Dorset House

Dorset House Front 1955 Dorset House Rear 1955
Dorset House in 1955
(Front elevation on left, Rear elevation on right)
Reproduced by permission of Surrey History Centre
Copyright of Surrey History Centre

Dorset House was a property which once stood on the road running from the centre of Ewell village to Pit House, known in earlier times as Eastern Approach, Eastern Entrance or Grove Road but now called Cheam Road

Extract from the 1932 OS Map showing Dorset House
Extract from the 1932 OS Map showing Dorset House

In the schedules of Ewell Copyholds on this website, the messuage which became Dorset House is listed as part of Plot 286 on a map for the Enclosure Award of 1802 as follows:-

Dates Holder Reference
Prior to 1735 Sarah Robotham 10/172 page 21
1736 Walter Robotham 10/172 page 21
1743 Henry Fendall 10/172 page 64
1749 Helena Fendall 10/171
1757 William Williams 10/171
1770 Ann Williams 10/173
1786 Henry Williams 10/175 page 221
1789 Thomas Williams 10/175 page 240
1799 Henry Kitchen 10/175 page 371
1805 Mary Kitchen 10/168 parcel 10
1805 George Barnes 10/168 parcel 10
1861 Henrietta Vansittart 32/33/2
1869 Dr George Thomas Barnes 10/167 page 36, 10/179 page 430

Dorset House itself is reported to have dated from the early 18th century. Since the property was already standing on the site in 1802 as depicted in the following extract one may infer that it was erected by Henry Kitchen, senior, a prominent local builder.

Extract from the 1802 Enclosure Map
Extract from the 1802 Enclosure Map

At that date George Barnes had a house on the opposite side of the street. The latter is considered in an article about James Lowe: he had been present in Ewell by 1802 when his son George Thomas Barnes was baptised at St Mary's. Although subject to a petition in bankruptcy during 1814 it appears that the family could have clung on to this real estate because Henrietta Vansittart was a grandchild of George Barnes senior.

In 1841, an occupier is named as Frederick Taylor, later of Worcester Park, who owned the Malden gunpowder mill at that time.

George Robinson Barnes was a Doctor of Medicine who had come to Ewell in 1867 and could have been the copyholder two years later but the reference to George Thomas Barnes , the name of the son of 'Squire' George Barnes is confusing.

Dr G R Barnes continued to practice from the premises until his demise 25 August 1892.

Dr Barnes was succeeded by Dr Ernest Noel Reichardt who remained in the house until 1916.

Percy Beaumont Shepheard, Solicitor, and his wife Edith May were in residence during 1921. Mr P B Shepheard was buried in St Mary's churchyard during 1953.

Dr W H Rogers had taken over by 1922

In 1925 & 1927 Gerald Hubert and Dorothy Ellen Kellie occupied Dorset House with their family. He was described as a Bookbinder.

At the beginning of 1947, a non-profit home for the aged was established there, supported by the Epsom Rotary Club and a local church group.

By July 1955 the building was standing empty. Purchased by Epsom and Ewell Urban District Council, it was subsequently demolished to make space for parking cars. A remembrance of the structure is provided by the official title 'Dorset House car park'.

Brian Bouchard © 2011

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