Over the past 12 months, residents at Parkfield House Nursing Home have been working alongside the local community in Hillingdon and the National Heritage Lottery Fund, a community funding organisation, to discover the history of the great building. Fortunately, due to the wealth of information discovered by the community project a comprehensive history of Parkfield House can now be put together.

Parkfield House is a grade II listed building built off the adjacent Parkfield cottages in the 18th century and 100 years later it came under ownership of Lord Hillingdon. Within the walls of the large, multi-story structure, the residents’ own artwork can now be found, thanks to the ’A Portrait of Parkfield’ project. These include photographed resident portraits, portrait paintings, illustrations of the local area and artwork inspired by Maude Button, who painted a number of locations in and around Uxbridge in the early 20th century. The residents have also learnt about prominent figures of the local area, including Dowager Lady Hillingdon, widow of Lord Hillingdon, who lived at Parkfield House in the early 1900s, and George Casey who was famous in Uxbridge for his remarkable memory. His ability to remember birthdays and numbers became widely known during his life in the 1800s.

Thanks to the research by Parkfield’s enthusiastic residents, we can also reasonably assume that Parkfield House was used to billet soldiers during the Second World War. Residents recently enjoyed a fantastic trip to the Battle of Britain bunker and museum in Uxbridge, collaborating with Equal Arts and discovering a lot about the role that the women of Hillingdon played in the war, and discovering that the bunker itself was the location of the famous “never before has so much been owed by so many to so few” speech made by Winston Churchill following the Battle of Britain in 1942.

Given the massive success of the ‘A Portrait of Parkfield’ project, the residents, and staff of Parkfield are hoping to organise a celebrational showcase at the civic centre in November. The plan is to display all of the resident’s artwork alongside their historical discoveries thanks to this exciting and illuminating project.