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The history of Stanmore Hall

Stanmore Hall, situated on Wood Lane, is now home to 22 fortunate luxury apartment owners – some of whom have invested up to £1.5 million for the privilege of residing in this distinctive development. They’re in esteemed company too as, throughout the centuries, Stanmore Hall has harbored remarkably intriguing personalities and, in this article, we’re delving into some of these tales.

Robert and Ellen Hollond

Erected in 1847, Stanmore Hall stands as a gothic style mansion nestled within impressive grounds and can proudly count some rather notable proprietors among its history. In this piece, we’re retracing the paths of those who have called Stanmore Hall their abode over the years. Robert & Ellen Hollond The initial recorded inhabitants of Stanmore Hall were Ellen Hollond – the offspring of Thomas Teed who possessed the original property on the premises known as Dower House – and her spouse, Robert Hollond.

The history of Stanmore Hall Harrow Online
An old photo of Stanmore Hall. Image Credit: Stanmore Tourist Board.

A vivid personality, Robert was a entrepreneur, attorney, and member of parliament – yet he was most renowned for his passion – ballooning. On the 7th of November 1836, Robert Hollond, accompanied by two comrades from the Aeronautical Society of Great Britain, established a record by traversing 480 miles from Vauxhall Gardens, London to Weilburg, Germany in 18 hours.

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Not to be outshone, Ellen was an author and philanthropist and, in 1844, she introduced what is purported to be the world’s inaugural creche for employed women. The Hollonds would reside in Stanmore Hall until their demises in 1844 (Ellen) and 1877 (Robert) and their offspring put the property on the market a few years subsequent to Robert Hollond’s passing.

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Stanmore Hall entrance lodge, Wood Lane. Image Credit: Stanmore Tourist Board (stanmoretouristboard.org.uk)

William Knox D’Arcy

William Knox D’Arcy, accompanied by his spouse Nina, at their residence in Stanmore Hall They say fortune favors the bold and this axiom proved true for Stanmore Hall’s subsequent owner, William Knox D’Arcy – albeit his narrative commences with failure. William’s father, also christened William, owned a law practice in London but, regrettably, business was not thriving and, when his firm plummeted into insolvency, he absconded to Australia with his family rather than confront the repercussions and he established his enterprise in Queensland with his son.

William Jr would swiftly forge his own path and when he was solicited for a loan by three gold prospectors, his fate would alter. By 1886, William Jr was affluent and he returned to England with his spouse, Elena, and procured Stanmore Hall which he expanded and refurbished into the palace he believed befitted his stature.

William Knox D’Arcy’s subsequent venture was the oil industry and while he encountered initial setbacks, he would ultimately achieve success with his enterprise which would, in 1954, be rebranded as The British Petroleum Company. After divorcing Elena, William married Nina Boucicault, the progeny of Irish Australian newspaper magnate, Arthur L. Boucicault and William would inhabit Stanmore Hall until his demise in 1917.

The history of Stanmore Hall Harrow Online
Roger Moore filming The Saint. Image Credit: 1970 by The Algemeen Nederlandsch Fotobureau (ANeFo), also known as the General Dutch Photo Bureau

From the military to The Saint

William Knox D’Arcy would be the final individual to assert Stanmore Hall as a familial residence and, during World War II, the edifice was employed by the Allied Expeditionary Air Force. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Stanmore Hall would assume a new role – this time in cinema and television and would be showcased in numerous productions including The Avengers, The Professionals, Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed and The Saint – wherein Roger Moore can be observed steering his white Volvo P1800 through the distinctive gates of Stanmore Hall.

In 1971, the property would be transformed into accommodations for nurses from the Royal Orthopedic Hospital before being divested and falling into disrepair – a situation exacerbated by a fire in 1979. After undergoing renovation once more, Stanmore Hall would serve as the UK headquarters for automobile manufacturer Volvo before ultimately being converted into the luxury apartments which grace the site today.

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