordinates: 51°17′07″N0°13′08″E / 51.2854°N 0.2189°E / 51.2854; 0.2189