Aldenham House

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    Aldenham House in 1882

    Aldenham House is a former country house in Elstree, just south-east of Aldenham village and west of Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, England, which was the seat of the Gibbs family, who were the Barons Aldenham. The site today accommodates the Hilfield Reservoir, the Lister Institute, the Haberdashers' Boys' School and Haberdashers' School for Girls.

    The house was built c.1672 for H. Coghill the Younger and was acquired, renovated and extended c.1870 by the wealthy Hucks Gibbs, 1st Baron Aldenham. In 1932 the estate was sold after the death of its then occupant Vicary Gibbs, a wealthy financier, MP and avid plant collector who had amassed a larger collection of Chinese flora than the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew. Gibbs never married, and most of the plant collection was auctioned after his death.[1][2]

    School cricket in front of the house

    The house and grounds became a country club until the Second World War, when it was requisitioned by the BBC for use as an overseas broadcasting station. After the war the house stood empty until occupied by the Haberdashers' Boys' School in 1961.[3] While building works for the new school were in progress, MGM shot the 'carry-on' style film Kill or Cure in the entrance hall and on the front lawn. The frontage and grounds have since appeared in a number of episodes of several 1960s television programmes including The Avengers and The Saint.[citation needed]

    Aldenham House is a Grade II* listed building.[4]

    References

    1. ^ Audrey Le Lievre (1986). An Account of the Garden at Aldenham House and of Its Makers: Henry Hucks Gibbs, Vicary Gibbs and Edwin Beckett. Garden History, Vol. 14, No. 2. (Autumn, 1986), 173–193.
    2. ^ Harrison, H. (2012). Plant hunting for Borde Hill. The Plantsman, June 2012,  p.93. [1]
    3. ^ "Aldenham House Garden". Old Haberdashers'Association. Archived from the original on 25 November 2015. Retrieved 28 December 2015.
    4. ^ "Name: ALDENHAM HOUSE AND STABLE BLOCK List entry Number: 1346891". Historic England. Retrieved 28 December 2015.

    Coordinates: 51°39′25″N 00°18′44″W / 51.65694°N 0.31222°W / 51.65694; -0.31222