Ewell House

Off The Grove but latterly accessed from the Epsom Road and West Street, Ewell

Ewell House c.1961
Ewell House c.1961
Image courtesy of Surrey Libraries and is held in the
Epsom & Ewell Local And Family History Centre

Various references to 'Ewell House' may be found connected to the Calverley family but these relate to the place which became Ewell Castle. For example, following the death of Thomas Calverley, the elder, 11 September 1797, William Stevens wrote of his friend's passing from 'Ewell House of Mourning'.The subject of this article was built west of Tayles Hill apparently for Henry Fendall, junior (1670 -1757) on the edge of the common field Taylesheld.

In A Short History of Ewell and Nonsuch, 1931, C S Willis remarked: -
'Adjoining The Grove is a house of corresponding date called Ewell House. There are carved wood trusses to the over-door of the front door . Some oak panelling on the staircase is Jacobean, and therefore older than the house. In the garden is an ice-house and some artificial caves [thought to have been service tunnels from the 18th century]. My father remembered a wrought iron wicket gate, of which the two rubbed-brick piers remain, which led from the front door of the house into the Grove. There were also, at that time, wrought-iron carriage gates halfway up the hill on the Epsom Road [probably on the shared drive to Tayles Hill - as shown by 1913 OS Map, the southern lodge and approach to Ewell House were beside The Grove, where 1 Ewell House Parade now stands].
Tunnels under Ewell House
Tunnels under Ewell House
Image courtesy of Bourne Hall Museum

Later, writing about 'Ironwork in Epsom and Ewell', Mr Willis tells us [SAC Vol. 48, 1943]: -
"At the end of the 17th century Ewell House was built by Mr. Fendall. Aubrey heard (1673-92)* that a quantity of human bones had been dug up in the grounds; but it was not until recent years that it was found that the house had been built on the site of a Saxon cemetery. There were a pair of wrought-iron gates opening from the Epsom Road at Ewell House; these were removed about the middle of the 19th century. And entering from the avenue of lime-trees called The Grove was an iron wicket, between gauged brick piers, opposite the front door; this also was taken away and the opening bricked up. The front door is approached by stone steps and a landing protected by wrought-iron ramps and railings. The vertical bars carry scrolls under the hand-rail and twisted water-leaves alternately, there are knobs on the standards, and the return ends of the landing railing are decorated with lyres. [*Aubrey. Vol. II. p. 219; S.A.C., Vol. XLIII (1935). pp. 17-28.]"
Although Cloudesley Willis engaged in speculation about the age of an avenue of trees planted in The Grove which might have suggested a date for Fendall's House of about 1680 or 1688 it was probably nearer to the end of the 17th century, after Henry attained his majority. Mr Willis also observed: - 'It will be noted that some of the trees before the doorway of Ewell House [from the Grove] are set back to allow a carriage to be turned'.

On 5 February 1701, at Ewell, Ann Baxter, one of the daughters and co-heirs of Nicholas Baxter of the Inner Temple, married Thomas Williams. By a bargain and sale dated 14 March 1701, Henry Fendall, the younger, also of the Inner Temple, transferred land and buildings to Thomas Williams, yet another member of the Inner Temple, and Anna his wife, formerly Anna Baxter, spinster. These arrangements were part of a marriage settlement which involved Thomas Williams purchasing the property for 3,320. This Ewell real estate included
'All that new Built Brick messuage or tenement wherein the said Henry ffendall now Doth or lately Did Dwell and all that other messuage or tenement now standing Empty and lying behind the said new Built Messuage on the northpart thereof next a certain Street Called Gillows Street....and all that other empty messuage standing behind the new one ...with another new built messuage called the Little House situated in the orchard adjoining the former; with the stables coach-houses and gardens etc (2 a) belonging to both premises and enclosed with a brick wall on the south and east sides, on Taylors [sic] Hill near Gallows Street. [SHCOL_ 838/5/7]

The Surrey History Centre document clearly confirms that two of the houses had been been recently erected and that the premises had been vacated by Henry Fendall at the start of the 18th century. The exact location of the 'Little House' is uncertain but is thought to have been on a site presently occupied by 35 West Street.

