THE GRIMSDYKE HOTEL
Halloween this year we will be at the notoriously haunted and historic Grimsdyke hotel in Pinner, London.
The hotel takes its name from an ancient defensive earthwork which runs for three miles from Pinner Hill to Bentley Priory and which dates back to the Roman’s, The outline of the Dyke can still be clearly seen to this day. The land on which the hotel stands is carved out of the estate of the ancient Augustinian Priory of St Gregory. The original Priory building is thought to have stood in nearby Clamp Hill and in 1248 it was renamed the Priory Bentley in memory of a monk who had been accidentally killed there.
In later history it belonged to the Dean of Canterbury before falling into the hands of Henry VIII. It was Granted by the Crown to William Sacheverell and Robert Needham in 1546, the land passed through many hands until 1788 when it was purchased by the 9th Earl of Abercorn.
Sir William and Lady Gilbert were to become the house’s last and arguably most illustrious owners. Gilbert had an international reputation as one of the foremost English dramatists and his collaboration with Sir Arthur Sullivan resulted in one of opera’s most enduring and successful partnerships.
Sir William met his untimely death on May 29 1911. He used to bathe there in the summer and one day gave two local girls permission to swim with him. However one of the girls got into difficulties and Sir William tragically drowned trying to save her. Lady Gilbert stayed on at the house until her own death in 1936. The house was then used from 1937 to 1962 as a rehabilitation centre initially during the Second World War for women suffering from tuberculosis although after the war male patients were also admitted for rehabilitation. Recently, it has emerged that the Grim’s Dyke was used for secret military work during the Second World War. Details of this work remain classified until the 2040’s but it is believed that the house was used to examine captured German machinery and parts of shot down aircraft which were analysed by Allied scientists from Bletchley Park. This secret work was so important to the war effort that it is thought that both Winston Churchill and General Eisenhower visited the house.
It’s unique blend of Victorian, Tudor and Gothic styling, along with its remote location, make it an ideal location for several different film niches, including horror. Filming for horror film- The Cry of The Banshee- began on the 20th October 1969 at Grim’s Dyke starring the Horror legend Vincent Price. A party was held at the house to celebrate Price’s 100th film ‘Cry of the Banshee.’ One hundred candles where on an immense cake, presented to Vincent during a champagne party. The party began on a Saturday night and continued until the early hours of Sunday morning.
This is a beautifully haunting location which we are so excited to investigate with you all this Halloween! Tickets can be booked with a deposit to secure your place!
There are 8 rooms available which is a £50pp extra fee on top of your ticket, a special rate given to us by the hotel, Your stay will also include breakfast & a check out time of 11am. These rooms will be first come first served- please email us directly if you wish to upgrade.