Break-up and Sale of the Felbridge Estate of 1911

Break-up and Sale of the Felbridge Estate of 1911

This document outlines the growth of the Felbridge estate under the Gatty family after being purchased from descendants of the Evelyn family in 1856 and its transfer to Alfred Leighton Sayer and Charles Lane Sayer on the death of Charles Henry Gatty in 1903.  The document then charts the events leading to the initial break-up of the Felbridge Place Estate from its purchase by Mrs Emma Harvey in 1911 to the first auction on 25th May 1911 on behalf of the East Grinstead Estate Company Ltd.  There were to be a further three auctions in 1913, 1914 and 1918 before the whole of the Felbridge estate had been put on the market.  Information from the 1913, 1914 and 1918 sale catalogues together with the Felbridge estate map of 1914 has been used in conjunction with the 1911 sale catalogue to establish the initial break-up of the Felbridge estate as the three later auctions will be covered in more detail in the future.


Growth of the Felbridge estate under the Gatty family

The Felbridge estate was purchased from descendants of the Evelyn family on 20th March 1856 by George Gatty [for further information see Handout, Felbridge Place, SJC 10/99].  At the time of purchase the estate cost £38,000 and amounted to 1,740 acres and 14 perch being made up of the following:

 George Gatty only owned the Felbridge estate for eight years before he died on 19th May 1864 and the estate passed to his wife Frances.  On the death of Frances Gatty on 26th August 1876, the estate passed to their only surviving son Charles Henry who held the estate until his death on 12th December 1903 [for further information see Handout, Dr Charles Henry Gatty, SJC 11/03].

Manor, Pleasure Grounds, Paddocks, etc

The Star Inn

Park Farm and part of Parklands

Wards Farm

Part of Smith Fields

Wire Mill Farm

Lands and House in Worth

Hedgecourt Mill

Newchapel and Rabys Farm

Hedgecourt Farm



Forge and Cottage

Business Premises, Forge, Wheelwright Shop and Land

Cottages, Gardens and Plots

















Smithfields Farm

Cuttinglye Wood









During the ownership of the Gatty family the Felbridge estate was increased in size by the addition of 345 acres 2 rood 18 perch purchased as small plots between 1862 and 1899 at a total cost of  £27,403 0s 2d, and on the death of Charles Gatty in 1903, the estate amounted to 2,085 acres 2 rood 32 perch.  However, calculating the division of land/water as it appears on the 1911 estate map the total acreage came to 2,100.8, made up of 1,199.1 acres of arable, 857.1 acres of woodland and 54.6 acres of water.


Events between 1903 and 1910

On the death of Charles Henry Gatty in 1903, the Felbridge estate passed to two of his cousins on his mother’s side of the family – Alfred Leighton Sayer and Charles Lane Sayer.  The will of Charles Gatty also gave the cousins the Advowson of the church of St John the Divine in Felbridge, and the request that the estate was to be divided between the Sayer brothers with the stipulation that if both were dead at the time of his demise, then the estate was to pass to the children of Alfred Leighton Sayer.


The Sayer Brothers

Alfred and Charles Sayer were born to Rev. Edward Lane Sayer and his wife Harriet Emma neé Carlisle, Edward being a younger brother of Frances (mother of Charles Henry Gatty).  As a point of interest the Sayer family descends from John Collier who was a long serving Town Clerk and Mayor of Hastings in Sussex, from 1735 to 1750.


Alfred Leighton Sayer was born in Silsoe, Bedfordshire, in 1842, being baptised on 4th December.  He was educated at Brighton and married Madeline Breeds in the summer of 1884 in Surrey; Madeline had been born in 1864 in Hastings.  Alfred and Madeline had at least four children; Katherine born in 1885, Alfred Carlisle born in 1886, Beryl Madeline born in 1888 and Humphrey born in 1889.  The births of all the children were registered at St Leonards-on- Sea, Sussex, except Beryl whose birth was registered in Haslingden, Lancashire, although she states she was born at St Leonards.


In 1891 (and until the end of his life), Alfred and his family lived at Yew Tree House, Westfield, Battle, Sussex, Alfred listed as a solicitor; his registered office being 33, Havelock Road, Hastings.  The Hastings Chronicle also sites him as being an estate agent; he had a keen interest in cricket being listed in the Wisden Almanac as a long time member of the East Sussex Cricket Club. 


Alfred Leighton Sayer died aged sixty-eight, on 6th March 1911 from his home at Yew Tree House and this early death (if he had been of ill-health the year preceding) may have been a contributing factor in the decision to sell the Felbridge estate.


Charles Lane Sayer was born in Clifton, Gloucestershire, in 1845.  By 1861, Charles was boarding at Ore House in Hastings, a speech therapy practise set up in 1851 and run by James Hunt until his death in 1869.  It has not yet been possible to determine when Charles became a boarder at this establishment but it must have been sometime after 1851 as he was living with his parents in that year.  The 1861 census entry suggests that Charles may have had a speech impediment as James Hunt specialised in correcting stammers and stuttering.  In 1871 Charles, listed as a student at law, was living with his sister Grace at Grove Crescent, Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey.  Also living in the household were their aunt, Melia Carlisle and niece, Catherine Johnston.  By 1881 Charles was listed as a barrister, still living at Grove Crescent in 1881, this time with two of his sisters, Grace and Katherine. 


