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Belhus Park History

Belhus Park golf course sits in the south-west corner of Essex in Thurrock. It has good links to the M25 and the A13 as well as being near to Lakeside shopping centre. It has good parking facilities, a driving range and has a swimming pool/fitness centre adjacent along with several football pitches and is very popular with local people. It is a council owned golf course that is managed by Impulse Leisure on their behalf. The clubhouse, The Capability Brown, is a single storey building, recently refurbished, and reasonably comfortable, the staff of which are always helpful and knowledgeable.


The golf course itself is sited within the former estate of the Barrett-Lennard family which was one of three sites owned by the family, the others being in County Monaghan in Northern Ireland and one in Norfolk. The family had owned the Belhus estate for around six hundred years and were awarded a baronetcy by Henry VIII for 'services rendered'. It was also used extensively by Elizabeth I as a stop over on her travels, as was the nearby Bell House in South Ockendon. Rumour has it Elizabeth I would meet with the Earl of Essex in the late sixteenth century at both addresses. Her coat of arms still being visible at the entrance to the Bell House site. The entire estate was 'made over' by Lancelot 'Capability' Brown in the mid to late eighteenth century much of which is still visible.


The estate was sold to the former London County Council in the early twentieth century when money became an issue. It was divided into three of which the golf course and sports fields making up the middle part. The western section is now the Kenningtons housing estate and the eastern part is the South Ockendon housing estate, all of which was bequeathed to Thurrock in the nineteen sixties. The remains of the former Belhus mansion, home of the Barrett-Lennards, are still visible to the right of the tenth fairway and the right of the twelfth fairway. The mansion had fallen into disrepair following the second world war during which it had been used by a tank corps as a base and was demolished in 1957 following a fire.


The golf course was installed in the late sixties/early seventies and opened in 1972. The golf club was formed very soon after. The course has remained virtually unchanged since, barring a few new tee's being added. The golf club itself mainly comprises local working class people with a shared interest. This, consequentially, translates into a great feeling of camaraderie and friendliness. The golf club is affiliated to the Essex Golf Union and England Golf as well as the NAPGC. They hold around thirty club competitions annually of all types, Stableford and Strokeplay, Bogey golf, Texas Scramble for singles, pairs and teams, as well as entering county and national competitions. All in all a very friendly and accommodating membership attached to a 'lovely little golf course'. The membership always try to welcome new members and integrate them into club life.

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