The Friends of Eastcote House Gardens are extremely sorry to announce that Lesley Crowcroft, founding member and long-time Chairman, passed away on 30th October after a long illness.
Lesley was a key member of the Friends from the very beginning 15 years ago. From the outset she led by example and tirelessly promoted the Gardens at every opportunity. The Friends’ initial brief in 2008 was simply to renovate the planted areas of a run down and overgrown walled garden. Detailed plans were drawn up and funding of £22,000 was obtained, enabling the walled garden to be completely replanted in April 2010.
Between 2010 and 2011, Lesley led the introduction of our main annual events – Summer Picnic, Heritage Day and Tree-Dressing.
In 2012 Lesley began a long and arduous application process to fund a complete refurbishment of the park and buildings. Her tireless efforts resulted in the award of £1.8million, and the work was finally completed in April 2015.
More recently, she campaigned for further repairs to the walled garden at a cost of £100,000, which were completed in February 2023.
Lesley took responsibility for our annual London in Bloom applications, for which we have received the top awards in all classes of entry each year. She led the planning and creation of new flower beds, nature walks and tree trails. She introduced a range of leaflets and information sheets aimed at families, schools and children to encourage all members of the local community to enjoy and appreciate the Gardens. She also raised funds by giving talks about Eastcote House Gardens to other organisations.
Today, regular visitors to the Gardens include health walkers, local schools, playgroups, community organisations, Beavers and Scout groups.
The Friends currently number over 40 active gardeners, with more than 70 volunteers helping at this year’s Summer Picnic. As recently as last week, we were visited by a group seeking advice on how to establish their own community garden – and so Lesley’s vision continues to spread.
People from near and far visit the Gardens and frequently comment on how lucky we are to have such a beautiful park in our community. We are even luckier to have had such a powerful, determined and visionary leader to drive the project forward and to create the magnificent Gardens that we enjoy today.
Thank you, Lesley.
Eastcote House Gardens is a beautiful, tranquil, award-winning open green space with a Tudor dovecote, stables and walled garden, all of which are Grade II listed. Although the Gardens are owned by the London Borough of Hillingdon, they are maintained by a volunteer group – the Friends of Eastcote House Gardens, who were awarded the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service in 2016. Working with Hillingdon Council, the Friends made a successful bid for National Lottery funding of £1.3 million to restore the Tudor buildings in 2014.
Since 2008 the Friends have transformed the gardens into a series of different areas, including:
We have recently created a Jubilee Bed to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
Eastcote House Gardens is linked via a footbridge across the River Pinn to Long Meadow, which is a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation also maintained by the volunteers.
Information, walks and activity leaflets can all be found here.
GREAT NEWS - Once again, the Friends of Eastcote House Gardens have achieved TOP MARKS in every category in this year’s London in Bloom awards. To find out more, click here.
The London Borough of Hillingdon has made a series of videos giving a virtual tour of the heritage sites within the Borough. The tour of Eastcote House Gardens can be seen here. For the complete series, click here.
Click on the image below to view a set of photographs of the Gardens through all four seasons.
The Café is open from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. every day.
Please click on the map below for full details on how to find us.
Two winter visitors share the volunteer gardeners' biscuits at coffee break!