By 1891, Charles and his sister Katherine were living at 5, College Road, Kemptown, Brighton; Katherine as the head of the household.  Also living with them was their niece Catherine Johnston.  Charles was still living at 5, College Road in 1901 but had moved to London by 1911 living at 26, Pall Mall.


Charles compiled a book on his fore-father John Collier that was published in 1907 entitled ‘Correspondence of Mr John Collier and his family 1716 – 1780’.  It would appear that Charles never married and died aged eighty-one, in 1927 at St George Hanover Square, London.


There is little evidence to suggest that either of the Sayer brothers made Felbridge their home although Alfred and Madeline Sayer must have visited the place on occasions as it was reported that they gave a garden party in the mansion grounds at Felbridge in the summer of 1904.  However, it would appear that for the majority of their ownership the Sayer brothers relied on an estate bailiff to manage the Felbridge estate, leasing out the mansion house, the last known occupier being the Earl of Egremont who was obliged to vacate the property in 1910 when a sale of the Felbridge estate was negotiated between Alfred Leighton Sayer and Charles Lane Sayer, and Percy Portway Harvey, the sale was registered in the name of Mrs Emma Harvey (wife of Percy Portway Harvey) of Bright Holme, Ronald Park Avenue, Westcliffe-on-Sea, Essex, and the East Grinstead Estate Company Ltd of 46, Queen Victoria Street, London.  The sale was finalised in February 1911 for the sum of £57,595 13s 6d.  The purchase included the ‘mansion house and park, buildings and land known as Felbridge Place, and all the messuages [cottages], farms, and land situated in the Parishes of Godstone, Horne and Tandridge in Surrey, and in the Parishes of Worth and East Grinstead in Sussex, containing an estimated 2,116 acres 0 roods and 22 perches’.


The Harvey family

Percy Portway Harvey was one of at least five children born to James Harvey and his wife Emma neé Portway.   James and Emma married in 1861 in Bishop Stortford, Essex; James being listed as a corn and manure merchant living at Apton Field, Bishop Stortford.  All the Harvey children were born in Bishop Stortford; Percy was born in 1864, James was born in 1865, Emma was born in 1866, Charles was born in 1868 and Walter was born in 1869.


In 1871 the Harvey family was living at Cemetery Road West, Bishop Stortford, James listed as a miller and corn merchant.  In 1881 they were still living in Bishop Stortford but had moved to Windhill, James listed as a corn merchant employing eight clerks, fifteen men and eight boys.  However, in 1882 James was declared bankrupt.  From two articles referring to Percy Portway Harvey in The Times newspaper dated 12th June and 7th August 1886 they state that Percy was a corn, coal and seed merchant operating from the Corn Exchange, Mark-lane, Bishop Stortford, and that he had started working in 1882 after the failure of his father’s business who since that time had been acting as Percy’s manager.  The main reason for the 1886 article was that Percy had gone bankrupt within the four years that he had been trading, showing unsecured debts to the value of £7,141 and assets of just £214.  The article also states that Percy had ‘transactions of a speculative character in houses and land, some of which had resulted in profit and others in loss’.       


Undeterred by their bankruptcy hearing James and Percy continued trading; they set up as corn brokers selling corn for London dealers to customers in their area.  Unfortunately the Harveys requested payment from the customers who were also invoiced by the dealers for the same corn.  The result of this was that in 1888 James and Percy both faced charges of conspiracy to defraud, their case appearing in detail in The Hertfordshire Mercury on 10th March 1888.  The sentence passed on James was nine calendar months imprisonment (without hard labour) and for Percy, two calendar months (hard labour not waived).


After serving their prison sentences, James and Percy appear in the 1890 Kelly’s Directory as living at Beech House, Dane Street, Bishop Stortford, and in 1891 James was listed as a corn merchant and house and estate merchant, still of Beech House.  However, by 1891 Percy had left home and married, and was living at 16, Mayola Road, Hackney; his occupation given as a Captain in the Salvation Army.  As for James Harvey, he died in 1900 and in 1901 his widow Emma was living at Leigh House, Portland Road, Bishop Stortford, where Percy and his family were visiting at the time of the census; Percy’s occupation listed as land agent and surveyor.


Percy Portway Harvey married Emma Sales in the first quarter of 1891; Emma having been born in 1872 in Dalston, Hackney.  Percy and Emma had five children: Muriel Adelaide born on 3rd December 1895, Rita Grace born in November 1900 and three other children (unfortunately their names have not yet been established) who had all died in infancy before 1911.  Muriel was born in Clapton, London, and it would appear that Percy and his family moved from London to Southend-on-Sea in Essex by 1900 where Rita was born, the family address given as 65, Avenue Road.  Never one to remain in one place for very long, Percy and his family had moved to Bright Holme, Ronald Park Road, Westcliffe-on-Sea, Essex, by 1908, remaining there until 1911 when he moved with his family to Felbridge Place where they lived for two years before moving to Providence House, Brockham Green, Betchworth, Surrey, by 1920.  Percy spent the last years of his life at Hendon where he died aged seventy-nine in 1943.


