The Hylands

71 Dorking Road,Epsom, between Hylands House and what was the White Horse;
to be distinguished from Hylands, later Whitmores, on the Ashtead side.

The Hylands, 71 Dorking Road, Epsom
The Hylands, 71 Dorking Road, Epsom
Image courtesy of Surrey Libraries and is held in the
Epsom & Ewell Local And Family History Centre Collection

This property is one of the Old Houses in Epsom Ewell and Cuddington considered by the late Cloudesley S Willis, F.S.A., in Surrey Archaeological Collections, Vol. 51, 1950: -
"The Hylands is the eastern one of a group of three 18th-century houses. in Dorking Road. It stands in a fore-court enclosed by wrought-iron railings, with vases, abutting on brick piers carrying stone vases, and an iron gate with an overthrow. It is flanked on east,and west by two stable yards and buildings. Behind is a walled garden with old yew trees spaced apart in the taste of Queen Caroline.

Originally there was here a house of late 17th-century building,of which the kitchen wing still exists. In the second quarter of the 18th century the house was reconstructed and extended to the east. This later building is of red brick in two storeys and a garret. The end compartments of the front elevation break forward, and there is a rusticated doorway with a pediment. The older part has a modillion cornice. The back elevation corresponds, but the sash-frames of the older part are flush.

The entrance hall extends the full depth of the house and is stone paved; wooden galleries carried on columns and arches run round three sides; and the staircase in the middle is in two flights with tapered balusters, wide hand-rails with breaks and carved brackets on the ends of the treads . The lower rooms have plastered walls. In the ground-floor west back room, part of the older house, is an early 19th-century grate with trusses to the hobs. Several chimney-pieces from a late 17th-century house have been made use of in the new building; that in the ground floor room east is of ogee section in veined marble; the room above has a similar one and an l8th-century hob-grate. The west back bedroom, 17th century, has its original flat chimney-piece with a fluted key-stone and in it an 18th-century hob-grate. The dressing-room adjoining is panelled in pine with bolection mouldings, and has a similar chimney-piece to the last and an original sash-window with bars of 1 and three quarter inches wide.

The kitchen, which is on a lower level than the later house, possesses an arched panelled chimney-piece intended for a roasting range, a moulded wooden cornice and a charcoal hot-plate faced with Dutch tiles. The back staircase in this part of the house has a solid string, deep moulded hand-rail and spiral balusters. In the wash-house adjoining is an old pastry oven with its furnace."
Fire place, ground floor, The Hylands
Fire place, ground floor, The Hylands (c.1939)
Image courtesy of Surrey Libraries and is held in the
Epsom & Ewell Local And Family History Centre Collection

That article also contains a ground-floor plan and photograph of a staircase.

Staircase in main hall, The Hylands
Staircase in main hall, The Hylands (c.1939)
Image courtesy of Surrey Libraries and is held in the
Epsom & Ewell Local And Family History Centre Collection

The history of these premises is set out in the late H L Lehmannm's The Residential Copyholds of Epsom as detailed in extracts below.
"In 1680 John Playford, gentleman, held one messuage, one stable, one woodhouse, one garden and one orchard, half an acre, abutting on the gardens of John Michell on the east, on lands of the lady of the manor on the south, on the messuage and lands called the New Inn on the west, and on Beccon Soales Lane leading from Ebbisham Street to the common on the north."[Lehmann 3A3]
Since in Mr Willis' opinion the original structure may be dated to the late 17th century, it may have been built for Playford.

John Playford (1622/3-1687?), music publisher, had been born in Norwich, and further details may be found in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

On 20 October 1687, Playford with his son Henry sold the messuage etc. to David Prole, citizen and merchant of London, wife Deborah and son David Prole.

David Prole - 1678 to 1710.

Allegation for marriage 14 January 1675/6: David Prole, of St Nicholas Cole-Abbey, Lond., Merchant, Bach., abt 28, & Deborah Growdon, of the same, Sp., abt 17, with consent of her father Richard Growdon; alleged by Richard Growdon, of St Nicholas af'sd, Merchant; at All Hallows the Great, London. Their union appears to have been celebrated at St Mary Somerset, London two days later. A son, William Prole, born 26 December 1677, was brought to be christened at St Olave, Old Jewry, London on 1 January 1677/8. His bother, David, born 26 February 1678/9, followed for baptism on 4 March 1678/9.

The Will of David Prole, Merchant Taylor (Warden of the Company in 1710) of London came to be proved 5 December 1711.

Edward Harrison - 1710 to 1724.

