Eastcote's past revealed: A 'dastardly' Elizabethan Lord and Eastcote Cricket Club

the club grounds, courtesy of Google maps the club grounds, courtesy of Google maps

The tale of a 'dastardly' Elizabethan Lord's execution after his plot against a Countess has been revealed in a new book detailing the history of Eastcote Cricket Club's home grounds.

Fascinating stories of the people connected to two of Eastcote’s historic buildings, going as far back as the 1600s, have been documented by Hillingdon historian Andy Weller in Haydon Hall's Forgotten History.

Haydon Hall and Eastcote House are the focus of the Friends of Eastcote House Gardens Community Archive publication. The grounds of Haydon Hall now serve as the home of Eastcote Cricket Club and the Eastcote Billiards and Snooker Club as well as a day nursery. The story also includes the role it played during World War Two and the Cold War.

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Mr Weller told Hillingdon is Here: “The story of Haydon Hall begins in the 1630s when for the most colourful of reasons. Lady Alice Dowager Countess of Derby considered it imperative to have a further property built despite her existing home in Harefield. This book reveals some fascinating details about life at times in Elizabethan England.

“The Dowager Countess of Derby was much concerned that upon her death her entire estate and all of her possessions would fall into the hands of her dastardly son-in-law Lord Castlehaven.

“To this end she had Haydon Hall built to accommodate her goods so that upon her death Castlehaven would get only an empty property at her home at Harefield Place.

“Shortly after the original Haydon Hall was built the book explains why it came to pass that Castlehaven and his accomplices were tried and executed.”

During Victorian times Laurence Baker of Haydon Hall entertained what is now Eastcote Cricket Club in the grounds of Haydon Hall and he played for them. When Bennett Edwards purchased Haydon Hall from him, she continued to support the cricket club as a vice-president. Her son Ernest also turned out for the team, as did her kennel keeper. Upon the death of Mrs Edwards in 1936 the old house and the grounds passed into local authority ownership just before the war.

Haydon Hall was purchased by the Ruislip Northwood Urban District Council before WWII and
scheduled for demolition, but it was saved with the outbreak of war and was used during this conflict and later in the Cold War for civil defence purposes.

Anyone wishing to find out more can order a copy of the book for £5, by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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