Builders of Felbridge Part 2 - Spurrell and Sharpe

Builders of Felbridge, Pt. 2 – William Spurrell & Cecil A Sharp FRIBA

This is the un-illustrated version of this handout. If you want to purchase a copy with the illustrations please use the Contact Us button at the top of the page.

This series of Handouts will look at the stories and lives of some of the builders and architects of Felbridge (not necessarily in chronological order) who developed what had been the ‘gentleman’s estate’ of Felbridge for over 200 years into the village of Felbridge as it had become by the mid 1960’s. 

The series has no intentions of covering the later re-development of properties and garden in-fill developments that began in 1964 with Felbridge Court off Copthorne Road, Tangle Oak off Mill Lane, Tithe Orchard off Rowplatt Lane and Warren Close off Crawley Down Road, or the more recent developments of Birch Grove and its extension, Cherry Way, Hamptons Mews, Hedgecourt Place, Housman Way/Springfield Gardens, Long Wall, Lyndhurst Farm Close, Mulberry Gate and Eden Gardens off the Copthorne Road; Rowplatt Close and Twitten Lane off Rowplatt Lane; Coppice Vale/Thicket Rise, Leybourne Place, McIver Close/Evelyn Gardens, Oak Farm Place and Walnut Grove, off Crawley Down Road; and Arkendale/Whittington College, Felbridge Gate, Felwater Court/The Feld, The Glebe/Mackenzie House/Barrell House, Glendale, Old Brewery Court, Redgarth Court and Standen Close/The Moorings off the London Road.

The first in this series of Handouts looked at W M Heselden & Sons Ltd who were building in the Felbridge area between 1910 and 1984 and who were responsible for the construction of the early phase of housing in Rowplatt Lane for architect Major T Stewart Inglis; Halsford Croft, Halsford Green and Halsford Lane at North End for Edgar Soames of the East Grinstead Tenants Ltd; The Limes Estate off the London Road with designs by Mark Heselden and Mr Gasson; much of Mill Lane and a number of dwellings on the Copthorne Road and Crawley Down Road, as well as further afield in East Grinstead, Crawley Down, Dormans Park, Dormansland, South Godstone and Groombridge.


This, the second in the series of builders and architects of Felbridge, looks at the work of William Spurrell, a farmer who ventured into housing development, being responsible for the Wembury Park at Newchapel and Stream Park in Felbridge, and the work of professional architect Cecil A Sharpe FRIBA who was responsible for the designs for nos. 17 & 19 and 25 & 27, Crawley Down Road, Felbridge, and Retford, London Road, North End.  It also highlights the type of population that was beginning to move into the Felbridge area, most from very different backgrounds to the long-standing established residents who had been living in the area to serve a ‘Gentleman’s estate’, thus their arrival contributing to a far more diverse Felbridge community. 

The Development of a ‘gentleman’s estate’ into the village of Felbridge

The development of Felbridge as a village did not really begin until the estate of Felbridge, its mansion house and associated lands were sold off in a succession of auctions that began in 1911 [for further information see Handout, 1911 Sale of the Felbridge Estate, SJC 01/11]. 

Until the late 17th century, Felbridge was sparsely populated, consisting mostly of Common and fairy boggy, un-developed heath-land.  In 1588, George Evelyn of Kingston, Long Ditton and Wotton, purchased the manor of Godstone which included 70 acres of land in Felbridge being at the southern-most end of the manor of Godstone [for further information see Handout, Evelyn Family of Felbridge, JIC/SJC09/13].  By the late 17th century a principal dwelling house had been constructed by George Evelyn of Nutfield, known as Heath Hatch, which was to form the nucleus of the Felbridge estate built up by his son Edward Evelyn from 1719 by his decision to make Felbridge his main residence [for further information see Handout, Evelyn Family of Felbridge, JIC/SJC09/13].  This decision cemented the early development of Felbridge as a ‘gentleman’s estate’ because the only residents to live here were those required in the day-to-day running of the estate.  As such residents’ dwellings were pushed out-of-sight of the main house and grounds with little opportunity of creating a traditional village ie: a group of houses arranged around a centre consisting of village green, church, school and public house etc. 

Felbridge was to remain a ‘gentleman’s estate’ under a succession of resident and non-resident lords from the early 18th century until the beginning of the 20th century.  Firstly under the Evelyn family and then the Gatty family after their purchase of the estate in 1865 [for further information see Handout, Dr. Charles Henry Gatty, SJC 11/03].  However, on the death of Charles Henry Gatty in 1903, the Felbridge estate was left to two non-resident male cousins and in 1910 the decision to sell the estate to Mrs Emma Harvey and the East Grinstead Estate Company (founded by her husband, property developer Percy Portway Harvey) set in motion the break-up of the Felbridge estate that began in 1911 [for further information see Handout, 1911 Sale of the Felbridge Estate, SJC 01/11].  The initial sale was of 1,350 acres (just part of the what was described as the ‘valuable Freehold Estate’ of Felbridge), presented in 43 Lots comprising of residential properties, farms and small holdings, licensed premises and a smithy and over 250 acres of land specifically described as ‘beautiful building sites’ and ‘land for development’. 

This was not the total extent of the Felbridge estate, which extended to over 2,000 acres in 1911, and it would take a succession of auctions into the early 1950’s to complete the break-up of the Felbridge estate, but it was the auction of 1911 that fundamentally changed Felbridge.  Since 1911 a succession of local builders have developed the ‘gentleman’s estate’ of the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries into the mid 20th century village of Felbridge, formulated by 1964.


William Spurrell

William Dawe Spurrell[1] was born in Wembury, Devon, on 8th February 1877, the eldest of two sons of  William Dawe Spurrell[2] and his wife Jane née Dawe; the other son being Thomas Dewdney Spurrell who was born on 19th August 1881.  In 1881, the Spurrell family were living at New Barton Farm at Knighton, Wembury, with William[1]’s grandparents, William Dawe Spurrell[3] and his wife Eleanor née Dawe.  William Spurrell[3] was listed as a farmer of 280 acres, employing two labourers and three boys.  Also living in the Spurrell household Elizabeth Wills the niece of William Spurrell[3], aged 43, employed as a general servant, along with three farm servants, James Ellis aged 18, Robert Mildern aged 16 and Thomas A Rogers aged 15.  New Barton Farm is now a tenanted National Trust farm, which is sited on the Wembury peninsular, over-looking the Devon coast.


On 30th April 1898, William Spurrell[1], aged twenty-one, left Liverpool (steerage class) on board the SS Lake Huron, bound for Quebec, Canada; the passenger list recording his occupation as a labourer.  It is not known why William[1] decided to emigrate to Canada but it is known that the Canadian government were actively encouraging immigration and perhaps William [1] decided there might be more or better opportunities in Canada than Devon.  Currently, there is only scant information about William[1]’s early years in Canada.  He arrived in Quebec on 12th May 1898, thus the voyage took twelve days and in 1901 William, still un-married, was living as a lodger at Lacombe, Alberta.  Lacombe lies in one of the most fertile valleys between Calgary and Edmonton in the western province of Canada and in the late 19th century the main occupation in the area was routed in agriculture, later being supplemented by the growing oil and gas industry after its discovery in the area.  By 1904, William[1] was living in Alberta, where his first son, William Spurrell[4] was born,  followed in 1905, by his second son, Joseph Evan Spurrell.  The boys’ mother was Violet Evan, who had been born in Manitoba, Alberta, on 26th April 1885, the daughter of Samuel and Ellen Evan, although to date, no marriage certificate has been found.     


With William[1] in Canada, the Spurrell family he left in Devon, together with his widowed grandfather William [3], moved from New Barton Farm and by 1901 were living at Taylors Farm at Down Thomas, a 75-acre farm on the Wembury peninsular.  By 1908, William[1] had returned to Devon becoming a Free Mason with the Sir Walter Raleigh Lodge, Plymstock, on 17th February 1908.  At the time he was listed as a 32-year old farmer living at Down Thomas.  However, William’s stay in Devon was short and on 2nd May 1909 he once again left Liverpool bound for Canada, arriving in Quebec on 7th May.  In 1911, the British census records that the two sons of William[1], William[4] and Joseph (both listed as British Subjects), were living with their Devonshire grandparents William[2] and Jane Spurrell at Taylors Farm.  Neither of the boys’ parents can be found in England in 1911.  Canadian records show that Violet was living in Calgary, Alberta, in June 1911, moving to Eastport, Idaho, America, by October 1911, however, the whereabouts of William Spurrell[1]  in 1911 have not yet been established.


What has been established is that William[1]’s father died at Down Thomas on 8th May 1911, followed two years later by the death of  his mother Jane, on 30th January 1913.  With the death of both parents, William[1] must have returned to Devon, especially as his parents were the last recorded people that his two sons were living with.  Although no passenger list survives, it is known that William Spurrell[1]  was in Devon in 1913 as he married Mary Maria Pitts Giles on 22nd October 1913.  Mary had been born in Yealmpton, Plympton, Devon, on 28th April 1880, the daughter of Herbert Joseph Pitts Giles and his wife Mary née Dawe.


On 29th October 1913, William Spurrell[1], together with his new wife Mary, his two sons, William[4] and Joseph, and his brother-in-law Stanley Giles, a 19-year old farmer, left Liverpool bound for Canada on board the SS Tunisian, arriving in Quebec on 7th November 1913.  For William Spurrell[1] to have married Mary would suggest that either his first wife, Violet, had died or they had divorced or that there had not been a first marriage (currently there are no surviving documents for either Violet’s death or divorce).  Another documentary anomaly is that on 11th November 1913, William Spurrell[1]  and Mary Maria Pitts Giles married (for the second time) at Oak Park, Cook County, Illinois in America.  However, by 1916, the Spurrell family had moved back across the border to Canada and were living in Starland, Bow River County, a municipal district of southern Alberta that had been incorporated in 1912.  On 3rd October 1917, William and Mary Spurrell had their first and only child, Stanley Thomas, joining William’s two other boys, William[4] and Joseph from his first relationship.  Four years later, the Spurrell family, along with Stanley Giles, were living in the rural municipality of Arthur, Calgary East, Alberta.  Between 1896 and 1914 settlers from around the world had poured into the area in response to the offer of free ‘homestead’ land, created by the Dominion Lands Act of 1872.  The act gave claimants 160 acres of land for free, the only cost being a $10 administration fee.  It was open to any male farmer who was over the age of twenty-one and who agreed to cultivate at least 40 acres of the land and build a permanent dwelling on it within three years.  As such, agriculture and ranching became wide spread in the area and it may have been the lure of this ‘homestead’ land that had attracted William Spurrell and his family.   