As for Percy Portway Harvey’s business life it would appear that by 1902 he had established himself as a land and estate agent operating as Percy Harvey Estate Ltd from an office at 46, Queen Victoria Street, London EC.  This lasted until about 1921 when he again went bankrupt, moving to 425 – 427, Moorgate Station Chambers, London EC2 in 1921, operating as Percy Harvey Properties Ltd and continued to operate from this address until February 1942 when the company was wound up.  Alongside this company Percy also ran a separate company trading as Percy Harvey (Sales) Ltd, which was wound up in May 1939. 


The purchase of the Felbridge estate in 1910/11 appears to have been one of the first major property transactions undertaken by Percy and was one of two transactions registered under his wife’s name (for further details see East Grinstead Estate Company Ltd. below), the other being the purchase of the Wigmore estate of 267 acres in Gillingham and Bredhurst in Kent, purchased in 1909.  Percy may also have had connections with the Brighton Downs Company Ltd that purchased 350 acres of land at Rottingdean, Brighton (now the village of Woodingdean) in 1911, which was sold off in plots for between £30 and £50 depending on size and location.  Evidence for Percy’s involvement in this company is that in 1924 the Brighton Downs Company Ltd, together with the East Grinstead Estate Company Ltd, conveyed the tithe rent charges issuing out of lands in Rottingdean and East Grinstead to Rev W F Buttle of Downing College, Cambridge.  


The list of land transactions made by Percy Portway Harvey is generally limited to the southern counties but is quite extensive, although probably not conclusive being based purely on available and surviving records.  Land transactions made under the name of Percy Harvey Estates Ltd include; land in Guildford, Surrey (later the site of Onslow Village) purchased between 1919 and 1921, the sale of several plots of land in Burgess Hill, Sussex, in 1920 (dates of purchase not yet established), and the purchase of the 318 acre Monk’s Orchard estate in Croydon, Addington, Beckenham and West Wickham in 1921.  The latter purchase subsequently and rather rapidly caused him to go bankrupt and was sold off on behalf of Percy Harvey Estates Ltd by 1925.


Trading under the name of Percy Harvey Properties Ltd, land transactions include; the purchase of Eastwick Park estate, Great Bookham, Little Bookham and Fetcham, including the manor of Great Bookham in Surrey, in 1922 (resold in 1923/24), the purchase of the Wilderness estate in Sevenoaks, Kent, the purchase of the 1,084 acre Shellwood Manor estate near Dorking in Surrey, including the manor house and the Red Lion Hotel, in 1926 (resold in 1930), the sale of building plots at Stoke Court, Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire in 1927 to 1930 (purchased in 1927), and the purchase, from the Duke of Norfolk, of Littlehampton in Sussex for the sum of £1,000,000.  Lastly, trading under the name of Percy Harvey (Sales) Ltd, he purchased the 143 acre Russell estate in Watford.


Other business enterprises in which Percy Portway Harvey was involved include the Tir Wrth yr Eglwys Colliery, which according to the Welsh Coal Mine Forum was leased by Percy P Harvey between 1902 and 1905.  The Forum reports that ‘Operations at Tir Wrth yr Eglwys Colliery, Glynogwr, lessee Mr. Harvey, have just resumed after a stoppage extending over some years (landlord Mr. Morgan).  Colliery is stated to have been leased to the Salvation Army authorities, who are working it at present and who appointed Mr. Jenkins as manager.  [The Salvation Army states that they cannot trace any agreement in respect of this site].  Not working in 1904 – 05.  Listed in 1906 as restarted under Mr. La Nouvelle.’  However unlikely this business venture appears it should be remembered that in 1886 Percy listed himself as a ‘corn, coal and seed merchant’ before serving his prison sentence for conspiracy to defraud.  Three years after his internment he was listed as a ‘Captain in the Salvation Army’ and by 1902 he had reinvented himself as a ‘land and estate agent’.


In 1914 Percy P Harvey was listed as the chairman of McLean, Morris and Company Ltd when it was wound up, but unfortunately it has not yet been possible to determine when he joined the company.  The London Gazette of 18th September 1914 reported that an ‘Extraordinary General Meeting of the above named Company [was] duly convened and held at 46, Queen Victoria Street in the city of London on 15th day of June 1914’.  This meeting confirmed a resolution that had been made on 8th June 1914 that ‘it has been proved to the satisfaction of This Meeting that the Company, by reason of its liabilities, cannot continue its business, and that it is advisable to wind up same, and that the company be wound up voluntarily…’  McLean, Morris and Company Ltd had been trading since at least 1870 and dealt in the importation of huge quantities of ivory, several hundreds of tons per annum.  It is also interesting to note that McLean, Morris and Company Ltd was registered at the same address as the East Grinstead Estate Company Ltd and Percy Harvey Estate Ltd.


