The 'other' Stone House in Epsom

attached to 59 Church Street to be distinguished from The Stone House, Woodcote Green

As indicated by an article on The Grand Houses of Woodcote, confusion can arise from properties in Epsom bearing similar names, sometimes simultaneously.

The subject of this piece lies near St Martin of Tours parish church, listed Grade II by English Heritage: -
'C18. Two storey, stucco, three sash windows, bands, parapet. Central modern Georgian door. Listing NGR: TQ2132460514'
The Stone House, 59a Church Road, Epsom
The Stone House, 59a Church Road, Epsom
Photograph © Mike Legend and reused under this Creative Commons license

Hans Lehmann, in Residential Copyhold of Epsom, mentions at item 9A1: -
Edward Lambert, citizen and cook of London, held in 1680, amongst some other properties, one messuage, one barn, one stable, one garden, and one orchard and half an acre of land thereunto adjoining, abutting on the churchyard on the south part, and on the common fields on the east part.'
By 20 November 1708, however, a 'Messuage lying on the E side of Church Street, Epsom, with the brewhouse, chambers, cellars, vaults, stables yards etc.' had been mortgaged by Robert and Elinor Parker. These premises may well have been held freehold and would not have featured in the Court Rolls.

Other of Edward Lambert's properties, held by copy, were acquired by Robert Parker the elder of Epsom, brewer, on 27 October 1714, but passed [apparently in the form of a sale and lease-back]on 29 August 1735 to William Betts of Epsom, gent., at his death to John Manley and John Robins on 19 May 1738 and at the death of John Manley, who survived John Robins, to his only son John Manley of the Middle Temple, London, Esq., on 22 May 1744. In 1755 John Manley of Hatton Garden, London Esq. held amongst the other properties, in fourths and moieties a messuage, barn, farmyard and rickyard, and a piece of ground (being now a garden, and having some buildings on part thereof), one and three quarter acres, abutting on the Church Street on the south-west part, on Smith's Hatch common field on the north-east part, on the churchyard and the estate of Sir Philip Musgrave on the south-east part, and on the copyhold estates of Susanna Rogers and Robert Wrench on the north-west part. [Lehmann 9B1].

Robert Parker (1) had a son Robert (2), apparently christened in Epsom on 22 November 1696 although the mother's name has been recorded as 'Ellen'. Robert (2) married Sarah Cock, at Banstead on 24 July 1722, and they had three sons, Robert (3), Micajah (sic) and Thomas, baptised at Epsom, respectively on 13 May 1724, 29 August 1726 and 14 September 1729. Robert (2) pre-deceased his father and so Robert (1)'s will, dated 10 November 1737, left his estate to the widowed daughter in law, Sarah Parker, following his death in 1741.

Sarah Parker and her eldest son, Robert (3), re-mortgaged the premises described in the fourth paragraph above by lease on 19 November 1743. It appears that they may have been encountering financial difficulties because in 1745 they leased the Epsom property and 'Messuage near Headley Church known by the sign of the Cock, with the stables, outbuildings etc.' for a year to spinsters Judith and Dorothy Cock. The arrangement was in essence a mortgage to raise £1500 repayable to the Misses Cock with interest. The capital sum was not in fact paid and these premises in Epsom and Headley passed to the Misses Cock.

During 1746 Robert (3) Parker, brewer, had also been copyholder of the King's Head, Ewell, but Volume 17 of The London Magazine or Gentleman's Monthly Intelligencer for 1748 is then found to include 'Robert Parker, of Ebbisham otherwise Epsom, in Surrey, brewer' in a list of 'Persons declared Bankrupts'.

