Bedwell Park, Essendon, Hatfield, Herts AL9 6HN – 01707-260360 – [email protected]

Bedwell Park

The first mention of Bedwell Park was in 1388, when it was in the stewardship of John Norbury. He was licensed to enclose 80 acres to make a park and then stocked it with deer, some of which were sent to the King’s park, Waltham. In 1474 Edward IV granted the manor of Bedwell to Sir William Say. He died in 1530, leaving his daughters, Mary and Gertrude, his heirs.

The estate has passed through many hands in the course of its long history but a notable owner, according to the ‘History of Bedwell Park’ was Samuel Whitbread, a brewer of London who bought Bedwell in 1780. Samuel Whitbread died in 1796 and again the estate was sold.

The House and Park were sold many times during the next 150 years until in 1917 the Estate came by succession to Lieut. Sir Francis Fremantle, MP for St Albans for twenty-three years. On his death in 1943, Bedwell passed to his son, Francis David Eardley Fremantle.

Three years later, in 1946, Bedwell House and Park, then consisting of some 92 acres, were sold to the Royal Patriotic Fund Corporation. The Corporation had been founded during the Crimea War to provide education for the daughters of men in the Armed Forces who had died as a result of active service.
The buildings were internally modernised to accommodate abour 100 girls.
The school closed in 1972 and the Estate was sold to the PL London Company for conversion to a golf course. The course was designed by Fred Hawtree and opened for business in 1976. In 1986 the Estate was purchased by the present owners, Tokyo Leisure Development Co. Ltd, the parent company of Hatfield London Country Club.

In 1987 gales caused major tree damage on the Estate, bringing down lime trees, which had lined the drive for about a hundred years.  However, with great care the lime trees were successfully replanted and held in position.  They are once again flourishing and line the entrance drive from the Gatehouse.

In autumn 1992 the New Course and Members Club were opened, based around a new clubhouse converted from an original 16th century barn (part of Bedwell Park Farm), and featuring a magnificent beamed lounge and restaurant.  Until the sale of Bedwell House to a property developer in October 2002 the company then operated two clubhouses.

Hatfield London Country Club now has 2-championship length Golf courses, a 9-hole pitch and putt course and two grass practice and teaching areas – all of these operate from the New Clubhouse in the centre of Bedwell Park.