It is also known that Percy Portway Harvey was the assignee (of two thirds) of at least two patents, both registered in 1927.  The first patent was granted on 8th February 1927 and was for a centrifugal separating apparatus for various purposes primarily intended for dealing with crude or impure oils of various densities.  The second patent was granted on 7th December 1927 and was for equipment to provide a means for separating water and other impurities from mineral or other oils or liquids.  Both pieces of equipment were invented by John Holford Hastings of Addiscombe, South Croydon.  A third patent, granted on 29th April 1930, suggests that Percy Portway Harvey may have eventually gone into partnership with John Holford Hastings for although John was listed as the inventor of a separator for the treatment of mixtures of mutually-insoluble liquids, the assignee was listed as Harvey Holford Separators Ltd, but unfortunately no further information is available on this company.


To summarise the business life of Percy Portway Harvey, it was long, beginning work as a minor with his father in 1882 to winding up his last known company in 1942, an eventful career that spanned sixty years.  He could be classed as an entrepreneur, willing to organise, operate (sometimes dubiously) and assume the risk of a new business venture.  Percy certainly seized the moment with his land and estate agent ventures in the early 20th century when landed families were being forced to sell up their large estates, Percy was there to relieve them of their property and sell on the land for development.  It was for this reason that the Felbridge estate became one of the first estates bought by Percy Portway Harvey in the guise of his wife Emma Harvey and sold off through the East Grinstead Estate Company Ltd.


The East Grinstead Estate Company Ltd.

Unfortunately there are very few surviving records relating to the East Grinstead Estate Company Ltd, but it is known that its registered offices were 46, Queen Victoria Street, London EC (see above for other companies registered from the same address) and that Percy Portway Harvey was the listed Director of the company.  The solicitors used in transactions relating to the East Grinstead Estate Company Ltd were Messrs. Mackerell, Maton, Godlee & Quincey of 21, Cannon Street, London, EC, (favoured by several of Percy Portway Harvey’s other companies), and the ‘Resident Agent’ for the Felbridge estate sales was Samuel Joseph West of 28, St James Road, East Grinstead. 


Samuel Joseph West was born in 1849 in Rochester, Kent, the son of Joseph and Caroline West.  In 1871 Samuel was working as a general dealer, living with his father who was a herbist and herb distiller working in Rochester.  In 1872 Samuel married Katelina/Katerina Allison and they had five children; Agnes Caroline born in 1874, William H born about 1878, Clifton Antivaccinator born in 1879, Lillian Augusta born in 1886 and Samuel Joseph Antivaccinator born in 1886, the first three children were born in Rochester and the last two in Gravesend.  In 1881 the family was living at St Catherine Villa, New Road, Rochester; Samuel working as a bottle merchant.  By 1886 the family have moved to Gravesend, where sadly, within a year, Katelina/Katerina died, aged just thirty-four.  Within two years of her death, and probably due to Samuel’s young family, he married Susannah Emma Stephens in Gravesend.  Samuel and Susannah had three children; Charlotte Kate born in Portsea in 1892, Susannah Emma born in Romsey in 1894 and Daisy Matilda born in Poole in 1896. 


By 1891 the West family had moved to 36, Albert Road, Portsea, Portsmouth, Hampshire; Samuel working as an insurance agent.  However, by 1901 the West family had moved again and was living at Winchester Street, Ludgershall, Wiltshire; Samuel working as a land agent, and by 1911 Samuel, Susannah and their three children had moved to 28, St James Road, Samuel giving his occupation as a small freehold developer with the East Grinstead Estate Company Ltd.


Evidence suggests that Susannah West was also involved in property dealing as in 1912 it is she who was sited as agreeing the terms of a three year rental with Tyson Crawford on Oak Cottage (now Ann’s Orchard) in Crawley Down Road, a property that did not appear in the sale of the Felbridge estate in 1911 as it had already been sold by Mrs Emma Harvey and the East Grinstead Estate Company Ltd to Samuel and Susannah West prior to the auction for the sum of £550 [for further details see Handout, Ann’s Orchard, SHC 05/01].  Land adjoining the property was put up for auction as Lot 13.  On Susannah’s death Tyson Crawford continued to lease the property from Samuel until shortly after his death.  Susannah died aged seventy, from Invicta Lodge (now Ebor Lodge, London Road, Felbridge, next to The Limes) and was buried in the churchyard of St John’s, Felbridge, on 7th March 1921, and Samuel died, aged seventy-eight, from 224, London Road, East Grinstead (now part of the Carpet Right site which stretches from 220 – 228, London Road), and was buried in the churchyard of St John’s, Felbridge, on 27th August 1927.


The last evidence of any land transactions in Felbridge involving the East Grinstead Estate Company Ltd was in August 1918 after a revised auction in July 1918 when the company auctioned the residues of the Felbridge estate unsold from the 1911 sale, together with the residue of unsold Lots from a second auction of 1913 that also included Mount Cottages on Crawley Down Road, the Cuttinglye estate (Cuttinglye and Furnace Wood), Thorny Park and Pond Tail Wood (now Domewood) and the subsequent auctions of 1914 and 1918 that included the residues of the former auctions plus the addition of Summerlands (now the site of the Felbridge Hotel and land to the east of the London Road at North End) and 10½ acres of Harts Hall (now the site of Felbridge Court, Longwall and Mulberry Gate).  Between the sale catalogues of 1914 and 1918 Lots 7, 12 and 19 are missing therefore they must have already sold between these dates.