John Manlev of Lincoln's Inn Fields, Middx. Esq had on 16 December 1751 obtained a licence to let for 21 years al1 that messuage wherein Sarah Parker, widow now deceased lately dwelled,with the storerooms, yards and garden adjoining, now in the tenure of Isaac Tarrat, and on 19 March 1766 he obtained another licence to let all and every of his copyhold messuages and lands for 21 years. On 15 March 1787 John Manley, now of Woodseat in the parish of Uttoxeter, Staffs., Esq., surrendered the properties to Richard Haighton of Long Stow, Cambs., Clerk, who on 18 January 1788 sold to Thomas Fitzherbert of Epsom Esq…. On 28 November 1788 Thomas Fitzherbert obtained a licence to let all or any of his properties for 21 years. On 6 June 1791 Thomas Fitzherbert of Epsom sold to Langley Brackenbury of Epsom, Esq., All that part or parcel of all that messuage or tenement wherein Langley Brackenbury, lately dwelled, with the store cellar rooms and walled garden adjoining the common field on the east, the churchyard on the south, Church Street on the west, and William Wheatley's premises on the north part, and on 27 June 1791 Langley Brackenbury obtained a licence to let for 21 years. On 29 December 1800 he obtained another licence to let to Henry Webb for 21 years years. On 15 October 1804 Langley Brackenbury of Epsom sold the property to John Rutter of Epsom, brewer, and on 8 June 1805 Ann Adams, the widow of the late James Adams, late of the island of Barbados, surrendered all her share,and equity of redemption to John Rutter. On 2 November 1812 John Rutter sold the messuage wherein Langley Brackenburv and afterwards the said John Rutter dwelled, now in the occupation of William Cobbold, for £600, to Williaiam Cobbold of Epsom, brewer. On 23 April 1824 William Cobbold, now of Colchester, Essex, brewer, sold all his properties to Trayton Peter Pagden and Stephen Pagden both of Epsom, common brewers, Robert Meggy and Francis Heath, both of St. Thomas's Street, Southwark, gentlemen, acting as their attorneys …. Trayton Peter Pagden and Stephen Pagden had the property enfranchised on 28 April 1847 [Lehmann 9C1].

Unfortunately, there is room for confusion over the various tenancies although Langley [Grace?] Brackenbury, born Spilsby, Lincs., whose father [Carr(e) Brackenbury] records in his will that provision had been made in 'setting him up as a common brewer', was in occupation before 1766. In that year Judith and Dorothy Cock granted Brackenbury another lease for a further 12 months.

On 11 December 1800 Langley Brackenbury had leased, under the further licence for 21 years: -
  1. Freehold messuage, brewhouse, vaults, cellars, stables, outhouses etc. in Church Street
  2. Copyhold messuage, brewhouse, buildings, store, cellars and walled garden lately purchased from Thomas Fitzherbert and
  3. Two freehold barns, farmyards and buildings on the SE side of the church with their cellars, malthouse and pump; and a parcel of land
to Henry Webb of Epsom, brewer, who was already in occupation.

Webb took John Rutter of Dorking into partnership as brewers and maltsters at the Epsom premises, 1 January 1803, but their business relationship was dissolved by 10 May 1805. Disputes subsequently arose over the valuation of the houses, buildings and stock that could not finally be resolved until after Webb had died. His widow and administratrix, Charlotte Webb, eventually agreed, on 1 June 1811, to accept a final payment of £931:5:5, in addition to £1,000 received by her husband in his lifetime, to convey a half share in the business to Rutter.

John Rutter and Rebecca his wife were then able to convey the enterprise to William Cobbold of Epsom, brewer on 30 August 1811.

At the beginning of June 1817 Cobbold sold on various properties, including the Church Street, Epsom, estate described, above to brothers Trayton Peter Pagden and Stephen Pagden, both described as drapers of Brighton. An explanation for their change of occupation to brewers may be found in the fact that during 1813 Trayton had married Martha Wigney, sister of George Adolphus Wigney. The latter, a son of William the founder of Wigney and Sons Brewery, Brighton, was the author of A Philosophical Treatise on Malting and Brewing published in 1823.*

After 1855 but before 1867, ownership passed from Trayton and Stephen Pagden to Trayton's sons, Robert and Frederick Pagden. Stephen died, aged 86, in 1876 survived by Trayton until 1879 when the latter's demise is recorded at 91 years old.

Robert passed away at 69 in 1893 but the firm continued to operate as R. & F. Pagden, Hope Brewery, Epsom, registering the grandstand on the Downs racecourse as its trademark on 5 September 1896. After Frederick's death in 1904 business continued under E. Pagden and others.

Barclay Perkins & Co Ltd acquired the Hope Brewery in September 1921 and began demolishing buildings in Church Street, Epsom during the following year.

Stoneleigh later divided to become Stone House (59A) and 59 Church Street

The Epsom 1900 Rate Book includes this property as a house and garden named Stoneleigh, owned by the Pagdens but occupied by Charles Stubbs (1850 - 1931) LINK

He was a Doctor of Law, practising as a Barrister at 3 Paper-buildings, Temple, representing the Admiralty, and the Clerk of Assize, North Western circuit. Over five years in Epsom he provided services to the Technical Institute.

