Richmond House

20/22 Church Street, Epsom

In Epsom Heritage - Part 8, on this website this property is noted as follows: -
"Richmond House, the central part of the late 17th century with a new early 19th century frontage. This is perhaps the finest house in this row, with its pilasters and pediment. It was converted and extended in 1995 and used as a private nursing home."
Richmond House, Church Street
Richmond House, Church Street on 18th June 1973
Image courtesy of Surrey Libraries and is held in the
Epsom & Ewell Local And Family History Centre

It is Grade II listed -
"Early C19. Two storeys, 1 - 3 - 1 sashes, the central ones divided by full height pilasters. Frieze over all, large central pediment. Hipped slate roof. Central Doric columned porch with frieze, cornice, blocking course and 6-panel door, ornamental fanlight. Extension to east, red brick (partly colour - washed). 2 storeys. Hipped tile roof. Modern fenestration".
Cloudesley S Willis, writing about Old Houses in Epsom, Surrey Archaeological Collections, Vol. 51, 1950, remarks: -
"Richmond House, Church Street.
It appears that there was a house of Stuart date standing on the site, which, in the early years of the 19th century, was remodelled, extended to the north and refaced in stucco in the manner of the Greek revival. The house is of two storeys with well-proportioned sash windows ; the front is treated with Doric pilasters, entablature, and a pediment with a window to light an attic. The end compartments break back and there is a porch carried on Doric columns. The back elevation has coupled pilasters, a rectangular doorway and round-headed windows to the upper floor. Changes in the decorations have since been made by successive occupiers, and a drawing-room has been thrown out at the back. The 19th-century staircase had square wooden balusters and a mahogany handrail; and the kitchen at this period was in the basement. The north front room has a plaster cornice with Greek honeysuckle and a reeded vein-marble chimney-piece with roundels at the comers; there are several similar ones there are several similar ones in the house. The south front room has a chimney-piece with moulded jambs, trusses and coloured marble panels. There are also in this house a marble chimney-piece with arched frieze and key-stone, some Dutch tiles and several oak eight-panel doors - and all may well have belonged to a house of the Restoration period.

The garden is walled, and the front garden is divided from the road by cast-iron railings with spear-heads of classic pattern. On the south side is a pleasant range of red brick stabling. The late Mrs. Eggar, who occupied Richmond House until about 1925, is believed to have been the last person to keep a horse and carriage in Epsom."
The earliest reference by Dr H L Lehmann, at 7A3 in his Residential Copyholds of Epsom, is to a messuage, orchard and one and a half acres of land being sold to William Parkhurst of Epsom, smith, and Sarah his wife, on 8 April 1670. In the 1680 survey, this property was described as 'one messuage, one barn, two stables, two orchards and one garden, and one and a half acres of land, abutting on the vicarage on the north and west parts, and on Woodcote common field on the south and west parts. William Parkhurst, then described as a coachman, sold the real estate occupied by Charles Parkhurst, gunsmith, 24 June 1684, to John Hillman, citizen and haberdasher of London. The plot was described as 'near the White Hart gate leading to Epsom Church' - a reference point currently represented by the alleyway between 28 & 30 Church Street, formerly an exit from Woodcote Common Field.

The demise of William Parkhust and of his relict were recorded on a floor-slab in St Martin's church: -

'The Body of SARAH PARKHURST The Wife of WILLIAM PARKHURST who departed this life
December the 23rd 1704 Aged 49
The Body of WILLIAM PARKHURST who departed his life March the 10th 1703 Aged 74'.

The 'gunsmith' may also have appeared there: -
'Here Lyeth the Carcase of Honest CHARLES PARKHURST who nere cou'd Dance or Sing But always was True to His Sovereign Lord the King Charles the First Ob. Decr. XX MDCCIV Aetat LXXXVI'.
John Hillman acquired all the premises as described above for 1680 but sold off half an acre of arable or pasture land later to become part of the 'New Stables' At the death of John Hillman, citizen and haberdasher of London, Joseph Hillman was admitted on 10 May 1692, under his father's will dated 14 January 1692 [proved 13 January 1693, Haberdasher of St Mary Woolnoth, PROB 11/413/93] to two messuages and lands on Church Street, Epsom. One messuage is considered separately under Parkhurst; here we continue with the other: -
'...called the Brewhouse, together with a brewhouse, barns, stables, malthouse, buildings, gardens, orchards and one field or close, about 1 acre, abutting on the King's Highway on the north part, on lands of the vicarage on the west part...'
Joseph Hillman of Epsom,gentleman, on 7 June 1696 obtained a licence to let all or any of his properties for 60 years. Nevertheless, he remained in occupation of the Brewhouse with 1 acre until 13 March 1714 when he sold out to Josiah Diston of Epsom.

