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Langleybury was a country house and estate in Hertfordshire, England, situated 2 miles north of the town of Watford on a low hill above the valley of the River Gade.


Raymond 1711–1756

The estate was purchased in 1711 by Robert Raymond, then Solicitor General and later Attorney General, subsequently Baron Raymond, who was Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales from 1724 until 1732.<ref name=VCH>Template:Cite book</ref>

In 1720 he demolished the original house, of which little is known, and built a mansion which still stands on the site today. A park was laid out around the house in the later eighteenth century. His cipher, a griffin in a crown, can still be seen on the building.

Filmer 1756–1838

On the death of his son, Robert Raymond, 2nd Baron Raymond, without issue, in 1756, the manor was left in his will to Sir Beversham Filmer, 5th Baronet, of East Sutton, Kent.<ref name=Rayment>Leigh Rayment's Baronetage</ref> He, dying unmarried in 1763, bequeathed it to his nephew, Sir John Filmer (7th Bt<ref name=Rayment />). It followed the descent of the family till 1838.<ref name=VCH/> The Filmers were absentee landlords.

In 1762 the road at the lower edge of the park became the Sparrows Herne turnpike, and in the 1790s the Grand Junction Canal and was dug along the valley bottom alongside the road.

Fearnley Whittingstall 1838–1856

In 1838 Sir Edmund Filmer (8th Bt<ref name=Rayment />) sold the estate to Edmund Fearnley Whittingstall (né Fearnley), a Watford brewer.<ref name=VCH/> He started a bank in partnership with William Smith which went into bankruptcy soon after Whittingstall's death, forcing the sale of the estate in 1856.

Jones Loyd 1856–1947

The estate was then held by William Jones Loyd (1821–1885), a partner in the London branch of Jones Loyd & Co, who was High Sheriff of Hertfordshire in 1861<ref name=sheriff>Herts High Shrievalty</ref> and cousin to Samuel Jones-Loyd, 1st Baron Overstone. Jones Loyd built the nearby church of St Pauls in 1864.

His son, Edward Henry Loyd, was High Sheriff of Hertfordshire in 1894.<ref name=sheriff /> During the Second World War the house was leased to the Equity and Law Insurance Company.<ref name=trmt>Three Rivers Museum</ref>

School 1947–1996

In 1947 the estate was sold to Hertfordshire County Council who converted the house and grounds into a secondary school, named Langleybury School, which opened in 1949.<ref name=trmt /> In the late 1950s a modern school was built to the south of the mansion, which remained in use as part of the school and as teacher accommodation.

Langleybury School closed in 1996 and for a time partly housed Hertfordshire County Council Social Services offices. The empty modern school became a favoured film location site, notably for the Hope and Glory TV series of 1999.

It is also used as a CCB (close combat battle) area for people who play Airsoft (an outdoor combat game) in the buildings which are still safe to enter.

A children’s farm is situated in the old farm attached to the mansion house.

Notable people

Violet Cressy-Marcks (1895–1970), explorer and journalist, buried at Langleybury church.<ref name=Maddrell>Template:Cite book </ref>

See also

  • Abbots Langley
  • Hunton Bridge



External links


Template:Schools in Hertfordshire Template:Listed buildings in Hertfordshire