Eastbury in the 21st Century is far from the agricultural community from which it began and is now a green and leafy suburb nestled between Moor Park, South Oxhey and Northwood. It is home to some 3,000 residents and within its boundaries contains a recreation ground, public tennis courts, a children’s play area and Eastbury Farm School.
A large part of the area know as Eastbury was once part of the Manor of Eastbury which dates back to the 13th Century when it belonged to the monks of St Albans Abbey. In the 15th Century it merged with the Manor of Batchworth and the Manor of the Moor, including what is now the Moor Park estate, from which it descended. The area was mostly farmland and woodlands surrounding a large and elaborate residence and had a chequered history of ownership. Many farms in the manor changed hangs during the 1800’s and in 1828 Moor Park Mansion and its surrounding land was purchased by the second Earl of Grosvenor. The Metropolitan Line railway station, Northwood was opened later that century in 1887 and was instrumental in encouraging suburban development in the area. Moor Park and Eastbury soon became part of ‘Metroland’.
In 1918 the estate passed in to the hands of the third Lord Ebury who put the entire manor, amounting to 3,000 acres, up for auction. The working farms of Grove Farm and Eastbury Farm were included as Lots 16 and 17 respectively. Eastbury Farm was described as “a compact grazing and dairy holding…..abutting Claypit Lane and only one mile from Northwood Station”. It embraced an area of approximately 87 acres and the land was described as having high prospect for building and accommodation purposes. Grove Farm, comprising of 172 acres was said to be “eminently suitable for development as a building estate”.
At the time of the auction, the road winding down from Batchworth Heath past Grove Farm, over the railway and beyond Eastbury Farmhouse, was called Claypit Lane. The housing estate we know as Eastbury Farm was not developed until the 1950’s. The farmhouse survived until the early part of this century when it was demolished to make way for the houses in Eastbury Farm Close. The Grove Farm Park estate was developed later in the 1970’s and the farmhouse there, now called The Old Grange, still stands at the entrance to the former estate at the top of Batchworth Lane.