Harmans was a farm that lay about half a mile north of what is today the site of WhittingtonCollege, encompassing the strip of land to the west of the A22, ending at the northern extremities of Park Farm at the bottom of Woodcock Hill adjoining what is today the site of Beaver’s Fisheries.  This document will chart the history and development of Harmans, the absorption of its land holding with the creation of Park Farm to the ‘Freehold Cottage Residence’ of 1911 now known as The Old Pheasantry, together with the lives of some of the people associated with the property.


Harmans Historically

The landholding known as Harmans was one of three properties that by the mid 1600’s made up the southern end of the park of Hedgecourt.  Although the holding was not referred to as Harmans until around 1730, it had been established by at least 1653.  One of the three properties was known as Cheals (aka Coles, formerly Parke Corner Farme, formerly Parke Corner and before that Parkelands) [for further information see Handout, Park Corner Farm, JIC/SJC 05/09] and another was the land of Finches (formerly Hedgecourt Mill Lands) [for further information see Handout, Park Farm, JIC/SJC 05/16].  By the mid 1600’s Cheals consisted of a messuage, barn, outbuildings and land that was situated at the southern end of the park of Hedgecourt and the land of Finches abutted Cheals on the north with the holding later known as Harmans on the east.  Finally there was the holding that was to become known as Harmans that was held by John Dudeney by at least 1653 (confirmed in a lease dated 1654, see below) that abutted the west side of the main London road (A22) through Felbridge (after the road had been moved eastward prior to 1609 [for further information see Handout, The Early History of Hedgecourt Manor and Farm Pt. 1, JIC/SJC 11/11]).  The Dudeney lease of 1654 is the oldest surviving document that can be attributed to the holding that later became known as Harmans, however, there are several older documents that could potentially relate to the holding.


As early as 1562 there is an entry in the Court Books of Lagham alias Walkhamsted (Godstone) that records that Bartholomew Harman of East Grinstead, encroached land ‘in or near the Queen’s Highway between Felbridge Heath to Woodcock Bridge on the east side of the Queen’s Highway’ and put up a Pale.  The land encroached was 2½ perch (12.5m) in length by 2 perch (10m) at the northern end and 1 perch (5m) at the southern end.  This piece of land has to lie on the west side of the island of land created when the main London road (A22) was moved to its current position, slightly west of the original alignment as discussed in a previous Handout produced by the Felbridge History Group entitled The Early History of Hedgecourt Manor and Farm Pt. 1.  Documents recording the presence of Bartholomew Harman and John Harman in the Felbridge area date to at least 1543 when the Lay Subsidy for Danehill Horsted records Bartholomew Harman paying 3/- for goods and John Harman paying 2d for goods.  In 1560 Bartholomew Harman is recorded ‘of Wardley’ which was a Tithing adjoining Hedgecourt Common immediately south of what is now the Crawley Down Road, which encompassed Warley (the moated site), Matthews, Gullege, Tilkhurst and Morehale (which will be covered in a later Handout on The Tithing of Warley).  The last possible entry (before John Dudeney took occupation of the holding later known as Harmans in 1653) can again be found in the Court Books of Lagham alias Walkhamsted (Godstone)  in 1650, which records an encroachment of 40 feet of land at ‘Le Hammen’ (possibly a derivation of Harmans) made by Avery Harman.


John Dudeney

As established above, the first document that confirms the existence of the holding later known as Harmans was held by John Dudeney from at least 1653.  The Dudeney lease appears in the Gage papers relating to the manor of Hedgecourt and the 20-year lease that was granted on 9th January 1654 (commencing 29th September 1653) for the sum of £8 rental per year.  John Dudeney was listed as a yeoman of Godstone (the parish in which Hedgecourt was located) and the description of the holding was for ‘a messuage and closes of land belonging with two adjoining crofts (6a) and five other piece (14a); land called Burley Meades (8a 0r 9p), all in Godstone’.  There was also a Covenant that John Dudeney was to build a two-bay barn, for which he would be allowed 30s.  The holding in 1654 amounted to 28a 00r 09p and when compared to later documents relating to Harmans and by plotting the field names on the 1855 Felbridge Park sale map it can be confirmed that the lease is referring to the holding that later became known as Harmans. 


Also on 9th January 1654, John Dudeney, along with his mother Joan Dudeney, purchased the holding on the other side of the main London road (A22) opposite his leasehold for the sum of £250.  This holding was described as ‘Three pieces of land called Coopershill (8a) in Godstone’, the description for this holding equates to the site of what is today known as Woodcock [for further information see Handout, Woodcock and Nancy McIver, SJC05/15]. 


A little is know about John Dudeney.  He was born the son of Thomas Dudeney and his wife Joane née Dawes who had married at St Peter’s and St Paul’s church, Lingfield, Surrey, on 2nd November 1595, although it is not yet known when or where John was baptised or whether he had any siblings.  John married Elizabeth (surname yet to be established) and there are four entries relating to their family in the parish registers of St Swithun’s church in East Grinstead; baptism of ‘Mary daughter of John and Elizabeth Dudnye of Tandridge’ born on 23rd February 1659; burial of ‘Mary Dudny, a child’ on 27th February 1659; burial of ‘a child of John Dudnye, unbaptised’ on 21st February 1660; and sadly the burial of ‘Elizabeth, wife of John Dudnye of Godstone’ on 14th March 1660.  It has not yet been established when John Dudeney was succeeded at the holding later known as Harmans or when or where he died. 


The lease taken out by John Dudeney in 1653 expired in 1673 but he does not appear in later Hedgecourt rentals, which would imply he no longer occupied the holding that would later be known as Harmans.  The Hedgecourt rentals of 1678-1682 only record one rent of £8 (the amount recorded in the Dudeney lease of 1653) and that was being paid by John Finch, the holding detailed as ‘a house and land’.  Ten years earlier, John Finch (a miller of Godstone) had taken out an 11-year lease on Hedgecourt Watermill; this would have expired in 1674.  In around 1670 John Finch had been joined by Mr Marchant (probably John) at Hedgecourt Watermill and by February 1672 John Finch had retired.  John Marchant died in 1674 and his widow Sarah Marchant took out a 21-year lease on Hedgecourt Watermill, thus Widow [Sarah] Marchant is paying the rent in 1678-1682 record [for further information see Handout, Hedgecourt Watermill and Cottages, SJC 04/07].  With the Marchants succeeding John Finch at Hedgecourt Watermill in 1673, John Finch could have taken over the holding later known as Harmans from John Dudeney after the expiry of his lease the same year. 


John Finch

John Finch appears to have acquired some wealth throughout his working life as in April 1668, whilst still recorded as the miller of Hedgecourt Watermill, he purchased ‘seventy-four acres of land and two houses and a barn at Woodcock Forge being lately the estates of Richard Thorpe of Gibshaven in Worth and his brother George Thorpe’.  A year later John Gage of Firle, lord of the manor of Hedgecourt, took out a seven-year counterpart lease with John Finch ‘yeoman of Worth’ for the ‘forgeman’s house, adjoining to a forge or ironwork called Woodcock Hammer in Godstone otherwise Walkcombested [sic], with all floodgates, water and water courses’ [for further information see Handout, Wiremill, SJC 03/06].  John Finch also appears to have held other interests in the Felbridge area, not just in the manor of Hedgecourt but also in the manors of Sheffield-Lingfield and Bletchingley in Surrey and South Malling – Lindfield and Walstead in Sussex.


As established above, by February 1672 John Finch had retired from Hedgecourt Watermill, possibly as early as 1669 when he was described as a ‘yeoman of Worth’ in an assignment of mortgage on Woodcock Hammer [for further information see Handout, Wiremill, SJC 03/06].  Being a ‘yeoman of Worth’ would imply that by 1669 John Finch was living in Worth, a fact confirmed in 1676 in the survey of the cottagers on the Common (held by manor of Bletchingley) in which he appears residing at Lower Gibbshaven, a property that once stood between Gibbshaven and Michaelmas Farm.  Another reference to John Finch being at Lower Gibbshaven appears in the 1681 survey of the Commons of the manor of Bletchingley as his property is used as a marker in the description of the bounds of the common [for further in formation see Handout, Michaelmas Farm JIC/SJC 07/09].  This entry implies that if John Finch paid the £8 Hedgecourt rental from 1673 for the holding that became known as Harmans he must have sub-let the property or there were two people by the name of John Finch in the Felbridge area.


