Golards Farmhouse is located on the main London road, now the A22, in Newchapel, just south of the northern boundary of Felbridge in Surrey. Set back from the road it is easily missed, hidden behind a screening of trees and the Thai Cottage restaurant.
This document sets out to trace the origin of the name, and the history and development of the property along with some of the people who have been associated with it over the years, in particular the Wren family.
Origin of the name
Golards Farmhouse (pronounced Go-lards) takes its name from the woodland that was once situated on the opposite side of the main London road. The Bourd map of 1748, the first detailed local map, records the woodland as Gold Hoards Wood, which by 1789 had become Golords Wood and by 1823, Golards Wood. The name Gold Hoard is generally believed to be a reference to either someone depositing or finding a hoard of gold or some other treasure in the vicinity in the distant past. However, no evidence has yet surfaced to support the naming.
The first reference to the property being known as Golards or a derivation of Gold Hoards, was in the Godstone tithe of 1840, when Henry Wren was recorded as occupying Golhard Farm, consisting of 7a 0r 30p. Prior to this date, and as late as 1841, the property was known as Woodcock Forge later becoming Goldhard Farm. From 1871 the property was called Golhard Farm and by the early 20th century the name had become Gollards, interchangeable with Golards Farm. However, from about 1913, the name was consistently spelt Golards.
The history and development of the site of Golards Farm up to 1748
In 1748, the Bourd map shows the site of Golards Farm forming part of a large field known as Kiln Field, being cultivated as arable as part of Forge Farm. In 1748, Forge Farm extended to 93a 3r 14p and was one of six farms purchased by Edward Evelyn from the estate of the late Sir William Gage, 7th Baronet of Firle. In articles between Lord Gage and Colonel Evelyn (Sir William Gage and Edward Evelyn), dated 15th October 1745, Forge Farm, otherwise Overys, was leased to Richard Baker together with Woodcock Hammer, the forgemans house and four acres of land. Three years later a deed between Edward Evelyn and his son James, reveals that Forge Farm, otherwise Overys, had been late in [the] tenure and occupation of Edward Evelyn.
Having established that the site of Golards Farm formed part of Forge Farm, this can be tracked back to at least April 1668 when John Finch, the miller at Hedgecourt Mill, purchased 74 acres of land and two houses and a barn at Woodcock Forge (the hammer mill), being described as lately the estates of Richard Thorpe of Gibshaven and his brother George Thorpe, [for further details see Handout, Wiremill, SJC 03/06]. The site of Golards Farm was originally held as a freehold property being part of the manor of Sheffield-Lingfield, but unfortunately the surviving court books start in 1643 and it has been impossible to determine when and from whom the Thorpe family acquired it. However, the Surrey Feet of Fines records a sale between James Newman/Newnham of West Hoathly and Richard Thorpe in 1652 which may refer to the property.
In 1672 there is reference to John Stephen occupying Woodcock House (possibly the property now called Legend) and 28 acres owned by John Finch, the site of Golards being part of these twenty-eight acres occupied by John Stephens, but unfortunately no further details have been found about John Stephens.
In 1685 John Finch died and his only daughter Elizabeth, wife of Nicholas Ditcher, is recorded in the court book of the manor of Walkhamsted alias Lagham (Godstone), as intitled to the lands called Woodcocks, and requested to pay a herriot of one cow to the value of £4 on the death of her father. However, in January 1691, John Finch a yeoman of Steyning, mortgaged, 2 messuages and 100 acres called Hammer Lands in Godstone, for the sum of £50 with Jeremiah [Jeremy] Johnson, gentleman of East Grinstead. John Finch had acquired the property through the will of John Finch of Godstone and Hammer Lands in this context refers to lands called Woodcocks as both names were used for the same area, and comprising of land held both by the manor of Lagham and the manor of Sheffield-Lingfield. At the time of the mortgage, the property was occupied by David Maynard, Edward Martin and John Finch, whilst Jeremiah Johnson held the tenure of the Woodcock Forge. Five years later, in December 1696, Jeremiah Johnson purchased Hammer Lands from John Finch for the sum of £483, the property becoming known as Forge Farm. In February 1700, Jeremiah Johnson conveyed Forge Farm to the executors of John Gage, as trustees of his infant son Thomas Gage for the sum of £440, and on the death of Thomas in 1713, the property passed to his brother William, being the late Sir William Gage in the conveyance with Edward Evelyn of 1748.
In 1745, three years before this conveyance, Forge Farm had been referred to as otherwise Overys. The only associated reference for Overys is found in 1664 when a Nicholas Overy is recorded as a witness to a counterpart lease for the hammer mill, Forge pond and Forgemans House at Woodcock, between John Gage and Jeremiah Johnson. It would therefore seem possible that Nicholas Overy could have lent his name to the property later known as Forge Farm otherwise Overys because it abutted the property in the lease of 1664, and also because Nicholas Overy referred to Jeremiah Johnson as his good friend in his will dated 15th November 1672.