The Proles sold on to the Hon. Edward Harrison, Governor of St. George in India, his wife Frances and their daughter Maria Harrison on 27 November 1710. Harrison had become governor of Madras on 11 July 1711 and retained that post until 8 January 1717. He disposed of a life interest in his Epsom property to Henry Isaac on 27 July 1724.

Governor Harrison died, 28 November 1732, before burial at All Saints Church, Hertford. His epitaph has been recorded in The Gentleman's Magazine, and Historical Chronicle, Volume 77, Part 2, 1807 -
"A pyramidal monument, adorned with a bust placed on a pediment above a sarcophagus. On the pyramid is this inscription: 'Beneath this monument are deposited the remains of Edward Harrison, esq. third son of Richard Harrison, of Balls [Park],in the County of Hertford, esq. to which seat, the estate of the family, he succeeded upon the death of his elder brother.

He was born on the 3d of Dec. 1674, and married Frances daughter of Reginald Bray, esq. of a very antient and noble family seated at Barrington in Glostershire, by whom he had one son and three daughters,which all died in their infancy except Ethelreda, married to Charles Lord Viscount Townshend. He spent his youth in the service of the East India Company, wherein he was raised to be Governor of Fort St George in the year 1711; in the discharge, of which important trust be preserved great reputation for ability; the esteem of the Company he served;and the affection of the people he governed.

Upon his return to England in the year 1721, he had the honour to be elected by the Corporation of Hertford one of their Representatives in Parliament; and in the year 1726 he was appointed Post-Master General by his Majesty,King George the First.

He died on the 28th of November, 1732, aged 58 years.

Beneath the same monument are also deposited, by her own direction, the remains of his widow Frances Harrison. She was born on the 25th of Feb. 1674, and died on the 12th of May, 1752, aged 78 years. To the necessitous she was a constant benefactress; to her dependants a benevolent friend; to her family an affectionate parent; and to the world a perfect example of that tranquillity and happiness of mind which always accompanies the practice of Virtue'."
Additional particulars may be found at: - www.historyofparliamentonline.org

Henry Isaac - 1724 to 1725.

Having acquired a life interest from 27 July 1724, Mr Isaac re-sold to Micajah Perry, merchant of London, 26 May 1725.

Micajah Perry - 1725 to 1743.

In Surrey Archaeological Collections, Vol. 48, 1943, C. S. Willis suggests that in this period
"the small forecourt was enclosed by iron railings on a dwarf wall with moulded stone coping, abutting on brick piers with stone caps and Baroque vases. The verticals are 3 feet 6 inches high and of varying thicknesses about 1 inch square, and are leaded into the stone at 5 inch centres; they have concave spike heads and swages; the posts are one and a quarter inches square, stayed to the coping, and are finished with cast-iron vases of Baroque pattern. The wicket gate of tall plain bars and arrow-headed dog-bars corresponds; the pilasters are similar, and support an overthrow formed of scrolls, water-leaves and twists on a plain horizontal base. The top rail of the fence finishes with scrolled iron buttresses against the pilasters and the brick piers".
Perry also acquired Hylands House and Hylands, later Whitmores Elizabeth Perry, his wife, was the daughter of Richard and Anne Cocke of Epsom.

A biography may be read at: - www.historyofparliamentonline.org .

His wife Elizabeth's burial in front of St Martin's church, aged 39, took place on 17 October 1738.

Altar Tomb
Altar Tomb

Sacred to the Memory of ELIZABETH Late Wife of MICAJAH PERRY Esq. Daughter of Mr. RICHARD and MRS. ANN COCKE who was posses'd of many great and good qualities Being a tender faithfull and affectionate wife; An agreeable companion A wise and sincere friend A kind and generous relation A foe to no one Benevolent to all She lived many years in this Parish. Esteemed, Beloved, and Honoured by all who knew her, And Died Universally lamented On the 10th day of October 1738 In the 39th year of her age.

On 6 March 1743, Micajah Perry sold his Epsom property to William Hoare of Epsom, carpenter.

Eveline Cruickskanks writes in her article for The History of Parliament: -
"In the spring of 1743 he went to Bath 'in a condition which made his friends despair for his life', suffering from 'a dropsy and not able ever to attend' the meetings of the corporation. In November 1746 he resigned his aldermancy owing to ill-health. Having apparently fallen into financial difficulties, he was granted a pension of £200 p.a. by the court of aldermen, to whom he returned 'his most humble and hearty thanks for their generous and kind concern for him and for the seasonable support they have given him in his present necessity'. He died 22 Jan. 1753".

Micajah Perry was buried at St Martin of Tours on 26 January 1753, presumably with his late wife.

William Hoare of Epsom, carpenter, - 1743 to 1748.