John Finch died about 1684 and his death was presented in the Court Book for the manor of Lagham alias Walkhamsted (Godstone) in 1685.  At the time of his death he was holding Woodcock of the manor of Lagham, which passed to his only daughter and heir Elizabeth, the wife of Nicholas Ditcher.  However, no surviving entries appear for the presentment of his death in either the Hedgecourt, South Malling – Lindfield, Sheffield-Lingfield or Walstead records, other manors in which he held property.  In January 1691, some six or seven years after the death of John Finch, John Finch a yeoman of Steyning, mortgaged ‘2 messuages and 100 acres called Hammer Lands in Godstone’, acquired through the will of ‘John Finch of Godstone’.   Hammer Lands in this context refers to lands called Woodcock (both names being used for the same holding, later known as Forge Farm) and comprised of land held of the manors of Lagham alias Walkhamsted (Godstone) and Sheffield-Lingfield [for further information Handout, Golards Farmhouse, SJC 11/07]. 


With the trail of occupancy of the holding that became known as Harmans going cold at the time of John Finch’s death in 1684, it is not until 1701, in the ‘Rents and Receipts of Hedgecourt payable to Gage’, that a potential occupant is listed, that of Edward Harman, junior.  Edward Harman senior was recorded as paying a half yearly rental of £15 and junior was recorded as paying £5.  The half yearly rental of £15 equates to the holding known as Snowerhill Farm, later Harris’s Farm, the property wrapping round ThornyPark, now the site of Domewood (a topic of future study).   There is no £8 rental listed as there had been in 1653 when John Dudeney took on the lease or in 1673 when John Finch succeeded him, and no half yearly £4 rental listed.


The Harman Family

As established above, the Harman family had interests in the Felbridge locality since at least 1543 and, in the area of the holding that would eventually adopt the family name of Harmans, since 1562 when Bartholomew Harman encroached and paled land in the vicinity.


The first Harman to appear in the park of Hedgecourt (on the Godstone side), slightly further north of the holding that became known as Harmans, was Avery Harman. He was occupying part of a holding that was granted in a 21-year lease dated 7th October 1652 (commencing from 29th September 1652) to Robert Filkes, a yeoman of Godstone.  For the rental of £31 a year, Robert Filkes was granted: a messauge with barn and 2a 3r 35p of land occupied by Robert Filkes; one parcel of land adjoining with the messuage 5a, parcels of 3a 3 ¾ a, 2 parcels lying together 5a + 2½ a, 3a, 2a, 6½a, 11½a, 12a; five pieces lying together called The Crooked Rishett, The Longfield, Shepherds Toft, Little Goldherd and Great Goldherd (all totalling 59a 0r 5p) in Godstone, occupied by Avery Harman and Robert Filkes.  Much of this area of land had been taken over by Edward Stenning by 1678 and incorporated as part of Chapel Farm, held by the Stenning family until sometime between 1835 and 1841 [for further information see Handout, Newchapel House, SJC 11/02].


Avery Harman was born in 1603 (baptised at St Swithun’s church in East Grinstead on 4th September 1603), the son of Arthur Harman and his wife Joan née Drewe, daughter of John Drewe.  Due to the scant parish records of this period, only one other child of Arthur and Joan has yet been established, a son called Arthur baptised on 2nd November 1606 at St Swithun’s church.  Arthur junior married Alice Maynard on 5th June 1629 at St Swithun’s church and they had at least two children, Mary [Marie] baptised on 4th April 1638 and John baptised on 2nd December 1641, both recorded in the parish registers of St Swithun’s, although the family was recorded ‘of Worth’.


Avery Harman married Ann Loane, the daughter of John Loane of East Grinstead, on 30th June 1629 at St Swithun’s church.  Avery and Ann had at least five children including:  Arthur baptised in 1631, Avery baptised in 1633, John born on 22nd November 1635, Edward baptised 13th May 1639 and Ann baptised on 12th January 1643.  In 1639 and 1642 Avery was recorded ‘of Horne’ at the baptisms of his children Edward and Ann.


Another Harman found in the park of Hedgecourt (on the Horne side) who held what became Snowerhill Farm, later Harris’s Farm, was Edward Harman.  On 10th October 1674, John Gage of Firle, kt. granted a 21-year lease to Edward Harman, a yeoman of Horne in Surrey, for the rental of £30 a year.  This holding was described as: ‘a messuage, barn and buildings and land called Barncroft, the Bogg, the Pasture Field, the Broom Parke, the Broom Croft, the Sawpitt Croft, the Kell Croft, the black Croft, the Corner Croft, the Thorney Croft, the Plain Parke, the Hilly Park, the Yutren Field and the Burnthouse Land (120 a), all in Horne, occupied by Edward Harman’.  For Edward to be in occupation would suggest that this was the renewal of an older lease and that he had been living here before this lease was granted.  On the expiry of the 1674 lease, Edward Harman was granted an 11-year lease on the holding on 30th November 1695 (commencing from 29th September 1695) at £30 per year rent.  In the 1701-1702 Rents and Receipts of Hedgecourt payable to Gage document (half yearly) Edward Harman senior was paying £15 implying he was still in the occupation of Snowerhill Farm and Edward Harman junior who was paying £5 half yearly for a separate property (probably Harmans) making a total of £10 a year. 


The only property conspicuous by its absence in the 1701-1702 Rental is that which had been held by John Finch in 1678-82 implying that perhaps his former holding had acquired more land and therefore the yearly rental had increased by £2 to the sum of £10, ad it was this property that was held by Edward Harman junior. 


Edward Harman

A likely person to be Edward Harman senior was Edward the son of Avery Harman and his wife Ann née Loane who was baptised in 1639 in Horne (see above).  If this was Edward Harman senior he had a son Edward who would have been the Edward junior in the 1701 Rental, thus father and son were holding both Snowerhill Farm and Harmans. Edward junior married Elizabeth Marchant at St Swithun’s church on 5th May 1686 and at the baptism of their son Edward on 14th May 1690, Edward and Elizabeth were recorded ‘of Horne’, implying that by that date Edward had succeeded his father at Snowerhill Farm.  Edward and Elizabeth may have had more children but the Horne records are very scant and as yet no more than Edward can be attributed to them although Elizabeth sadly died in 1696 and Edward married Mary Cresy, a widow, on 15th April 1697.  The relatively short distance between the death of Edward’s first wife Elizabeth and his second marriage to Mary may suggest that he had a young family in need of a mother.   In 1706, Edward, now married to Mary, was cited in the will of Elizabeth Miles as being a ‘husbandman of Horne’ (the definition of a husbandman in this period was someone who was a tenant farmer or small landowner, their social status being below that of a yeoman).  Also, between 1706 and 1712, Edward Harman was recorded as paying a rent of £15 rent per half year, the same value previously recorded for Snowerhill Farm.


Edward (the son of Edward and Elizabeth) married Ann Fuller on 7th December 1714 and they had at least six children: Ann born in 1715, Elizabeth born in 1716, Hanna Lydia born in 1722, William born in 1727, Mary born in 1728 and Sarah (date of birth not yet established).  It would seem likely that they could also have had a son Edward especially as there is s a fairly large gap between the birth of Elizabeth and Hanna and again between Hanna and William but as yet no records have come to light confirming this theory. 


In 1730 Edward Harman was recorded as paying £10 rent per year which would imply he had left Snowerhill Farm and had moved to Harmans.  Four years later Edward’s wife Ann died being buried at St Swithun’s on 21st June 1734.  On 8th March 1741, Sir William Gage sold ‘all that message and farm called Park Corner and also another message and farm [Harmans] then late in the occupation of Edward Harman, both farms in the parish of Godstone’ to Edward Evelyn for the sum of £900.  In 1752 Harmans was again recorded as in the occupation of Edward Harman in a counterpart lease between James Evelyn and Cave Radcliffe, the property described as a ‘messuage and farm in the occupation of Edward Harman senior’.  This would suggest that in 1752 there were two Edward Harmans living in the area again.