There are few details about Nicholas Overy except that he was born in 1625, the son of George and Agnes Overy, and his siblings included, George born about 1610, John born about 1613, William born about 1620, Ann born about 1622 and Mary born about 1630, George being christened in Worth as was Nicholas, but the remaining children being christened in East Grinstead. It would appear that Nicholas Overy never married as no records can be found and his will, proved in 1676, makes no mention of a wife or children. The will does not include any property only gifts of money to various family members, including his brothers George and John, his nephew Richard, son of George, and to Elizabeth (no relationship stated), the wife of Jeremiah Baker and their children Elizabeth, Jeremiah and Sarah of Crayford in Kent. It is interesting to note that in 1742 the property referred to in the Gage/Johnson lease of 1664 was occupied by Samuel Baker [for further details see Handout, Wiremill, SJC 03/06] and in 1745 Forge Farm was occupied by Richard Baker, although no links have yet been made between Samuel or Richard and the Baker family mentioned in Nicholas Overys will of 1672.
What is apparent is that some time after 1748, the field known as Kiln Field on the Bourd map, seven acres of which created the site of Golards Farm, was split from Forge Farm. Shortly after this date a forge and blacksmiths house was built on a part of Kiln Field being called Woodcock Forge, easily confused with the hammer mill (now the site of Wiremill) that had been known as Woodcock Forge when in operation as a hammer mill, [for further details see Handout, Wiremill SJC 03/06], and by 1840, the blacksmiths forge and house had become known interchangeably as Woodcock Forge and Golhards Farm.
Golhards alias Woodcock Forge
It is known that by 1841 Henry Wren occupied Woodcock Forge and there are references to William Wren, a blacksmith, living in the area from at least 1756 when Henry was christened. It would therefore seem reasonable to assume that William Wren could have operated Woodcock Forge from the time of its construction or shortly after (full details on the Wren family follow later). It is known that Knights Carriers dealt with a Master Wren in the second half of the 18th century and their accounts show numerous entries requiring his service as a blacksmith as well as carrying goods to the Forge and later the New Forge, and the accounts show they were certainly dealing with William Wren from 1769. W H Hills writing in his book The History of East Grinstead, believed that William Wren operated the forge at Felbridge so perhaps the term the Forge refers to that forge and perhaps the term the New Forge, referred to in Knights Carriers Accounts in 1766, is the one built at the site of Golards Farm known as Woodcock Forge.
The following are a few of the accounts relating the Wren family found in the Knights Carriers accounts:
£ s d
1764 Master Wren Bill to Robert Knight
July 16th Paid to you in cash 1 1 0
Nov 16th Paid for one caldron & half coles 2 15 6
Paid carriage 7 7 8
Dec 4th the ballance with Master Wren
and thear is due to him 7 17 6
Receat that was found from the forge 0 16 nort
Sett one Shue on the Roade 0 0 7
Sett 2 Shues on the Roade 0 1 2
1765 Jan 1st Sett one Shue on the Rode 0 0 7
Jan 9th For setting 2 Shues on the Rode 0 1 2
Jan 24th For setting one Shue on the Rode 0 0 7
Feb 16th For setting 2 Shues on the Rode 0 1 2
Mar 4th For setting 3 shues on the Rode 0 2 0
For fast[en]ing one Shue 0 0 2
Mar 18th For setting 2 shues on the Rode 0 2 0
Apr 11th Paid Master Wren in cash 1 12 10
May 3rd For setting one Shue at Vauxhall 0 0 8
For setting one Shue on the Road 0 0 7
May 21st For setting one Barr Shue on the Road 0 1 0
June 6th For setting one Shue on the Road 0 0 8
July 9th Paid for Shues on the Road 0 0 10
Aug 2nd Paid Master Wren [?]3 3 0
Oct 25th Had 2 bushels of coles 0 2 4
1766 Feb Had 2 bushels of coles 0 2 2
Feb 27th Lent Jon[?] In cash. Went [illegible]
To the New Forge 0 2 0
1767 Apr 4th Settled all accounts with Master Wren
& Due to him 6 5 6
1 sack of coles 0 2 10
Had 2 bushels of ots 0 4 6
Had 2 bushels of ots 0 4 6
Dec 24th Had 1 sack of coles 0 2 10
Had 1 sack of coles 0 2 10
1768 Jan 26th Had 1 sack of coles 0 2 10
Feb 13th Had 1 sack of coles 0 2 10
Mar 12th Paid for 1 sack of coles 0 3 0
Mar 21st Paid for 1 sack of coles 0 3 0
May 10th Paid for 1 sack of coles 0 2 9
June 11th Paid for 1 sack of coles 0 2 9
June 30th Paid for 1 sack of coles 0 2 9
July 20th Paid for 1 sack of coles 0 2 9
0 17 0
1 3 5
2 0 5
Account upon Master Wren
5 Reaceats 5 5 0
Ditto Iron 4 1 4½
For carriage of 11 sacks of Coles 0 16 0
Paid for coles & ots 1 sack 2 0 5
Ditto took of from Score 12 14 6
Master Wrens Bill of Work 11 9 4
Master Wrens Bill of Work 4 5 15½
Master Wren upon old account 6 5 6
Due to Master Wren 22 9 11½
1769 June 28th Ballance & settled all accounts
With Robert Knight & due to me
William Wren 5 11 0
Oct 19th Received of Robert Knight in part
By me William Wren 2 2 0
1772 William Wren due to Robert Knight for beer 0 0 4
Feb 4th Paid for 1 sack of coles 0 3 3
Paid for carriage 0 1 8
Mar 5th Paid for 2 sacks of coles 0 6 6
Paid for carriage 0 3 0
Mar 21st Paid for 4 Bushell of coles 0 4 11
Paid for carriage 0 2 0
Analysis of the accounts show that to have a horseshoe fitted cost 7d (3p), and even 8d (3½p) when fitted in Vauxhall! Wren was making at least two types of horse shoes, apart from basic shoes, he also made bar shoes that were commonly used as a corrective shoe for horses, suggesting that one of the Knights Carrier horses had a problem with its foot or hoof. Knights frequently carried coles to the forge, this would have been charcoal and not coal, although there is only one entry for carrying iron to the forge. Charcoal cost about 2s 9d (13½p) a sack with a bushel (a dry measure of about 8 gallons/36.5L) costing about 1s 1d (5½p). The only other item that features in the Wren accounts on a fairly regular basis are bushels of ots (oats), costing 1s 3d (6½p).