On 8th June 1921, William Spurrell, listed as a 44-year old farmer, arrived in Southampton on board the SS Corsican from Quebec.  The address he was visiting was ‘Haredon, Sutton, Surrey’.  The visit was short, arriving back in Quebec on 1st July 1921.  Four years later, William again returned to England, this time on board the SS Doric; the passenger list recording him as a rancher and again he visited Haredon.  It has not been possible to determine whether William returned to Canada, but on 16th August 1926, his wife Mary and their son Stanley, left Montreal arriving in London on 23rd August, heading for Down Thomas.  It would appear that William’s first two boys, William[4] and Joseph remained in Canada.


By 1928, William Spurrell and his family were living at Park Farm Cottage, Wotton in Surrey, before moving to The Laurels, Blackberry Lane, Lingfield in Surrey by 1929 where they lived until 1932 when they moved to Wayside, Woodcock Hill, Felbridge.  It is during the years at Wayside that William Spurrell developed WemburyPark (see below) and then StreamPark (see below).  As for the outcome of the Spurrell’s personal lives, Stanley Thomas rose to the position of 2nd Lieutenant in the India Army during World War II, married Betty M Walker of Chanctonbury in Sussex in 1946 and settled in Merrifield Temple, Cardiham in Cornwall, where he died on 2nd February 1983, aged sixty-six.  Mary Spurrell died at Merrifield Temple on 5th August 1951, aged seventy-one and was buried at St. Werburgh’s church in Wembury, being joined by her husband William Spurrell after his death at 39, Mellor Crescent, Knutsford, Cheshire, on 9th January 1973, aged ninety-five.


Wembury Park

Wembury Park, named after the birth place of William Spurrell, was his first major development in the Felbridge area.  It is located to the east of the Eastbourne Road (A22) on the southern approach to the round-about at Newchapel, Surrey; a gated, private estate of eighteen houses.

The site of Wembury Park was once part of the farm known as Woodcock Farm, later Wiremill Farm [for further information see Handout, Woodcock alias Wiremill, SJC 03/06], one of the major holdings of the Felbridge estate.  In 1911, the site was part of plot 90 and a small fragment of plot 91 (in the parish of Godstone), for sale as part of Lot 35, ‘Wire Mill and Farm’ when the Felbridge Estate was put up for auction.  The Lot was advertised as ‘A valuable freehold agricultural Sporting & Business property’.  Lot 35 comprised  of a ‘Picturesque Old-Fashioned Residence’ (now known as Legend), the ‘Old-Established Corn and Flour Mill’, the ‘Farm Buildings’, ‘The Lake’ of about 14 acres, ‘2 Small Detached Cottages’ and over 157 acres of land, of which plots 90 and 91 were just a small part.  From an annotated sale catalogue for 1911, Lot 35 failed to sell, the Lot re-appearing in the 1914 catalogue as Lot 7.  However, when studying the schedule, plots 90 and 91, together with plots 92, 93 and 69, do not appear in Lot 7 or any other Lot offered for sale in the 1914 catalogue or any other sale catalogue that followed.  This would imply that the plots were sold off sometime between 1911 and 1914.


1937/8 Ordnance Survey map extract showing WemburyPark


Unfortunately, it has not yet been possible to establish when plots 90 and 91 were sold or to whom.  However, by the early 1930’s William Spurrell had established The Wembury Estates Ltd., the company registered from Maxwell House, Arundel Street, Strand, London, and had begun to build the Wembury Park Estate at Newchapel.  The first houses were completed in 1934 and the first residents, Donald Malloy McGeachy and his wife Ada had moved into 1, Wembury Park Estate by 1935.  By 1936 the McGeachy’s had been joined by John Hewitt and his wife and daughter, Isabella and Elizabeth at no.2; Ethel Marianne Cooke and her domestic, Alice Denman at no.4; Maurice George Newbould and his wife Madeline at no.9; and Samuel Humphreys-Jones and his wife Emilie Louise at no.17, which they named Arundel.


Donald McGeachy was an engineer who spent much of his time in Colombo, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) leaving Ada at home in Wembury Park with their daughter Sylvia.  Donald died in Ceylon in November, 1942, but Ada continued living at 1, WemburyPark until at least 1949. 


John Hewitt and his family moved to 2, Wembury Park, from The Kennels, at the Old Surrey and Burstow Hunt in Felbridge, where he had been huntsman between 1931 and 1936 [for further information see Handouts, Old Surrey, Burstow & West Kent Hunt, SJC 03/1 and More Old Surrey, Burstow & West Kent Hunt Personalities and The Kennels, SJC 03/17].  Unlike the McGeachy’s, the Hewitt family stay was short and they had left WemburyPark by 1939. 


Ethel Marianne Cooke at 4, WemburyPark, was the daughter of Malcolm Stewart Cooke, who had spent his working life as a member of the London Stock Exchange.  Ethel had been living with father in Croydon before her move to WemburyPark, which was no-doubt brought about by his death in 1933.  Ethel, of considerable independent means, remained at 4, WemburyPark until sometime between 1940 and 1945.


Maurice and Madeline Newbould at 9, WemburyPark moved to the property four years after their marriage.  Maurice had been born in Napier in New Zealand, the son of a sheep farmer, and was listed as a mining engineer at the time of his first marriage to Alice Martha Ruby Verrall in 1921; this marriage ended in divorce.  Maurice and Madeline Newbould had left WemburyPark by 1937. 


The last couple to have joined the McGeachy’s at WemburyPark in 1936, were Samuel and Emilie Humphreys-Jones who were living at 17, WemburyPark, naming their house – Arundel.  No further information has yet been found on the couple other than Samuel had been born on 24th May 1879 and in 1939 was working as a bank official, and Emilie had been born 8th February 1878, and in 1939 was deemed to be ‘partially incapacitated’.  Samuel and Emilie left WemburyPark sometime between 1939 and 1945.


It is clear from the early residents that the properties in WemburyPark attracted people from outside of the Felbridge area and that most came from a moneyed and non-rural/agricultural background, except for John Hewitt and his family.  It is also clear that it took until 1939 for most of the dwellings to be sold or become occupied and even then two, nos. 5 and 6, remained un-occupied, representing a considerable, yet-to-be-realised investment for William Spurrell.


The houses were all built to a similar design in the ‘Arts and Crafts’ style fashionable of the era, although over the years, most have now been altered or extended.  They were all built of brick under a tiled roof which was in a cross-form with gables at the ends and centrally front and back, the front one projecting slightly forward of the main building.  They had large rectangular leaded-light windows.  Heating was provided by external chimneys at each end with large ground floor brick fireplaces and corner fireplaces on the first floor.  The interior had exposed timber beams and considerable amounts of exposed carpentry.  


Each house was built with a free standing brick and tiled, gable roofed garage with double wooden doors.  All the houses were set in a good sized plot with a garden and driveway at the front and garden at the rear; most with rear views over open farmland.


The original layout comprised, on the ground floor: a large entrance hall leading to a sitting room on one side of the hall with views overlooking the front and rear garden; a dining-room on the other side of the hall with a view over the front garden; and the kitchen at the rear with a view over the rear garden.  The first floor was accessed by a staircase in the corner of the entrance hall, against the dining room wall.  This led to a spacious landing with a master bedroom over the dining room and part of the kitchen and three further bedrooms, two at the front of the house and one at the rear over the sitting room, with a bathroom at the rear of the house over the remaining part of the kitchen.  In some of the houses the sitting room was located to the left of the entrance hall and in others it was a mirror image with the sitting room on the right of the entrance hall. 


Stream Park

StreamPark, formerly known as Stream Place Estate, North End, was originally intended to be a development of eighteen bungalows and one detached house (Stream Cottage), off a private road to the west of the main London road (A22), just to the south of the Sussex/Surrey county boundary at Felbridge.  Today the originally intended layout has been joined by two extra bungalows, a second detached house called Tyebrook House, a Scandia Hus-style bungalow called Touchwood (formerly called Carlyn and previously the site of the 1st Felbridge Scout Hut [for further information see Handout, Felbridge Scouting Review, SJC 01/18]), together with access to Yew Trees and the static-home, Clevecote.


In 1935, shortly after work had started on the Wembury Park Estate, William Spurrell, operating as The Wembury Park Estate Ltd., purchased the freehold of ‘land known as Stream Park’ and ‘the strip of land fronting the main road’, excluding a plot in Stream Park that had already been sold to Jack Rogers (later developed as 17, Stream Park) and field no.13 on which Stream Cottage stood.  Wembury Estate Ltd. purchased the land from Major Stewart Inglis of Ye Old Felbridge Hotel [for further information see Handouts, Old Felbridge House and The Feld, SJC 02/01, Eating and Drinking Establishments in Felbridge, Pt. 1, SJC 05/07, Felbridge Remembers their World War I Heroes, Pt. III, JIC/SJC 07/17 and  Builders of Felbridge – W H Heselden & Sons Ltd, MH/JIC/SJC 09/17], and his mortgagees on 7th September 1935, for the sum of £1,400.00.  William Spurrell had already purchased Jack Rogers’ plot on 9th July 1935.


The site of Stream Park, field nos. 28 and 29 totalling just over 9.7 acres, had once been part of the Felbridge Estate, which when put up for sale on 11th February 1911 had been purchased by Emma Harvey and the East Grinstead Estate Company Ltd.  In January 1920 the land had been purchased by Fraser George Baddeley of Weir Cottage, Weybridge, Surrey, for the sum of £2,486.  On 7th November 1925, Fraser George Baddeley, together with Mrs Catherine Emma Lovell of Woodland House, Snow Hill, Sussex, sold the site, by then amounting to 8.1 acres, to Edith Mary Dix, wife of Arthur Harold Dix, of Forest Dene, Worth, Sussex, for the sum of £2,400.  The description, as given in the Abstract of Title for 19, StreamPark, was as follows:


All those freehold pieces or parcels of land known as Stream Place Market Garden site at Felbridge in the Parish of East Grinstead in the County of Sussex being a portion of the Felbridge Place Estate and more particularly described in the 2nd Schedule thereto.

Together with the cottage bungalow and all other buildings and erections thereon all which said premises are delineated and described in the plan.


