“If things were a little better known and understood, we would all lead happier lives. And there is a way to know them and there is a way to freedom…”
— L. Ron Hubbard
THE GRAND ENTRANCE HALL
For more than 200 years, visitors were introduced to Saint Hill Manor through this Grand Entrance Hall. Today, the room stands much as it did when L. Ron Hubbard resided here. Among other notable furniture pieces are the 19th century mahogany Cardinal Chairs at either side of the entry table. The Georgian oak panelling and floors are original to the building. In 2011, all was painstakingly restored employing methods and materials from the 1790s. The wall medallions surrounding the Grand Entrance Hall depict elements from the official Hubbard family coat of arms.The centre medallion of the crest bearsthe motto “Honestas Fidelitas Libertas,” meaning “Honesty, Trust, Freedom.
The Spanish black marble columns, installed by the Maharajah of Jaipur, serve as a portal to the Inner Hall. The Marquina marble, imported from the Vizcaya province north of Madrid, is distinguished by its sheen and pearl-white veinage. The French doors at the end of the Inner Hall lead to the terrace and views of the estate and Saint Hill greens beyond.
The Spanish black marble columns, installed by the Maharajah of Jaipur, serve as a portal to the Inner Hall. The Marquina marble, imported from the Vizcaya province north of Madrid, is distinguished by its sheen and pearl-white veinage. The French doors at the end of the Inner Hall lead to the terrace and views of the estate and Saint Hill greens beyond.
THE LOUNGE
During Mr. Hubbard’s residency, the Lounge was used both for receiving guests to the Manor and for family gatherings. Mr. Hubbard was a long-time member of the world famed Explorers Club and the gold leafed alcoves hold treasures from expeditions he conducted through the 1930s and 1940s. The Canadian red pine panelling was added in the late 19th century, conforming to the Regency style of the day. Recent restoration uncovered a fascinating bit of lost architectural history: beneath the Regency woodwork, the original Georgian oak panelling remains intact.
THE WINTER GARDEN
An elaborate interior portico leads from the Lounge to the conservatory, or Winter Garden. Throughout Mr. Hubbard’s residency, the Winter Garden served as a dining room. It was also the traditional site for the Saint Hill Christmas tree. The rare 1852 Erard grand piano has been a fixture in the Winter Garden since Mr. Hubbard acquired the instrument from Paris in 1959.
THE WINTER GARDEN
An elaborate interior portico leads from the Lounge to the conservatory, or Winter Garden. Throughout Mr. Hubbard’s residency, the Winter Garden served as a dining room. It was also the traditional site for the Saint Hill Christmas tree. The rare 1852 Erard grand piano has been a fixture in the Winter Garden since Mr. Hubbard acquired the instrument from Paris in 1959.
THE OFFICE OF L. Ron HUBBARD
It was from this office L. Ron Hubbard, as the first Executive Director of the Church of Scientology, oversaw the extraordinary growth of the religion through the early and mid-1960s. In evidence of that expansive era, (at the corner of the room, left)stands a British-made Creed and Company telex machine—a rarity of the day. It was installed to facilitate communication with Churches from Africa to the Americas. Mr. Hubbard personally directed the design and décor of this office, among other appointments of note are the nautical-styled wall sconces (reflecting his life-long love of the sea), the custom-made light oak desk and the red leather banquettes designed as seating for his staff.
Saint Hill employees passing outside Mr. Hubbard’s office frequently heard him on the Wurlitzer organ and innovative Melletron electronic keyboard. His Melletron was among the first in the United Kingdom. Mr. Hubbard’s office further retains decorative accents from the residency of Dr. Edgar March Crookshank. Among the most notable are the 12th century Raspuite tiles adorning the mantelpiece.
THE LIBRARY
One of the most widely acclaimed authors of all time, L. Ron Hubbard’s legacy comprises more than 80 million written and recorded words. The span of his 50-year career is represented on the shelves of the Saint Hill Library. With works translated in some 90 languages and more than 280 million copies in circulation across some 150 nations, Mr. Hubbard is recognised by Guinness World Records as the most translated and published author in the world.
THE MONKEY ROOM
The Monkey Room draws its name from the mural painted by John Spencer Churchill, nephew of Sir Winston Churchill. This unique work measures 35 metres in length and 3.5 metres high. Mr. Churchill researched and sketched various species of monkeys at the London Zoo in preparation for the piece. He painted the mural over a two-month period, depicting more than 140 monkeys of 20 different species at leisure and play in an Arcadian landscape. Mr. Churchill wrote of the mural: “Much as I tried to prevent it happening, the monkeys resembled human beings; the brazzar monkey, for instance, is very like Sir Thomas Beecham.” A capuchin monkey standing before an easel with brush in hand portrays Mr. Churchill’s famous uncle. Fine art conservationists recently restored and cleaned the mural. To help preserve the piece well into the future, a custom temperature and humidity control system was installed in the Monkey Room. And while it still admirably serves its original purpose as a ballroom, it also now makes for an elegant tea room, where guests may gather through all seasons of the year.
THE DARKROOMS
Selling his first photograph to the National Geographic while still in his teens, L. Ron Hubbard was an award-winning photographer and lifetime member of the Royal Photographic Society. Consequently, his darkroom in the basement at Saint Hill features a fully professional developing and printing line, replete with an Ilford Micromatic enlarger—state-of-the-art for its time and still cherished by photographic enthusiasts.
THE JAGUAR
L. Ron Hubbard and his 1960 XK-150 S Jaguar became a legendary feature along winding, hedge-lined roads of East Grinstead. Mr. Hubbard’s Jaguar is one of only 25 “fixed head coupes” (sports car with a hardtop) built in that production year. He regularly employed his Jaguar as a “camera car” for photographic outings. As he once quipped, “I regret to have to report to you that the Jaguar is leading me astray. I went out for a 15-minute run to get some air and came back three hours later.”
Saint Hill Manor is the best example of Sussex sandstone structure in existence. Saint Hill has only had a half a dozen owners. It will be continued in its original status as a Manor House.”
—L. Ron Hubbard
“If things were a little better known and understood, we would all lead happier lives. And there is a way to know them and there is a way to freedom…”
— L. Ron Hubbard