The first map evidence for a property on the site of Golards Farm is found on the Lindley & Crossley map of 1793 which depicts a building opposite a roadway linking the main London road with what is today called Stub Pond Lane, running parallel with the current public footpath no.365. By 1795 five buildings are depicted on the site of Golards Farm, although it is possible that they were also there in 1793 and not depicted as Lindley & Crossley frequently omitted outbuildings and buildings that they considered to be of lower status or of little importance, depicting only houses.
The Felbridge tithe of 1801 records Henry Wren, blacksmith, in the Felbridge area and in the 1841 census, Henry Wren, blacksmith, is recorded as occupying Woodcock Forge with his son Charles and his family. The Godstone tithe apportionment of 1840 records that Golhard Farm, the site of Woodcock Forge, was owned by the Earl of Liverpool, a relation of the Evelyn family, and occupied by Henry Wren, the property consisting of:
Field Name Description Acreage
150 Kiln Field Arable 02 03 24
152 Middle Field Arable 02 02 08
153 Road Field Arable 01 00 01
151 House &c. 00 02 37
Total 07 00 30
Analysis of the apportionment shows that although Henry Wren was a blacksmith, he was also farming the property as all the fields are recorded as arable, possibly growing oats, as mentioned in the Knights Carrier accounts. The name Kiln Field, suggests that there had been a lime kiln or brick kiln in the field from before 1748 when it first appears on the Bourd map. It is not known which type of kiln gave its name to the field but it was well known that the burning of lime to create quick lime produced a good fertiliser that increased the productivity of the soil for growing crops [for further details see Handout, Lime Burning in Felbridge, SJC 11/00] and the surrounding fields in 1748 were all recorded as arable.
By 1840, the Kiln Field of 1748 had been divided into four plots, numbers 150 to 153. Plot 150, still called Kiln Field, abutted the main London road on the west, Wiremill Lane on the north and plots 151 and 152 on the south. Plot 150 also had a small enclosure with a building at the bottom south west corner of the field and another building on the boundary between it and plot 151. Plot 151 contained four buildings, including the house, wheelers shop and smithy, and abutted the main London road on the west, plot 150 on the north, plot 152 on the east and plot 153 to the south. Plots 152, Middle Field, and 153, Road Field, were open fields.
In 1849, Henry Wren died at the age of ninety-three and his will proved in 1850 left his trade and business of a Wheelwright and Blacksmith and all his interest and stock in trade, as well as all his household furniture, goods, chattels and effects to his son Charles Wren. However, by 1851, Charles Wren had moved from Woodcock Forge and was running the Jolly Farmer in Horne; Woodcock Forge was occupied by James Walls who had married Sarah Ann Wren, a daughter of Charles Wren. Living with the Walls family was Charles Humphrey who had been born in 1826, being listed as a blacksmith journeyman, implying that he may have been operating the forge and that James Walls, being listed as a farm labourer, was working Golhard Farm.
In 1855, descendents of the Evelyn family put the Felbridge Park Estate up for auction in 12 Lots. Golards Farm, which at the time was referred to as Woodcock Forge, formed part of Lot 1, which also included the mansion house and home domain, the Star Inn, Park Farm, Wards Farm, Woodcock or Wiremill Mill, Farm and Pond, Hedgecourt Mill, lands and Pond, Newchapel and Rabies Farm, Hedgecourt Manor Farm, Furnace Wood Pond, part of Smithfield Farm and about 486 acres of Woodland. The sales catalogue described Golards Farm as:
On the main Road in Godstone, and opposite Chapel Wood, are some Business Premises, in the occupation of Mr Charles Wren, known as
A Brick Panelled House (tiled), containing 4 Bedrooms, 2 Attics, Parlour, Kitchen, Washhouse, small Dairy and Cellar, Garden &c.
A Large Yard, in which are a small Barn (used as a Wheelers Shop), a Large Smithy, Cart Shed & Cow Shed, Piggeries &c.