On 7th August 1928, Edith Dix, then of Sunny Dene, Grand Avenue, Worthing, sold the property to Major Thomas Stewart Inglis FRIBA, for the sum of £2,200.  On Thursday 24th September 1931, Stewart Inglis put the Stream Park Estate, including Stream Place Nursery with glasshouses, 16 building plots in Stream Park, a ‘well built detached house’ (Stream Cottage), a timber-built bungalow in Stream Park, 1 building plot off Furze Lane and 6 semi-detached cottages in Rowplatt Lane up for auction; another building plot off Furze Lane had already been sold prior to the auction.  Not all of the properties or building plots sold, thus on 7th September 1935, William Spurrell operating as The Wembury Park Estate Ltd, purchased from Major Thomas Stewart Inglis and his mortgagees the Stream Park Estate described as follows:


All those pieces or parcels of land situate at Felbridge in the Parish of East Grinstead in the County of Sussex as the same were known as the Stream Park Estate and were with their boundaries abuttals and dimensions (be the same little more or less) for the purpose of identification only and not by way of limitation or enlargement more particularly delineated and described in the plan annexed thereto and thereon numbered 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 18 and 19 and marked “Roadway” but not including any portion of the brook lying on or towards the North Eastern side of the hereditaments thereby conveyed.  


The Wembury Estate Ltd., along with their successor’s in title, was also given the right of way over the private roadway leading to StreamPark and were requested that they pay a reasonable proportion of the expenses incurred for maintaining and repairing the roadway. 


One of the first residents to move into Stream Park was the Jones family, Ernest George Jones (known as Ern or Ernie), an agricultural implement engineer, his wife Margery Janett née Williams (known as Madge, Jane or Janie) and their son Antony John Willoughby (known as Tony), who purchased 19, Stream Park on 24th July 1936.  They named the bungalow Anjowies, reputedly made up of the first two letters taken from each of the names of their son Antony John Willoughby and the last two from Jones


Ernest George Jones had been born in Abington, Northamptonshire, but had moved extensively across several counties in southern England in his youth with regard to his father Frederick’s search for work.  Ern left the family and finally settled in the Sharpthorne/West Hoathly area when the Jones family split up after leaving Whalesbeach Farm, Forest Row.  In 1927, Ern married Margery Janett Williams of Monks Hill, Forest Row, and the couple started their married life at Violet Cottage, Sharpthorne.  In 1931, they had their one and only child, Antony John Willoughby, and in 1936 moved to a new bungalow in StreamPark.  Ernest Jones died in 1964, but Margery continued to live at 19, StreamPark, until the early 1990’s when she moved to a nursing home where she spent the remainder of her life.  After the death of Margery in 1993, 19, StreamPark was rented out by members of the Jones family until September 1999 when it was eventually sold, ending a sixty-three year association with the property.


The following is taken from the memories of Tony Jones of his early life at StreamPark:     

StreamPark was being developed from about 1934 [1935 Ed.] by a person by the name of Mr Spurrell; he developed Stream Park and Wembury Park.  Stream Park were bungalows, Wembury Park were houses.  Jack Rogers [a carpenter and joiner Ed.] was the Foreman for Spurrell.  Now, we couldn’t move in until 1936 and we were the second people to move into Stream Park, which is a circle of bungalows.  The original road went down by Stern’s property [now the site of The Feld Ed.] but when Stream Park was sold off, the owner of Stream Park, said that as Stream Cottage was his gardener’s cottage, he didn’t want him to loose his access.  So if you go into Stream Park you’ll find that no.1 starts about a third of the way round on the right, that being where the road originally went.  The road was then moved over to where it is now so that the person in Stream Cottage could have access out to the main road.  We went in then, as I say, as the second family.  The first family in there was a person called Spillard, and he was a haulage contractor, he used to store his lorries [American style heavy haulage trucks Ed.] up the side where my son now has a Scandia Hus, [Tyebrook House Ed.]. 


When we moved to StreamPark, the bungalow was £550 new.  We did have gas, lighting – electricity lighting and an Ideal coke boiler for our central heating, but not for radiators and such like, just hot water and your bath.  They were big plots, our plot was nearly an acre in size at the back and my father started up his trade in the agricultural business then.  The plot was so big that we didn’t dig the garden; we ploughed it and put sheds up.  In those days if you did work for farmers and such like, they didn’t have money to pay for the job, you bartered, and the number of cars we used to receive in payment for the jobs that we did or carried out, was unbelievable.  We had more cars on our place than we did machinery sometimes.


We lived in StreamPark until 1939/40 when the war started.  I can remember it well, there were some bombs dropped at the back of StreamPark and the whole of the roofs and coal bunkers were covered in soil.  So my father said, “We’re not living here”, and as war was coming, “We’ll get a shop in East Grinstead so that we can get food as the war progresses” [the Jones family moved to 94, Railway Approach from where they ran a grocery store for the duration of the war, renting out 19, Stream Park, and moving back to the bungalow in the early 1950’s Ed.].  Because in those days they all thought six months and the war will be over.  Also at the same time, Blacklands Farm, which was a Girl Guides holiday camp, had to be farmed and produce food, so my father and his brother took on farming Blacklands Farm all through the war; Guides still coming all through the war.


When we were at StreamPark and the war was starting, up where we now have a mobile home [Clevecote Ed.], there was a ranch style wooden building, long building, it was typically American.  It was about three feet off the ground on stumps, with a veranda on it, and that had been another gardener’s cottage and it had also been where Jack Rogers lived [by 1939 Jack Rogers had moved to 29, King Georges Avenue, East Grinstead Ed.].  As the place [Stream Park Ed.] was developed, by 1939 they’d done about two thirds of the bungalows round there and when the war started they had to leave off.  In the garden next to us there used to be the underground boilers for the big nursery, with big glasshouses and everything.  For the heating of the boilers you dug down into the ground about twelve feet so that you got your boilers low, to get your water flow to shove it [heat Ed.] round.  So we knocked the old hut [ranch style bungalow Ed.] down, brought it down and put it over the old pit where the boilers all were and turned that into an air raid shelter.  To my knowledge it is still there, but covered over.  We boarded it all over, covered it back over with soil and brought it back to being a real garden, so it could well still be down there’.


The Spillards referred to above, were Sidney and Annie Spillard, who were living at 4, StreamPark.  Sidney had been born in Gosport, Hampshire, and was the son of Charles Spillard, a soldier in the Royal Engineers who was an engineer in charge of ‘Defence Electric Light Machinery’ and was also employed as an instructor.  Sidney left Hampshire (date and reason not yet established) and married Annie Alice York in East Grinstead in 1933, moving to 4, StreamPark in the spring of 1936.  However, their stay in StreamPark was quite short and by 1939 they had moved to 14, Hermitage Road, East Grinstead; Sidney listed as a ‘contractor – haulage (heavy)’.  They were succeeded at no.4 by John and Ada Berg.  John Berg had been born Isaac Isadore Berg, of Russian descent in Poland, in about 1883.  He married Ada Seager in Birmingham in 1904, and they had four children: Lily Rachel born in Aston, Warwickshire, in 1905, Pauline (also known as Polena) born in Whitechapel, in 1908, Laurence (who later adopted the surname Bentley) born in Shoreditch in 1911 and Augusta born in Hackney in 1919.  In 1939, the Berg family that moved to 4, StreamPark consisted of John and Ada Berg, their daughter Pauline (wife of Hyman Nathan-Mendel) and children, and their son Laurence (Bentley) and his wife Fanny (known as Fay).  In 1939, John Berg was listed as an electrical technical engineer and instrument maker and Laurence Bentley was listed as a tailor and clothier. 


The bungalows being offered for sale in Stream Park were brick built, under a tiled roof and consisted of either two or three bedrooms, with or without a garage.  Two bedroom bungalows measured 37ft (11.3m) long by 23ft 6ins (7.2m) wide with a living room with a small half hexagonal bay window over-looking the front, adjacent to a porch on the right hand corner.  The living room and porch led into the hall off which there was a bathroom on the right, one bedroom on the left and another at the end of the hall on the left over-looking the rear garden, with the kitchen on the right, also over-looking the rear.  A 3-bedroom bungalow measured the same 37ft (11.3m) long by 23ft 6ins (7.2m) wide but it had a smaller living room on the left with a rectangular bay window over looking the front, adjacent to the third bedroom at the front on the right.  The front access to the property was via a door in the right hand wall between the third bedroom and the bathroom.  This entrance led to the hall off which were located the third bedroom and living room at the front; turning to the right and heading to the rear of the bungalow was the second bedroom on the left, opposite the bathroom, and at the end of the hall, the main bedroom on the left over-looking the rear and the kitchen on the right, also over-looking the rear.  The kitchen also had a door, giving access to the rear in the right hand wall, the other side of the bathroom.  A common description for a 3-bedroom bungalow was as follows:


WELL BUILT Detached BUNGALOW Residences, situated on this residential Estate at North End, East Grinstead.  Only 3 minutes walk from the Bus & Coach route. 

1 mile from the Town.


Drainage.  Electricity.  Gas.

Main Water.  Low Rates.

 Large Garden with each Bungalow.

 £5 Down secures

£20 Down on possession

Balance 15/- per week

 Price ….. £550….. FREEHOLD


Each plot had a good sized front garden and large rear garden with ample room to one side of the bungalow for a garage or off-road parking.  The owners of each bungalow were responsible for the maintenance and repair of the section of road outside their property and for the maintenance of the verges and wedge shaped piece of the central green in front of their property.


By 29th September 1939, only fourteen of the proposed twenty-one bungalows had been completed and were occupied (plots 5 to 11 were still to be developed).  Earlier that year on 23rd May 1939, William Spurrell of Wayside, Woodcock Hill, Felbridge, East Grinstead, had been requested to attend a bankruptcy hearing, being declared bankrupt on 3rd September 1941.  There are perhaps three reasons for why William Spurrell was declared bankrupt.  Firstly he was probably suffering cash flow problems with money still tied up in two un-sold detached dwellings in Wembury Park; secondly, in offering the bungalows in Stream Park for sale at a total of £25 on deposit/possession and then weekly payments of 15/- for the balance, it could take up to two and half years for him to receive full payment for each bungalow; and thirdly, World War II must have affected numerous factors regarding developments, from materials and workforce to potential buyers.


After the end of World War II, the remainder of StreamPark remained un-developed until 1958, when on 11th September 1958, Ernest George Jones purchased the plots, together with a trackway adjacent to Stream Cottage, primarily to gain access to The Birches, the recently acquired site of his expanding agricultural business and premises.  It has not yet been established who built the remaining seven bungalows but a story passed down through the Jones family is that ‘the builder [no name mentioned Ed.] bought one plot at a time off dad.  He built a bungalow and then sold it.  With the money he got from the sale, he then bought the next plot, and so on until StreamPark was finished’.  From map evidence, the remaining seven bungalows were all built by the mid 1960’s.  