Thomas Winteringham from Hayes, Kent, purchased the house from Mr Hoare on 29 August 1748.

Thomas Winteringham/Mrs Deborah Hogsdon/ Elizabeth Hogsdon - 1748 to 1810.

In 1755 the premises were described as a messuage, coach-house, stables and other outhouses, and garden.

On 10 December 1773, at St Annes and St Agnes Aldersgate, Thomas Winteringham, widower, married Deborah Halls, spinster, daughter of Richard Halls of Colchester. Thomas died in 1780 leaving his widow a freehold estate of Pottersfield, otherwise Cavendishes Rents, [which became Mark Brown's wharf, Goulding's and Davis's wharfs] in St John, Southwark. Will 'of Ebbisham otherwise Epsom, Surrey', proved 10 April 1780, PROB 11/1064/73.

An Allegation for the marriage of Robert Hodgson, of Burrow Buildings, Christ Church [Southwark[, Surrey, gentleman, to Deborah Winteringham may then be found dated 13 January 1781. Later he was reported to have served as a Captain in 1st Dragoon Guards at the battle of Minden, 1759. On 28 May 1781, notwithstanding her coverture [Coverture (sometimes spelled couverture) was a legal doctrine whereby, upon marriage, a woman's legal rights and obligations were subsumed by those of her husband, in accordance with the wife's legal status of feme covert], the property was surrendered to the last will of Mrs Deborah Hodgson.

Robert Hodgson's Will 'of Christ Church [Southwark], Surrey,' came to be proved on 20 March 1786, PROB 11/1140/163.

Edwards' Companion to the Road from London to Brighthelmston contains a reference 'XV-0-09 Mrs. Hudson - On the same side is a good house, and pretty large, new fronted with red brick, and is in the possession of Mrs. Hudson'. Evidently the Surveyor had misheard the name of the owner which in 1789 was actually Deborah Hodgson but the fresh brickwork suggests a later date for reconstruction than the 'second quarter of the 18th century' proposed by Mr Willis in the second paragraph of his piece from Surrey Archaeological Collections, Vol. 51, 1950, cited above.

Mrs Hodgson died in her Epsom house before her Will was proved , 'Widow of Bath, Somerset', on 28 July 1808, PROB 11/1482/283. Her Executors, who included step-daughter Miss Elizabeth Hodgson, agreed to sell the house to Sir James Alexander, 19 June 1810.

Sir James Alexander - 1810 to 1830.

Complications arose over the formal transfer as described in Lehmann 3C3. Sir James Alexander (knighted 2 March 1803 when Sheriff of London and in 1815 a member of the 'United Company of merchants trading to the East Indies') had rented The Elms on the other side of Dorking Road by 1816, and also purchased that property in 1819. He died on 6 January 1830 before burial at St Mary Magdelene, Reigate, aged 71, in 13 January 1830. By direction in his Will proved 19 February 1830, PROB 11/1766/133, Elizabeth Hodgson surrendered The Hylands copyhold, 'lately and for several years past in the occupation of Solomon Davies', to John Alexander of Croydon.

In Some particulars relating to the History of Epsom, published in 1825, Henry Pownall had written 'Proceeding towards Epsom, past the house of Solomon Davies, Esq. and the Work-house' referring to Davies' residence in The Hylands. He was Sir James Alexander's brother in law (having married Molly Alexander at St Dunstan in the East on 14 February 1784) with a Tobacconist business on High Street, Southwark.

John Alexander/John Roberts/Mrs Mary Roberts/Miss Elizabeth Roberts - 1830 to 1890.

After Solomon Davies died in June 1830 [Will, 'of Southwark', proved 27 February 1834 - PROB 11/1827/302] John Alexander, a nephew of Sir James, let the premises to John Roberts of Epsom.

Mr Roberts had been born on 30 August 1776 to Sutherton Roberts and Elizabeth, nee Greenell, and was baptised at St Marylebone on 22 September 1776. His marriage to Mary O'Hara took place at St Giles, Camberwell, 27 April 1811. Their daughter Elizabeth was born at St Pancras circa 1814 and a son, Sutherton, at Honfleur in France 28 October 1822 (baptised in St Giles Camberwell, 27 July 1825).

John Roberts appears as tenant in the 1843 Tithe award but died aged 70, on 3 May 1847 [Will 'of Epsom' proved 28 May 1847 - PROB 11/2056/315]. He was taken to St Giles, Camberwell, for burial presumably joining his late parents there.

His relict, son and daughter were enumerated at the house for the 1851 Census with servants but Sutherton died a year later (reg. Epsom 6/1852) and was buried in Ashtead churchyard.