The Following Land in the Parish of Godstone:-
Plot Use Acreage
150 Kiln field 02. 03. 24
151 House & Shop 00. 02. 37
152 Middle Field 02. 02. 08
153 Road Field 01. 00. 01
Total 07. 00. 30
The whole of Lot 1, including Woodcock Forge, was purchased by George Gatty of Crowhurst Place in Sussex, along with Lots 2 and 3, Smithfields Farm and Cuttinglye, taking up residence at with his wife Frances and son Charles at Felbridge Place in 1856.
In 1861, Charles Wren and his family had moved from the Jolly Farmer back to Woodcock Forge, which by this date was known as New Chapel Forge. Charles had resumed the sole occupation of master blacksmith and working with him, both as assistant blacksmiths, were his son Charles Henry Wren aged twenty-two, and William Constable aged forty. Two years later, Charles Wren died aged sixty-nine and by 1871 his son Charles Henry Wren was living at Croydon Barn Lane in Horne, working as a blacksmith, and Woodcock Forge was in the occupation of John Brooker and his family, the property being known as Golhard Farm.
The Wren family of Golards Farm alias Woodcock Forge
The first Wren to appear in the Felbridge area is William Wren being mentioned in the Knights Carrier Accounts in the 1760s and 70s. The following information is about the Wren family who descended from William, with the Wrens who held the Woodcock Forge in bold type, followed by the details of their particular branch of the family.
William was born in 1729 but unfortunately there are no good candidates for his parents in the area. William married Elizabeth but unfortunately no other information is known about her except that she was buried at Lingfield on 15th January 1800.
William and Elizabeth had at least four children, William born in 1754, Henry born in 1756, and Benjamin and Elizabeth, who were both christened in 1758.
William junior married Eleanor Tulley on 7th September 1785 and they had at least four children, Mary born in 1786, Eleanor born in 1791, Louisa born in 1792 and Elizabeth born in 1795. Little else is known about this family except that William died aged seventy-six and was buried on 8th May 1830 at Lingfield. It is possible that he was the William Wren referred to in the Knights Carriers accounts between 1769 and 1772, although it is more likely to have been his father William.
There are few details about Benjamin as he would appear to have died shortly after his third birthday and was buried on 24th June 1761 at Lingfield.
Elizabeth married Henry Roffey, the son of Thomas Roffey and his wife Sarah née Potter, on 21st November, 1780. Elizabeth and Henry Roffey had at least two children, Ann born in 1784 who married Thomas Huggett, the son of Richard Huggett and Mary née Bish, and Henry born in 1786 who married firstly Elizabeth Killick the daughter of John Killick and his wife Elizabeth née Huggett, and secondly Ann English the daughter of Edward English and his wife Catherine née Medhurst.
It is William and Elizabeth Wrens second son Henry who eventually took over the Woodcock Forge. Henry Wren was christened on 11th January 1756 in Lingfield and followed in his fathers footsteps as a blacksmith, as well as the trade of a wheelwright. Henry married Elizabeth Prickett on 1st June 1779 in Maresfield in Sussex. At the time of their marriage, Henry was listed as a blacksmith of the parish of Godstone and Elizabeth was listed as the daughter of Richard Prickett who was running the forge (hammer mill) at Maresfield in 1778/9.
Henry and Elizabeth had at least seven children, Ann born in 1781, William born in 1783, Elizabeth born in 1785, Mary Prickett born in 1787, Henry born in 1789, Charles born in 1794 and Thomas William born in 1799. The first two children were christened at Lingfield and the remaining five at East Grinstead.
Ann was christened on 3rd June 1781 but died as a child aged eight, being buried on 20th September 1789 at Lingfield.
William was christened on 3rd August 1783, he too trained as a blacksmith and on 22nd October 1805, married Elizabeth Burley, the daughter of Thomas Burley and his wife Jane née Rose. William and Elizabeth had two children, William Henry born in 1805 and Susannah born in 1806, the family living in Bletchingley from about 1810. William senior was a member of the Bletchingley Militia being demobbed in 1813, but unfortunately died in 1821 at the age of just thirty-eight. However, it would appear that his wife Elizabeth and their son William Henry, continued the blacksmithing business in Bletchingley as in 1851 Elizabeth was recorded as a retired smith, and William as an unmarried Master Smith, with William seniors great nephew John Wren, employed as an apprentice.
Elizabeth was christened on 30th October 1785 and married William Allwork, the son of William Allwork and his wife Jane née Jenner, on 17th May 1808 in Godstone. William was born in East Grinstead 1783 and was a cooper by trade. Elizabeth died aged just thirty-three and was buried on 17th February, 1819 in Reigate, they appear not to have had children and William died in 1865.
There is little documentary evidence about the lives of Mary Prickett Wren or her brother Henry, other than Mary was christened on 23rd September 1787 and died at the age of four being buried on 11th November 1793 in Godstone, and that Henry was christened on 4th December 1789 and died at the age of twenty-three being buried on 23rd September, 1863 in Lingfield.