It has proved, whilst trying to work out the relationships between the various Edward Harmans and Harmans in general, that the Harman family of the Felbridge area is a complex family with many links with other Felbridge families which deserves further study in the future.


The last Harman recorded with connections to the Felbridge area and thus potentially the holding of Harmans was John Harman in 1793, on the death of James Evelyn, lord of the manor of Hedgecourt and owner of the Felbridge park estate.  On his death, James Evelyn made provision for annuities to be paid to many of his estate workers, one of whom was John Harman who was to receive 5/- per year.  


Harmans in the Mid to Late 18th Century

During the first half of the 18th century the holdings at the southern end of the park of Hedgecourt were recorded separately as Harmans, Cheals and Finches, possibly as separate properties under individual tenants, with Edward Harman recorded in 1730 paying £10 rent for Harmans.  It has not yet been possible to determine how long Edward Harman had been at Harmans but as established above, it must have been around 1701. 

As established above, in 1741 the ‘message and farm called Park Corner’ (formerly Parkelands) and ‘also another message and farm then late in the occupation of Edward Harman’ (Harmans) were purchased from Sir William Gage, Lord of the manor of Hedgecourt, by Edward Evelyn.  The purchase of these two properties enabled Edward Evelyn to re-configure his estate at Felbridge.   Park Corner changed beyond recognition through the loss of much of its south-eastern land fields which were used to create the parkland and grounds associated with Edward Evelyn’s house, built on the site of what is now Whittington College, whilst the bounds of Harmans changed very little in comparison, losing just two fields on the west side of the holding abutting Park Corner.  Evidence for the reconfiguration of Park Corner Farm is based on the ‘removed’ lines found on the Bourd map of 1748  [for further details see Handout, Park Farm, JIC/SJC 05/16], commissioned by Edward Evelyn to show the extent of his newly formed estate at Felbridge, which took place sometime between 1748 and 1765. 


The Bourd map includes a schedule of properties, recording Harmans as 39a 0r 20p with a ‘messuage, barn, stable and outhouses’, the holding having increased in size by eleven acres since 1654 when it was held by John Dudeney, probably accounting for the £2 increase per year in rent.  The Bourd map differentiates field usage by outlining each field in different colours, eg: yellow for arable, green for pasture/meadow and brown for woodland.  Comparing the field arrangements on the Bourd map with those found on the sale map for FelbridgePark in 1855 it is possible to get a rough idea of the field layout, field names and possible farming practises of Harmans in 1748.  The following table shows the rough break-down of land usage for Harmans in 1748.






Buildings & Stacks

















The breakdown of land usage indicates that Harmans was being farmed as a mixed farm having fields of both arable and pasture/meadow.  However, with only 28% of the acreage devoted to arable it would suggest that they were only producing animal feed to help see them through the winter months.  The high percentage of pasture/meadow land would imply that the farm had livestock requiring grazing and grass for haymaking, again as animal feed through the winter months.  However, with the absence of any livestock records it’s impossible to determine whether the livestock consisted of sheep or cattle, or both.  Harmans also had a HopGarden and the Bourd map provides the first reference to hop growing in Felbridge with 1½ acres of the total 8¾ acres in Felbridge found at Harmans in 1748 [for further information see Handout, Hop Fields of the Felbridge Area, SJC 09/01].  It is known that prior to 1748 Harmans had woodland that could be used as a cash crop but which fell outside the acreage of the holding because it belonged to the Lord of the Manor. 


In 1752 James Evelyn used Harmans, then in the occupation of Edward Harman senior, together with Park Corner Farm (formerly Park Corner) as collateral to raise a mortgage with Cave Radcliffe of Chelsea, to the value of £700.  The document (in very poor condition) details the extent of the two holdings and it is possible to correlate the majority of the field names and acreages of Harmans with later maps including the Godstone Tithe map of 1842 and the Felbridge Park sale map of 1855. 

Description or Field Names for Harmans  (1855 Field name in italics)


1855 Plot no.

Messuage & farm with barn, stable outhouses, stack plot, yard, 2 orchards & Garden


191, pt..195 & 195a

Upper Field known as Three Acre Mead  (Meadow)



Upper Kents Bush  (Little Gate)



Barn Field  (Great Barn Field)


224, 195, &

pt. 196

Little Barn Field (Barn Field)


Pt. 196

The Shaw 


Pt. 198

Middle Kents Bush  (Little Gate)


Pt. 198

Kiln Field and Shaws  (Kiln Field)


Pt. 196 & 197

Bottom Field  (Bottom Field)


Pt. 198

Hop Garden Field (Hop Garden Field)

  01 50

Pt. 198

Little Barley Mead  (Burley’s Mead)



Great Barley Mead and Shaws  (Pilbeams Burleys)


Pt. 182

Rushetts  (Rushetts)


Pt. 182





Thus in 1752 Harmans had remained the same size as it was recorded in 1748 at 38 acres.  Unfortunately no details regarding the breakdown of the usage of the land has yet come to light so a comparison cannot be made with the 1748 breakdown supplied by the Bourd map.  However, Harmans has a “Kiln Field” which implies that lime burning was being carried out, a common practise by the 18th century for producing fertiliser to maintain and improve crop yields.  Generally the kilns were made of a small pit with a mound above, built of local materials forming an open-topped combustion chamber or pot with one or more draw holes at the base.  In the Felbridge area lime kilns were constructed out of brick, with sandstone and soil reinforcement and insulation.  They were fuelled by faggots of wood or furze and would probably have burnt only chalk, as this was locally available from the North Downs.  When burnt, the kiln was allowed to cool naturally for several days before the chalk, then converted as quicklime in lump form, was drawn out, broken-up and spread upon the land [for further information see Handout, Lime Kilns and Lime burning in Felbridge, SJC 11/00]. 


It is not known for what reason James Evelyn required the money raised by the mortgage in 1752, although he had just inherited the Felbridge estate on the death of his father Edward in 1751 (for further details see, Handout, The Commonplace Book of Colonel Edward Evelyn, JIC/SJC 09/07, based on the Commonplace Book of Edward Evelyn, ADDMS38482, BL) and perhaps needed the cash injection to ‘improve’ the Felbridge estate.  It is known that Edward Evelyn had left James the ‘farm at Felbridge Water where I now dwell’ and it is also known that James had his own mansion house constructed/extended at Felbridge in 1765 on or near the site of his father’s dwelling (for further details see Handout, Felbridge Place, SJC 10/99) that necessitated the reconfiguration of the southern end of the park of Hedgecourt to create the grounds of his house, Felbridge Park.  The up-grade of the Evelyn dwelling from a ‘farm at Felbridge Water’ to the mansion house constructed by James would have necessitated the replacement of the ‘farm at Felbridge Water’ with perhaps the formation of an alternative farm, so it is just possible that the cash injection was put towards the formation of a new ‘Home Farm’ that eventually became known as Park Farm that would ultimately incorporate Harmans, Cheals and Finches [for further information see Handout, Park Farm, JIC/SJC 05/16].


In July 1793 James Evelyn died and the Felbridge estate passed to his eldest daughter Julia Annabella, the wife of Sir George Augustus William Shuckburgh Medley, who took the name of Evelyn on their marriage [for further information see Handout, Evelyn Family of Felbridge, JIC/SJC 09/13].  There is some evidence to suggest that from Julia Annabella’s inheritance, the Felbridge estate was leased until its eventual sale to George Gatty in 1855.  What is unclear is whether the Evelyn family managed the estate as a whole or whether the responsibility fell to the tenant of the mansion house.  Unfortunately no documents from these intervening years survive in the Evelyn papers.  As a point of interest, on his death in 1793, James Evelyn made provision for annuities to be paid to many of his estate workers, one of whom was John Harman (see above) and another recipient of an annuity was James Pilbeam who was to receive 6/- (see below). 


19th Century

There is evidence to suggest that by the turn of the 19th century the land holdings of Harmans and the abutting properties of Cheals [for further information see Handout, Park Corner Farm, SJC 05/09] and Finches had been amalgamated to create a new farm that became known as Woodcocke Farme (later Home Farm and now Park Farm) [for further information see Handout, Park Farm, JIC/SJC 05/16].  The first depiction of buildings on the site of this new farm appears on the Draft O/S map of 1809, which records the surrounding area as New House Farm.  This map was surveyed between 1789 and 1805 so the buildings could potentially date to before 1789. 


