The Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability (RHN) first moved to West Hill in Putney in 1863 and for over 150 years has operated on this beautiful elevated site in south-west London.
The property was originally owned by Mrs Penelope Pitt, who purchased the land in 1759 and commissioned Lancelot 'Capability' Brown to design the estate. Later owners included Johann Anthony Rucker, who commissioned another prominent landscape gardener, Humphry Repton. Rucker also commissioned architect Jesse Gibson to design a new house, Melrose Hall.
After brief ownership by the Duke of Sutherland, Melrose Hall was purchased by John Augustus Beaumont, who also bought large parts of the estate of Earl Spencer, including Wimbledon Park House. In 1863 Melrose Hall was purchased by the trustees of the newly established charity, The Royal Hospital for Incurables.
The considerable role played by both Brown and Repton in the design of the grounds at the RHN makes the gardens of great interest. Brown designed an open landscape of grass and trees, a lake and a home farm. Evidence of his original designs remain visible in the grounds, with one tree that still stands from his time and vistas which are still evident.
The hospital grounds also include an award-winning cloister garden and several patient gardens.
Due to its elevated position, the garden also offers wonderful views over the north west and south west of London.