On 31 May 1722 Josiah Diston re-sold to Joseph Shaw of Epsom:-
'...the messuage in Church Street together with the garden lying near to it and another garden lying to the south-east of the first mentioned garden, and also the coach-house, stables and yards held with the said messuage, and use of the pump in the yard belonging to the messuage newly-built [later to become Parkhust] by the said Josiah Diston near the stable of the now surrendered messuage , which premises are now in the occupation of the said Joseph Shaw'.
Joseph Shaw, the elder, Citizen and Draper of London, acquired much property in Epsom in addition to the purchase of this messuage in Church Street. The 1755 survey of Epsom notes the latter holding as 'a messuage, coach-house, stables, brew-house, laundry and gardens, about 1 acre'. Mrs Shaw, assumed to be Mary, Joseph's wife, was interred in St Martin's church yard on 17 June 1755 and the latter followed, 2 May 1760.

The Mansion

Since the name 'Richmond House' appears to date only from the 20th century, it will be described in the intervening period simply as 'the Mansion'.

The real estate had descended to Joseph Shaw, son and heir, by 22 May 1760. Joseph Shaw the younger (1719 - 1805) is the subject of a separate article on this website. It appears that the 'late 17th century' body of the structure could have been erected during his period of ownership because in James Edwards' Companion from London to Brighthelmston, 1789, the seat of Joseph Shaw is described as 'a large brick house'. In pursuance of a Decree in the High Court of Chancery dated 16 November 1813, all Shaw's properties were sold by public auction at the Spread Eagle on 19 & 20 July 1814 SHCOL_6143/1]. Lot 1 in that sale consisted of 'a substantial brick-built Mansion comprising a good dining room and drawing room, library, and breakfast parlour, 5 principal bed-rooms, with convenient dressing rooms, and 5 attics; a good kitchen and domestic offices on the basement storey; a detached laundry, wash-house and larder, stabling for 8 horses and double coach-house with hayloft and coachman's room over. A large garden, walled round, and well planted with choice fruit trees, and well supplied with good water; in the occupation of Joseph Valentine Grimstead, Esq., tenant at will.

The Grimsteads had established themselves in Epsom, renting copyhold estates before 1814, on the south side of Clay Hill (Lehmann 1C3) and on Church Street (Lehmann 7C3) at what became number 20/22, Richmond House. The family seem to have removed to Merry Hall, Agates Lane, Lower Ashtead, however, in the summer of 1820.

At auction, the property under consideration, with two pieces of land in the common fields, was purchased, for £513.18.4, by William Farlar of Piccadilly, Middx., ironmonger. Farlar (1786-1867), who came originally from Isleworth in Middlesex and had a substantial furnishing ironmongery business in the West End, based initially in Wardour Street and later in Piccadilly, became a substantial property developer. Completion of his Church Street acquisition was delayed until 15 September 1820 possibly because of difficulties in obtaining vacant possession. William Farlar soon turned over the Epsom real estate at a profit: having paid a total of £1091.5.0 for the buildings and some additional land, he re-sold to John Frederick Daniell, Gower Street, Bedford Square Mx., gent., and Edmund Robert Daniell of Lincoln's Inn, Mx., for £2570 on 21 October 1822.

According to the Visitation of England and Wales, Notes, 1898, the sons of George Daniell, a barrister of Lincoln's Inn, London, who died 7 August 1833 were:-
  1. John Frederick Daniell, FRS, first professor of Chemistry in King's College London, died 14 March 1845.
  2. Edmund Robert Daniell, FRS, barrister of Lincoln's Inn, author of Daniell's Chancery Practice, who became Joint Commissioner of the Court of Bankruptcy in 1824 until his death 21 March 1854.

George's daughter Emma became the wife of Rev Robert Hesketh, MA.

Rev Robert Cuthbert Hesketh was the son of Robert Hesketh, Esq. of Shrewsbury who matriculated at Christ Church, Oxford, in 1792; graduated B.A, 1797, M.A. 1814. He was presented to Acton Burnell in 1815 by Sir Edward Smyth; and collated to St. Dunstan's (a peculiar) in 1817, by the late Archbishop of Canterbury.

His first wife Elizabeth Mayer had died 25 August 1807 and a second marriage, to Emma Daniell, took place at St Andrews, Holborn, 18 August 1809. The first child of the latter union, George Frederick Hesketh, arrived on 2 November 1810 and he was baptised at St Martin's, Epsom, on 10 June 1811 but expired 11 January 1813. This family seem to have taken up residence in the adjacent premises, Parkhurst, 24 Church Road.

A Memorial Inscription in St Martin's churchyard has been transcribed as follows: -

'Beneath this Stone are buried the Bodies of the Revd. ROBERT CUTHBERT HESKETH M.A.
who died on the 11th day of February 1837 In the 61st Year of his Age.

And of EMMA his Wife who died on the 17th Day of February 1847 In the 62nd Year of Her Age.
In the hope of the Resurrection of the Dead Through Jesus Christ

Near this Stone is buried the Body of GEORGE FREDERICK their Son
who Died on the 11th day of January 1813 in the 3rd Year of his Age.
My flesh also shall rest in Hope. Psalm XVL 10.'