Cecil A Sharp FRIBA

Cecil Alexander Sharp was born in Woburn, Bedfordshire, on 8th October 1869, the eldest of three children of Alfred Thomas Sharp and his wife Elizabeth Ann née Wakelin; the other two children being Albert Duncan William John born in February 1817 and Lilian born in 1872.  In 1871, the Sharp family were living at the Union Workhouse, Woburn, where Alfred was the Master of the Workhouse and Elizabeth was the Matron.  Sadly, Alfred Sharp died in early 1873, aged just thirty-one and in 1875, Elizabeth re-married, her second husband being Frederick Harston.  In 1880, Elizabeth and Frederick Harston had twin daughters, Frederica Elizabeth and Beatrice Fanny and in 1881 the Harston family, including Lilian Sharp, but not Cecil or Albert Sharp, were living at Marston Green Cottage Homes, Coleshill, Warwickshire, where Frederick was employed as the Superintendent and Elizabeth as the Housekeeper.  The Marston Green Cottage Homes, opened in 1879, was one of the first of its kind, established by the Birmingham Poor Law Guardians, with the view of removing poor children from the workhouse system.  The Marston Green Cottage Homes were built as a complex of fourteen individual dwellings; seven cottages each housing a group of up to thirty boys and the other seven a group of up to thirty girls; each cottage under the care of a pair of foster parents.  Unfortunately it has not yet been possible to locate Cecil or his brother in the 1881 census records.


However, in 1891, Cecil had re-joined his mother in the Harston family household, which was by then residing at the Kensington and Chelsea District Cottage Home School situated in Banstead, Ewell, Surrey, where Elizabeth was working as the Matron of the ‘Pauper School’ and Frederick as the Superintendent.  This establishment for the care of poor children had been built in 1878/9 to a design by A & C Harston and was described as giving the impression of a ‘well designed model village, delightfully placed amid country surroundings of woodland and downs’.  It is known that Cecil trained as an architect with A & C Harston so it probable that he could have been lodging near their London offices in 1881 and had returned home in 1891, working as an architect.


A & C Harston were brothers Arthur and Christopher (the brothers of Frederick Harston), they ran an architectural partnership based in East India Dock Road, London, that undertook work for a number of Poor Law Authorities, especially in and around the Metropolitan area.  Besides the Kensington and Chelsea District and Cottage Home School they were responsible for the design of the following hospitals, asylums and public buildings: Bethnal Green Poor Law Schools, Chelsea Union Casual Wards, the School for Imbecile Children in Darenth, Darenth Park Hospital in Dartford, the Joyce Green Hospital in Dartford, Long Reach Hospital in Dartford, Orchard Hospital in Dartford, the Southern Hospital in Dartford, the North-Eastern Fever Hospital in Tottenham, the Poplar & Stepney Sick Asylum, Limehouse Town Hall in Poplar, the Poplar Board of Works Offices, St Pancras Workhouse, Tooting Beck Asylum, the Western Fever Hospital in Fulham, the Town Hall at Newbury Place in Lewisham and the Bromley Public Hall, to name but a few. 

In 1895, Cecil A Sharp was elected as an Associate of the Royal Institute of Architects (RIBA) and started his own practise operating out of Fenchurch Street, London; living at 16, ManorGardens, Holloway.  One of his first large commissions was for the Gateshead Union Cottage Homes, an area of architectural expertise gained through training with his step uncles A & C Hartson and through living much of his youth with parents who were Superintendent/Matron of such institutions.  The homes were opened in 1901 but sadly no longer exist, the Hassockfield Secure Training Centre now occupying the site.  However, the following report on the scheme appeared in Building News in 1897:


The site of these buildings is at ShotleyBridge, near Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and commands a fine view of the surrounding country. Gas and water-mains are in the road fronting the site. The waste-water drainage will be disposed of by irrigation upon the land. Earth-closets are used throughout. The walls are to be built of Tow Law stone—a very hard and close light-coloured local stone; external walls, 18in. thick, internal 9in., and lesser walls of brick. The roofs are covered with New York green Vermont slates. All joinery and fittings are of the best description in deal. The walls of cottages, administrative house, and porter's lodge are plastered internally. The hospital walls are plastered with Adamant, and the wards, lavatories, and bath-rooms of this building have glazed brick dadoes, all angles rounded, and special rounded skirtings next floors. All the joinery in this building has been specially designed, free from all mouldings of a character to collect dust, and attention has been given to the internal finishings, and especially to the light and ventilation, while the arrangement of the hospital generally has been planned in accordance with the latest ideas. The drainage scheme has received special attention; patent glazed channelling has been introduced to the manholes, in which the benching and piping are in one. The drainage is arranged so that at a future time the system may be connected with a sewer. The accommodation is for 120 boys and 90 girls in semidetached cottages, three cottages being for boys and three for girls. The cottages consist of living and dining-room, mother's room, kitchen, lavatory and bath-room on ground-floor, and upon the first floor two bedrooms, mother's bedroom, and linen-room. At the rear of the cottages are placed washhouse, w.c.'s, coal, wood, and earth-stores in a detached building. The workshops are for the technical training of the boys in various trades, and are planned and fitted for this purpose. With this group of buildings is placed the general stores for grocery, haberdashery, &c., and in front of this is the superintendent's quarters and office, committee-room, and. surgery. The porter's lodge consists of an office and living-room and bedroom over, and out-offices. The hospital is situated upon the highest part of the site, and is planned to be available either for general sick or isolation cases. The probation, or receiving, home for children is situate near the porter's lodge, and has every convenience. It is so placed that children, when admitted, are taken direct to the home without passing any other building, and it has a separate drive to the hospital for the same purpose. The contract drawings and general scheme have been somewhat modified in execution to meet the requirements of the Local Government Board. The number of cottages has been increased, and, exclusive of the receiving home, which has been removed to another site, will cost something like £21,000. Mr. Cecil A. Sharp, A.R.I.B.A., of Newcastle and London, is the architect of this work, which was obtained in competition.


In 1898, Cecil A Sharp moved offices to 11, Old Queens Street, Westminster, London.  In September 1900, the Guardians of Wandsworth & Clapham Union appointed Cecil A Sharp as architect for additions to the nurses’ home and kitchen at their Tooting Home on Church Lane.  The drawings, specifications and conditions of contract were put on display at the offices of Cecil A Sharp and tenders for construction were invited.  Each tender had to be accompanied ‘by the bills of quantities fully priced out and sealed in an envelope’.  To ensure they only received ‘bona-fide’ tenders, a deposit of ‘£5 (gold)’ was required, to be returned on receipt.


In the autumn of 1901, Cecil A Sharp married Mary Beatrice Palmer at Droxford, Hampshire.  Mary had been born on 13th February 1872, the daughter of Alfred and Mary Palmer; Alfred being the farmer at Denmead Farm, Hambledon in Hampshire at the time Mary’s marriage.  Cecil and Mary started their married life at Cedar Cottage, Cheam, Surrey, where their first child, Cecilie was born on 11th July 1902; their second child, Alexander Leonard Wakelin was born 18th November 1906, the Sharp family having moved to Felpham, Mulgrave Road, Sutton, Surrey, in 1904.


Between 1901 and 1910, Cecil A Sharp produced a number of designs for public buildings including: a new hospital on Hill Road, Sutton, opened in 1902; London Road School (now called Crowlands Infants School), Romford, in the ‘Arts and Crafts’ style, in conjunction with the architect ASR Ley, opened in 1908; a proposal for a Golf Club-House in February 1909; a new Assistant Master’s house at North Surrey District School on Anerley Hill, Crystal Palace, completed in 1909; and a house called Highhurst Wood, Kingswood, Surrey, in 1909.  As a point of interest, A S R (Algernon Sydney Richard) Ley is known for his design of 5-9, White Church Lane, Tower Hamlets, a large four-storey red-brick clothing factory of 1919-21 and the Anglican Church of the Holy Redeemer, Days Lane, Blackfen, that was built in 1933.


In September 1910, the following appeared in the London Gazette stating:

NOTICE is hereby, given, that the Partnership heretofore subsisting between us the undersigned, Cecil Alexander Sharp and William Lee Clarke, carrying on business as Architects, at 11, Old Queen Street, Westminster, in the city of Westminster, under the style or firm of CECIL SHARP AND LEE CLARKE, was dissolved as from the date hereof by mutual consent. All debts owing-to and by the late firm will be received and paid by Cecil Alexander Sharp, who will continue to practice at the old-address.  


The implication from this notice is that Cecil A Sharp had been in partnership with William Lee Clarke although it has not yet been possible to determine when the partnership was formed.  What is known is that William Lee Clarke (1878-1956) went on to work with H O (Herbert Owen) Ellis (1857-1940) and the Daily Express building at 120-129, Fleet Street is one of their designs.


The break-up of the partnership does not seem to have affected the architectural practise of Cecil A Sharp and the early 1910’s proved to be busy years for him with a design for a house in the Gidea Park development at Romford – 32, Reed Pond Walk; extensions to Kensington and Chelsea District and Cottage Home School designed originally by his step-uncles A & C Harston; a house called Thaxted at Sutton; a house on London Road, North End, East Grinstead (later called Retford, see below), and in 1914, two pairs of ‘week-end cottages’ at Felbridge, Surrey, (nos.17 & 19, and 25 & 27, Crawley Down Road, see below).   Also in November 1914, Cecil A Sharp was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects and around this date, the Sharp family moved from Mulgrave Road, Sutton, to Church Farm House, Cheam.  By 1914, Cecil A Sharp offices had also moved, from 11, Old Queens Street to 2, Verulam Buildings, Finsbury, and then to 11, Buckingham Street, Westminster by 1920.   


In 1919, Cecil A Sharp was one of several architects who submitted designs for the Daily Mail Ideal (Workers’) Homes: Midlands Industrial Area, a competition offering the winning architect a prize of £2,000.  Unfortunately Cecil did not win, the winning entry being submitted by Simmons & Glencross of London.  Sometime around this date, Cecil A Sharp took a London residence at 4, Trevanian Road, Barons Court and moved his offices to 11, Victoria Street, Westminster, advertising from this address in 1923.   However, the Sharp’s did not relinquish Church Farm House and by 1927 they had moved back to Cheam.  In April 1928, Cecil A Sharp designed the house, Stoatswold, Warren Drive, Kingswood, and on 27th July 1928 was elected a member of the South-Eastern Society of Architects.   


In 1937, at the age of sixty-eight, Cecil A Sharp retired, and he and his wife Mary moved to Eastbourne in Sussex, first to Hollingworth, 10B, South Cliff and then by September 1939 to 51, Gildredge Road.  However retirement did not prevent Cecil from actively writing to the local newspaper regarding a wide range of local issues from bad parking to design suggestions and in January 1938, he produced designs for the memorial to the late Frederick Henry Stapley, for HolyTrinityChurch, Eastbourne.  Cecil A Sharp spent the rest of his life in Eastbourne where he died on 18th June 1944, aged seventy-five.  Mary died six years later in 1950, aged seventy-eight.