Thomas William was christened on 10th February 1799 and married Sarah Wallis on 20th October 1819 in Croydon, the daughter of John Wallis and his wife Elizabeth née Baldwin. Sarah had been born in Horne in 1798. Thomas and Sarah had at least four children, Anna Maria born in 1821, Sarah born in 1827, Elizabeth born in 1831 and Ellen born in 1834. Anna Maria had a son William born in 1841 and four years later married Alexander Ridge in 1845. In 1841, Thomas was working as a Master Blacksmith and the family were living at the Forge in Felbridge where Thomas remained until some time between 1861 and his death in 1872 when he is recorded as dying at the age of seventy-three at Mile End. His wife Sarah had died by 1861.
It is Henry and Elizabeths son Charles who succeeded his father at the Woodcock Forge. Charles was christened on 9th May 1794 and married Elizabeth Wallis in Croydon in 1816, Elizabeth being the sister of Sarah Wallis who married Charles brother Thomas in 1819. Elizabeth had been born in Horne in 1794. Charles and Elizabeth had twelve children, Helen [Ellen] and Elizabeth christened in 1818, Mary born in 1824, Sarah Ann, Caroline and Henry christened in 1826, William born about 1829, Rosina [Rosanna] Ann born in 1831, Jane Thounson born about 1832, Emma in 1834, John born about 1835 and Charles Henry born about 1839.
Little is known about Helen except that she was christened on 26th April 1818 in Lingfield, along with her sister Elizabeth. Elizabeth married Thomas Goodwin in 1846 and they had a son called Charles born in 1847. Again little is known about Mary, William and Emma, other than Mary was christened on 17th October 1824, William was christened on 27th April 1831, and Emma was christened on 14th December 1834, all in Lingfield. Jane was christened on 9th September 1832 and married Thomas Steer in 1857. Caroline was christened in 1826 in Horne, and Rosanna [Rosina] was christened on 17th May 1829 in Lingfield. Both Caroline and Rosanna trained as dressmakers and were living with their sister Sarah Ann and her husband at Woodcock Forge in 1851.
Sarah Ann had married James Walls on 18th October 1850 in Croydon. James had been born about 1827 in the parish of Godstone. As already established, in 1851, Sarah and James were living at Woodcock Forge, James recorded as a farm labourer implying that he may have run Golards Farm. Living with Sarah and James Walls at the Woodcock Forge, were Sarahs sisters, Caroline and Rosanna Wren, and Charles Humphrey. Charles Humphrey was born about 1825 and was working as a blacksmith journeyman suggesting that he was operating the forge, whilst James concentrated on the farm. Sarah and James would appear not to have had children and Sarah died aged just thirty-nine being buried on 15th July 1865 in the churchyard at St Johns Church, Felbridge. James lived on for another twenty-seven years and died aged sixty-five being buried on 16th February 1892 also at St Johns.
Henry married Eliza in about 1846 and they had Henry T born in 1847, Annie born in 1858 and Emma born in 1862. John was christened on 6th September 1835 in Bletchingley and, as already established, by 1851 was apprenticed under his cousin William Henry Wren as a blacksmith at Bletchingley.
There is much information about the youngest of Charles and Elizabeths children, Charles Henry, and full details follow below. As for Charles Wren, in 1841 he was working with his father Henry, who was the blacksmith at Woodcock Forge. Living at the forge with them were Charles wife Elizabeth and some of their family. Charles was recorded as a blacksmith and his son Henry was recorded as a shop man working with John Holman. Shortly after the census entry, Charles and his family left the forge, moving to the Jolly Farmer in Horne where Charles was working as a victualler and blacksmith. However, Henry Wren died in 1850, leaving his blacksmith and wheelwright business to his son Charles. By 1861, Charles and Elizabeth Wren were back at Woodcock Forge, by then called Newchapel Forge, with two of their children, Rosanna and Charles Henry, Rosanna still working as a dressmaker and Charles Henry as an assistant blacksmith. Charles remained at the Woodcock Forge until his death in 1863 being buried at Lingfield on 23rd September 1863.
Charles Henry Wren
In 1861, Charles Henry, the youngest son of Charles and Elizabeth Wren was working as an assistant blacksmith at the Woodcock Forge alongside his father. Shortly after the death of his father, Charles Henry married Mary Ann Walls in about 1863, Mary being born about 1841 in Horne. Charles Henry and Mary had two children, Charles Henry William born on 13th November 1864 and Elizabeth P R born in 1866.
It would appear that Charles Henry Wren was the last Wren to operate the Woodcock Forge, as some time between the death of his father in 1863 and 1871, he moved from the forge to Croydon Barn Lane in Horne, where he continued to work as a blacksmith, employing Thomas Potter who also lodged with the family. However, by 1881 Charles Henry had moved to the Blacksmith Shop in Newchapel, located on the site of what is now Linden Farm, and it is also around this date that his wife Mary died.
