Ickenham Hall
~ Compass Theatre

A Short History

For a much longer and more speculative history, read Maurice Ray's Suggested History of Ickenham Hall or A table of chronology


The site on which Ickenham Hall stands has been farmed for probably over a thousand years. It is known that a family called Crosier (which has given its name to a nearby road) was farming the site as Yeoman farmers in the 11th century. Between then and the 14th century they built themselves a farmhouse to replace the mud, brick and thatch hut in which they had lived. So substantial was their new home that it had a name 'Cherwyns'. In 1416 John Crosier changed its name to 'Sherwyns'.

Over the years the family had acquired other fields and meadows including a three acre strip known as 'Reynolds Close'. This strip of land adjoins the land on which the Hall and Compass Theatre now stand. As they prospered and their land holding increased the Crosiers became increasingly influential until in 1700 they were declared no longer 'Yeomen' but 'Gentlemen' farmers.

To demonstrate their new status in the community they demolished 'Sherwyns' and built on its site the building we know as Ickenham Hall. It is a very substantial building with a suite of panelled formal rooms, seven bedrooms, five cellars and at least two attic rooms. The site included a range of outbuildings; another cottage and range of outbuildings stood on the adjoining 'Reynolds Close'.

In those days the road we know as Glebe Avenue was a muddy farm lane called Glebe Lane. It was also flat and was not raised up until the railway was built and needed a bridge at that point. This was not until 1902. The Crosiers had sold up to the railway company in 1900 and in 1904 the first train (steam driven) ran through the village. After a petition from the Parish Council the railway company agreed to build a 'halt' on Glebe Lane and trains began to stop there.

Once the railway company realised they did not need the rest of the land they sold it back into private hands where it remained until 1947 when the then Middlesex County Council bought it. The Hall has since been used for a variety of purposes including youth services, art centre, school, rehearsal rooms, meeting rooms and since 1990 as Council Offices for the Youth and Music Services.