At the time of the auction in 1918 the East Grinstead Estate Company Ltd was operating from 208, London Road, East Grinstead (now part of La Farola), with the Head Office still registered at 46, Queen Victoria Street, London, listing Percy P Harvey as Managing Director.  As already established the East Grinstead Estate Company Ltd was still active in some capacity in 1924 when it, together with the Brighton Downs Estate Company Ltd, conveyed tithe rent charges to Rev W F Buttle (see above), but there is no evidence of the existence of either company after this date.  However, Percy P Harvey still had connections with the Felbridge area and on 31st December 1924 he bought Felbridge Place and land along the Copthorne Road (plots 206, 226, 227, 231 and 137) amounting to 58¾ acres.  This had been purchased by Henry Willis Rudd from the East Grinstead Estate Company Ltd in 1916 secured by a loan of £5,875 from the Company [for further details see Handouts, The Downfall of Henry Willis Rudd, SJC 11/02 and Lutyens Grand Design for Felbridge, SJC 07/03].  This piece of land was sold on by Percy P Harvey to Owen Gurteen on 6th February 1925, Percy P Harvey acting as mortgagor for a loan of £3,000.  However, transactions involving Percy P Harvey regarding pieces of this land continued until the early 1930’s as he sold off the plots along the Copthorne Road for development.


The 1911 auction of the Felbridge estate

It has been established that negotiations for the purchase of the Felbridge estate were under the name of Mrs Emma Harvey in 1910 and were finalised in February 1911.  It has also been established that the purpose of the purchase was for speculative and development reasons and as such 1,350 acres of the Felbridge estate was put up for auction on Thursday 25th May 1911, the front cover of one of the two accompanying sale catalogues reinforcing the development aspect with reference to ‘Beautiful Building Sites’ and ‘Land for Development’.


Two 1911 sale catalogues (including numerous photographs) were produced in advance of the auction.  The larger of the two giving scant details on Lots 1 to 5, but in-depth details on the remaining thirty-nine lots and the second, a thinner catalogue, giving in-depth details on just Lots 1 to 5.  It should also be noted that the Patronage or the Right of nomination of a chaplain or minister of St John’s Church in Felbridge, together with the vicarage and three acres of glebe, went with Lot 1 and that Lot 5 consisted of the Rectorial Tithe Rent Charge.   From the catalogues it would appear that it was hoped that the ‘freehold manorial estate’ (Lots 1 to 4) would be sold as one entity to form a ‘very beautiful and compact Residential and Sporting Estate’ together with Lot 5.  It was proposed that the ‘Estate’ (see map at back), with the mansion house named as Felbridge Place, included:


Lot 1     The Mansion, Stabling, Pleasure Grounds, Glasshouses, two Lodges, Park etc.              104. 00. 11

Lot 2     The Home (or Park Farm) including Gentleman’s Residence, good Farm

Buildings, Pasture, Arable and Woodland                                                              167. 02. 10

Lot 3     The famous Lake [Hedgecourt] of 40 acres, together with Hedgecourt Mill,

Mill House, and adjacent Wood and Arable Lands                                                 63. 02. 01

Lot 4     Pair of Cottages [Park Cottages] and valuable Land adjoining [formerly Park

Corner Farm]                                                                                                                 50. 03. 12

Total                                                                                                                             385. 03. 34                        


Lot 5

The Rectorial Tithe Rent Charge

Commuted at £71 19s 6d and payable in respect of certain lands comprising, according to the Tithe Apportionment Awards, 514a 1r 20p in the Parish of Godstone.


The greater part of this Tithe Rent Charge is payable out of certain of the Lots in the Parish of Godstone now submitted for sale.


The Felbridge estate could be viewed in advance of the auction by application the estate’s Resident Agent, Samuel Joseph West, and the auctioneers for the sale were Messrs. Denyer & Collins who had offices in Tunbridge Wells and Tonbridge, with their main office at 16, Abchurch Lane, London, EC.  The sale was held at The Whitehall, East Grinstead, commencing at 2.30 pm.


The main 1911 sale catalogue advertises for sale ‘over 1,350 acres’ of the ‘freehold estate of Felbridge’, this being only part of the estate that had been accrued by the Gatty family that amounted to just over 2,100 acres on the death of Charles Gatty in 1903.  The remaining 750 acres of the estate was made up of properties that were either withheld from the 1911 sale, being auctioned in 1913, 1914 and 1918 (Mount Cottages, Cuttinglye and Furnace Wood including part of Gibbshaven Farm, Thorny Park and Pond Tail Wood, and Summerlands) or properties that were sold outside of any of the eventual four auctions (Hedgecourt Farm, Oak Cottage (see above) and part of Warren House Farm).


