Sir William Schwenck Gilbert (1836-1911)

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William Gilbert, famous for being “the Gilbert” from the Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Partnership, had a Private Zoo at his home in Harrow Weald , Middlesex …. The house he purchased was Grim’s Dyke ( Graeme’s Dyke) it was set upon 110 Acres of Ground …. Currently the house is an Hotel and is on approximately 30 Acres of Ground ….
Sir William purchased the house in 1890 for the sum of ¬£4,000 and had within it’s grounds a massive lake full of Fish and it was said he regularly swam in this lake … His Zoo consisted of Monkeys , Donkey , Parrots , Lemurs, Lynx and Crane …It was reported that Sir William spent most mornings with his Lemurs sitting on his shoulders
Regrettably Sir William died from a Heart Attack aged 74 after he rescued a youngster who was having swimming lessons in his Lake … his death was attributed to over exertion at the time of the rescue
Lady Gilbert had the Lake drained due to the constant reminder the Lake had to her of her Husbands death
1st Image Sir William and 2nd image Grim’s Dyke House.
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