Trent Park: A former high society retreat and War Office turned luxury residential estate

17 Aug 2022 | Updated on: 27 Sep 2022 |By Luxury London

This North London parkland has had numerous lives, from its beginnings as a royal hunting ground to the party palace of the Sassoon family and a requisitioned base during World War II. Now, it represents everything

Usually, when we cover goings-on in the property world, it’s some futuristic new-build or townhouse conversion in PCL. This time, however, we’re heading to the far north (of London) in recognition of the fact that urban life isn’t for everyone – especially in light of the ‘race for space’ and normalisation of WFH.

Welcome to Trent Park: a Grade II-listed mansion sitting on a 56-acre estate. It’s currently being restored and repurposed into luxury apartments, plus a museum, café and residents’ reading room.

Period features plus modern pedigree plus the allure of generous amenities – all sitting on 413 acres of mature parkland – may be enough to convince you. But, in our opinion, it’s the heritage of the place that makes Trent Park special. Once upon a time, royalty hunted in these grounds. The highest of high society soirée’d within those walls, and, in the basement, British Intelligence worked to bring down the enemy.

Let’s start at the beginning. Back in the 14th century, Trent Park was part of one of Henry IV’s royal game reserves. In 1777, it became a private residence when King George III leased it to Sir Richard Jebb. The house fell under the ownership of various aristocrats over the next century before being sold to Edward Sassoon in 1909.

Following Sassoon’s death in 1912, Trent Park was inherited by his son Sir Philip Sassoon – the British politician and art collector – who routinely hosted high-profile guests including Winston Churchill, Charlie Chaplin and George Bernard Shaw. Sir Philip was the first person in the UK to privately own a plane, and would take them out in his Percival Q6 after tea.

During the Second World War, Trent Park was requisitioned by the War Office for the secret British Intelligence unit, MI9. The unit recorded intelligence gleaned from bugged conversations, as well as from captured German soldiers; at one point, Trent Park was holding 59 generals and 40 senior officers.

The Stable Block

In 1950, the estate became a constituent college of the University of London, before becoming part of Middlesex Polytechnic in 1974, which then became Middlesex University in the nineties. In 2015, Trent Park was purchased by Berkeley Homes and the redevelopment began.

Like all conversions, retaining the original essence of the place is key; Berkeley will keep Trent Park’s red-brick façade and preserve period details internally. Windows are being refurbished rather than replaced, for instance, and soaring ceilings will be enhanced by coffered detail and feature lighting.

The same goes for the surrounding greenery, where key historic features are being restored to their former glory. The Daffodil Lawn – where one million bulbs were planted around a hundred years ago – has been replanted with 120,000 more. Wisteria Walk, first installed in 1912, and the Long Garden have also been revamped by the Trent Park landscaping team.

As well as the Georgian main house, the 18th-century stable block next door is also being converted. Here, seven homes will enjoy a central landscaped courtyard, which was created in the 1860s in the Victorian gothic style and means handsome views are offered on all sides.

Winston Churchill on Wisteria Walk
The Queen Mother at Trent Park

Of course, the demands of modern buyers mean a couple of contemporary additions will be made: Carlton House is a boutique collection of two- and three-bedroom apartments, while the Walled Gardens comprise four and five-bed homes. The West Wing, meanwhile, is a cluster of contemporary terraced townhouses, and the Whistler Collection comprises family-sized homes of three-, four- or five-beds. The Chaplin Collection is the newest phase to launch within the estate.

All residents will be privy to facilities at the Lawn Club: a swimming pool, tennis courts, a gym, a local golf club, an equestrian centre and park activities.

So there you have it. History, beauty, amenities, pedigree and location. Upping sticks isn’t looking so bad all of a sudden.

Read more: Inside the redeveloped Westminster Fire Station

Prices start at £799,000 and go up to £2,415,000. Please visit