Eastbury in the 21st century is far from the agricultural community from which it began, but it is still a green and leafy suburb with tree lined roads and a recreation ground , public tennis courts and children’s playground in Batchworth Lane. Eastbury Farm School, in Bishop’s Avenue, is a Hertfordshire Local Authority school providing both nursery and primary schooling. Eastbury Church meets in the hall of Eastbury Farm School on Sunday mornings and is led by a member of the clergy team of Emmanuel Church, the local Church of England church in Northwood High Street. There are around 1500 homes in Eastbury and an electorate of approximately 3200.
A large part of the area known as Eastbury was once part of the Manor of Eastbury
which dates 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 More,
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 at The
More and had a chequered history of ownership. Many farms in the manor changed
hands during the 1820’s and in 1828 Moor Park Mansion and its surrounding land was
bought by the second Earl of Grosvenor. The Metropolitan Line railway station was
opened at Northwood in 1887 and was instrumental in encouraging suburban
development. Moor Park and Eastbury were destined to become part of Metroland.
In 1918 the Estate passed into the hands of the third Lord Ebury who put the entire manor, amounting to 3000 acres, up for auction in 1919. The working farms of Grove Farm and Eastbury Farm were included in the Auction 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 about 87 acres and the land was described as having a “high prospective value for building and accommodation purposes.” Grove Farm, comprising about 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 in the 1970’s and the Farmhouse, now called The Old Grange, still stands at the entrance to the estate on Batchworth Lane.