Down Lodge

Church Street, Epsom, replacing Down Cottage
(not to be confused with the later Downs Cottage Racing Stables)

Extract from the Epsom Tithe Map
Extract from the Epsom Tithe Map

The site for what has been developed into Downs Lodge Court, with 34 Church Street and Bocketts, Downs Road, Epsom, is represented on the above extract from the 1843 Tithe Map as Plots 603 (in two parts), 604 & 605. Since there are differences in the history of these parcels, each will be considered separately.

Plot 603 - in two pieces

In The Residential Copyholds of Epsom, item 7A9, Dr H L Lehmann ascribes the larger piece, reported in 1680 as held by Joseph Collyer, citizen and linen-draper of London, '3/2 acres adjoining to Dorking Way..', to plot 603. The Will of Joseph Collyer, leatherseller of London, dated14 August 1702, was proved 12 October 1721 - PROB 11/581/404. This land then descended with other property to Mary Collyer, his relict, and her son Joseph Collyer, junior. They sold the premises to William Compton of Caius College, Cambridge, 19 May 1755, and he was recorded as holding it for the Epsom survey in that year. William Compton had the messuage, workshop, brewhouse, stables and garden, half an acre (formerly commonfield land) near the church, abutting on the garden of Elizabeth Hay, widow [LINK to Ebbisham House], enfranchised on 14 June 1756. In his Companion from London to Brighthelmston, 1789, James Edwards mentions 'a neat white house in the possession of Mrs Wood' before the cross roads at the end of Church Street.

Henry Pownall's Some particulars relating to the history of Epsom, 1825, describes Church Street 'Passing the house of John Jackson, Esq. on the right [presumably Ebbisham House], and a cottage ornee adjoining, belonging to James Gibson, Esq.' [A 'cottage ornee', anglicised from the French orne (with an acute accent), suggests a decorated structure - 'a rustic building of picturesque design'.]

In 1843, James Gibson held the property but the house and pleasure grounds (3 roods 27 perches) were let to John Wardroper who had married Elizabeth only surviving daughter of the late John Townsend of Farnham - at St Martin in the Fields, 6 May 1841. Mr Wardroper became a partner of William Everest as Attorneys and Solicitors in Epsom.

Mr Gibson was Treasurer, later Governor, of the New England Corporation. Brayley's Topographical History of Surrey, 1850, however, mentions the continuing presence of James Gibson in Church Street, Epsom.

Within a year or so Down Cottage appears to have been acquired by William Norton to be rebuilt and transformed into Down Lodge - see below.

Plot 604

Rebecca Lambert held in 1680 amongst other lands inherited from her husband, Samuel Lambert the younger of Banstead, on 27 October 1667, half an acre adjoining to Collyers Hedge [Lehmann 7A10]. Rebecca Lambert's properties descended [as explained in Lehmann 4B4] to Thomas Reynolds and his wife Anne (surviving daughter of Lady Elizabeth Willimott) who sold on to Mary Potter, spinster, Lombard Street, London, on 8 September 1755. Following the death of Mary Potter, recorded on 3 June 1776, there had been no immediate claim for the copyhold and the property reverted to the Lord of the Manor. Hans Lehmann details the circumstances in which Robert Bulkley of Barlow's Buildings near Blackfriars Bridge then came to be admitted on 23 March 1779. The death of Robert Bulkley, late of Tulse Hill, Surrey, was recorded, 2 June 1788, and on 13 June 1790 his only daughter and heir Elizabeth Bulkley, aged 19, was admitted. At St George's Church, Hanover Square, on 17 July 1792, Elizabeth, of Bulkley Malpas, Cheshire, married John Barneby of Brockhampton, Bromyard, Herefordshire. On 12 December 1808 John and Elizabeth Barneby surrendered one acre in Shortley Shot (part of which is enclosed) abutting on Dorking Way to Robert Batten of the Inner Temple, gent.

At the death of Robert Batten his brother Edmund Batten of Yeovil was admitted to the copyhold, 25 July 1825, and on 8 June 1830 the latter sold it for £60 to John Cazenove of Hampstead, Middx. The piece of land in Shortley Shot, then enclosed, formed part of the garden of a messuage and premises in Church Street in the occupation of James Gibson.

James' daughter, Harriet Hillyard Gibson, had married John Cazenove of London in 1815? and a son, John Gibson Cazenove was baptised at St Pancras on 26 September 1821.

On 4 March 1875, John Cazenove, then of 47 Pevensey Road, Eastbourne, surrendered the piece of enclosed ground to John Gibson Cazenove, 66 Great King Street, Edinburgh, Doctor of Divinity. The holding formed part of the adjoining messuage in Church Street occupied by Hall Rokeby Price, Esq. [See Down Lodge mansion below.]

