Motorway Services Online

Hill Hall

Hill Hall:

Road: M25 between J27 and J28
Location: Theydon Mount, Epping, Essex
Date planned: 1994-1996
Operator: various
Grid reference: TQ490989
See also: Waltham Abbey

Google Maps link


Hill Hall viewed from the M25.jpg

There have been various plans for a service station on the M25 between J27 and J28. This page aims to cover them all.

Hill Hall, which is referenced in almost all of them, is an Elizabethan mansion which has recently been restored by English Heritage.

There is already an emergency exit where the M25 crosses Mount Road.

Earliest Plan

It's firstly worth examining David Lawrence's book, Food on the Move, which first alerted us to this project. It refers to a service station being proposed at "Hill Hall M16", M16 being the original name of this section of the M25.

Given that the book is stringently accurate about almost everything, it would be fair to assume that there was a service station proposed here when the M25 was known as the M16, in the early 1980s, however we have no information on that. When the M25 opened in 1986 there was absolutely no reference to it, despite Iver getting a lot of publicity.

Chantry Property

Chantry Property wanted to provide a motorway service area on the site, to convert Hill Hall to provide hotel and leisure facilities, and to convert Colemans Farm into a golf course and club house.

These proposals were specifically written-off as being inappropriate.

Argent Group

Another plan from Chantry Property, this time made in partnership with the Argent Group, described itself as both a "motorway service area" and a "golf course, club house and restoration of the hall", all utilising the land at Colemans Farm.


In 1994 Dashswivel proposed a full motorway service area, on land "adjacent to" Hill Hall.

They appeared to argue that Hilton Park proves you can use a stately home as a backdrop for a service area, although it was pointed out Hilton Park is heavily screened from its namesake manor.

Waltham Abbey

Two services were also planned at J26 and were debated at the same time, although they are listed on the Waltham Abbey page.


The inspectorate ruled that all these services were in special landscape areas and nature conservation zones. While Epping District were keen to see Hill Hall restored, they didn't believe any of these plans supported that.

It was pointed out that the existing services at South Mimms and Thurrock were under-used, even if that was partially due to their difficult access arrangements.

The sites at Hill Hall would have been a problem with motorway widening and the exit for the M11 to the north-west.