Originally a “small hunting seat” for William, 1st Viscount, Bateman. King George I made him an Irish peer to avoid making him a knight of the Bath, cattily observing ‘I can make him a lord, but I cannot make him a gentleman’. The property at Totteridge was convenient for London, where he spent most of his time.
An engraved bird’s eye view of the house, now at the The Hertford museum, dates back beyond 1744 and shows the original house as anything but small. The house remained in this form until the late 19th century. The house is shown on an Ordnance Survey map of 1866 with an adjacent small rectangular park from which Totteridge Park probably took its name.
Sir William Lee , Lord Chief Justice, purchased Totteridge Park in 1748, making substantial changes to it, including the Ionic doorway with dated keystone (1750) which remains today. Some 19th century photographs of the interior details as well as some exterior images still exist. In 1784 the house became Totteridge Park School through to the mid 19th century, but thereafter reverted to residential use.
The house was remodelled again, between 1890 and 1903, in the Arts & Crafts style, possibly for Sir Albert Barratt, the confectioner, who was resident in 1912. The alterations turned it into a picturesque, asymmetrical gabled house, with roughcast on the south front. Part of the central block, the north wing and the adjacent stables were demolished, and a new main entrance was made on the courtyard side of the south range, with a broad round-arched porch. The main house was divided into ten flats in the 20th century.
In recent years the building had fallen into disrepair, and was acquired by the current developer. Consent was granted in 2016 to convert the main building into a single house and 7 individual apartments. The two cottages were built around the courtyard to replace a wing of the house that had burnt down.
A meticulous conversion presents the building as it is today, still maintaining its period charm yet equipped to the highest of modern standards.