Mrs Mary Roberts took over the tenancy and survived until 7 September 1865 before interment at Ashtead, 14 September 1865, aged 76 - Estate sworn under £4,000, daughter Exix. and sole legatee.

Miss Elizabeth Roberts expired on 27 August 1890 leaving an estate valued at £20, 373.

Memorials at St Giles, Ashtead W33 Ledger stone:-
'SUTHERTON ROBERTS only son of JOHN and MARY ROBERTS born 28th December 1822 died 24th June 1852 aged 29 also MARY widow of JOHN ROBERTS died 7th September 1865 aged 70 also ELIZABETH ROBERTS only daughter of the above who died at The Hylands Epsom August 27th 1890 in the 77th year of her age'.
Roberts Family Grave, Ashtead
Roberts Family Grave, Ashtead
Image courtesy of Brain Bouchard © 2016

Thomas James Hamilton Gorringe - 1890 to 1897

Executors under the Will of Miss Elizabeth Roberts were Henrietta McNeil Gorringe (nee O'Hara), wife of Thomas James Hamilton Gorringe, of the Highlands (sic), and Louisa McNeil O'Hara. Henrietta Elizabeth McNeil O'Hara had married Mr Gorringe om 13 July 1884 at Upper Holloway.

T.J. Hamilton Gorringe, Esq., of The Hylands, Epsom, also owned a house in the demesne of Fintra, situated within a mile of Kilybegs, Ireland, with 3,000 acres of shooting and adjacent mountains.

He was in business as a Varnish and Colour Manufacturer with the firm R. Gorringe & Co., of Brewery Road, Caledonian Road, London.

A son Louis Hamilton Gorringe had been brought from Ferne Park Road, Stroud Green, for baptism at Christ Church, Epsom, 27 June 1886. Sutherton Case Gorringe was baptised at St Martin's Church on 28 July 1889, and daughter Elizabeth Roberts Gorringe, 1 March 1891. The christenings of Noel Rupert Gorringe and Richard Douglas Gorringe took place at Christ Church on 25 December 1892 & 5 May 1895 respectively. The family had, however, moved to The Chestnuts, Market place, The Walks, East Finchley, by 1897 when a son, Patrick McNeil Gorringe came to be born there.

Mr T. J. H. Gorringe died on 12 May 1926 at Oakwood, Haslemere Road, Crouch End, Middlesex

Alfred Methuen - 1897 to WWII.

Alfred Methuen, a Lloyds Underwriter had married Eleanor Hoey Forde at Wimbledon, 10 June 1891, before taking up residence in Epsom on The Worple. After the Gorringes vacated The Hylands he took up a lease and births registered in Epsom include Lionel Harry Methuen, 6/1895, and Desmond Charles Methuen, 6/1899. Lionel was christened at Wimbledon on 23 May 1895 followed by his brother Desmond, 9 June 1899. Two more children may be found baptised at Christ Church, Epsom, Allan Forde Methuen born 21 June 1904 & Cynthia Mary Methuen born 8 April 1906.

Mrs Eleanor Hoey Methuen died aged 70 at The Hylands on 7 April 1937 and was interred at Epsom Cemetery, 10 April 1937. Subsequently her widower, Arthur Methuen moved to the family's second home, Hayward House, Sea View, Isle of Wight, where he died on 6 March 1947.

Philip AlwynWheldale Roffey, FRIBA, FRICS - c. 1947 to 1966

In May 1947 P. A.W. Roffey produced drawings of The Hylands' front and rear elevations with plans of the first and second floors in the building [Surrey History Centre ref. CC 1101/7/1/26 & 27] apparently in connection with the establishment of an architectural practice on the premises.

Surrey History Centre also hold a series of external and internal photographs taken on 6 December 1961 and 22 January 1962 - references CC1101/3/58/340 to 350.

From 1965 there was a planning application for use of the ground floor of the proposed extension to a listed building for office instead of residential use for P A W Roffey's architect's practice [SHC 6000/3/202].

The death of Philip A W Roffey, aged 59, may be found registered in Surrey Mid. E. for the September Quarter of 1966. Surrey History Centre hold "Sale particulars of the 'valuable antique and continental contents' of The Hylands, 71 Dorking Road, Epsom, April 1967", reference 7536/1/8.

Later history

A description of The Highlands provided by the late C. S. Willis in the opening paragraphs of this article postdates occupation by the Methuens but is before separation of part of the premises to create West Hylands, now 71 a, b & c. By 1967 land at the rear had been built over by Crest Homes into Hylands Mews - 'An exclusive development of 10 two storey Georgian style Houses' . Additional modern buildings are numbered 69 a & b Dorking Road.

Brian Bouchard, May 2016



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