Only thirteen of the Lots were actually sold in the 1911 auction, totalling just over seventy-two acres.  Fortunately one of the 1911 sale catalogues in the Felbridge archive has annotations made by a former resident of Felbridge who wrote comments such as ‘sold’ ‘no sale’ ‘not sold’ ‘passed’, ‘withdrawn’ and, in some cases, the starting price and the price reached during the auction.  Therefore using a combination of the available information the Lots that sold in 1911 would appear to be:

Lot 7, freehold building land (now the site of the Felbridge Parade, BP Garage, Felwater Court, Stream Park and The Feld), sold for £1,100.

Lot 8, Stream Farm (now the site of Old Felbridge House and Stable Cottage, London Road), sold for £600.

Lot 11, Yew Tree Cottage (now the site of Albany Cottages, The Chestnuts, Evelyn House and the rebuilt Yew Tree Cottage, Crawley Down Road), sold for £300.

Lot 14, Oak Farm (now the site of Oak Farm Place, the Felbridge Bowls Club and the Felbridge Football and Tennis Clubs, Crawley Down Road), sold for £1010.

Lot 15, freehold accommodation land (now the field behind nos. 111, 113 and Vine Cottage Crawley Down Road), sold for £380.

Lot 18, freehold land (now the site of nos.121 – 127 Crawley Down Road), sold for £50.

Lot 19, pair of modern villas (now nos. 129 and 131, Crawley Down Road), sold for £490.

Lot 20, enclosure of freehold land (now nos. 133 – 141, Crawley Down Road), sold for £70.

Lot 27, Star Inn, sold for £2,350.

Lot 28, Felbridge Smithy (now the site of the International Tiles and Hydropool), sold for £500.

Lot 33, small holding (now Chester Lodge, Woodcock Hill), sold for £390.

Lot 34, freehold cottage (now The Old Pheasantry and The Old Pheasantry Cottage, Woodcock Hill), sold for £510.

Lot 37, small holding, (land adjoining Rabies, Newchapel), sold for £400 to Mr J Deacan of Brickland Farm, Lingfield, Surrey.


The Lots that appear to have remained unsold in 1911 are:

Lot 1, Felbridge Place (now the site of Whittington College), no price given.

Lot 2, Home or Park Farm, no price given.

Lot 3, Hedgecourt Lake, no price given.

Lot 4, Park Cottages and land adjoining (formerly Park Corner Farm), no price given.

Lot 5, Rectorial Tithe Rent Charge.

Lot 6, Harts Hall (now the site of Felbridge Court, Longwall and Mulberry Gate, including the site of Standen Close and The Moorings), unsold at £2,300.

Lot 9, offered as a freehold building site (now part of The Birches Industrial Estate off Imberhorne Lane), no offers made for a starting price of £350.

Lot 10, building land next to Felbridge Post Office (now the sites of nos. 17 – 29, Crawley Down Road), unsold at £80.

Lot 12, The Oaks (now the site of 55, Crawley Down Road [behind Yew Tree Cottage]), unsold at £330.

Lot 13, land adjoining Oak Cottage (now the site of 57 and 59, Crawley Down Road), unsold at £65.

Lot 16, an attractive pair of Modern Freehold Cottages (now Vine Cottage on Crawley Down Road), unsold at £290.

Lot 17, land adjoining Lot 16 (now the site of nos. 111 and 113, Crawley Down Road), unsold at £20. 

Lot 21, freehold farm of Smithfield Farm (now the site of Thicket Cottage and the former site of Felbridge Nurseries off Crawley Down Road), unsold at £2,000.

Lot 22, freehold accommodation or building land (opposite Ascotts down Ascotts Lane off Crawley Down Road), unsold at £55.

Lot 23, Yew Tree Farm off Copthorne Road, withdrawn, unsold at £725.

Lot 24, Felcot and Forge Farm (now Felcot Farm, Furnace Wood), unsold at £575.

Lot 25, Little Hedgecourt Farm (now Hedgecourt House off Copthorne Road), unsold at £720.

Lot 26, two valuable enclosures of building land (now the sites of nos. 128 – 148 Copthorne Road), unsold at £375.

Lot 29, freehold land (now the site of The Sussex Bed Centre and the Felbridge Cricket Ground), unsold at £1,100.

Lot 30, freehold building land (the field behind the Vicarage), unsold at £130.

Lot 31, residential site (now the site of Glendale and Ebor Lodge, London Road), unsold at £725.

Lot 32, Wards Farm, unsold at £1,225.

Lot 35, Wiremill, 157 acres including Wiremill Farm, Wiremill Farmhouse (now Legend), the old flour mill (now Wiremill Pub) and Wiremill Lake, unsold at £3,350.

Lot 36, Coopers Moors (now the properties from Woodcock House to the bottom of Woodcock Hill), no price given.

Lot 38, Newchapel Farm and House (now the site of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints [Mormon Temple Complex]), no price given.

Lot 39, freehold pasture and woodland (part of Chapel Wood), no price given.

Lot 40, part of Newchapel Farm, now the site of the Churchill Stud, West Park Road, no price given.

Lot 41, Golards Wood and remainder of Chapel Wood (now the site of the Hobbs Industrial Estate), no price given.

Lot 42, Mill Wood and Bakers Wood off West Park Road, no price given.

Lot 43, freehold land (later known as Neals Row adjoining Bakers Wood on the west), no price given.