Although Land Tax records exist from 1795, unfortunately much of the land in Godstone forming part of the FelbridgePark estate was lumped together as one entry under James Evelyn ‘Himself for Felbridge’.  However, in 1800 Harmans, Cheals and Finches are listed individually and in the Evelyn estate papers William Payne is recorded as paying £8 2/- for the three holdings, broken out as £1 14s 8d for Harmans (recorded as Hammonds Lands), £3 18s 8d for Cheals Land and £2 8s 8d for Finches.  What is not known is whether William Payne was occupying the properties as a whole or sub-leasing them together or individually.  Unfortunately there are too many William Paynes living in the area at this date to pinpoint the correct one.  Three years later, the Godstone Land Tax of 1803 records the tax on ‘Cheals, held together with Harmans and Finches’ was paid by Samuel Rutley, but again it is not clear whether he was occupying or sub-leasing the properties.  Samuel Rutley first appears in the Felbridge area in the Tandridge Land Tax in 1799 holding a property on the opposite of the main London road (A22), at probably what became known as Stone Cottage [for further information see Handout, Stone Cottage, JIC/SJC 07/12].   It is known that between 1800 and 1803 Felbridge House and Park were being leased to Jonathon Nicholls esquire, so it would appear that the Cheals, Harmans and Finches had been separated from the FelbridgePark estate.  During these three years the land tax for ‘Cheals, held together with Harmans and Finches’ was paid by William Payne but in 1803 the payment of the land tax had fallen to Samuel Rutley who was also as paying the Land Tax for the property in Tandridge.  The wording ‘Cheals, held together with Harmans and Finches’ could imply Harmans and Finches had historically been amalgamated into one holding, which could account for the £2 rent increase between 1682 and 1701 (see above).


Rutley Family

As established above, the Rutley family had moved to the Felbridge area by 1799 and details about the family are covered extensively in the Felbridge History Group document on Park Farm [for further information see Handout, Park Farm, JIC/SJC 05/15].  In 1799 Samuel Rutley was paying the Land Tax for the property now known as Stone Cottage in Tandridge, but in 1803 he was not only paying the Land Tax for that property but also  the Land Tax on the Godstone property known as ‘Cheals, held together with Harmans and Finches’.  Samuel Rutley continued to pay the Land Tax on ‘Cheals, held together with Harmans and Finches’ until 1810 when his son William Rutley took over.  William continued to pay the Land Tax until 1818 when the payment was taken over by James Woodman implying he had succeeded William Rutley at ‘Cheals, held together with Harmans and Finches’.


James Woodman

James Woodman succeeded William Rutley at ‘Cheals, held together with Harmans and Finches’ sometime around 1818, when he also succeeded William Rutley’s father Samuel at the property in Tandridge.  James Woodman continued to pay the Land Tax for both properties until the records cease in 1832.  Again, like the Payne family, it has not yet been possible to determine who James Woodman was or when he left the Felbridge area but from the census records he had been succeeded by William Oliver sometime between 1832 and 1841 and the property had become known as Woodcock Farme. 


The 1841 census records that the farmhouse of the newly formed Woodcock Farme was in the occupation of William Oliver, farmer, with Thomas Pilbeam and his family, along with his brother Edward Pilbeam (as a separate household) occupying the dwelling house that had been attached to the Harmans holding, one of two properties called Woodcock Cottages.  The second cottage known as Woodcock Cottages was the dwelling that was part of the Coopershill holding purchased by John Dudeney in 1654 on the opposite side of the main London road (A22).  At a later date the word ‘Farme’ had been inserted between Woodcock and Cottages in the 1841 census.   However, the Godstone Tithe apportionment of 1842 records that the dwelling house of Harmans (then called Woodcock Cottage) was standing in 1r 22p and confirmed that it was in the occupation of the Thomas Pilbeam and that its former land holding had been incorporated as part of the newly formed Woodcock Farme.


Thomas Pilbeam

The Pilbeam family was well established in the Snow Hill area by at least the mid 18th century, with one of the main family homes being what is now Smuggler’s Cottage on the Copthorne Road [for further information see Handout, Smuggler’s Cottage, SJC 07/06].  Also, on at least three occasions during the latter years of the 18th century, members of the Pilbeam family held the license for the Duke’s Head [for further information see Handout, Eating and Drinking Establishments in Felbridge Pt. V, SJC 03/11].  Besides running the inn/public house, another family trade that was carried on through the Pilbeam family for several generations was that of millwright. 


Thomas Pilbeam was born about 1799 the son of James Pilbeam and his wife Ann née Turner.  James and Ann had married in 1786 in Tandridge and it is Thomas’s father James Pilbeam that potentially lent his name to plots 194, part of 195 and 195a (3¼ acre)  that appears on the 1855 sale map for Park Farm (see above) and received the annuity on the death of James Evelyn in 1793.  Besides Thomas, James and Ann Pilbeam had at least four other children including: Sarah born about 1788, James born in 1790, Edward born in 1792 and John born in 1804; the last three children baptised in East Grinstead.


Thomas Pilbeam married Phillis Terry in Worth in 1827; Phillis having been born in Worth in about 1813.  Thomas and Phillis had at least eight children including: John born about 1829, James born about 1832, Ann born about1833, Thomas born about 1836 but who sadly died in August 1841, Emma born in 1837, Frederick in 1840, Mary Jane born about 1842 and Sarah born about 1845.


As established above, in 1841 Thomas Pilbeam and his family were living at Woodcock (Farme) Cottage; Thomas employed as a Gamekeeper.  Living in the same dwelling but listed as a separate household was Thomas’ older brother Edward whose occupation was listed as carpenter.  Sadly Thomas died in June 1845 and was buried at St John’s the Evangelist Church in Blindley Heath.  In 1851 Thomas’s widow Phillis was recorded as head of the household and, along with her family, the Pilbeams were still living at Woodcock Cottages, together with her brother-in-law Edward, who was listed as a millwright.  The 1851 census also records an additional member to the Pilbeam household, a one-month old baby called William, base-born son of Phillis.


In 1855, whilst the Pilbeams were in the occupation of Woodcock Cottages, the 2,200 acres of the Felbridge Park Estate was put up for auction by Lady Selina Charlotte Foljambe née Wentworth-Fitzwilliam, née Jenkinson, Viscountess Milton, a descendent of James Evelyn and it was purchased by George Gatty [for further information see Handouts, Felbridge Place, SJC 10/99, Evelyn Family of Felbridge JIC/SJC 09/13 and Dr Charles Henry Gatty SJC 09/03].  Woodcock Farm appears for sale as Park Farm (including ‘a small portion of Park Lands’) and includes plot 225, Pilbeam’s 3¼ acre field.  At the very end of the auction catalogue, three cottages were listed: plot 266, Cottage, Garden and Plot in the occupation of ‘Widow Groves’ (formerly Warren House Farm, now the site of Warren Close off the Crawley Down Road),  plots 84, 231, 232 and 233, Meadows, Garden and Cottage in the occupation of ‘John Dearling’ (the site of John Dudeney’s Coopershill holding of 1654, now the site of Woodcock) and plot 191, Cottage and Garden in the occupation of ‘Pilbeam’.


By 1861 the Pilbeam family had moved from Felbridge, being succeeded at Woodcock Cottages by James Witcher, installed by the Gatty family as the Gamekeeper for FelbridgePark.  In 1861 Phillis Pilbeam and her youngest son were living at Grange Road, Crawley Down and Edward Pilbeam was lodging with John Stanbridge (miller) and his family at Fen Place Mill, Turners Hill; Edward listed as a working millwright, aged seventy-one.


James Whitcher

James Whitcher was born in Liss, Hampshire, sometime between 1799 and 1802 depending on which documents are being used.  Unfortunately, not much is known about the early life of James Whitcher except that on 21st July 1835 he married Philadelphia Kilner in East Grinstead and that by 1841 they were living at Green Cottage, Saint Hill Green, East Grinstead, and it would appear that James and Philadelphia had only two sons, James Elphick baptised 29th October 1836 and John baptised 20th May 1838, both at St Swithun’s church in East Grinstead. 