Under the 1861 will of Thomas Eyre of Hathersage, properties called Moorseats and Kimber Court were left to Trustees to hold as a life interest for his relict, Mrs Sophia Eyre, and then for the benefit of Charles Stubbs of Ealing. A Chancery case, Eyre v Stubbs, ensued during 1863 which resulted in orders for the real estate to be sold. A curious connection to Charlotte Bronte then arises from her description on page 234 in Jane Eyre of an 'apostles cupboard': -
"I must see the light of the unsnuffed candle wane on my employment; the shadows darken on the wrought, antique tapestry round me, and grow black under the hangings of the vast old bed, and quiver strangely over the doors of a great cabinet opposite, whose front, divided into twelve panels, bore, in grim design, the heads of the twelve apostles, each enclosed in its separate panel as in a frame, while above them at the top rose an ebon crucifix and a dying Christ."
Thomas Eyre of North Lees owned such a large cupboard with 12 panels, each depicting one of the 12 apostles and on his death in June 1862, this passed under his will to the widow, Sophia, in trust for Charles Stubbs' son Eric. It was nevertheless sold by Mrs Eyre, reclaimed on payment by Charles Stubbs and brought back to Epsom and subsequently removed to Cranham, Woodfield Lane, Ashtead. The cupboard is now held in the Bronte Museum.

Mr Stubbs wrote to the Curator, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, from Stoneleigh, Epsom, on 25 Nov 1905, to enclose a bulb of Gladiolus cooperi which he received last winter form Nairobi. He had planted two more which flowered last year. Stubbs also planted a bulb which he believes is Crinum kirkii which was growing slowly but did not show any sign of flowering. Stubbs would be grateful for any advice on how to treat this plant. This tenant left the house, Stoneleigh, for Ashtead about 1907.

By 1909, Mr Stubbs had been succeeded by H C Newton - for many years Secretary of the London Tilbury and Southend Railway, also of Whitechapel and Bow Railway. The Railway Magazine, Volume 36, 1915, however, contained the announcement: -
'We regret to record the death of Mr. Henry Cecil Newton, Secretary and Accountant, Midland Railway (London, Tilbury and Southend section). He had been unwell for some little time past, but death was unexpected, and came as a great shock to his staff by whom he was greatly respected and esteemed'.
The brewery complex on Church Street had been sold up during 1921 to be acquired by Arthur John Warren. He retained what had been the brewer's residence called Stoneleigh, occupied the property by 1922 and stayed there until his death on 17 November 1930 - buried Epsom Cemetery, aged 83, 22 November 1930.

From 1931, Mr Warren was succeeded by Prof. Owen Lambert Vaughan Simpkinson de Wesselow (1883 - 1959), who resided in the house for the next 16 years or so. His only son, Charles Peter Crauford de Wessellow had a distinguished career in the RAF during WWII and became a member of 97 Squadron before being recruited to MI5 post war. Professor de Wesselow had moved to Hampshire prior to his second marriage - to Mrs Barbara Barrett nee Chamberlain - on 23 January 1952. His demise is recorded to have occurred at St Thomas' Hospital on 6 July 1959 - Obituary.

After a change of ownership of these premises in 1947 the house was split in two and the name Stoneleigh discarded to escape confusion with the 1930's suburban housing development. One half became 59 Church Street and the other Stone House (59A) - 'C18 Stucco with a C17 timber frame behind'.

Brian Fender, FRIBA, became the owner in 1958 and continued his architect's practice there after 1989 until his demise in 2007. He attributed much of the present house to a re-vamping by Robert (1) Parker around 1730.

Brian Bouchard © March 2012

* Correction

George Adolphus Wigney the brewer, who wrote A Philosophical Treatise on Malting and Brewing published in 1823. was actually the nephew of William Wigney and cousin to Martha Wigney. He was brought up by his uncle William after his parents Joseph and Elizabeth Wigney died, when he was five years old. William Wigney the banker did indeed have a son called George, who was also brewer, but didn't write the article. To distinguish the two Georges, the author of the article was always known as George Adolphus Wigney

Contribution gratefully received from Heather King, George Adolphus Wigney's great, great, great grand-daughter.

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