Millbrook Park lies within the historic parish of Hendon and there is evidence of a medieval settlement at Mill Hill close to the development. In the 18th century much of the area is thought to have been agricultural land associated with Bittacy Farm, which was demolished in 1936.
The land’s most well-known occupants were the Army, with the Middlesex Regiment, who resided here between 1905 and 1961 and The Royal Engineers Courier and Postal service from 1962 to closure of the barracks in 2007.
The Officers' Mess building has a date stone of 1904 and provided a high standard of accommodation for the Officers' at the time. The area was known as the Inglis Barracks, named for Lieutenant General Sir William Inglis, who was a hero of the Napoleonic Wars and famous for rallying his troops with the refrain “Die hard!”
Following the Middlesex Regiment’s amalgamation into the Queen’s Regiment in the mid 60’s the Barracks became the home of the Home Postal Depot, Royal Engineers who remained on site until they finally left Inglis Barracks to relocate to Northolt.
The Royal Engineers Colonel in Chief, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, who spent a day at Inglis Barracks with the regiment in August 1982 to celebrate the Centenary of the Postal & Courier Service. Pictures below show Her Majesty at a garden party in the Mess grounds and of her signing her photograph for the mess with Lieutenant Colonel Douglas Swanson in attendance.
In 2007 the barracks were decommissioned and in 2011 received planning permission to be redeveloped into housing, school and public parks.
A war memorial for the Middlesex Regiment was unveiled in November 1922, by HRH The Prince of Wales (the late Duke of Windsor), adjacent to the former Officers’ Mess. The memorial remained on the site in recognition of the military heritage of Millbrook Park until Armistice Day, November 11th 2012, when it was relocated to Mill Hill Village.
The Officers' Mess gardens have now been redeveloped as a public park and extended, with a new main entrance which opens out into a woodland garden and picnic area. The original metal gates have been retained, leading through to the formal planting borders and the Officers' Mess building, creating a relaxing area for residents to enjoy the wildlife.