Saint Hill Manor

A BRIEF HISTORY OF SAINT HILL MANOR

While internationally renowned as the home of L. Ron Hubbard, Founder of Dianetics and Scientology, Saint Hill Manor is also among the most historically significant estates in Sussex. The first record of Saint Hill appears in 1567, when Stephen Bord of Cuckfield left in his will one cottage and 12 acres of pasture held by “Thomas Nicholas of his Manor of Saynt Hill.” The old English translation of “Saynt” is “singed or burnt,” a reference to the practice of clearing sites through burning.

It would be another 150 years before Saint Hill (by then spelt in its Latin form) would again appear in public records. The entry dating from 1715 cites acquisition of the property by John Crawfurd of Ardmillan, Scotland. Crawfurd went on to build a family home on the site of the present Saint Hill Manor, completing construction in 1733. Today, a water colour of Crawfurd’s Jacobean style house, painted by renowned landscapist James Lambert of Lewes, resides in the British Museum’s Burrell Manuscripts Collection.

In 1792, eldest son and heir Gibbs Crawfurd pulled down the Jacobean house to build a home of “domestic comfort and luxury.” After hiring local stonemason Henry Pocock, construction began on the grand country manor that stands today. The structure, a fine example of the Late Georgian style, was built with locally quarried Sussex sandstone. While the building’s architect cannot be fully confirmed, surviving construction records strongly suggest the Manor was in part the work of Benjamin Henry Latrobe, most noted for his designs of the United States Capital building and the White House.

According to Crawfurd family history, Saint Hill passed from Gibbs to his oldest son, Charles, who in turn bequeathed the estate to his only son, Robert, in 1814. Robert, the last of the Crawfurd line to reside in the Manor, served as a magistrate and was instrumental in establishing East Grinstead’s first railway line.

By the late 19th century, Saint Hill was home to Dr. Edgar March Crookshank, a physician decorated for service to the British Armed Forces and renowned microbiologist who founded one of the world’s first bacteriological laboratories.

Under Crookshank’s stewardship, the estate greatly expanded: first with the east and west wing additions to the Manor house, then with the building of the South Lodge and gates in 1892 and the North Lodge and stables five years later. The lake and a lily pond (now site of the swimming pool) were also constructed over the course of Crookshank’s residence.

During the Second World War, Mrs. Neville Laskey lived in the mansion. She opened its doors to convalescing Royal Air Force officers, patients of Sir Archibald McIndoe, a pioneer in reconstructive surgery working at East Grinstead’s Queen Victoria Hospital.

“Saint Hill Manor is the best example of Sussex sandstone structure in existence. Saint Hill has only had a half a dozen owners. It will be continued in its original status as a Manor House.”
—L. Ron Hubbard

Then, in October 1945, Mrs. Margaret Biddle, wife of an American Ambassador in Europe, purchased Saint Hill Estate. Whilst only owning the Manor for two years, she made a great many upgrades to the 30-room mansion, not the least of which was modernising the plumbing. However, the addition Mrs. Biddle is most remembered for is the whimsical mural she commissioned for the Manor ballroom by artist John Spencer Churchill, nephew of Sir Winston Churchill.

Saint Hill became the home of the Maharajah of Jaipur, India in the late 40s. During his decade of ownership the Maharajah added a number of fine antique Indian and European fixtures to the residence.

L. Ron Hubbard acquired Saint Hill Manor and some 60 surrounding acres in March 1959. The Manor served as Mr. Hubbard’s home and worldwide headquarters for the Scientology religion until 1967.

In commemoration of L. Ron Hubbard’s Centennial (1911–2011) Saint Hill Manor underwent meticulous renovation and restoration by England’s premier conservation design firms.

Welcome to Saint Hill.