Descent through subsequent generations of the Williams family is considered in an associated article about Henry Fendall. On 18 January 1760, a marriage settlement had been entered between Thomas Williams [1737 - 1823] of Bow Church Yard, London, merchant, Jane Sikes of Hackney, Middx, widow, Jane Sikes, spinster, her youngest daughter, and Thomas Sikes of Hackney, esq, her son, and others, previous to marriage of Thomas Williams and Jane Sikes the younger. This arrangement included a brick messuage called The Little House [mentioned in the preceding paragraph] on Tayles Hill, Ewell, and lands in Epsom and Ewell [SHCOL K165/3]

James Edwards, writing his Companion from London to Brighthelmston, about 1789, noted on the Epsom Road, beyond the Green Man, opposite the junction with Reigate Road: - "...half a furlong distant from the road, is an indifferent good house, with a high avenue which shelters it on the east, the property of Mr Williams, and at present to let".

The 1803 Enclosure Map shows that Thomas Williams then in possession of various parcels of freehold land extending to 20a 2r 32p. The real estate under consideration consisted of - Plot 357 Outbuildings, yards, etc., Plot 358 House etc., Plot 359 Orchard, Plots 360, 361 & 362 Tales (sic) Hill.

Ewell Enclosure Map with plots 357-362 highlighted
Ewell Enclosure Map with plots 357-362 highlighted

Edwards' 'Mr Williams' died in 1823. Another Thomas Williams, his fourth child but first-born son, baptised at St May le Bow on 22nd April 1765, became his Executor. Local Rate Books mention the latter holding [Ewell] House and land, on West Street, up to 1851.

The tenancy of Walter Stott Stanhope

Earliest identified use of the name 'Ewell House'

By 1837, however, the property is shown occupied by 'Stanhope, Esq.', and Charlotte Stott Stanhope married Thomas Kelly at Ewell, 18 April 1838.

On 14 February 1841, at Ewell, Surrey, Dr John Nichols Shelley, Esq, of Epsom, married Harriet, daughter of Walter Stott Stanhope, Esq of Ewell House. Walter Stanhope was enumerated there with his wife and two daughters, Maria and Amelia, for the 1841 Census.

Maria Stanhope, daughter of W. Stott Stanhope, Esq., of Ewell House, Surrey, died 31 May 1842 [Reg. Epsom 6/1842 Maria Stott Stanhope]. She was buried on 2 June 1842 in the Shelley tomb in St Martin's churchyard, Epsom with an inscription: - SACRED to the Memory of MARIA the beloved daughter of WALTER & SARAH STOTT STANHOPE of ECCLESHILL HALL. Co. York.
Born Febry. 12th 1811 Died at Ewell After a Lingering Illness May 25th 1842.
Let me Die the Death of the Righteous and let my last end be like this.
Her father survived until 31 August 1844, attaining the age of 87 before dying in Brighton, 'late of Eccleshill Hall and Ewell House, Surrey'. [Will of Walter Stott Stanhope of Conisbrough , Yorkshire West Riding, proved 10 October 1844 - PROB 11/2006/281]

By 1850, the property appears to have been re-let to Paulus Emilius Pauli, whose name may be found in the 1852 Kelly's Directory


Ownership by James Joseph Blake

Before 1854, the proprietor of these premises off West Street had become James Joseph Blake, a London Solicitor with connections to Christ Church, Southwark, and Croydon. A daughter, Clara Ada Blake, was baptised at St Mary's on 29 May 1853 and her sister Louise Alice followed on 28 January 1854. Initially Joseph J. Blake seems to have occupied the existing property to appear in the 1855 Kelly's Directory with his residence named 'Ewell House'. His youngest daughter, Louisa (sic) Alice Maud Blake is reported to have died there on 24 March 1855.

About the same time Mr Blake appears to have commissioned the erection of Tayles Hill House on adjacent land, to move his family home there before 1857, and to have acquired the neighbouring Hill House estate.

Ewell House had subsequently been let to Arthur Augustus Rasch, a Lloyds Underwriter. His wife Mary Latitia Rasch died 6 September 1857, at Ewell aged 40, but was interred in St Margaret's churchyard, Chipstead [Memorial at Sandon, Essex]. The baptism of her son, Edward William Rasch appears in St Mary's registers on 15 September 1857.

In The Times, 25 May 1858, Ewell House was offered to let on lease -
'with capital entrance lodge and 14 acres of land... on the rise of the hill to Epsom... It is in perfect order, containing three large and elegant reception rooms besides a morning-room, 10 bedrooms, and three dressing rooms. The stable yard adjoins the house and contains stabling for six horses, coach-houses, laundry, brew-house and every accommodation besides a small distinct farmyard with cow-houses &c....'
On 13 December 1860, at St Mary's, Ewell, the widower Arthur Augustus Rasch married Emma Corbett from Tooting. The family subsequently appear in the 1861 Census at Ewell House.