In 1836 James was employed as a Gamekeeper and the nearest estate to his dwelling of 1841 would have been Saint Hill, then in the ownership of Robert Crawford.  Taking into account the marriage date and location it would suggest that perhaps James Whitcher had moved to the East Grinstead area to take up employment at Saint Hill as Gamekeeper prior to 1835, a position he held until sometime between 1851 and 1861 when he moved to Woodcock Cottages, Felbridge, to take up the position of Head Gamekeeper for the Felbridge Park estate, recently purchased from the Evelyn family by the Gatty family in 1855.

James Whitcher only held his new position of Head Gamekeeper at FelbridgePark for just a few years as he sadly died, aged sixty-five, in 1864, being buried in the churchyard at St Swithun’s.  With the death of James, his widow Philadelphia moved to Horley and the Killick family took up residence at Woodcock Cottages, the position of Head Gamekeeper being taken by John Killick.


Killick Family

John Killick was born in Cranleigh, Surrey, in September 1819, the son of Thomas and Elizabeth Killick [for further information on the Killick family see Handout, More Biographies of St John’s – Gatty Estate Workers SJC 11/03].  In 1841 the Killick family were living at Hurstwood, Albury near Guildford; John’s father Thomas recorded as a farmer.  Five years later John Killick married Emily Goble on 18th April 1846, in Upwaltham, Sussex, and they had at least six children: Thomas born in 1846, John born in 1849, Harry born in 1850, Elizabeth born in 1853, Mary Ann born in 1856 and George born in 1858.  From the locations of their children’s baptism it would appear that the family lived in Upwaltham until sometime around 1849, moving to Godalming, Surrey, by 1852/3, then Albury, Surrey, until sometime between 1853 and 1856, before moving to the Felbridge area where John Killick took up the position of bailiff at Chartham Park, Lingfield, Surrey, working for the Margary family.  He remained at CharthamPark for several years before moving to the FelbridgePark estate to work as Gamekeeper for the Gatty family.  As Gamekeeper, John Killick was responsible for the rearing of game birds such as pheasant and partridge, ensuring that there was an adequate supply for the shooting season.  He was also responsible for the organisation and running of the shooting events, as well as the gun dogs required to support the shooting parties. 


In 1881 John Killick held the position of Head Gamekeeper whilst his son John was employed as Under Keeper on the FelbridgePark estate, living in Keeper’s Cottage, Golards Wood (now Willow Cottage, part of the Hobbs Industrial Estate).  John Killick senior lived at Woodcock Cottages by then re-named as The Kennel, Woodcock Hill (later called The Cottage and now known as The Old Pheasantry).  The name of the property in 1881 reflects the fact that besides being the Gamekeeper for the estate, John Killick senior was also responsible for the estates gun dogs and from map evidence a two-bay kennel block had been constructed to the west of the dwelling by 1869.  By 1891 John’s youngest son, George, was also working as a Gamekeeper for the FelbridgePark estate, still residing with his parents.  As a point of interest and from the memories of a local Felbridge resident, at some time during the Gatty family’s ownership of the FelbridgePark estate the Under Keeper was Harry Mepham.


In 1901, Emily, wife of John Killick senior, died at the age of eighty and was buried at St John’s, Felbridge.  There is evidence to suggest that at sometime around this date John Killick junior and his family moved back to The Kennel with his father, who was by then eighty-two years old.


In December 1903 Charles Henry Gatty of FelbridgePark died and in his will he left John Killick, his Gamekeeper, the sum of £100 [for further information see Handout, Dr Charles Henry Gatty, SJC09/03].  What is unclear is which John Killick was by then the Gamekeeper, as John senior was still alive but would have been eighty-four years old, suggesting that perhaps by then John junior had taken the position of Head Gamekeeper.  


John Killick senior died in September 1904, aged eighty-five and was buried with his wife at St John’s.  The plot is surrounded by a curb stone and is located at the southeast corner of the church but unfortunately this area of the church grounds suffered severe damage when one of a series of three bombs was dropped in and around the church on 28th August 1940 [for further information see Handout, St John the Divine, SJC 07/02i].  The only other surviving memorial in the plot is the base and part of the upright cross, in two separate pieces, to Elizabeth and Arthur Daws, daughter and son-in-law of John and Emily Killick (see below).


It is not clear how long John Killick junior remained at The Kennel after the death of John Killick senior but by April 1911 the cottage was in the occupation of James Conquest.


James Conquest

James Conquest was born in Brighton, Sussex, in December 1867, the son of William Conquest and his wife Ann Elizabeth née Bridger née Taylor.  Ann had first married Albert Bridger in 1847 with whom she had four children: Hannah born in 1853, Fanny born in 1854, Albert born in 1856 and William born in 1858; all born in Islington.  Sadly Albert died in 1862 and Ann married William Conquest in 1868, with whom she’d had James in 1867.  Sadly it would appear that William died shortly after their marriage and Ann (by then known as Fanny) married George Creasey in East Grinstead on 15th July 1875, who was a widower with at least six children with his first wife Mary Ann née Deacon.  These children were: Philadelphia born in 1859, Martin William born in 1861, Mary Ann born in 1862, George born in 1864, Fred born in 1868 and Fanny born in 1870 [for further information on the Creasey family see Handout, More Biographies of St John’s – Gatty Estate Workers SJC 11/03].


At the time of Ann’s marriage to George Creasey he was a gardener living at The Furnace (known simply today as Furnace), Furnace Wood, Felbridge, which was part of the Felbridge Park estate owned by the Gatty family, Furnace Wood being one of the woodland sites for rearing the estate’s game birds.  As a point of interest, early settlers of Furnace Wood when it became residential, remember large colonies of wood ants living in the woodland supposedly imported by Charles Gatty to feed pheasants reared there in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.


In 1890 James Conquest married Emily Annie Holman, the couple initially living with Emily’s family (parents Edward and Ann, and siblings, Frank and Alfred) at their home at Felcot Farm [for further information see Handout, Felcot Farm, JIC/SJC 05/08].  By this date James was employed as a Gamekeeper and probably, due to the proximity of Felcot Farm with Furnace Wood, oversaw the rearing of the game birds in the woodland for the Gatty’s FelbridgePark shoots.  By 1901 James and Emily had moved to 4, Rowplatt Lane; James still employed as a Gamekeeper.  At this date James and Emily had at least six children, including: Grace Annie born on 9th February 1891, Nina Kate born on 15th March 1892, Mabelle Ellen born on 9th November 1893, Walter Edward born in the June quarter 1896, Roland Payne born and sadly died in the March quarter of 1898 and Norman James B born 21st February 1899 [for further information see Handout, Felbridge School, SJC 09/05], all born in Felbridge.  However, on 25th May 1903 James and Emily saw the birth of Lois Payne, their seventh child born in Felbridge.


As mentioned above, by April 1911, James Conquest and his family had moved to The Kennel, Woodcock Hill, succeeding the Killick family at the property, with James succeeding John Killick as Gamekeeper and from map evidence a two-pen pheasantry had been added adjacent to the kennel buildings by 1910.

However, shortly after the Conquest’s move to the property, part of the Felbridge Park estate (including The Kennel) was put up for auction as the Felbridge Place Estate on 25th May 1911 [for further information see Handout, 1911 Sale of the Felbridge Estate, SJC 01/11], thus the sale particulars for the Conquest’s home were:

Lot 34


Freehold Cottage Residence









3a. 2r. 36p.


The House

Occupies a most charming situation, facing South, and standing well back from the road.



               Three Bedrooms (one with fireplace), Sitting Room, Kitchen Living Room,

Scullery with sink and bread oven.  Outside E.C.





The Outbuildings



TIMBER AND TILED LODGE with two coppers and fireplace, and TWO TIMBER






Possession of the Meadow on completion, but the House is in the occupation of the Gamekeeper, who shall be

entitled to remain in possession until February 1st, 1912, and the Purchaser shall be allowed on completion the

sum of £8 in respect of such occupation.


The commuted tithes apportioned to this Lot for purpose of Sale amount to 14/9.  Present value 10/4.