John Gibson Cazenove, DD, 22 Aloa Street, Edinburgh, obtained enfranchisement of the piece of land, 31 January 1896. He survived until 30 September 1896 before his body was interred in Dean Cemetery, Edinburgh on 2 October 1896.

Since in the 1900 Rate Book Mrs Welchman is not shown occupying a separate piece of land on Church Street, it seems likely that she purchased this plot from the Cazenove estate.

Plot 605 The Church Haw

The name 'Church Haw' is derived from Old English 'haga', which underwent modifications of meaning from 'a hedge, an enclosure', to 'that which was enclosed' - a small piece of land surrounded by a fence or wall lying near and appended to a house or other building. A church-haw, now called the churchyard, was often consecrated ground used for burials.

The origins of this piece of the Woodcote Common Field are lost in the mists of time but the land came to be used as garden. In Some particulars relating to the history of Epsom, 1825, Henry Pownall remarks on a statement of the various charitable donations to the parish of Epsom... inscribed on the wall under the west gallery. 'Of these charities, the following is a more particular account, which, with many other interesting particulars, were kindly supplied by Mr. Everest, a gentleman whose services have, on various occasions, been highly beneficial to the parish.' One of the charities detailed was: -
"About half an acre of land, called the Church Haw, situated in the grounds of James Gibson, Esq., on the south-side of his house, and occupied by him, under a lease, of which about four years are unexpired. It is unknown at what period, or by whom this land was granted to the parish; but the rent has been regularly received by the church-wardens, since1692, and applied by them to the use of the poor generally £4.4.0."
In a contemporary Report on Charities, it was recorded that; 'It is unknown in what way the Parish became entitled to this which, it appears, has been enjoyed as far back as memory extends'. What could be of significance is the plot's proximity to the line of Dorking Way, formerly the Roman Road called Stane Street.

The 1843 Tithe terrier shows the owners still as 'Epsom Parish Officers but occupier of the 'garden', 1 rood 30 perches, to have been John Wardroper who was also tenant of Down Cottage [Plot 603 above].

In an article on Epsom Parish in Victoria History of the Counties of England: The County of Surrey (Vol. 3), which was published in 1911, it was remarked: - 'The almshouses were rebuilt about 1863. They are further supported by the Church Haw rent, by that of Workhouse Field, the site of the old parish workhouse...' So ownership of the land remained with the Church which it continued to let out at that date. It is not known when eventually the land came to be sold but currently the proceeds are represented by a 'Church Haw' holding of shares in the Charities Official Investment Fund [from which £415 income was derived in year ended 31 December 2008]. Mrs Wesselow could have been the purchaser after 1917.

Down Lodge Mansion, seemingly erected for William Norton in 1851

On 29 October 1851, at St Martin of Tours Church, William Lyon married Louise Charlotte, youngest daughter of William Norton, East India Agent, of Down Lodge, Epsom. The death of Martha (nee Miller) wife of William Norton, in her 57th year, was announced to have taken place on 21 January 1853 [Reg. Epsom 2/1853].

William Norton withdrew from partnerships, Rawson Norton & Company, Moorgate Street London, and Rawson & Co, Liverpool and Manchester, Merchants, on 31 December 1854.

The demise of William Norton, widower aged 67, occurred in 1856 at his residence Down Lodge, Epsom [Reg. Epsom 3/1856]. As shown by a report in The Times, 4 August 1856, of Norton and Others v Bazett in the Prerogative Court his Will was invalidated by a flawed witnessing of signatures.

Extract From 1866 OS Map
Extract From 1866 OS Map

The first edition Ordnance Survey Map shows Down Lodge with outbuildings and grounds, between Church Street and Downside, extending to Downs Road.

By 1873 Hall Rokeby Price, of Clementhorpe, St Albans, Herts., was in possession of the property as a second home. A son of Thomas Price and Eliza (nee Plumer)of Clementhorpe, Yorks., he had became a member of the Stock Exchange and head of Messrs. Price and Potts.

Hall's elder son, Wilfrid Thomas Rokeby Price, Solicitor, (b. 1856) married at Christ Church, Epsom, on 30 October 1888, Emily Catherine, daughter of Charles Frederick Murray of Woodcote Hall, Epsom.