James J Blake advertised this property for sale in The Times of 25 June 1862: -
'Freehold, tithe free and no land tax. It stands in its own grounds of three and a half acres which are beautifully timbered and ornamentally laid out, and contains four reception rooms, 12 bedrooms, good kitchens, servants' offices and every convenience...The outer premises comprise farm yard, large garden, stabling for several horses, coach-house, brew-house, laundry, cow-house , piggery &c... Additional meadow land (freehold) to the extent of eight acres may be purchased or rented...' [Repeated, for sale , or to let, 19 May 1863.]
During 1866, Henry Edward Montague D'Oyly, of Ewell House, Surrey, only son of the late General [Henry] D' Oyly, Col. of the 33rd (Duke of Wellington's) Regt. died at 16, Brunswick-terrace, Brighton. His widowed mother Mrs [Caroline Maria] D'Oyly's name may be found listed at Ewell House in the 1867 Kelly's Directory.

As shown by the following extract from the 1866 OS Map, the main house had been enlarged after 1803 but it cannot be said whether this had been done by the Williams family or, perhaps more likely, James J Blake. The outbuildings have also been extended with a block to the west on the present footprint of 33/35 West Street. The outline of coach-houses etc. resembles what have become 1 -3 Tudor Close#, shown below, suggesting that these buildings in a cottage ornee style with 'Tudor chimneys' had been erected earlier.

[#Grade II listed: - "Mid C19. Red brick. Pitched roof with fish-scale tiles. 2 storeys. Nos. 1 and 2 symmetrical about 4 window ranges, outer 2 crowned by 2 gables with elaborate bargeboards and drop finials. Then 2 hipped roof porches in angles created by breaks forward at ends, also crowned by similar gables and with pitched roof verandahs on brackets. 1 storey extension with crenellated roof at south end. No. 3 has band, and 4 window ranges crowned by gables, 1 over 1 window, another over 2½ windows. Lean-to porch on brackets. No. 1 has elaborate moulded brick stack. No 3 has brick stack with elaborate cornicing. All windows pointed casements with diagonal glazing bars." Estate Agents' suggestions that the chimneys and bricks came from Nonsuch Palace need to be received with scepticism.]

A lodge on West Street and carriageway from that direction have yet to be constructed. A drive from the Epsom Road, with the lodge mentioned in 1858 Times advertisement, ran alongside The Grove; another, entered opposite Persfield, may then have provided rear access, shared with the later house Tayles Hill.

Composite extract from 1866 OS Map
Composite extract from 1866 OS Map

1 -3 Tudor Close
1-3 Tudor Close
Image source: Brian Bouchard ©2014

The death of Mrs Anna Self Blake was registered at Epsom in the December Quarter 1870, followed by James Joseph Blake, St Saviour, Southwark, September 1875.

In St Mary's churchyard may be found an arched stone, upright with an incised cross bearing an eroded inscription: -
'Sacred to the memory of Anna Self, the wife of James Blake, who died October 19, 1870, aged 53. Also of James Blake who died 23 July1875 aged 62.'

Acquisition by Henry Tritton, the younger (1815- 1877)

And descent to his son Henry John Tritton

It could be inferred that James J Blake sold off his real estate in Ewell before his wife's demise in 1870 to Henry Tritton: certainly the furniture and garden equipment at Belmont House, otherwise Tayles Hill House, was auctioned off on 10 March 1870. [Sale Particulars at Surrey History Centre SP/72/1-5 refer to the purchase of Belmont House (Tayles Hill) and Hill House by William Butcher on 23 June 1871.] Henry Tritton's son, Henry John Tritton (1842 - 1922) had been set up in residence at Ewell House to be enumerated there for the 1871 Census. When Henry, the father, died during 1877 details of his Will appeared in The Times, 10 February 1877; his freehold house at Ewell had been left to his eldest son, Henry John.

Henry John Tritton's additions to his inheritance

Linda Jackson's article elsewhere on the website mentions this man's sale of his interest in the family bank about 1878, His property acquisitions seem to have included both Tayles Hill (also known as Belmont House) and Hill House, on land adjacent to his home, Ewell House.