The Shooting Rights until February 1st, 1912, over this Lot are reserved.


A contemporary note written in pencil on the sale particulars for this property in the Sale Catalogue states: ‘£300 to £510, Sold’, the purchaser of the freehold property being Arthur Daws (see below).


As for James Conquest and his family, they moved to Keepers Lodge, Renhold, Bedfordshire, where James took up the position of Gamekeeper and where in 1914, James Edwin, the last of the eight Conquest children was born.  In old age, James moved to the Maidstone area to be near his youngest son and died there, aged ninety-three in 1961.


Arthur and Elizabeth Daws

Arthur was born in Merstham, Surrey, being baptised on 6th January 1857, the son of Samuel and Elizabeth Daws.  Known siblings of Arthur include; Elizabeth born in 1847, Samuel born in 1849, William born in 1851, Walter born in 1854, Catherine born about 1857, Henry born in 1858 and Albert born in 1860.  In 1861 the Daws family were living at Leigh in Surrey and Arthur’s father Samuel was recorded as a plumber and farmer of fifty acres.  Sadly Samuel died in early 1869 but Elizabeth his wife continued farming and in 1881 was recorded as a cow-keeper of Merstham.


In 1881 Arthur Daws was still living at the family home and was working as a draper’s assistant in Merstham, but by 1891 he had moved to Forest Row, Sussex, and was living in the household of Ellen Gorringe, grocer and draper.  In 1891 Arthur was working as a grocer’s manager, presumably for Ellen Gorringe.  However, on 14th February 1894, Arthur took out a two-year lease on the shop and premises in Felbridge known as Felbridge Post Office in Crawley Down Road (now known as Felbridge Village Store), at a rental of £25 per annum [for further information see Handout, Shopping in Felbridge Pt. 1, SJC 07/10].  Shortly after moving to Felbridge Arthur married Elizabeth Killick at St John’s Church, Felbridge, on 14th May 1895; Elizabeth being the daughter of John Killick and his wife Emily née Goble and was born in Albury, Surrey, in 1853 (see above).  


From entries in the diary of Allen Bingham (the Felbridge estate carpenter) for equipment commissioned by Arthur Daws in 1895/6 it is evident that he was investing in the premises and intended to stay longer than the two years on his lease [for further information see Handout, Bingham Family of Felbridge, SJC 01/05].  It is also evident that besides an assortment of foodstuffs for human consumption, Arthur Daws also supplied chicken feed.  In 1896 the two-year lease on the Felbridge Post Office was extended but by 1911 the Daws had taken over the grocery and beer-sellers at the Blacksmith’s Head at Newchapel [for further information see Handout, Eating and Drinking Establishments of Felbridge, Pt. IV, SJC 03/10].  However, with the auction of the Felbridge Place Estate in 1911, Arthur Daws purchased the ‘freehold cottage residence’ on Woodcock Hill that had formerly been home to the Gamekeepers of Felbridge Park, including John Killick, Arthur’s father-in-law.  Arthur Daws re-named the now freehold property as The Cottage.


Arthur and Elizabeth did not have a family and it is unclear when they ceased being store keepers but they remained at The Cottage until their deaths in 1933.  Elizabeth died first and was buried in the Killick family plot at St John’s, Felbridge, on 12th September 1933.  Arthur died just a few months later and was buried with his wife on 15th November 1933 [for further information see Handout, More Biographies of St John’s – Gatty Estate Workers SJC 11/03]. 


From the Electoral Rolls, there are no obvious occupancy entries for The Cottage at Woodcock Hill until 1936 when Marjorie G Froom and Elfrida Acklom are listed as occupying the property, still known as The Cottage.


Marjorie Grace Froom and Elfrida Acklom

Sometime after the deaths of Elizabeth and Arthur Daws, The Cottage, Woodcock Hill, was purchased by Marjorie Froom who had moved to the Felbridge area by 1933, living at Wild Meadow, Rowplatt Lane, with Elfrida Acklom.


Marjorie Froom was born in September 1884, the daughter of George Froom and his wife Amy Fasyard of Hampstead Hill, Kensington.  George Froom came from a military background, his career outlined in Hart’s Annual Army List of 1908 thus:

Rank of 2nd Lieutenant attained on 3rd October 1866

Rank of Lieutenant attained on 22nd August 1868

Rank of Captain attained on 31st October 1877

Rank of Major attained 1st January 1881

Rank of Lt. Colonel attained on 21st January 1890.


George Froom served with the 94th Regiment in the Zulu wars of 1879 and in subsequent operations against Sekukuni, including storming of the stronghold, being awarded a Medal and Clasp.  He also served in the Boer War of 1880-81 and took part in the defence of Standerton, being mentioned in despatches, and by 1890 he was with the Connaught Rangers.


Although Marjorie was born in 1884 she was not baptised until 26th September 1889, at St Luke’s, Kensington, the entry listing George and Amy Froom as her parents.  However, the only marriage date found in England for George Froom and Amy Fasyard is September 1894 at St George’s, Hanover Square, although it may be possible that they married outside of England before that date as George spent much time out of the country.


The Froom family do not appear to have had a permanent residence in England and in 1911 they were boarding at the Hotel Alexander, 42, Brunswick Terrace, in Hove, Sussex.  However, George and Amy eventually settled at 15, Culford Mansions, Cadogan Gardens, Chelsea, where Amy died in 1932 and where George had been living until his death in 1933 at Stildon House, London Road, East Grinstead, aged ninety-three.  On their deaths, Marjorie as their only heir, was granted effects totalling £11,079 4s 7d and within a year she had moved from Chelsea to Wild Meadow, Rowplatt Lane, Felbridge.  Marjorie appears in the Electoral Roll at this address for 1934 and 1935, but by 1936 she had purchased The Cottage, Woodcock Hill, the former home of Arthur and Elizabeth Daws.


From a survey of the property in 1987 and map evidence,  it would appear that Marjorie was the person responsible for the first set of alterations dating to the 1930’s consisting of a large extension on the west end of the dwelling and the construction of a garage block to the rear of the property.  She was also responsible for the name change from The Cottage, Woodcock Hill to The Old Pheasantry, the name reflecting the occupation of previous residents when it had been home to the Gamekeepers of Felbridge Park from at least the 1840’s until the break-up and sale of the Felbridge estate in 1911 [for further information see Handout, 1911 Sale of the Felbridge Estate, SJC 01/11].  Marjorie did not live at The Old Pheasantry on her own, but was joined by Elfrida Acklom.


Elfrida Acklom was born in 1892, the daughter of Spencer Acklom and his wife Edith Maud Minnie née Campbell.  Like Lt. Col. George Froom, Spencer Acklom too came from a military background, his career outlined in Hart’s Annual Army List in 1908 thus:

Rank of 2nd Lieutenant attained on 28th June 1864

Rank of Lieutenant attained on 7th October 1867

Rank of Captain attained on 9th June 1877

Rank of Major attained on 1st July 1881

Rank Lt. Colonel attained on 15th January 1890.


Spencer Acklom served with 88th Regiment throughout the Kafir War of 1877-78, including the affair at Draaibosch, being awarded a Medal and Clasp.  He also served in the Afghan War in 1880 with the field commissariat (the department supplying food and equipment), being awarded a Medal, and by 1890 he too was with the Connaught Rangers, where he probably met Lt Col. George Froom (see above).


Spencer and Edith married in 1882 and unlike the Froom’s had two children, Elfrida and her older brother Spencer who was born in 1883.  Spencer junior also entered a military career with the Highland Light Infantry advancing to the rank of Lt. Col. Spencer Acklom DSO, MC, but sadly he was killed in action on 21st March 1918 in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France.  Like the Froom family, the Acklom family also seem not to have had a permanent home in England, the children living with their grandmother, Jemima Campbell, in their younger years.  However, by 1901 Jemima and the Ackloms were boarding at the Queens Gate Hotel in Kensington, settling at 13, Tisbury Road, Hove, by 1911.  Sadly in 1915 Elfrida’s mother died, followed by her grandmother Jemima Campbell in 1918 (as well as her brother Spencer killed in action in 1918) and her father Spencer Acklom in 1922.  Although Elfrida’s mother, grandmother and father had been living on ‘private means’, Elfrida, as sole heir, only inherited effects totalling a little over £515.


