Best house in Woodford

April 29th 2018
By: Melanie Hollidge
Best house in Woodford

Looking for something to do this May bank holiday? Why not visit Hurst House once described by Pevsner an architectural historian as being "the best house of Woodford." Hurst House was originally known as 'The Naked Beauty' and it stood on land known as 'The Naked Beauty Estate'.

It's name changed from The Naked Beauty to Hurst House when the building began to be used as a school in the 19th Century. Local people have historically attributed the Naked Beauty name to a statue which once stood in front of the house.

Nonetheless “the best house in Woodford” is still a beauty. It was built in 1714 and is one of just a very few survivors of the many villas and mansions built along ‘Woodford Row’ in the 18th Century. Now called Hurst House this landmark Woodford property stands on the old A11 which runs from Aldgate in east London all the way to Newmarket in Suffolk.

Despite a fire in 1936 “the best house in Woodford” was repaired and still retains many of its original features. In 2014, 300 years since the construction of Hurst House were celebrated.  To commemorate its anniversary a website was set up and has collated lots of valuable information about the history of this remarkable Woodford house. 

This distinguished Woodford property also has some delightful gardens to enjoy.  Occasionally the gardens are opened to visitors under the National Garden Scheme. The next Open Garden opportunity is on Bank Holiday 

Monday 7th May 2018 from 2 - 5 pm. Admission £5 per adult there is no charge for accompanied children and dogs on leads are welcome.

There is even a theatre in the Garden of Hurst House and last summer it presented two performances of Twelfth Night by the Shooting Stars Theatre Company. Lots to explore if you know where to look around and about Chigwell, Loughton and Woodford.