Ewell House has not been traced in the 1881 census possibly because it was then unoccupied whilst undergoing building work. The Times on 10 June 1882 contained an advertisement of the sale by auction of the 'valuable Freehold residence known as Ewell House'. It went on: -
'The house, which is most substantially built, and has recently been enlarged and renovated by the present owner at great cost, is approached from the main road by a carriage drive, with lodge entrance through beautifully wooded pleasure grounds, and contains on the ground floor spacious hall and staircase in oak, double drawing room 46 ft by 20 ft with recessed windows overlooking lawn and communicating with handsome conservatory, dining room 26 ft by 20 ft, morning room, cloak room, lavatory etc. On the upper floor are 13 principal and secondary bed and dressing rooms store closets &c. The domestic offices are well arranged and replete with every convenience, and the cellarage is spacious and dry; gas and water laid on throughout and there is also a well of pure spring water. The new and excellent stabling comprises two stalls and three boxes, two double coach- houses, harness rooms, five men's rooms over and a large ball-room or armoury, detached bake-house, dairy and fruit room newly erected, model lodge at north entrance, small farmery &c. The lawns and pleasure gardens are most tastefully laid out and adorned with beautiful specimen trees and shrubs, lawn tennis , greenhouse, summer houses, subterranean passage, bathing pool &c; also a large walled fruit and vegetable garden well stocked with choice fruit trees, cucumber house, potting sheds &c, all in perfect order...'
The enlargement and renovation mentioned above are not apparent from the plan shown by the 1896 O S Map but may have involved a 'loft conversion', to provide a third storey as depicted in much later photographs.

'Model lodge at north entrance' to Ewell House - now 31 West Street, Ewell
'Model lodge at north entrance' to Ewell House - now 31 West Street, Ewell
Image source: Brian Bouchard © 2014

Before 1884 the property had been let and, on 14 May in that year, was again advertised for sale, 'To Building Societies, Investors and others', together with Tayles-Hill, otherwise Belmont, and Hill House. Ewell House, 'an attractive family residence with capital garden grounds of about three and a half acres' was producing 300 per annum. The tenant in the 1885 Rate Book and 1887 Directory appears as 'Mrs Hulse'.

On 18 June 1887, by order of the mortgagee, the premises were again to be offered for sale - as an attractive old-fashioned residence in grounds of about 4 acres having two entrance lodges - let on a tenancy due to expire the following Michaelmas at a rent of 270 per annum.

Residence of Reginald Benson Jacomb (1855 - 1945)

Born 20 June 1855, Clapton, London, the third son of Charles [died 1 August 1887] of Upper Clapton, Middx. gent. Exeter College (Oxford). Matric. 31 May 1873, aged 17; BA 1877, MA 1880, of Lincoln's Inn 1876. He married Edith Mary Perry, 12 Nov 1878, at Windsor, Berkshire, and became a partner in firm of Messrs. Jacomb, Son & Co., Wool-brokers.

An eighth child, Edith Harriette was baptised at St Mary's, Ewell, 8 October 1889 and his name appears in the 1889 Kelly's Directory. The growing family were enumerated at Ewell House for the 1891 Census - seven more children were christened in Ewell up to 1902.

The eldest daughter, Dorothy Mary Jacomb, married John Henry Bridges of Ewell Court on 18 January 1909.

Mr and Mrs Reginald B. Jacomb moved from Ewell to 4, Wetherby Gardens, South Kensington during 1920. Reginald Benson Jacomb died aged 90 on 29 August 1945 and an obituary may be read in The Times of 5 September 1945.

Charles Christie Brown-Douglas (9 February 1857 - 28 January 1944)

The Brown-Douglas family seem to have acquired the property by 1922 and Mrs Brown-Douglas is shown by Kelly's Directories to have remained resident in Ewell House up to 1930.

Charles Christie Brown Douglas and Francis Campbell Brown Douglas [of The Red House, 7 Church Street, Ewell,] carried on business in partnership as Brown Douglas & Co., New Zealand Merchants, at Imrie House, King William Street EC 4, until 1937.

Hampton and Sons offered the property for sale by auction on 9 June 1931 and subsequently it was converted into flats.

Ewell House Grove

A number of houses were built in the former grounds as shown on the following extract from the 1932 OS Map.

Composite extract from 1932 OS Map
Composite extract from 1932 OS Map

Tudor Close

The Ewell House stable block was converted into three terraced cottages in the 1930's

Ewell House itself was not demolished until 1960, to then be replaced with a purpose-built, three storey, block of 15 flats with 12 garages [SHCOL_6000/3/228].