In 1913 the second auction was held by the East Grinstead Estate Company Ltd that included the unsold Lots of 1911 together with more of the remaining lands of the Felbridge estate.  These lands included, Cuttinglye Wood, Furnace Wood, Thorny Park, Pond Tail Wood, and Mount Cottages.  Some of the plot sizes and specifications from the 1911 auction had been altered and together with the additional sections of the Felbridge estate amounted to just over 1,568 acres, for sale in 24 Lots.  By comparing the sale catalogues for the Felbridge estate it is possible to determine when most of the unsold Lots of 1911 eventually sold, although a few must have been bought by private treaty outside any of the public auctions as they do not appear in any of the 1911, 1913, 1914 or 1918 sale catalogues.


The following is a summary of unsold Lots from 1911 and in which catalogues they re-appear for sale, having been given a new Lot number that fortunately remained the same in the 1913, 1914 and 1918 sales:

Lot 1, Felbridge Place, remained as Lot 1 and appears in the 1913 sale catalogue it is known to have been sold to Arthur Smeeton Gurney on 5th August 1913 for the sum of £15,000 together with a plantation off Copthorne Road and part of Smithfield Farm, the East Grinstead Estate Company Ltd acting as mortgagor for a loan £10,000. The Patronage of St John’s Church that also formed part of this Lot was bought by the Margary family of Chartham Park.

Lot 2, Home or Park Farm appears as Lot 3 in the later sale catalogues.

Lot 3, Hedgecourt Lake, including the Mill and Mill Lands, appear as Lot 4 in the later sale catalogues [for further information see Handout, Hedgecourt Mill cottage, SJC 07/04].

Lot 4, Park Cottages with a reduced amount of land appears as Lot 10 in the 1913 sale [for further information see Handout, Park Corner Farm, SJC 05/09].

Lot 5, Rectorial Tithe Charge Rent, this does not appear in any further sale catalogues and was probably associated with the conveyance made by the East Grinstead Estate Company Ltd, to Rev W F Buttle in 1924 (see above).

Lot 6, Harts Hall appears as Lot 2 in the 1913 sale catalogue and 10½ acres of the original Lot appear in the 1918 sale catalogue, although not allocated a Lot number, known simply as Harts Hall Site [for further information see Handouts, Harts Hall, SJC 07/05 and Eating and Drinking Establishments Pt. II, JIC/SJC 03/08].

Lot 10, building land next to the Felbridge Post Office appears as Lot 11 in the 1913 sale but has two pairs of cottages constructed on it by 1914.

Lot 12, The Oaks now 55, Crawley Down Road appears in the 1913 sale catalogue but not in the later sales.

Lot 21, Smithfield Farm appears as Lot 5 in the later sale catalogues although it is known that just over 7½ acres of the farm was purchased in 1913 by Professor Furneaux [for further information see Handout, Professor Furneaux and the Penlees of Felbridge, SJC 03/09] and a further 49.3 acres had been purchased by Arthur Smeeton Gurney before the publication of the 1918 sale catalogue.

Lot 23, Yew Tree Farm, part of the land in the original Lot appeared again as part of Lot 14 in the 1913 sale catalogue.

Lot 24, Felcot Farm appears as Lot 14 in the 1913 sale catalogue [for further information see Handout, Felcot Farm, JIC/SJC 05/08].

Lot 26, land off Copthorne Road appeared as Lot 13 in the 1913 sale catalogue.

Lot 31, Ebor Lodge appeared as part of Lot 6 in the 1913 sale catalogue.

Lot 35, Wiremill area appears as Lot 7 in the 1913 and the 1914 sale catalogues but not the 1918 sale catalogue, [for further information see Handout, Wiremill, SJC 03/06].

Lot 36, Coopers Moors appears as Lot 18 in the later sale catalogues.

Lot 38, Newchapel House, appears as Lot 8 in the 1913 sale catalogue [for further information see Handout, Newchapel House, SJC 11/02].

Lot 39, part of Chapel Wood appears as Lot 24 in the 1913 sale catalogue.

Lot 41, Golards Wood and the remainder of Chapel Wood appear as Lot 19 in the 1913 sale catalogue, and the Keeper’s Cottage, formerly part of Lot 41 in 1911 appears as Lot 16 in the 1913 sale catalogue.

Lot 42, Mill and Bakers Woods appear as Lot 20 in the later sale catalogues.

Lot 43, land known as Neals Row appears as Lot 15 in the 1913 sale catalogue but is combined with Mill and Bakers Woods to from Lot 20 in the 1914 sale catalogue.


There were also ten Lots from the original 1911 sale that do not appear in any of the later sales; Lot 9, what is now part of the Birches Industrial Estate; Lot 13, land next to Oak Cottage now 57 and 59 Crawley Down Road; Lot 16, what is now known as Vine Cottage, Crawley Down Road; Lot 17, now known as 111 – 113, Crawley Down Road; Lot 22, land down Ascotts Lane; Lot 25, Little Hedgecourt Farm now known as Hedgecourt House, Copthorne Road; Lot 29, now the site of the Bed Centre and Felbridge Cricket Ground; Lot 30, a field behind the Vicarage; Lot 32, Wards Farm; Lot 40, formerly part of Newchapel Farm now the site of the Churchill Stud, West Park Road.  The implication of their absence from the later auctions is that all these Lots sold by private treaty outside of the auctions. 