Besides being an accomplished architect, Cecil A Sharp was also a competent artist and watercolourist.  He produced drawings for the Country and Town magazine as reported by the Shepton Mallet Journal of 1909: ‘Country and Town for October is to hand and contains a capital selection of contents on various subjects.  Our villages and churches is from the pen of Mr. Cecil A. Sharp, illustrated with some splendid views of Carhampton and Meonstoke, Hants…’.  Several of Cecil’s drawings and painting are now also held in the archive at the State Library of Western Australia, submitted by his son Alexander who had emigrated to Freemantle, Western Australia, along with his wife and family, in 1949.  The Library archive contains: a pencil drawing of 11, Old Queen Street, dated 1902; sketches and scaled drawings of a building with a clock tower; a watercolour of the Sharp family home at Church Farm House; a watercolour of a bowl of fruit suspended from an ornate bracket entitled ‘suggestion sign for a shop sign at Cheam’, dated October 1932; architectural drawings and details of St Michael’s Church, Eastbourne; and pencil sketches of other un-identified churches and church details.  Cecil also produced artistic impressions of his proposed designs when built, known impressions include: the Porter’s Lodge, Receiving Wards Block, Girls and Boys Cottages and the Isolation Hospital of the Gateshead Union Cottage Homes; the ‘Arts and Craft’ style house 32, Reed Pond Walk, Gidea Park, a design he used again for the house called Retford at North End, East Grinstead, and week-end cottages at Felbridge that appeared in the sale catalogues for ‘Cuttinglye and It’s Environs’ of 1916/7.  


Nos. 17 & 19 and 25 & 27, Crawley Down Road, Felbridge

These two pairs of semi-detached cottages on the south side of Crawley Down Road were built on land that was once part of Imberhorne manor.  The earliest records list the land as part of a 1¼ acre grazing plot that had been enclosed from East Grinstead Common and tenanted by Carew Sanders in 1828.  In 1854, the land passed from Jane Saunders of the Star Inn, Felbridge, widow of Thomas Saunders [for more information see Handout, The Star, part of The Eating and Drinking Establishments of Felbridge, JIC/SJC03/08], Thomas Saunders, blacksmith of Peel Street, Brighton, and John Saunders, miller of Hedgecourt Mill and Tilkhurst Farm [for more information see Handouts, Hedgecourt Watermill and Cottages, SJC 07/04 and Oak Farm, JIC/SJC 01/13], to William Saunders, grocer and draper of Bletchingley.  In 1862, John Saunders sold the land to George Gatty and the land became part of the Felbridge estate.  On 11th February 1911, the heirs of Charles Gatty, Alfred Leighton Sayer and Charles Lane Sayer [for further information see Handouts, Dr Charles Henry Gatty, SJC 09/03 and 1911 Sale of the Felbridge Estate, SJC 01/11], sold the land as part of the Felbridge estate to Emma Harvey and the East Grinstead Estate Company Ltd, who put the plot up for sale as Lot 10 in May 1911.  The description from the sale catalogue is as follows:





 0a. 3r. 19p.

And numbered 221 on Plan.  It has a valuable frontage of about 300ft. to the Crawley Down Road.



The commuted Tithes for the purpose of Sale are apportioned at 1/-.Present value -/8½


On 10th April 1913, Susannah Emma West and her husband Samuel Joseph West, of Invicta Lodge (who will feature in a future handout of Builders and Architects of Felbridge) [for further information see Handouts, 1911 Sale of the Felbridge Estate, SJC 01/11 and Handout, Builders of Felbridge – W H Heselden & Sons Ltd, MH/JIC/SJC 09/17] borrowed £500 to purchase the land on which the two pairs of semi-detached cottages were built to designs by Cecil A Sharpe by the end of 1916.  On 26th February 1917, the cottages were purchased by the East Grinstead Estate Company Ltd and appeared for sale as lot 11 in the ‘Cuttinglye and It’s Environs’ sale catalogue, another attempt to sell off the Felbridge estate.  The cottages appear not to have sold as they are also featured in the revised edition of the ‘Cuttinglye and It’s Environs’ sale catalogue of July 1917.  In the first edition the sale particulars are as follows:

Week-end Cottages.

Every year sees a pronounced increase in the number of families who, while keeping open their houses in town, maintain a small and quiet cottage in a country village, at which to spend every week end in rest and quiet.


The cottage may be closed during the week, or left in charge of a neighbouring cottager.  The establishment being very simple and very small the problem of domestic service is simplified or eliminated.  It is always possible to find a daughter of a cottager or some other young woman in the village who can attend to the routine duties of a small household, during the few days each week in which it is occupied.


Such a week-end cottage gives one an admirable base from which to make long and delightful journeys through the countryside, by cycle, motor cycle or on foot, and its increasing popularity among lovers of country pleasures is due to the fact that they find it in every way preferable to country inns.  The week-end cottage makes them more independent, and gives them a place in which, under their own roof, they may offer simple and homely hospitality to their friends.


The proximity of such as cottage to the sources of supply and to means of communication with the outside world is of first importance, for if a cottage is too remote from the railway station, shops and post office, a large part of the time and energies which might be given to real enjoyment, must be taken up by the mere routine details of getting the household in order each week.


For those who may desire to erect week-end cottages the estate can offer various attractive sites, also several charming week-end residences ready for occupation.





No. on Plan                                                    Description                                                                            Acres

221                                         Next Post Office.  Site of Four Residences                                     .800


Accompanying the text was a beautiful artistic impression drawn by Cecil A Sharp of what these week-end cottages looked like, with the text: ENJOYING THE CHARM OF THE COUNRY AND CONVENIENCE OF THE VILLAGE.  The bottom of page stated: ‘The above Residences are for Sale as a safe and attractive Freehold Investment.  Particulars from the Office, 200, London Road, East Grinstead’. 


The cottages, when built, were known as 1-4, Felbridge Cottages, with no.1 being nearest to the Post Office (now the Felbridge Village Stores complex of shops) and each pair of cottages was a mirror image of the one adjacent, built in the ‘Arts and Crafts’ style, popular of the era. 


1910 Ordnance Survey map extract showing plot 221


Each pair of cottages was built as a long range parallel to the road with a cottage style roof height such that the eaves were level with the first floor window sills.  In the centre there was a large gabled face-wing towards the road enabling large rectangular leaded-light windows to illuminate the ground and first floor principal rooms.  The front door was adjacent to the face-wing and set under the roof line to provide shelter.  At the ends of the building there was a 1½ storey ‘addition’ and a small front facing dormer window, these ‘additions’ were designed to give the appearance of organic growth and adaptation of the building, but they were identical at both ends and were part of the original build.  At the rear of the house, the end ‘addition’ had a catslide roof over an open veranda.  There was a large multi-flue chimney stack in the centre of the cottages.  The walls were rendered brick with dressed stone details at the lower corners.  The interior had exposed beams and carpentry. 


For ease of understanding, the following is a breakdown of the numbering/naming of the week-end cottages:

1, Felbridge Cottages, next the Post Office, was named The Waldrons in 1928, now 27, Crawley Down Road after the allocation of numbers for Crawley Down Road.

2, Felbridge Cottages, the mirror image of no1.was named Woodhurst in 1928, now 25, Crawley Down Road.

3, Felbridge Cottages, the right-hand cottage of the second pair of semis was named Lydd in 1919, then re-named Good Rest in 1921, then Littlecote in 1933, now 19, Crawley Down Road.

4, Felbridge Cottages, the furthest from the Post Office and the mirror image of no.3 was named Felcot in 1927, now 17, Crawley Down Road.


Although the cottages were advertised as ‘week-end’ cottages it would appear that the people who lived in them were not looking to live in the countryside only on a weekend, but on a permanent basis.  Using the Electoral Rolls it is possible to determine who lived in which cottage and from when and it is fortunate that the Felbridge archive has a copy of the schedule of deeds and a sale catalogue for what is now 19, Crawley Down Road.  All the people who initially took up residence in the cottages moved from outside of the Felbridge area and many were single women, either un-married or widowed.  As established above the plot of land on which the cottages stand was purchased in 1911 from the East Grinstead Estate Company Ltd. and developed by Susannah West, the wife of Samuel West, who lived at Invicta Lodge (now Ebor Lodge on the London Road, just past St John’s church) to designs by Cecil A Sharp.  The East Grinstead Estate Company re-purchased the finished dwellings and advertised them for sale in their sale catalogue of 1917 and it would appear that all four cottages had sold by 1918.  For ease of reference the modern property numbers will be used starting with what was originally 4, Felbridge Cottages now 17, Crawley Down Road.


17, Crawley Down Road (Felcot)

In 1918, this cottage was in the occupation of brother and sister, Lee James Edwards and Louisa Amelia Edwards, the pair having moved from 64, Foxley Lane, Purley.  James had been born in Southampton in 1858 and Louisa had been born in Kensington in 1862, both the children of Robert Edwards, a distiller, and his wife Clara.  Other siblings included: Walter Robert born in 1853, Jessie Clara born in 1856 and John Stuart born in 1861, the first two children born in Southampton and the last in Kensington.  Lee trained as an auctioneer and surveyor and in 1881 was living at Wykeham House, Burnt Ash Hill, Lee, Kent, and in 1901 and 1911 was living at Lee Cottage, Weston Green, Thames Ditton.  Shortly after their move to Felbridge, Louisa died on 11th April 1919 and was buried at St John’s church, Felbridge.  Lee continued to live at the cottage until 1928/9 when he moved to of Leecot, Princes Street, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, and sold Felcot to Miss Agnes Constance Allen.  Lee Edwards later moved to the Lansdowne Nursing Home in Tunbridge Wells where he died on 20th April 1936, aged seventy-eight, and was also buried at St John’s church, Felbridge.  


Agnes Constance Allen had been born in Salford, Lancashire, in 1878, the daughter of clergyman Edward John Allen and his wife Emma Mary née Turner.  Agnes had at least eight siblings, including: Alice Margaret born in 1862, Walter B born in 1865, Frank E born about 1866, Katherine Mary born in 1868, Eleanor Frances born in 1869, Ellen Gertrude born in 1873, John Derwent born in 1875 and Charles Wilfred born in 1880.  The Allen family moved to Sussex and in 1901 were living at Oswestry House, Eastbourne.  After the death of Edward Allen in 1905, his widow Ellen and two of their daughters, Ellen Gertrude and Agnes Constance moved to Trubreeke, Haywards Heath, Sussex, from where she died in 1920.  It is not yet known what happened to Ellen Gertrude, but by 1928/9 Agnes had moved to the cottage known as Felcot in Felbridge, where she lived on her own, until her death on 16th May 1935, being succeeded at the cottage by Miss Winifred Letitia Round.