In May 1897, H Rokeby Price's fellow-members paid tribute to his long service and great personal popularity, after his resignation of the Chairmanship of the Committee for General Purposes. Mr Price had been Chairman for seven years, Vice-Chairman during the preceding six years, and a member of the Committee for thirty-two years. He was given a pair of George II circular dishes with a presentation inscription to the base 'To Hall Rokeby Price Esq. by 588 members of the Stock Exchange July 1897'.

Mr Rokeby Price expired 5 May 1903 at his residence, Clementhorpe, St Albans, aged 81 [reg. St Albans 6/1903]. His Will 'of 1 Cowper's Court', Cornhill, dated 11 September 1902 was proved 11 June 1903.

Extract From 1896 OS Map
Extract From 1896 OS Map

The 1900 Rate Book for Epsom shows Elizabeth Welchman as owner and occupier of Down Lodge. She died on 19 October 1906 aged 78 and was buried in Epsom Cemetery, 22 October 1906. In 1900 she also owned a cottage and chalk pit on Downs Road: after her demise these premise became the 'Elizabeth Welchman Gardens' off Downs Road, named in her memory.

Renting Rosendale, College Road, in 1900 appears Saml. Willson. He can be identified as Samuel Willson, next owner of Down Lodge, a fine art dealer, who was in residence with his wife, Marion [Reg. as Marianne Edgcumbe on marriage, Kingston 9/1890], and her sister, Leila Edgcumbe, for the 1911 Census. Mrs M Willson died in the Esplanade Hotel, Seaford, being buried in Epsom Cemetery, aged 45, on 17 September 1913. His marriage for the second time to Leila Blanche Edgcumbe [Reg. Wandsworth 9/1914] was followed by Samuel Willson's sale of Down Lodge, by auction, in 1917. [He did not join his late wife in the cemetery until 20 January 1947, aged 79, from Avenue House, Lympstone, Exmouth.]

Samuel Willson Marianne Willson
Guy Rupert Samuel Willson Edgar Brian Willson
Top Row: Samuel Willson, Marianne Willson
Bottom Row: Sons Guy Rupert Samuel Willson and Edgar Brian Willson
Images courtesy of Catherine Laverack © 2013

The widowed Mrs Henrietta Lucy De Wesselow, formerly of Ebbisham House [LINK] next door, is suggested to have been purchaser of the estate. Her daughter, (Valentine) Dorothea Vaughan Simpkinson De Wesselow had married Arthur Salusbury MacNalty during 1913.

A history of 3rd Epsom (St Martin's) Scout Group mentions that Roger de Wesselow took over as Scoutmaster in December 1919 and by following February 1921, the Troop were using for headquarters, a small harness-room in a stable-yard, lent to them by Mrs de Wesselow. Her house [Down Lodge] was used by others for a garden fete in 1925.

The OS Map revision published in 1932 depicts the southern end of Down Lodge grounds fenced off as if for separation and development.

Extract From 1932 OS Map
Extract From 1932 OS Map

Sometime in the 'thirties', two large detached houses was built there - one for Sir Arthur MacNalty, KCB, - http://munksroll.rcplondon.ac.uk Mrs De Wesselow's son in law, called Bocketts, fronting Downs Road, Epsom. After the marriage of Miss Renee Barbara MacNalty, his eldest daughter, had taken place on 27 April 1940 a reception for guests was held in Down Lodge.

The Times, 1 May 1940, announced an offer to sell a period house in Epsom: -
"8 bedrooms, 4 reception, billiard, sale or let with purchase option. Well kept grounds, one and a half acres, tennis court, kitchen garden - Mrs de Wesselow, Down Lodge, Epsom"
Sir Arthur MacNalty died at his home in Bocketts Downs Road, Epsom, Surrey, on 17 April 1969 [Link To http://munksroll.rcplondon.ac.uk]

The Victorian mansion known as Down Lodge was later demolished and has been replaced by three blocks containing a total of 18 flats - Downs Lodge Court Management Limited was incorporated on 27 Aug 1993.

Two of Downs Lodge Court blocks
Two of Downs Lodge Court blocks are depicted above.
Image courtesy of Brian Bouchard © 2013

The two large detached houses built in the 1930's survive: - 34 Church Road, Epsom. Former residence of Dr Graham William Heckels, local General Practitioner from 1927 to 1960. [http://pubmedcentralcanada.ca]
34 Church Road, Epsom
34 Church Road, Epsom
Image courtesy of Brian Bouchard © 2013

'Bocketts', Downs Road, Epsom, built behind 34 Church Road, to the west. Former residence of the MacNalty Family

'Bocketts', Downs Road, Epsom
'Bocketts', Downs Road, Epsom
Image courtesy of Brian Bouchard © 2013



Brian Bouchard
January 2013


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