Summary of the Break-up and Sale of the Felbridge Estate of 1911

The break-up of the Felbridge estate began with its initial auction held by the East Grinstead Estate Company Ltd, on 25th May 1911.  The sole intention of the purchase of the Felbridge estate from the Sayer brothers by Mrs Emma Portway Harvey in February 1911 had been for speculation and development, masterminded by her husband Percy Portway Harvey.  Sales from this initial auction amounted to 13 of the 43 Lots, a total of just over 72 of the 1,350 acres that had been put on the market.  It would take until 1918 for the remainder of the Felbridge estate to be sold by the East Grinstead Estate Company Ltd, and until the early 1930’s for Percy Portway Harvey to have sold all his interests in Felbridge.



Handout, Felbridge Place, SJC 10/99, FHWS

Gatty family papers, Box 3151, SHC

Handout, Dr Charles Henry Gatty, SJC 11/03

Felbridge Estate Particulars of Acquisitions, Box 3151, SHC

Felbridge Place estate map, 1911, FHA

Gatty/Sayer family tree, FHA

Birth, Marriage and Death index –

Census records, 1841, 1851, 1861, 1871, 1881, 1891, 1901 –

Obituary of A L Sayer, by Wisden

Hastings Chronicle –

Census record, 1911 –

Local Newspaper article, 1904, Caterham Museum

Newspaper  article from The Times, 12/6/1886, FHA

Newspaper  article from The Times, 7/8/1886, FHA

Newspaper article from The Hertfordshire Mercury, 10th March 1888, FHA 

Kelly’s Directory, 1890, 1911, 1913, 1918

Post Office Directory, 1902, 1911, 1920

Telephone Directory, 1910 – 1924

Hughes Directory, 1921

The London Gazette, 9th May 1939, FHA

The London Gazette, 17th February 1942, FHA

Title deeds for the Wigmore estate, 1909, Cityark, DE0897

EG Estate Co Ltd/Brighton Downs Estate Co Ltd/ Buttle conveyance, 1924, ESRO Add Mss 29,147

Woodingdean in the early days,

Abstract of Title for Onslow Village, SHC 6504

Title deeds for land in Burgess Hill, 1920, ESX 147305, SX 80319

Abstract of Title for Monks Orchard Estate, SRC, 933/2/-

A History and Guide of St George the Martyr, Shirley

Abstract of Title for Eastwick Park, Great Bookham, Little Bookham and Fetcham, SHC, 6631/2/-

Abstract of Title for Manor of Great Bookham, SHC 568/1/-

The Times newspaper article, 21st May 1924, FHA

The Times newspaper article, 27th March 1930, FHA

The Times newspaper article, 30th April 1930, FHA

Plan of Shellwood Manor estate, SHC 3149/1

The Times newspaper article, 15th July 1931, FHA

The Times newspaper article, 22nd July 1931, FHA

Evening Post newspaper article, 4th August 1931, FHA

Blackmill, Welsh Coal Miners Forum,

The London Gazette, 18th September 1914, FHA

US Slave

Patent no. 1616575,

Patent no. 16135845,

Patent no. 1756862,

Handout, The Downfall of Henry Willis Rudd, SJC 11/02, FHWS

Handout, Lutyens Grand Design for Felbridge, SJC 07/03, FHWS

Felbridge Place Sale Catalogue, 1911, FHA

Felbridge Place Sale maps, 1911, FHA

Felbridge Place Sale Catalogue Lots 1 – 4, 1911, FHA

Some Facts & Photos of Felbridge, East Grinstead, Sale Catalogue, 1913, FHA

Felbridge estate map, 1914, FHA

Title Deeds for Felbridge Place, Archive of the Worshipful Company of Mercers

Title Deeds for Holly Bush, 48, Copthorne Road, FHA

Cuttinglye and its Environs Sale Catalogue, 1918, FHA

Revised Edition of Cuttinglye and its Environs Sale Catalogue, 1918, FHA

Handout, Ann’s Orchard, SHC 05/01, FHWS

Burial Register of St John’s, Felbridge, FHA

Conveyance of Felbridge Place and Lands, East Grinstead Estate Company Ltd/Gurney, 1913, SHC 4003/1

Handout, Hedgecourt Mill cottage, SJC 07/04, FHWS

Handout, Park Corner Farm, SJC 05/09, FHWS

Handout, Harts Hall, SJC 07/05, FHWS

Handout, Eating and Drinking Establishments Pt. II, JIC/SJC 03/08, FHWS

Handout, Professor Furneaux and the Penlees of Felbridge. SJC 03/09, FHWS

Handout, Felcot Farm, JIC/SJC 05/08, FHWS

Handout, Wiremill, SJC 03/06, FHWS

Handout, Newchapel House, SJC 11/02, FHWS

Texts of all Handouts referred to in this document can be found on FHG website;
SJC 01/11