Winifred Letitia Round had been born in Forest Hill, Lewisham, on 15th December 1893, the daughter of Fredrick James Round, a Lloyd’s Underwriter, and his wife Kathleen Lillian née Eschwege.  Winifred’s siblings included; Kathleen Edith born in 1895 and Arthur Fredrick born in 1896.  By 1901, the Round family were living at Pinehurst, 58, Surrey Road, Bournemouth, Hampshire.  However, in 1914, Winifred’s father died and after the death of her mother in 1934, Winifred moved to Felcot.  During her time in Felbridge Winifred became very involved in the community.  During World War II, Red Cross classes were given from her home [for further information see Handout, Wartime Memories, Felbridge at War 1939-1945, SP.06/05] and, as a long standing member of the WRVS (Women’s Royal voluntary Service), she was one of the founder members of the Felbridge Darby and Joan Luncheon Club [for further information see Handout, The Origins of the Felbridge Luncheon Club, SJC 11/15].  It has not yet been established when Winifred Round left Felbridge but she died on 21st September 1974, in Dorchester, Dorset.


Today, Felcot has been extended at the east end and comprises, on the ground floor, entrance hall leading to a large sitting room to the right, a study straight ahead, and a large kitchen, breakfast room on the left leading to a conservatory.  Stairs lead from the entrance hall to the first floor, which comprises: a landing leading to bedrooms 2 and 3 over the sitting room, bedroom 4 over the study, bedroom 1 with en-suite over the kitchen/breakfast room and a bathroom between this bedroom and the stairs.  A garage/workshop has also been built at the east end


19, Crawley Down Road (Lydd/Goodrest/Littlecote)

In March 1918, Grace Chitty Cobb, of 2, BlackheathPark, Blackheath, purchased the cottage for the sum of £450. At the time of purchase, Grace Chitty Cobb was a widow, having lost her husband on 30th August 1911.  Grace had been born Grace Chitty Haycraft in Greenwich in March 1873, the daughter of Alfred Conyers Haycraft, a master carpenter from Lancashire, and his wife Harriet Bertha née Corder.  Grace’s siblings included: Bertha Rebecca born in 1869, Harriet Katie born in 1870, Clendon Conyers born in 1877 and Florence Margaret born about 1881; all born in Blackheath except Florence who was born in Brighton, Sussex.  The Haycraft family seem to have moved around quite a bit during Grace’s youth; in 1871 they were living in Hastings, in 1881 in Hove and by 1891 they were back at Blackheath.  On 10th September 1895, Grace married Hamilton Smyth Cobb, a clergyman, eighteen years her senior, who at the time of their marriage was the curate of St Mark’s, Lewisham.  Hamilton had been born in Greenwich in 1855, the son of Thomas Cobb, a Schoolmaster, and his wife Sarah Ann Hutchinson née Searles.  In 1897, Grace and Hamilton had their first and only child, Jessie Hamilton Cobb, born in Lewisham.  In 1901, the Cobb family had moved to the Cloister’s Precinct in Rochester, living at 2, Junior Canon Row and by 1911 they had moved to the Choir School House.  Unfortunately it has not yet been possible to determine where Grace lived immediately after the death of her husband other than the address at which she was living in Blackheath in 1918 when she bought the cottage in Felbridge, which she named Lydd.  Grace only lived at Lydd for two years before selling the property to Eliza Frances Byerley Parkes.  Grace then moved from the area and died on 9th February 1949, of West Croft Terrace, Bideford, Devon.  


Eliza Frances Byerley Parkes purchased Lydd on 11th November 1920.  Eliza had been born in Kilburn, Middlesex, in 1858, the daughter of Thomas William Parkes, an attorney and solicitor, and his wife Eliza née Sewell, the daughter of a gentleman.  Grace had one brother, Robert Byerley Parkes born in 1862.  Grace never married and in 1881 was working as a Governess, still living with her parents at 2, Richmond Villas, 2, Boston Road, Hanwell, London.  Unfortunately it has not been possible to determine where she was in 1891, but in 1901 Grace was visiting a friend, Mary Robertson, a hospital nurse who was living at Fern Lodge in Bournemouth, Hampshire.  In 1911, Grace was working as the Matron of and living at Rustington Convalescent Home, Littlehampton, Sussex, and by 1920 was living at Dorhurst, Dormans Park, near East Grinstead, Sussex, before moving to the cottage called Lydd which she renamed, Goodrest.  Grace was to live at Goodrest until her death on 12th August 1931, when her estate passed to Public Trustee and in 1932, Mrs H M Godsel was living at Goodrest, although nothing more is known about her.  However, in 1933 Goodrest was purchased by Ernest Edward and Rosie Lillian Briscoe.


Ernest and Rosie Briscoe moved to Felbridge from Beech Cottage, Caterham, Surrey, and on the purchase of Goodrest, re-named it Littlecote, the name it is still known by today.  Ernest was an artist and illustrator and his life and works will form part of a future handout called Artists and Illustrators of Felbridge.  The Briscoes remained at Littlecote until 1936 when they sold the property to Douglas and Beatrice Edna Roberts, descendants of whom still live in and around the Felbridge area.


Today, Littlecote has been extended at the west end and comprises, on the ground floor, entrance hall leading to a large open-plan lounge/dining room to the right and a large kitchen/breakfast room with utility room on the left.  Stairs lead from the entrance hall to the first floor, which comprises: a landing leading to three en-suite bedrooms, one smaller bedroom and a bathroom.  The property also now incorporates a double garage at the west end.


25, Crawley Down Road (Woodhurst)

In 1918, the cottage was purchased by Florence Letitia Whittell.  Florence had been born in Bideston, Suffolk, in 1869, the daughter of William Whittell, a plumber, and his wife Letitia née Steggall.  Florence had two siblings born of William and Letitia, Frederick Steggall born in 1868 and Julia born in 1871; both children born in Bildeston.  However, Letitia died shortly after the birth of daughter Julia, aged just twenty-nine, and William took a second wife, Jane Manning, whom he married later in 1871.  Through this marriage, Florence had a further three half-siblings, William Manning born in 1872, Kate Elizabeth born in 1874 and Ernest Henry born in 1876; all three children born in Bildeston.  In 1881, Florence had left the family home in Bildeston and was living with her aunt, Sarah Whittell, at 43, Upper Park Street, Islington, where Sarah was housekeeper for Henry Titmuss.  Florence lived at this address until the death of Henry in 1904.  Unfortunately it has not yet been possible to determine where Florence went after 1904 until 1918 when she purchased 2, Felbridge Cottage. She lived at Felbridge Cottage until 1926, when she sold the property to Edward William Bridges Hutt and his wife Florence.  As for Florence Whittell, she moved to Burbank, Stafford Road, Caterham, Surrey and died in Torquay in Devon on 13th December 1940.


Edward William Bridges Hutt had been born in Trumpington, Cambridgeshire, in 1865, the son of George Edward Hutt, a School Master and his wife Emily Louisa née Bridges.  Edward had one brother called Frederick G F born in 1870.  However, their mother died in 1873, aged just twenty-nine, and George took a second wife, Emma Frettingham, whom he married in 1875.  Through this marriage, Edward had at least a further six half-siblings, Sydney George born in 1876, Arthur Frettingham born 1878, Emily Mary born in 1879, Annie Louisa born in 1881, Ethel Maud born in 1890 and Stanley John born in 1891.  Edward trained as a builder, later working as a builder’s surveyor, and married Florence Elliott in Marylebone on 24th June 1893.  Florence had been born in 1872, the daughter of George Robert Elliott, a commercial clerk, and his wife Kate née Randell.  Edward and Florence had one child, Gladys Ethel, born in Camberwell in 1894.  By 1911 the Hutt family were living at 19, Windermere Avenue, Willesden.  Unfortunately it has not yet been possible to determine where they were after this date but in 1928 they were living at the cottage in Felbridge, which they named Woodhurst.  The last entry for the Hutt’s at Woodhurst is 1929 and in 1931 sisters Nellie Sandeman and Florence Curtis were living at the property.  Edward William Bridges Hutt died on 3rd March 1936, of 10, Ethelred Road, Worthing.


Florence Curtis had been living in Felbridge since at least 1928, at The Firs, Crawley Down Road, with her brother Frederick, until his death in 1929.  Florence’s older sister, Nellie Sandeman, also lost her husband, Charles Henry Sandeman, in 1929 and the two sisters decided to live together and moved to Woodhurst.  Florence and Nellie were both very artistic, a gift they got from their father Frederick Curtis, and they both designed cards.  As artists and illustrators, the life and works of Florence Curtis and Nellie Sandeman, like Ernest Edward Briscoe (see above), will form part of a future handout called Artists and Illustrators of Felbridge.  However, Nellie Sandeman died at Woodhurst in 1943, aged seventy-six and Florence continued to live at Woodhurst until 1949 when the property was purchased by Henry F and Lillian Bryan.  Florence Curtis died in 1955, aged seventy-six. 


Today Woodhurst has been extended at the east end but no plans are currently available to determine the layout of the interior.


27, Crawley Down Road (The Waldrons)   

In 1918, the cottage was purchased by Loney Elsie Holman, widow of John Holman, who, in 1911, had been living at 34, Hamilton Road, Summertown, Oxford.  Loney (sometimes written as Louey) Elsie Holman had been born in Bideford, Devon, in 1857, the daughter of John Squire, a grocer, and his wife Annie née Brown.  Loney’s siblings included: Annie Eda born in 1855 and Isa Tuck born in 1859; both born in Bideford.  In 1879, Loney married John Fishley Shepherd Holman, a butcher and farmer of Bideford.  Loney and John had at least six children including; John Bertram born in 1880, Annie Squire born in 1883, probably Hedley Richard who was born and sadly died in 1885, Thomas Henry Victor born in 1887, William Stanley born in 1891 and George Harold born in 1894.  By 1901, the Holman family had left Devon and had moved to 6, Woodland Gardens, Muswell Hill, Middlesex; John senior listed as a retired farmer living on ‘own means’.  However, John Holman died two years later on 12th October 1903, of Abbey Farm, Eynsham, Oxfordshire, and by 1911, Loney, together with children Thomas, a grocer’s assistant, Ada and George, an accounts clerk, had moved to 34, Hamilton Road, Summertown, Oxford.  It would appear that Loney may have originally moved to the cottage in Felbridge on her own, being joined by her daughter Ada in 1922/3.  Mother and daughter lived at the cottage until 1928 when they were succeeded by Rev. Walter B Taylor and his wife Ellen who named the cottage, The Waldrons, but they had left by 1929 when Albert and Lilian Duck purchased the property.  Loney Elsie Holman died on 25th Jan 1949, of 11, Willis Road, Southampton.


