The Hadleigh and Southend Group recently visited Hylands House in Chelmsford, Essex. Hylands House is a Grade II neo classical villa situated within a 574 acre park.
Sir John Comyns, a well respected lawyer, purchased the land and commissioned the construction of a family home in 1726. The house is an elegant two storey in the Queen Anne style.
Cornelian Kortright, a landscape architect purchased Hylands House in 1797 and redesigned the gardens. The house has had various owners over the years and in 1966 Chelmsford Borough Council purchased the estate at auction and after restoring the house and gardens opened it to the public.
From 1966 until 2017 the park has hosted the V Festival which became the RiZE Festival in 2018. The house has doubled as the US White House in the Netflix series The Crown and was the venue for the European Scout Jamboree in 2007.
Hadleigh and Southend Group enjoyed a very pleasant afternoon walking around the gardens ending at the old stables for refreshments and a browse in the book shop, no doubt selecting future subjects for the book group.