Health History


Abode2 visits the residences at the historic buildings that have created a breath-taking backdrop for health & welling amenities at Royal Connaught Park

Set within the former Dining Hall and Staff Room at Royal Connaught Park, a residential development that is part new build part sensitive restoration of the former Royal Masonic School for Boys, is a spectacular Health & Fitness Centre.

Occupying the early 20th Century building is a gymnasium, spa facilities complete with a 20m heated swimming pool, jacuzzi, sauna & steam rooms and a magnificent dining hall, which has retained its original flooring, stained windows and exposed wooden beams.

Comer Homes, the leading placemaking developer behind Royal Connaught Park, went to great lengths to restore and retain as many of the original characteristics of the building as possible. During the building works the façade was supported, whilst a large basement, that would house the swimming pool, spa and plant room, was excavated.

Commenting on the conversion works, Jack O’Brien, Development Director at Comer Homes, said: “The key elements of converting the dining hall and staff rooms into the residents’ fitness facility included underpinning the existing structure and digging down to a depth almost equal to two stories underground. The pool and plant room were constructed in that zone, which was a real engineering feat!

“Once we had completed the additional basement space, we re-laid the original dining hall floor and fitted glass beams and panels in the centre, allowing people to walk over and look down into the spa complex.”

The state-of-the-art gymnasium is situated within the former Headmaster’s and Teacher’s staff quarters, which features decommissioned fireplaces that bear original masonic symbols and engravings. The room was also made famous on the big screen, appearing in the 1957 feature film Lucky Jim as the headmaster’s (played by Ian Carmichael) office.

The residents’ Dining Hall is one of the standout rooms across the entire development and once provided the dramatic backdrop for a number of Box Office movies, including the first three Harry Potter films. Stained glass windows and candle holder chandeliers suspended from a vaulted ceiling create a unique ambience that make it a special space for residents to hold parties and gatherings.

Leading down a spiral stone staircase from the old Dining Hall is the elegant private swimming pool and spa complex with jacuzzi, sauna & steam rooms and changing facilities. The glass ceiling provides residents with the view of the restored dining hall ceiling as they swim or relax.

In addition to the dedicated Health & Fitness Centre, residents of Royal Connaught Park also benefit from a full-size outdoor tennis court, access to over 100 acres of landscaped parkland and a courtesy shuttle bus service that runs regularly throughout the day to Bushey train station in the morning and evening and to key local shopping destinations during the day.

Discussing the impact of Royal Connaught Park’s amenity offering on purchasers, Comer Homes’ Sales & Marketing Director, Caroline Comer, said: “We have received a lot of enquiries about the residents’ only amenities and wealth of parkland at Royal Connaught Park since the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns. Whilst this was an important aspect of the development before, it has now really come to the fore just how important well-designed facilities and access to expansive green space is for buyers.”

“The Health & Fitness Centre is regularly busy and is certainly a space that residents like to take advantage of. The entire complex, with its unique mixture of modern facilities set within the original building, has such an incredible atmosphere. The impressive dining hall is also available for private bookings, so we regularly host parties and special occasions there.”

First launched in 2010, Royal Connaught Park is now in its final phase, The Nova Collection, which is mix of two, three and four-bedroom new-build apartments priced from £610,000 to £1.425 million.

Two of the latest blocks released as part of The Nova Collection are Admiral House and Lancaster House, in addition to Yale House, Harvard House and Oxford House. Taking in uninterrupted views of the grounds and surrounding countryside, the apartments feature interiors proportioned and configured to meet modern lifestyle needs, with flexible spaces that can be freely arranged, whilst benefitting from private balconies or terraces.

The show apartments at Royal Connaught Park feature handmade furniture created to showcase a final design that perfectly complements each room. Typically sourced from UK-based artisans, every item is developed and designed specifically by Comer Homes’ interior design team, using handpicked fabrics that bring a contrast of colours that bring a wow factor. Furniture is available to purchase upon request.

Residents also benefit from ample underground parking within the private gated development, with the facility for electric charging units to be installed.

Prices at Royal Connaught Park start from £610,000 for a two-bedroom apartment.


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