Albert George Duck had been born in Horselydown, Surrey, on 7th May 1866, the son of Albert George Duck, a gas fitter and brass finisher, and his wife Ann née Mason.  Albert’s siblings included: Annie Emma born in 1867, Jessie Sarah born in 1869, Frederick James born in 1871, Kelvin J born about 1872, Kate born in 1874 and Henry William born in 1881; all born in Horselydown.  In 1891, Albert was still living at home with his parents at 211, Tooley Street, Horeslydown, working as a sanitary inspector.  On 14th June 1894, Albert married Alice Watkins, the daughter of William Watkins, a boot maker, and they appear to have had a daughter, Amy Alice born in Woolwich in the summer of 1895 but who had sadly died, along with her mother Alice, aged just twenty-six, in the autumn of 1895.  In 1904, Albert took a second wife, Elizabeth Hannah Hutchinson, seven years his junior, and in 1911 the couple were living at 5, Paget Terrace, Plumstead, Surrey; Albert working as the Chief Sanitary Inspector for the Borough Council.  Sadly Elizabeth died in 1922 aged fifty; the couple appear not to have had any children.  In 1923, Albert married for the third time, Lilian Mary Hollist.  By now Albert was fifty-seven years of age and Lilian was twenty-one years his junior, having been born in Camberwell, on 10th June 1887, the only child of William Hollist, a carpenter and joiner, and his wife Ann née Newton (also known as Annie).  By 1909, the Hollist family were living in Eastbourne, Sussex, where William died, aged just fifty-two.  In 1911, Lilian and her mother were living at 11, Ceylon Place, Eastbourne.  However, in 1923 when Lilian married, the marriage was registered in Lewes, Sussex; Lilian working as a school teacher.  In 1929, Albert and Lilian Duck moved to The Waldrons, where Albert would remain until his death in 1957 and Lilian remained until her death in 1977.


Today The Waldrons has been extended at the west end and a single storey garage has been built, projecting forward of the property.  However, no plans are currently available to determine the layout of the interior.


Retford, London Road, North End

The property known as Retford was built on a plot of land, once part of Stream Farm, part of the Felbridge estate.  Although the house and land to the west of Stream Farm was put up for sale in the 1911 auction, its land holding on the east side of the main London road, extending from Felbridge Water up to what is now Sackville Lane, were not put up for auction until 1913, being advertised as follows:


Small Properties.

For Residential Development and Intensive Culture.


The present is pre-eminently the day of the so-called “Small Holder”, and serious thinkers agree that the encouragement of this l-class of land-owner is a prime duty with all who hold the welfare of our country dear.  The abstract feeling of patriotism may animate the soul of the landless, but how much brighter burns the flame when the love of hearth and home implies ownership of good English soil. Apart from sentiment, too, how good an investment must be to have a tangible, ever-present interest where the seeds of labour and produce being forth the fruit of competency.  Moreover, ownership of the land is the surest foundation of success in its cultivation.


It has been truthfully said that the man who owns a bleak and rugged rock will turn it to better account than the man who leases a fertile field.  But the freeholds here offered are not poor lands – they are rich lands, well adapted to the requirements of the “Small Holder”, and offer him a rich recompense for his investment and labour.


The following parcels of varying sizes to suit different purposes should be of interest to all prudent investors in landed property, for the burdens are but light when compared with the advantages enjoyed.


Stream Farm Building Land.


Comprises a number of freehold plots, having frontages of seventy feet on the main London road with a depth of two hundred feet.  The land, which is now sound pasture, faces south-west and lies on the confines of East Grinstead, a little more than a mile from the railway station, and adjacent to the point to which the paths are made up and the road lighted.  It is absolutely ripe for development.


These plots offer very attractive site, which should rapidly increase in value, for the erection of small and moderate-sized villas.


Additional back land suitable for almost any form of culture or poultry farming may be had, if desired, at moderate prices in large and small lots.




19 pt.









66 pt.
















The plot on which Retford stands, was part of plot 66, however, the accompanying sale plan of 1913 indicates that by the time of the auction, plots 66 and 1076 had already been sold.  From the Land Registry it would appear that Susannah West, wife of Samuel West, of Invicta Lodge, London Road, Felbridge, purchased a strip of plot 66 in October 1911 and used a design by Cecil A Sharp for the construction of Retford; the same architect she had used for 17 & 19, and 25 & 27, Crawley Down Road (see above).  It is known that Retford had been built by 1914 as Samuel West sent a picture postcard of the house, with a personal message, to a Harry Morris, who was lodging with Mr and Mrs Orsova at Tilbury Docks.  The house in the postcard looks to have been very recently constructed with an overly neat front garden and sparse planting.



1911 Sale Plan, Retford being later built within plot 66


An interesting observation point about Retford is that Cecil A Sharp had re-used a design that he had previously used in 1911 for a ‘cottage’ built in the Romford Garden Suburb.  The only difference between the two houses is that in the original design there is a bay-window on the end wall of the house, whereas at Retford it is at the front of the house, adjacent to the front door.


Romford Garden Suburb, now known as GideaPark, was a new Garden Suburb built in 1910-11 on the grounds of the estates of Gidea Hall and Balgores.  A competition was held to select the best town planning scheme for the suburb and the small cottages and houses were designed by over a hundred architects.  The cottages sold for £375 and the houses sold £500, well-above average prices for the time.  A design by Cecil A Sharp was chosen and became house 32, Reed Pond Walk (now numbered 31).   These ‘exhibition houses’ set in their garden suburb, are now considered to be some of the finest examples of domestic architecture of their era and six of them are now Grade II listed, unfortunately the one designed by Cecil A Sharp is not one of these six.


The following is the article on Cecil A Sharp’s Reed Pond House at GideaPark that appeared in The Hundred Best Houses, the book that accompanied the exhibition of houses and cottages of the Romford Garden Suburb in 1911; the same description would equally apply to Retford:

The cottage is architecturally based upon the ideas prevalent during Tudor time, but, of course, with modern adaptations to suit the tastes of those likely to occupy the cottage.  Aspect has been well considered to give ample and proper sunlight to each apartment and to secure a pleasant outlook.


Two rooms and the Entrance Hall upon the Ground Floor may be thrown into one Large room at will by the easy removal of a few panelled partitions, which, when in position, form the panelling to the rooms.  This is an undoubted convenience in a small cottage, as by having one large room in the summer time an air of spaciousness is given.


The Kitchen and Scullery are planned as one large room, all the fittings being conveniently arranged.  Modern sanitary fittings are of such character that it is no longer necessary to confine them to a separate department.  This arrangement gives spaciousness to what would otherwise be a cramped, confined, and inconvenient department.  Upon the Ground Floor, in addition to the Kitchen and Living Rooms, provision is made for a Good Staircase, Larder (not facing south), coals and Sanitary Convenience (not next to the Larder, as it is sometimes found to be).


Architectural effect has been sought by proportion of parts, roofing and the skyline, and the effective use of material, avoiding expensive and elaborate detail work, which is seldom found in the work of the old cottage builders.


The walls are of hard bricks in good mortar without the unnatural aid of “pointing”, which spoils softness of line and ruins the colour scheme.  To keep out the weather cement-coloured or pale cream has been used to cover the work externally, except where red facing bricks are seen.  The red facing bricks vary in colour from dark or nearly black brindle colour to yellows, with all shades of red laid at random, and not in any way selected, and with this work is incorporated random pieces of tile work, pieces of burred brick and stone.  Ham Hill stone has been judiciously used.  The windows are of the casement pattern, with leaded lights, carefully proportioned, and having antique fittings.


The Roof is a covering of soft, sand-faced red tiles, avoiding all hard lines by cocking up the gables, sides, and hips and valley tiles.


The interior of the cottage is of a quaint and old world appearance, with its ceiling beams and rafters exposed, and all coloured a dark oak colour.  The brick fireplaces are large and open, with thin red tile hearths.  The mantelpieces are of wood, and there are cosy window seats.


The cottage has been furnished by Messrs. Hampton & Sons, under the direction and supervision of the architect, in the William and Mary period, and the cost of this furnishing has been kept within the possibilities of the means of those likely to occupy the cottage, nothing of an extravagant nature having been included.


What is not commented upon in the above article is the first floor, which contained two good sized bedrooms over the main living area and entrance hall of the ground floor, with two small bedrooms and a bathroom over the ground floor kitchen and scullery area.  All four bedrooms had small fireplaces for heating.


Comparing the plans for the house at Reed Pond Walk with those of Retford, the bay window, if left on the end wall of Retford, would not have given a very good outlook or light and would have compromised entry to the rear garden.  Also, Ham Hill stone was unlikely to have been used in the construction of Retford, it would more likely have been stone quarried locally to Felbridge. The builders used for the Reed Pond Walk House were G E Hough & Co, who appear to have been responsible for building several properties in the Romford Garden Suburb, but again it is more likely that a local building firm constructed Retford, but sadly it has not yet been possible to determine who they were.  Likewise, it has not yet been possible to determine who occupied the property until it was purchased by Cecil Courtney Brook Chorley, giving it the name of ‘Retford’.


Cecil Courtney Brook Chorley had been born in London, on 10th February 1881, the son of Francis Weeks Chorley MA and his wife, divorcee Margaret Butcher, formerly Margaret Gardner.  In 1891, Francis Weeks Chorley, a Clerk in Holy Orders, was lodging with John Heatley, a brick layer, and his family at Great Auwery, Hanmer, Flintshire, Wales, whilst his wife Margaret and son Cecil were living at 5, Cornwall Street, Liverpool, Lancashire.  Cecil’s father, Francis, died in Steyning, Sussex, in October 1900, aged sixty-six, and in 1901, Margaret and son Cecil were boarding with Mr and Mrs Edmonds, at 22, Richmond Road, Brighton; Margaret recorded as a widow, living on ‘own means’ and Cecil as a solicitor’s clerk.  In 1908 Cecil was living at 15, Barbican Terrace, Barnstaple, recorded as a ‘Political Agent’, when he became a member of the Loyal Lodge, Barnstaple Freemasons.  In 1911, he was boarding at the West Cliff Hotel, Westcliffe-on-sea, Essex, working as a solicitor’s agent, and between 1912 and 1917 he appears in the Kelly’s Directory as the ‘Secretary and Agent for the South East Essex Conservative & Unionist Association’, of 20, Clarence Street, West Cliff, Southend.  On 5th July 1913, Cecil married Irene Muriel Collis, who had been born in Hornsey, Middlesex, in 1889, the daughter of John Collis, a mechanical engineer, and his wife Elizabeth.  In 1914, Cecil and Irene were living at Retford, Chadwick Road, Westcliffe-on-Sea, Southend, and on 27th August 1914, had their first and only child, Peter Cecil Chorley.