In 1887 Charles Henry married Rebecca Joslin, who had been born in 1847 in Ardingly, the daughter of Henry Knight, a blacksmith of Ardingly, and his wife Mary née Stoner. Rebecca was the widow of George Joslin whom she had married in 1863. George Joslin had been born in 1833 in Essex, the son of Joseph Joslin, and had a daughter Georgina by his first wife, Eliza. However, Eliza had died by March 1863 and George married Rebecca Knight in the December quarter of 1863. George and Rebecca had five children, Alice born about 1863, Elisa born about 1867, Emma born about 1869, George born about 1872 and William Henry born about 1878, and by 1871 the family was living at West Park Cottages, West Park Road, Horne. However, George Joslin died in 1884 and Rebecca married Charles Henry Wren having one son, Christopher Lewis Wren, born about 1886.
By 1891, Charles Henry and his family had moved to the Felbridge Forge, Charles Henry working with his son Charles Henry William and step-son George Joslin. On 12th March 1892, Charles Henrys son Charles Henry William married Francis Evelyn Neve at St Johns Church, Felbridge, and they had four children, Edith R born in 1893, Dorothy A born in 1895, Charles Henry William born in 1899 and Rosalin C born in 1900. However, by 1899 Charles Henry William had moved from the Felbridge Forge and was working at the East Grinstead Iron Works, but unfortunately he died in January 1900, aged only thirty-five, just before the birth of his last child. Charles Henry William was buried at St Johns, Felbridge on 4th January 1900. Francis eventually re-married but by then the family had been forced to split up.
By 1901 Charles Henry and his wife Rebecca had also moved from the Felbridge Forge and were living in Snow Hill Lane, Snow Hill. Charles Henry died aged seventy-six in June 1914 and was buried in the churchyard at St Johns Felbridge, and Rebecca died aged eighty-eight on 9th December 1935. With the death of Charles Henry in 1914 came the end of over 150 years of the Wren familys association with blacksmithing in the Felbridge area that had started in the late 18th century with William Wren at the Woodcock Forge.
The Brooker family of Golards Farm
As already established, John Brooker succeeded Charles Wren at the Woodcock Forge by 1871, which by then was known as Goldhard Farm, and the census records John and his wife Mary with their seven children living there. John was born in 1813 in Forest Row, the son of Henry and Ann Brooker. Henry Brooker had married Ann Lyewood on 10th April 1803 in East Grinstead and, as well as John they also had Benjamin born in 1803, Sarah born in 1808 and Henry born in 1810.
John Brooker married Mary Gouring on 30th December 1844 in East Grinstead, Mary being born about 1819 in Ashurst Wood, part of the parish of East Grinstead. John and Mary had at least ten children including, John Amos born in 1845, William Thomas born in 1846, Sarah Cockrell born in 1848, Benjamin born in 1849, Abraham born in 1852, Mary born in 1854, Henry born in 1858, Eliza Laura (known as Laura) born in 1860, Charles born in 1862 and James Arthur (known as Arthur) born in 1864. John Amos was born in Forest Row and christened in East Grinstead but the remaining nine children were all christened in Lingfield. From the 1881 census records, there is a daughter Annie born about 1856, but no christening records have yet come to light, and it is possible that this was the known-by name for Mary as the family used several other known-by names.
In 1871, John Brooker was recorded as an agricultural labourer and, from later census information, he was probably working Golhard Farm where he lived. His son John was working as a cowman and son Benjamin was working as a gardener; the remaining children were all recorded as scholars. In 1881, the Brooker household had dropped to just John and Mary and three of their children. John was recorded as a cow farmer of three acres, suggesting that at the time at least three acres of the original Woodcock Forge plot of just over seven acres was being run as a dairy farm. Working alongside their father were sons John and Henry, also listed as cowmen. In 1891 John and Mary were still living at Golards Farm, but by now only Abraham was living with them, being recorded as a domestic valet. At this date Golards was still being run as a farm as John Brooker appears in the Kellys Directory for 1891 as a farmer of Goldhard.
In 1893, John and Marys son Charles returned home to help his aged parents with the farm. He had left Golards by 1881 to work as a groom for John Ramsden at Busbridge Hall in Godalming, Surrey. In 1885, Charles had married Elizabeth Jane Headland, the daughter of Henry and Elizabeth Headland, who had been born in 1862 in Southampton. Charles and Elizabeth had three children, Laura Mary, was born in 1885, Florence Bertha born in 1886 and Elizabeth Jessy (known as Jessy) born on 30th October 1892. Laura was born in the parish of Godstone, but Florence and Jessy were both born in Lancashire, as by 1891, Charles and Elizabeth had moved to Aymestrey Lodge in Much Woolton where Charles was employed as a coachman for Herbert J Robinson, a sugar refiner of Aymestrey Court until 1893 when Charles and his family moved back to Golards Farm. Five years after moving back to Golards, Charles father John died, aged eighty-three, and was buried on 18th May 1898 in the churchyard at St Johns Church, Felbridge.
In 1906 Charles wife Elizabeth died at the age of only forty-five and was buried on 2nd February 1906 in the churchyard at St Johns. In January 1908, the minutes of the Beef and Faggot Charity record that Mrs Brooker (90 years of age) of Gollards Farm [Charles mother] was entitled to receive 2s 6d a week in respect of her old age and sickness and also that Charles had applied for an outfit to be provided for his daughter Jessy on her going into service. This request was duly granted with 50/- (£2.50) being made available for the purchase of a suitable outfit from W Young & Sons, ready for Jessy to take up her appointment at Tanglelands in Dormans Park. Two months later, Charles acquired a grandson, Cyril, born to his daughter Florence on 14th March 1908, but unfortunately, within three months, Charles mother Mary had died at the age of ninety and was buried in the churchyard at St Johns, on 5th June 1908.
