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Thread: Battle Of Britain House - Ruislip

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    Default Battle Of Britain House - Ruislip


    Josef Conn obtained a lease from Kings College in 1905 of land called Ducks Hill Plantation, which had once been part of Copse Wood. He built a magnificent house with spectacular views. His wife who was a physiotherapist treated her patients there.
    In 1920, an American Shipping Magnate took over the lease and renamed the house 'Franklin House' (after President Roosevelt). He improved the house by building in furniture from luxury cabins from his ships and strewed the grounds with eastern ornaments.
    He returned to America in 1939 and the house was let to a German who had to move out under defence regulations, whereupon the house was allocated to the United Stated Forces as headquarters for a 'Clandestine Operations' Division and agents were trained there for sabotage operations in occupied Europe.
    It is said that General Eisenhower and Winston Churchill held secret meetings there. After the war a war memorial scheme was set up to commemorate the Battle Of Britain. The aim was to purchase the house, rename it Battle Of Britain House and arrange various activities, including 'exchange visits of the youth of Britain and the Empire, living together under the same roof, fostering the community spirit and breeding solid freindships'. However, insufficient funds were raised and the Middlesex County Council bought the freehold from Kings College and decided to use the house for the welfare of young people and the training of youth leaders.
    It opened in 1948, but the official opening ceremony wasn't until 1949. The badges of the squadrons involved in the Battle Of Britain were fixed to the dining room panels. It was run for many years as a short term residential college, with many courses for children and adults.
    The house burned down in 1984, and many plans for the site, which the Council wished to sell off, were rejected. Eventually in 1993, the Council agreed that the land should be taken back into the woodland from which it had been carved in 1905.



    View From The Driveway


    Then


    Now



    View From The Top Of The Staircase Where The House Used To Stand


    View From The Top Of The Staircase Looking Down Into What Was The Garden


    The Manhole Situated At The Right Side Of The House


    All That's Left Of The Greenhouse







    Last edited by TheLondoners; 2nd Nov 08 at 22:32. Reason: Changed text and font

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  3. #2
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    Interesting explore, a nice find. Shame there is not much left.


    Not to keen on the font colour and the centred text makes it hard to read.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neosea View Post


    Not to keen on the font colour and the centred text makes it hard to read.
    Thanks, I have changed the centred text.

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    Tis sad that there's very little left, but interesting to see the odd bits of remains and to read the history about it. :)
    "...If we lose our spiritual bond with the land they'll be nothing left of us as a nation..." Phil Rickman.

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  6. #5
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    Nice, any 'now' shots of the remains of the house?
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  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Urban Mole View Post
    Nice, any 'now' shots of the remains of the house?
    Unfortunately after the bulldozers left, nothing remained, the trucks that subsequently followed took away all the brickwork from the house.


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DerelictPlaces is a forum for people with an interest in the history and documentation of disused, derelict and abandoned buildings to come together and share their experiences, photography and historical findings. Our military, industrial and historical heritage is fast disappearing under the pressure of regeneration, the need for new housing, and often through simple neglect; Our aim is to document these places before they disappear entirely.
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