Around Ealing Spring 2014 - Page 44

LOOKING BACK WITH DR JONATHAN OATES George Harris Never quite a manor From medieval estate, to Victorian garden parties and collections of Rembrandt paintings, and eventually a health centre… an old home in Northolt has had an interesting ‘life’. T here was an estate known as Islips ever since the 14th Century, named after its first known owners Simon and Ela Riselip, though it was never a manor – despite its later name. It was owned by numerous families over the decades, and was often let to farmers. In 1853 the property was bought by George Harris, who in 1848 had married the wealthy Miss Elizabeth Innes. He was a barrister and an author but, until his marriage, he had been financially unsuccessful. Looking for a house near London, Harris had written: ‘Went to Northolt to look at Iselipps. Much pleased with it on the whole and consider it exactly 44 around ealing Summer 2014 Islips Manor suitable…The village of Northolt a quiet, retired pretty little place, and the view from it of Harrow delightful. The house at Iselipps small, but in a very good state… highly desirable and suitable property.’ They decided in 1856 to have extensions to the house built, and spent some time having designs of house and grounds drawn. Building did not commence for years. In 1862, Harris wrote: ‘Went to Iselipps to see the progress of the building, which is most satisfactory and well contrived…we shall have a charming rural residence.’ Thinking the work complete, they arrived there in 1866, but found the furniture had not arrived and they had to sleep on the floor, borrowing tables and chairs from the servants. But Harris was eventually happy,