In 1910, the Felbridge Place estate, including Golards Farm, was sold by heirs of the Gatty family to Mrs Emma Harvey and the East Grinstead Estate Company. In 1911 the tenancy schedule for the Felbridge estate records that the Brooker tenancy for Golards Farm, consisting of 7acres 1 rood and 7 perch, was not due to expire until 29th September 1911 and that they also held the tenancy of Smithfields Farm, Crawley Down Road in Felbridge, consisting of 104 acres 1 rood 33 perch, which also expired on the same date.
In May 1911, the whole the Felbridge Place estate was divided into lots and put up for auction, however, Golards Farm does not appear in the sale catalogue implying that the property was either sold prior to the auction or independently from it. By this date the field pattern of Golards Farm had changed a great deal from 1855. The farmhouse, forge building and an orchard were located in plot 141, formerly plot 151 and part of plot 152, Kiln Field, formerly plot 150, had become plot 142 (later subdivided as 142 and 142a), and Middle Field, formerly plot 152, and Road Field, formerly plot 152, now equated to plots 146 and 147. The acreage of the fields at Golards Farm in 1911 was:
Plot Use Acreage
141 House, outbuilding & orchard 01.086
It is not known when the Brooker family left Golards Farm but by the end of 1911, Charles, two of his daughters, Laura and Florence, and his grandson Cyril, had moved to the smallholding known as The Oaks in Crawley Down Road, from where Charles ran a carrier business and the girls ran a laundry business.
Golards in the 20th century
In 1911 Golards Farm was sold by the East Grinstead Estate Company to Charles Rowe Colvile and his brother Kenneth Newton Colvile who ran a fruit growing business from the property, the farm being known as Golards Fruit Farm.
Charles and Kenneth were the sons of Charles Frederick Colvile and his wife Mary née Rowe. Charles had been born about 1843 in Great Livermere in Suffolk, the son of Augustus Asgill Colvile and his wife Mary Ann. Mary Rowe had been born about 1847 in Chile, the daughter of Charles and Sarah Rowe. Charles Rowe, who had been born in Jamaica and his family moved from Chile to England sometime between 1859 and 1861.
Charles Frederick Colvile made a career in the army and in 1861 was a Captain in the 11th Regiment of Foot rising to the rank of Lt. Colonel by 1891. Charles married Mary Rowe about 1867 and they had eight children, Henry Charles A born in 1868 and Amelia born about 1870, both in Liverpool, Charles Rowe born in 1870 in Sandhurst, Hampshire, Alice M born about 1872 in Paddington, London, Augustus Gilbert born about 1874 and Arthur M born about 1877, both in Ireland, Ernest Frederick born about 1880 in Dawlish, Devon, and Kenneth Newton born in 1884 in Paddington.
It has not yet been possible to determine exactly when Charles Rowe Colvile and Kenneth Newton Colvile purchased Golards Farm but they both appear in the Rate Books for 1913 as owners of the property, along with part of Hedgecourt Farm, part of Newchapel Farm and part of Golards Wood. Charles had a career in banking and Kenneth became an author and specialist on the 18th century, whose works include, the introduction to Diall of Princes published in 1919, the introduction to A miscellany of the wits: selected pieces by William King, published in 1920, The Tale of Troy, published in 1940 and Fames Twilight: Studies of nine men of letters, published in 1970.
In 1913, the Colvile brothers both appear as fruit growers of Golards Farm in Kellys Directory, but it is unclear whether either brother lived at Golards or whether they employed someone to run the farm for them. It has been suggested that the old Surrey apple called Forge originated at Golards Farm, although most forge premises on the Surrey/Sussex border also lay claim to the apples origin.
Unfortunately, it has not yet been possible to determine when the Colviles sold Golards, but in 1920 Kenneth Colvile was living a 2 Elsworthy Terrace in Hampstead, the whereabouts of Charles has yet to be ascertained, and Golards Farm was occupied by Miss Enid Allen who was running the property as a poultry farm.
There are few details about Enid Allen or her life, except that she sold her eggs and poultry to passers-by, being that the farm was on the main London road. It is believed that this stall was the first of its kind in the area and proved to be so successful that she soon extended the range to include cut flowers, fruit and vegetables. To enhance the visual appearance of the produce she commissioned Fosters Pottery who operated from Park Road in East Grinstead, to produce a series of bowls to hold the various items of produce. Fosters also produced pottery vases, to Enids own design, being glazed on the inside so that they could hold the cut flowers in water. Later, with a successful road-side market stall up and running, Enid Allen turned her attentions to breeding dogs and again she asked Fosters Pottery to make dishes to her design in two sizes to hold the dogs food, one design for adult dogs and a smaller one for puppies.