By 1929, Elfrida had moved into the Froom household at 15, Culford Mansions, Cadogan Gardens, Chelsea, but sadly in 1931, ‘Miss Elfrida Acklom of Knockbreda, Rowsley Road, Eastbourne, of no occupation’ was declared bankrupt.  Shortly after this date, Elfrida can be found in the Electoral Roll again residing with Marjorie Froom, this time at Wild Meadow, Rowplatt Lane, and by 1937 Elfrida had also moved to The Old Pheasantry with Marjorie.  Both Marjorie and Elfrida were politically aware single ladies and in 1935 can be found as two of the Dormansland nomination proposers and seconders of Mr Charles Emmott, Conservative, for the Surrey, Eastern Division in the General Election.  Charles Emmott went on to become MP for the East Surrey constituency for the next ten years, being succeeded by Michael Astor, Conservative, in 1945.


Marjorie and Elfrida spent the duration of World War II at The Old Pheasantry but by 1947 Elfrida had moved to Westburton, The Park, Chislehurst, Kent and by 1948 she was living at Benfleet Hall, Cobham, Surrey.  In 1950 Elfrida was living at 17, AshleyGardens, Westminster but by 1954 had moved to the White Duchess Hotel in Felbridge [for further information see Handout, Eating and Drinking Establishments of Felbridge Pt. 2].    In 1955 Elfrida was living at the Lingfield Epileptic Colony (known later as the LingfieldHospitalSchool or St Piers).  It is probable that Elfrida worked there as in the 1950’s the school catered for children with epilepsy, not adults.  However, by 1962 Elfrida had moved to Hapstead, Ardingly, Sussex, where she died a single lady, aged sixty-nine, on 15th July 1962.  As for Marjorie Grace Froom, by 1948 she had moved to Felbridge Place Hotel and was still there in 1954 when it had become the White Duchess Hotel.  On the closure of the hotel in the late 1950’s, Marjorie moved to The Wallhatch Hotel in Forest Row.  Marjorie died, also as a single lady, aged seventy-seven, at The Red House, Bishops Downs, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, on 13th November 1961. 


Marjorie Grace Froom and Elfrida Acklom were succeeded at The Old Pheasantry in 1945 by Emily D Simpson and Daphne M Underwood.  


Arlington, Woodcock Hill

At the same date that Marjorie Froom and Elfrida Acklom moved to The Old Pheasantry, a second dwelling had been constructed on land that had been plot 195a, formerly held as part of Harmans, situated adjacent to the cottage on its north side and abutting the west side of the main London road (A22).  This piece of land did not form part of Lot 34 in the 1911 sale, however it had formed part of the 1½ acre plot described as ‘Messuage & farm with barn, stable outhouses, stack plot, yard, 2 orchards & Garden’ in the 1752 Harmans mortgage between Evelyn and Radcliffe (see above).  The dwelling that was constructed on plot 195a was called Arlington and from the Electoral Rolls the first occupant was Rose Brass in 1936, prior to this date Rose had been living at Stonewall, Felbridge, in 1934/5 and before that at Warren House, Crawley Down Road, Felbridge, with the Brex family in 1933/4.


Rose Brass was born Rose Allen in Aston near Birmingham in 1879, the daughter of Charles (Charley) Allen and his wife Caroline Mary née Macoy [McCoy].  Rose’s siblings included: William born in 1862, Ellen born in 1866, Charles born in 1868, Kezia born in 1879 and Mary Ann born in 1872.  The births of all the children were registered in Birmingham.  The Allen family home in 1881 was 28, Hucksters Shop, Darwin Street, and Rose’s father Charley worked as a packer.  By 1901, Rose had moved south and was boarding with the Hawkin’s family at 103, Finborough Road, Kensington, working as a dress maker.  In 1901 Rose married Charles Lot Brass in Kensington.  Charles had been born in Chelsea on 27th April 1877, the son of John Henry Brass and his wife Lilia Jane née Powell; John working as a builder. 


Rose and Charles had four children, Edith Mildred born in 1902, John Henry born in 1903, Roland Charles born in 1905 and Rosemary Lelia born on 27th August 1906; the first two children born in Wandsworth and the last two in Devon.  By 1905 the Brass family had moved from London and in 1911 were living at Chelfham Bridge House, Stoke Rivers near Barnstaple in Devon; Charles listed as a farmer.  From several newspaper articles dating to 1906/7 it is apparent that Charles was also a race horse owner and was found guilty of attempting to obtain £37 by false pretences from Messer’s Pratt and Co and on several occasions, along with Albert Chick, for attempting to obtain large sums of money from stakeholders in connection with horse racing.  The case hinged on the fact that Albert Chick and Charles Brass had bought a horse called Childwick, which having run at unrecognised meetings became disqualified to run at meetings under the rules of the National Hunt.  However, Chick and Brass changed the name of Childwick to Welsh Knight, allegedly to deceive the National Hunt Committee and ran the horse at several meetings, winning three races.  Charles Brass pleaded ignorance of the ruling but was found guilty and given a 3-month prison sentence (without hard labour ‘owing to his delicate health’) for deliberate fraud.  As for Albert Chick, he had already died when the summons was issued so could not face charges. 


Charles must have made a steady income from his farming and race horses as in 1911 the Brass family were attended by a nursery governess, housemaid, cook and parlour maid at their home at Chelfham Bridge House.  However, with the outbreak of World War I, and the reason why has not yet been established, Charles served with Canadian Forces and died in Victoria, British Columbia, on 22nd December 1922.  It is not known whether Rose also went to Canada but she had moved to the Felbridge area by 1933, moving to Arlington in 1936 where she remained until her death, aged seventy-one, on 17th January 1951, leaving effects worth £12, 094 10s 11d.


After the death of Rose Brass, John F and Mary M Bowerman purchased Arlington in 1952 and remained there until at least 1962.  By 1978 Andrew, Brian B and Mary Wood had moved to Arlington, being succeeded by Peter J and Ann Lockwood in 1984, and members of the Lockwood family were still in residence in 2012. 


Owners and Occupiers of The Old Pheasantry from the late 1940’s

From the second half of the 20th century until the present day, the dwelling house of Harmans has remained detached from its original land holding, although the property has seen several different owners, had several extensions and the plot has been sub-divided.


After the departure of Marjorie Grace Froom and Elfrida Acklom in 1945, Emily D Simpson and Daphne M Underwood moved into The Old Pheasantry.  Neither lady seems to have made any alterations or added any extensions to the property and they were succeeded by Victor W and Dorothy M Barnes in 1949.  By 1956, Willie E and Ellen M Gamble were living at The Old Pheasantry and by 1959 John and June De La Poer Beresford had taken up residence.


In 1964 consent was sought to run a Nursery School from two rooms of The Old Pheasantry but this request was refused.  However, still under the ownership of the De La Poer Beresfords, consent was granted for a two-storey extension on the west end of the property.  Around the mid 1970’s the decision was taken to sub-divide The Old Pheasantry plot.  First, in 1975, consent for a new entrance and access to the garage was applied for but was refused.  The reason for the request would appear to have been because the old garage, which had been built by Marjorie Froom, had or was about to be converted as a dwelling that by 1978 was known as The Cottage, Old Pheasantry, which became home to Anthony M De Steiger until 1982 when Robin and Ann Halsall purchased the property and it became known as Old Pheasantry Cottage.


In 1984 planning consent was passed to extend the first storey bedroom and balcony of Old Pheasantry Cottage and in 1991 the property was put on the market by the Halsall family but must have been withdrawn as a member of Halsall family was still living there until at least 2012.  The sale particulars in 1991 described the property as:

Old Pheasantry Cottage

       The former garage block with flat above built about 70 years ago to serve the Old Pheasantry in Woodcock Hill, Felbridge [from map evidence known not to have been before 1935].  Old Pheasantry Cottage was converted into a two storey home in the mid 1970’s.


       A large drawing room was created from the original garage area, and a later extension at the back added a separate dining room and above it an enlarged bedroom, en suite bathroom and balcony giving superb views.  Old Pheasantry Cottage, set well back from the A22 and standing in half an acre of well maintained gardens, is now a home of some character.