Following her husband's demise, Mrs Emma Hesketh, nee Daniell, appears to have become the beneficial owner and occupier, with others, of both Parkhurst and, next door, the property which had been held jointly by her brothers [Plots 596 & 597 in the 1843 Tithe terrier].

Extract From 1843 Tithe Map
Extract From 1843 Tithe Map

Emma Hesketh may only have gained a life interest in the Mansion which became Richmond House. Following her passing in 1847, the deaths of John Frederick Daniell and of Edmund Robert Daniell were recorded in the Court Rolls on 11 May 1854. Egerton Frederic(k) Daniell of Christchurch College, Oxford, the only son of Edmund Robert Daniell and Caroline, his wife, was admitted to the Mansion copyhold, 26 April 1855. The Misses Hesketh [Julia & Agnes] were listed as resident on Church Street in directories for 1855 & 1859.

George Giberne, (1797-1876), the son of Mark Giberne, a wine merchant, joined the East India Company, and became Judge in the Bombay Presidency before retiring on grounds of ill health in 1844. He married Maria Smith in 1846 [reg. Reigate in September Quarter] and in 1867 may be found living at Rose Villa on Church Street. Subsequently, Judge Giberne took a tenancy of the Mansion, Church Street, succeeded on his demise, 2 October 1876, by Maria (Smith) Giberne. His relict appears to have remained in occupation of the property until her own death in September 1900, aged 88.

The Epsom Rate Book for 1900 shows Miss J(ulia) Hesketh to have been the proprietor but she died in Brighton on 30 June in that year followed by her sister Agnes, also a spinster, 28 May 1901. It was Egerton Frederic(k) Daniell, then of Sulley rectory, Parkstone, Dorset, Clerk in Holy Orders, who subsequently had the estate enfranchised on 25 April 1902. Its description at that time remained familiar - 'messuage, coach-house , stables, brew-house, laundry and gardens, in the whole about one acre...'. Mrs Maria Giberne was recorded as the tenant.

Mrs Maria Giberne died in 1911 and was buried, from Church Street, in Plot D24A in Epsom Cemetery (which she had bought for her husband 11 December 1876). The directory for 1913 still shows a Miss Giberne on Church Street, presumably Evelyn the elder daughter (1847 - 1932).

Richmond House

A question was raised in Parliament during 1886 regarding "a marriage between George Mummery, widower, and Jane Johnston, widow, [which] was duly solemnized, on the 11th May 1885, before W. T. Ward, Registrar of St. Olave, Southwark, and was duly registered; whether, after, and with the knowledge of such marriage, the Rev. W. J. Batchelor, Rector of St. John, Horsleydown, incited the said George Mummery and Jane Johnston to be re-married before him, by licence, in the parish church, on the 1st July 1885...?" Mummery had been the beadle and his wife had been a pew-opener at the Church and the Rector admitted that after the marriage before the Registrar he advised Mummery to obtain a licence, with a view to his marriage being celebrated according to the rites and ceremonies of the Church, in ignorance of the law. No further action was taken and Mr Batchelor remained incumbent in the Surrey parish until 1894. He was then offered preferment to Brompton Regis.

In 1912, the Reverend William Jesse Batchelor, who had become Vicar of Winsford, Somerset,in 1908, took as his third wife Laura Marion (formerly Lloyd), widow of the late James Jamieson Muir of Michaelstow House, St Teath. In that year he also moved on again to become Vicar of Whitstone, Exeter, where he remained until 1916. His obituary appearing in The Times, 22 November 1917, announced that he had died at Richmond House, Epsom, after a short illness, on 19 November aged 71. On 11 December 1917, Laura Marion Batchelor of Richmond House purchased Plot D24A in Epsom Cemetery where her late husband was interred. These references to 'Richmond House' are the earliest traced by the writer and suggest the Mansion had been given that name by the Batchelors. Mrs Batchelor continued to be listed with that address in a 1918 street directory.

Before his death on 14 December 1920, Samuel John Eggar moved from The Firs, College Road to Richmond House. He had been a partner in Messrs Cheney Eggar and Forester, Colliery Agents, Ship and Insurance Brokers, and Steamship Managers. His widow, Mrs Emily Hay Eggar appears at Richmond House in street directories from 1922 to 1927.

During 1929, Judge Adam Spencer Hogg registered his title to the freehold estate. He died at Richmond House, 19 September 1937, but his relict remained in residence there until she sold the premises to Surrey County Council in 1946. The premises then became a residential care home for the elderly and infirm.

It was offered for sale by the Council in October 1992 with an asking price of £450,000 [Surrey History Centre Sale Particulars 746] before being converted to a private nursing home as mentioned at the beginning of this piece.

Converted outbuildings to the side of Richmond House, 22/24 Church Street, Epsom
Converted outbuildings to the side of Richmond House, 22/24 Church Street, Epsom
Image courtesy of Brian Bouchard © 2013

Brian Bouchard
January 2013



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