Again, it is unclear when Enid Allen left Golards Farm but in the early 1930s Mrs Chatty was running Golards Farm as a poultry farm; she too sold eggs, fruit and vegetables from a small kiosk as well as running a Tea Rooms called the Yellow Teapot. During the Second World War the Irish Guards stationed opposite at Hobbs Barracks would buy their supplies from Golards Farm, [for further details see Handout, Stories of Hobbs Barracks, SJC 01/03]. It is possible that Miss Enid Allen and Mrs Chatty are one and the same, but more research needs to be completed to determine their true identities.
By the mid 1930s, Mrs Chatty was widowed and, having a daughter from her first marriage, she married Wilfred Reginald Botteril, who had been born about 1892 in Surrey, the son of Henry Botteril and his wife Jemima née Hitchcock. Wilfreds siblings included, Henry born about 1874, Jemima born about 1875, Alice L born about 1878 and Harold A born about 1885. Wilfreds father, Henry was the son of George and Hannah Botteril, George being a tobacconist at the time of his birth, becoming a cigar importer sometime between 1861 and 1871, the profession that Henry followed. Sadly in 1944, Wilfred Botteril died and was buried in the churchyard at St Johns on 2nd February 1944.
Mrs Botteril continued to run Golards Farm, kiosk and Tea Rooms, which were eventually taken over by her daughter from her first marriage, Anne. Anne Chatty married Robert Coutts and went on to become a member of the Felbridge Conservative Association and a Parish, District and County Councillor. Under Anne Coutts the Tea Rooms took on a new name becoming known as Golards Barn Cafe, being regularly frequented by members of the WRAC (Womens Royal Army Corps, formerly the ATS) who were temporarily stationed at Hobbs Barracks opposite, in the 1960s, whilst their Depot at Guildford in Surrey was being re-built, [for further details see Handout, Hobbs Barracks, DHW 08/01/03].
Golards Farmhouse today
Today, the old forge building has been completely re-built and is run as a separate entity to that of Golards Farmhouse, although unfortunately, it has not yet been possible to determine when the forge building was sold off. However, in the autumn of 2004, Golards Farmhouse was put up for sale being described as a:
Fascinating detached period residence with origins believed to date back to the
16th century providing interesting accommodation in rural position.
5 Bedrooms, Bathroom & en-suite Shower, 3 Reception rooms, Kitchen/Breakfast room,
Gas central heating.
Outbuildings, including Stables and Garage.
Grounds and Paddock in all about 1 ½ acres.
A comparison of the sale details for the property shows very few alterations have been made to the house since 1855, but the property has lost about six acres of land and no longer has the large yard, small barn and forge that once formed the Woodcock Forge and Wheelwrights Shop.
Bourd map, 1748, FHA
Draft O/S map, 1789
O/s map, 1823
History of English-field names by J Field
Court Books for the manor of Sheffield-Lingfield, ADD MSS 17704-07, WSRO
Land transaction, Newman/Thorpe, 1652, Surrey Feet of Fines, SRC XLV & XLVI
Godstone tithe map and apportionment, 1840, SHC
Census records, 1841, 1851, 1861, 1871, 1881, 1891, 1901
Articles, Gage/Evelyn, 1745, Box 3151, SHC
Deed, Evelyn/Evelyn, 1748, Box 3151, SHC
Counterpart Lease, Gage/Johnson, 1664, SAS/G43/54, ESRO
East Grinstead Parish Records, WSRO
Conveyance, April 1668, SAS/G46/9, ESRO
Handout, Wiremill, SJC 03/06, FHA
Assignment, 1672, SAS/G46/9, ESRO
Lagham Court Book, P25/21/11, SHC
Mortgage, 1691, SAS/G42/58, ESRO
Settlement, 1694, SAS/G43/59-62, ESRO
Settlement, 1694, SAS/G43/63-65, ESRO
Conveyance, 1700, SAS/G43/67-68, ESRO
Gage family tree, http://www.stirnet.com
History of East Grinstead by W H Hills
Knights Carriers Accounts, WSRO
Lindley & Crossely map, 1793, FHA
Felbridge Parish & Footpath Map, 1999, FHA
Draft O/S map, 1795, FHA
Felbridge Tithe, 1801, FHA
Handout, Lime Burning in Felbridge, SJC 11/00, FHA
The family tree research of Brian Warner, FHA
Wren/Prickett marriage licence, Sussex Marriage Index
The Iron Industry of the Weald by Cleere and Crossley
Documented memories of J Brooker, FHA
Minutes of the Beef & Faggot Charity, 1906-1925, FHA
Felbridge Tenancy Schedule, 1911, Box 3151, SHC
Felbridge Place Sale Catalogue.
Kellys Directory, 1913
O/S map 1914, FHA
Rate Book, 1913, 3293/12/7, SHC
The Pottery: Some Memories by E Allen, EG Bulletin, no.9 p5, FHA
Felbridge Parish Registers
Handout, Stories of Hobbs Barracks, SJC 01/03, FHA
Documented memories of P Fuller, FHA
Handout, Hobbs Barracks, DHW 08/01/03, FHA
Sales particulars 2004, EGC, FHA