During World War I, Cecil Chorley served as a Lieutenant in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve and his service records show that on 1st April 1915, he was assigned to HMS Victory, being transferred to HMS President on 14th April 1916, for special service as a member of the ‘Canadian Recruiting team’.  On 16th April 1917 he completed a ‘course of gunnery’.  On 13th May 1917 he was assigned to HMS Havelock and, after a period of leave at Chatham Hospital, was demobilised on 29th July 1919.  It would appear that during this period of leave, Cecil Chorley went into partnership with Rupert Guinness (Rupert Edward Cecil Lee Guinness, 2nd Earl of Iveagh) and Percy Machin, the three of them buying-out a plant nursery in Felbridge on the Crawley Down Road, known as the Horticultural Travelling Structures Company Ltd., establishing Felbridge Nurseries Ltd. on 24th April 1919 [for further information see Handout, Little Gibbshaven, SJC 07/08].  As a point of interest, Rupert Guinness was MP for Southend and a close neighbour of the Chorley family in Westcliffe-on-Sea.  However, by June 1919, the Chorley family had moved to East Grinstead and on Cecil’s demobilisation his address was given as Wrens Nest, East Grinstead.  Unfortunately it has not yet been possible to determine the complete postal address for Wrens Nest, however, what is known is that by 1927/8, the Chorley family were living in the house on London Road, North End, which they had named Retford, the same name as their house in Westcliffe-on-Sea. 


Shortly after his arrival in the Felbridge area, Cecil was approached by Ivan Margary to head the Executive Committee in overseeing the construction of the Felbridge (St John’s) Institute, once situated on the site of the Mulberry Gate development off Copthorne Road [for further information see Handout, Felbridge Village Halls, SJC 01/12].  The chosen architect was Harry C R Nightingale of The Jungle, Baldwins Hill (who will feature in a future handout of Builders and Architects of Felbridge) and the builders were Messrs. T and G Smith of East Grinstead.


Cecil was to remain living at Retford and working for the Felbridge Nurseries Ltd until his death on 21st June 1941, aged sixty, being buried at St John’s church, Felbridge.  Irene continued living at Retford until her death on 22nd May 1949, aged fifty-nine.  On the death of Irene Chorley, Retford was put up for sale and was purchased by Cornelius Ignatius Van Der Vleugel (later shortening his name to Cornelius Ignatius Vander), a ‘Glowlamp Technician’, formerly of 8, Palace Road, Streatham Hill.


Today Retford, London Road, North End, has changed little since its construction in 1913/14.  Sales particulars of 2016 described the property as:

A unique and attractive detached family home which was heavily influenced in design by the Arts and Crafts movement and offers a wealth of character features throughout, including exposed timber beams, stripped and varnished timber floorboards and feature fireplaces. This beautifully presented, four bedroom property is conveniently located on the outskirts of East Grinstead and offers spacious and versatile living space totalling 2095sq ft, whilst still retaining charm and distinctive character throughout. The accommodation briefly comprises: Entrance hall with stripped and varnished wooden floorboards and exposed timber beams; bay fronted dining room with feature fireplace, window seating area and also exposed flooring and beams; triple aspect living room with French doors to the side, decorative brick fireplace, exposed beams and wood floorboards; refitted kitchen with solid wood work surfaces, range style cooker, breakfast bar, quarry tiled floor, exposed beams, walk-in larder and door to the side. On the first floor there is an impressive, dual aspect master bedroom with feature fireplace, walk in dressing room and refitted en-suite bathroom with freestanding, roll top bath. Further to this there is a guest bedroom with en-suite W.C.; two double bedrooms and a family bathroom and a separate W.C. completes the living space. Externally there is a gated driveway with parking for several vehicles, double door access to a tandem length garage with two doors to the garden, sunken garden and seclusion provided by hedge screening. The rear garden allows access to an outdoor W.C. and useful dry storage area, an expanse of lawn, patio area and further hedge screening.


Although the view of the front of the house has not significantly changed when comparing the picture postcard of 1914 with the current property, the grounds have matured and the property has lost its openness and airy feel, especially as now the open ‘pasture’ land, on which Retford had been built, has been completely developed.   


Handout, Builders of Felbridge – W H Heselden & Sons Ltd, MH/JIC/SJC 09/17, FHWS

Handout, 1911 Sale of the Felbridge Estate, SJC 01/11, FHWS

Handout, Evelyn Family of Felbridge, JIC/SJC09/13, FHWS

Handout, Dr. Charles Henry Gatty, SJC 11/03, FHWS

Felbridge PlaceSale Catalogue, 1911, FHA

William Spurrell

Census records for 1881, 1891, 1901, 1911.

Birth, Marriage, Death index,

Spurrell family,

Passenger Lists,

Electoral Rolls, 1928-1949,

1939 Register,

Promotions, London Gazette, 5th December, 1941, FHA

Monumental Inscriptions for TempleParish, Cornwall, FHA

Monumental Inscriptions for St. Werburgh’s church, Wembury, Wembury Local History Society

Probate Records,

Handout, Woodcock alias Wiremill, SJC 03/06, FHWS

Felbridge Estate Sale Catalogue, 1911, FHA

Felbridge PlaceSale Catalogue, 1914, FHA

Cuttinglye and its Environs Sale Catalogue, 1917, FHA

Cuttinglye and its Environs Sale Catalogue, Revised Edition July 1917, FHA

Handout, Old Surrey, Burstow & West Kent Hunt, SJC 03/1, FHWS

Handout, More Old Surrey, Burstow & West Kent Hunt Personalities and The Kennels, SJC 03/17, FHWS

Schedule of Deeds of Stream Cottage, StreamPark, FHA

Handout, Old Felbridge House and The Feld, SJC 02/01, FHWS

Handout, Eating and Drinking Establishments in Felbridge, Pt. 1, SJC 05/07, FHWS

Handout, Felbridge Remembers their World War I Heroes, Pt. III, JIC/SJC 07/17, FHWS

Handout, Builders of Felbridge – W H Heselden & Sons Ltd, MH/JIC/SJC 09/17, FHWS

Schedule of Deeds of 19, StreamPark, FHA

Handout, Felbridge Scouting Review, SJC 01/18, FHWS

Documented memories of former StreamPark resident, Tony Jones, FHA

Spurrell Bankruptcy Hearing, article in The London Gazette, 28th April 1939, FHA

Spurrell Bankruptcy Declaration, article in The London Gazette, 3rd September 1941, FHA

O/S map, published 1966, FHA

Cecil A Sharp FRIBA

Census records for 1871, 1881, 1891, 1901, 1911,

Birth, Marriage, Death index,

A Comprehensive History of the Workhouse by Peter Higginbotham,

The RIBA Library - Royal Institute of British Architects,

Journal of The Royal Institute of British Architects, 1895

Electoral Rolls, 1915-1936,

PO London Trades Directory, 1900, 1910

LondonCity Directory, 1902, 1910

1939 Register,

Gateshead Union Cottage Homes, article in Building News, 1897, FHA

Guardians of Wandsworth & Clapham Union to Builders & Contractors, article in the South London Press, 15th September, 1900.

New Hospital Sutton, article in The Builder, 12th July 1902.

NorthSurreyDistrictSchool, article in Kentish Mercury - Friday 22nd November 1907.

Golf Club-House, Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser – Wednesday, 10th February 1909.

New additional school-building at NorthSurreyDistrictSchool, article in Norwood News, Saturday 20th February 1909.

CrowlandsInfant School, London Road, Romford, Heritage Asset Register Buildings of Local Heritage Interest (Havering)

New house, article in the Dorking and Leatherhead Advertiser, Saturday 29th May 1909.

Sharp/Clarke Notice, London Gazette, 27th September, 1910.

ModernBuilding Record, Vol.5, Pt. 2. , RIBA

New house at Stoatswold, Kingswood, newspaper article, Surrey Mirror, Friday 20th April 1928.

South-Eastern Society of Architects election, Ref: MN2703, 7481A/2, archive of the State Library of Western Australia

Stapely Memorial, Trinity church, article in Eastbourne Gazette, Wednesday 5th January 1938

Kelly’s Directory, 1937, FHA

Country and Town, Shepton Mallet Journal - Friday 15 October 1909

Sharp Family deposit, Ref MN2703, 7481A/1, 5 & 6, archive of the State Library of Western Australia

Handout, 1911 Sale of the Felbridge Estate, SJC 01/11, FHWS

Handout, Builders of Felbridge – W H Heselden & Sons Ltd, MH/JIC/SJC 09/17, FHWS

Cuttinglye and It’s Environs sale catalogues, 1917, FHA

Handout, The Star, part of The Eating and Drinking Establishments of Felbridge, JIC/SJC03/08, FHWS

Handout, Hedgecourt Watermill and Cottages, SJC 07/04, FHWS

Handout, Oak Farm, JIC/SJC 01/13, FHWS

Handout, Dr Charles Henry Gatty, SJC 09/03, FHWS

Handout, 1911 Sale of the Felbridge Estate, SJC 01/11, FHWS

Schedule of Deeds for Lydd/Goodrest/Littelcote, 19, Crawley Down Road, FHA

Handout, Wartime Memories, Felbridge at War 1939-1945, SP.06/05, FHWS

Handout, The Origins of the Felbridge Luncheon Club, SJC 11/15, FHWS

Sales particulars for 17 and 19, Crawley Down Road, 2016/7, FHA

Felbridge Estate Sale Catalogue, 1911, FHA

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

Article on Reed Pond Walk taken from, The Hundred Best Houses, 1911, RIBA and FHA 

Land Registry details for Retford, FHA

Loyal Lodge, Barnstaple Freemasons Membership Records,

Kelly’s Directory for Southend, 1912-17,

C C Chorley’s RNVR Service Records,

Handout, Little Gibbshaven, SJC 07/08, FHWS

Handout, Felbridge Village Halls, SJC 01/12, FHWS

Cornelius Ignatius Van Der Vleugal, The London Gazette, 6th February 1953, FHA

Retford sale particulars, 2016, FHA


Texts of all Handouts referred to in this document can be found on FHG website:

JIC/SJC 09/18