       Downstairs the well arranged accommodation includes a triple aspect living room with shallow bay window and Victorian fireplace, dining room with casement doors out to the garden and serving hatch through to the kitchen/breakfast room.


       The adjoining utility room contains the gas central heating boiler and there is a ground floor cloakroom.  A dog-leg staircase leads upstairs to the three bedrooms, the principle one with walk-in wardrobe and en suite bathroom with a sage suite, and the second bathroom.  The cottage is clad with clematis and wisteria and looks out onto colourful, well stocked front and back gardens.  The selling price is £198,000.  


Returning to The Old Pheasantry, 1978 saw new owners with the arrival of Walter R and Eileen M Drury who applied for consent to add a garage at The Old Pheasantry the same year, no doubt to replace the old one that had been converted as The Cottage, The Old Pheasantry.  In 1987 the Drury’s decide to put The Old Pheasantry on the market, the sales particulars describing the property as ‘An attractive and spacious house of period interest set in secluded gardens within easy reach of East Grinstead town centre’.


Again, like the Old Pheasantry Cottage in 1991, The Old Pheasantry was withdrawn from sale by the Drury’s in 1987 but put back on the market in 1998 when it was purchased by the current owners.


Harmans Today

Today most of the land holding formerly known as Harmans remains with Park Farm.  The dwelling house still stands (much extended) and is now known as The Old Pheasantry, the name reflecting its connection with the rearing of pheasant to supply FelbridgePark, under the ownership of the Gatty family, with game birds.  The former 1930’s garage built to serve The Old Pheasantry has been converted as a detached dwelling and is now called Old Pheasantry Cottage and the orchard plot that once served Harmans dwelling house has now been developed as a detached house and gardens known as Arlington.  




Hedgecourt Rentals, 1730, SAS/G26/2, ESRO

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

Handout, Park Farm, JIC/SJC 05/16, FHWS

Handout, The Early History of Hedgecourt Manor and Farm Pt. 1, JIC/SJC, FHWS

Evernden/Dudeney lease, 1654, (SAS/G43/143, ESRO)

FelbridgePark sale map, 1855, FHA

Harman encroachment in the Court Book of Lagham alias Walkhamsted (Godstone), 1562, K61/7/5-30, SHC

Danehill Horsted, Lay Subsidy, 1543, (TNA E179/191/225), FHA

Danehill Horsted, Lay Subsidy, 1560 (TNA E179/190/265), FHA

Harman encroachment in the Court Book of Lagham alias Walkhamsted (Godstone), 1650,  K61/7/5-30, SHC

Gage/Dudeney counter part sale, 1654, SAS/G43/51, ESRO

Handout, Woodcock and Nancy McIver, SJC05/15, FHWS

Surrey marriage index, FHA

Parish Registers of St Swithun’s, East Grinstead, FHA

Rentals for Hedgecourt, 1678-82, SAS/G11/28, ESRO

Gage/Marchant Lease, 1674, SAS/G43/132-133, ESRO

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

Handout, Wiremill, SJC 03/06, FHWS

Handout, Michaelmas Farm JIC/SJC 07/09, FHWS

Hedgecourt Rentals, 1701/2, Ref: SAS/G11/29, ESRO

Hedgecourt Rental payable to Edward Evelyn 1706-12, Ref: Commonplace Book of Col. Evelyn, BL

Hedgecourt Rental 1730, Ref: SAS/G26/2, ESRO

Gage/Evelyn Indenture of Lease and Release, 1741, Ref: Evelyn papers, Ref: 37,808, BL

Evelyn/Radcliffe Counterpart Lease, 1752, Ref: SAS/PN/1362, ESRO

Will of James Evelyn 1793, Ref: Box 3151, SHC

Handout, Golards Farmhouse, SJC 11/07, FHWS

Everenden/Filkes lease, 1652, SAS/G43/139, ESRO

Handout, Newchapel House, SJC 11/02, FHWS

Gage/Harman lease, 1674, SAS/G43/131, ESRO

Gage/Harman lease 1695, SAS/G43135, ESRO

Gage/Evelyn Indenture, 1741, Evelyn Papers, Ref: 37,808, BL

Bourd map, 1748, FHA

Felbridge Park Sale map, 1855, FHA

Handout, Hop Fields of the Felbridge Area, SJC 09/01, FHWS

Felling license, Gage Papers, Ref: SAS/G43/73-74, ESRO

Evelyn/Radcliffe Counterpart Lease, 1752, Ref: SAS/PN/1362, ESRO

Godstone Tithe map and apportionment, 1842, FHA

Handout, Lime Kilns and Lime burning in Felbridge, SJC 11/00, FHWS

Handout, The Commonplace Book of Colonel Edward Evelyn, JIC/SJC 09/07 FHWS

Handout, Park Farm, JIC/SJC 05/16, FHWS

Draft O/S map, 1809, FHA

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

Handout, Evelyn Family of Felbridge, JIC/SJC 09/13, FHWS

Handout, Park Farm, JIC/SJC 05/16, FHWS

Godstone Land Tax records, Ref: QS6/7, SHC

Tandridge Land Tax records, LL

Census records, 1841 – 1911, www.ancestry.co.uk

Godstone Tithe map and apportionment, 1842, FHA

Births, deaths and marriage index, www.ancestry.co.uk

Handout, Smuggler’s Cottage, SJC 07/06, FHWS

Handout, Eating and Drinking Establishments in Felbridge Pt. V, SJC 03/11, FHWS

Handout, Felbridge Place, SJC 10/99, FHWS

Handout, Evelyn Family of Felbridge JIC/SJC 09/13, FHWS

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

Killick family, Handout, More Biographies of St John’s – Gatty Estate Workers SJC 11/03, FHWS

O/S map, 1869, FHA

Handout, Dr Charles Henry Gatty, SJC09/03, FHWS

Felbridge PlaceSale Catalogue, 1911, FHA

Handout, St John the Divine, SJC 07/02i, FHWS

Creasey family see Handout, More Biographies of St John’s – Gatty Estate Workers SJC 11/03, FHWS

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

Documented memories of M Jones, FHA

Handout, FelbridgeSchool, SJC 09/05, FHWS

O/S map, 1910, FHA

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

Felbridge PlaceSale Catalogue, 1911 FHA

Handout, Shopping in Felbridge Pt. 1, SJC 07/10, FHWS

Bingham Family of Felbridge, SJC 01/05, FHWS

Handout, Eating and Drinking Establishments of Felbridge, Pt. IV, SJC 03/10, FHWS

Handout, More Biographies of St John’s – Gatty Estate Workers SJC 11/03, FHWS

Lt. Col G Froom MVO, Hart’s Annual Army List, 1908

Froom – Electoral Roll 1933-55 www.ancestry.co.uk

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

O/S map, 1910, FHA

O/S map, 1938, FHA

The Old Pheasantry sales particulars, 1987, FHA

Lt. Col S Acklom, Hart’s Annual Army List, 1908

Lt. Col S Acklom, DSO, MC, Hart’s Annual Army List, 1908

Acklom Bankruptcy, Edinburgh Gazette, 13th Nov. 1931

Acklom – Electoral Roll 1933-55 www.ancestry.co.uk

General Election article in the Surrey Mirror and CountyPost, 8th Nov. 1935

Handout, Eating and Drinking Establishments of Felbridge Pt. 2, FHWS

Western Times, Wednesday 17th April 1907 www.britishnewsapaerarchive.co.uk

The Belfast News-Letter, Wednesday 17th April 1907 www.britishnewsapaerarchive.co.uk

Lancashire Evening post, Wednesday 17th April 1907 www.britishnewsapaerarchive.co.uk

Derby Daily Telegraph, Wednesday 17th April 1907 www.britishnewsapaerarchive.co.uk

Electoral Rolls 1945-2012, FHA

Planning Application, TDC Planning Archive, www.tandridge.gov.uk

Sale Particulars for Old Pheasantry Cottage, 1991, FHA

Sale Particulars for The Old Pheasantry, 1987, FHA


Texts of all Handouts referred to in this document can be found on FHG website: www.felbridge.org.uk

SJC 01/17