A building at the heart of north London’s Jewish community has been sold to developers for an undisclosed sum.
Contracts have been exchanged on Hendon Hall Hotel, originally known as Hendon Manor, with the building designated for “alternative use”.
However, a spokeswoman said: “The sale will not complete until 2019 and we will continue to operate the hotel until the end of 2018 with business as usual.”
Familiar to many north London Jews, the 16th century mansion can trace its origins back to the Domesday Book, and hosts many Jewish simchas (party or celebration). It has even been the site of protests against Israeli organisations such as JNF.
The Ashley Lane property was bought in 2008 by Hand Picked Hotels, a company created by Julia Hands, the wife of enigmatic City financier Guy Hands.
Its place in the national psyche was established in 1966, however, when the England football team stayed there during their successful World Cup winning tournament, the hotel being a short 15-minute drive to Wembley.
The sale price is a far cry from the £13,000 paid for the property by actor and Drury Lane Theatre manager David Garrick back in the late 18th century. Garrick was such an admirer of Shakespeare that he created a memorial to him in the hall’s grounds.
Its rich history includes stints as a property of Westminster Abbey and seizure by King Henry VIII during the English Reformation. It became a hotel in the 20th century, but saw spells as a girls’ school and an RAF convalescence home in between.