Seleng House (Taken from a photocopy of a newspaper article) Copyright Image reproduced with permission of the Epsom Advertiser part of the Trinity South newspaper group
Seleng House was an impressive late Victorian residence in Epsom Road, Ewell between Hampton Grove and Park Hill Road. Langton Avenue now runs straight through what was the middle of house. The exact date of when it was built is still uncertain: it is not shown on the 1:2500 Ordnance Survey of 1895, but it was purchased on 12 October 1898 by the Hampton family and Charles Alfred Hampton was living there with his wife and sons in 1903.
It was an exceedingly well built, three storey property of red brick with a tiled roof and mullioned windows. The front elevation had three gables at roof level and another single storey gable. A square, single storey vestibule formed the central entrance.
Portion of the 1933 OS Map showing the location of Seleng House.
Beyond the vestibule, which had a WC, there was an inner wood paneled hall off which were a drawing room, a dining room, conservatory with a mosaic floor and billiard room were on this floor. One of these rooms had several arches and a barrel ceiling with decorative plaster. There was also a kitchen, scullery, larder on this floor and a wine cellar below. A sweeping staircase, of highly polished dark wood, led to the first floor. The stairs were well lit during the day by leaded windows on the landings.
On the first floor there were six bedrooms, a dressing room, two bathrooms and a WC. On the top floor there were six more bedrooms with a dressing room and a trunk room.
The rear elevation had a large, central, double storey bay crowned with a single gable and overlooked the extensive gardens. Outside there were outbuildings including an engine house with a petrol gas engine which provided lighting for the house, a laundry, WC, stables with two stalls and two loose boxes with five rooms above, a scullery, WC and a harness room. There was also a two-bay coach house with pit presumably to allow maintenance of the underside of cars, and a hay loft.
Seleng House from the Garden Copyright image courtesy of The Sir Henry Royce Memorial Foundation
The gardens were extensive, in 1910 covering 4 acres 7 poles of ground where the Langton Road houses are today. There was a reservoir for collecting rain water, an orchard, formal gardens which the Inland Revenue surveyor described as "nicely laid out", two heated green houses and garden sheds. In 1910 it was valued at £6250.
The Hampton family owned and lived in the house for the first two decades of the twentieth century, but on 26 May 1925 it was auctioned by Harrods. An advert appeared in the Times for a house with "lounge, hall, billiard room, 3 reception rooms, 14 bedrooms and dressing rooms, 2 bathrooms and complete offices. Cottage, garages, outbuildings and delightful pleasure gardens extending to 14 acres." This indicates that extra land had been acquired since the survey in 1910.
Between Nov 1925 and July 1930 the house was owned by Rolls-Royce who ran a school "for imparting to men already employed as drivers for Rolls-Royce cars, the requisite knowledge of their care and adjustment."! Chauffeurs were trained and accommodated in the house, but owners wishing to attend were accommodated in a nearby hotel. In 1929 Lord and Lady Baden-Powell attended a Rolls-Royce demonstration there.
In 1930 Rolls-Royce moved their school to Cricklewood and Seleng House was acquired as a home for Park Hill School, a private day school, of which Alderman Charles J Shaw and his sister, Isobel were the principals. Most of the lessons were conducted in rooms on the ground floor, although some of the first floor rooms were also employed. The extensive grounds were able to accommodate a cricket field, tennis courts and a nut-walk.
The house was sold again in 1939 and the school had to move to a corrugated iron building at the top of Park Hill Road. The beautiful house was later demolished and the grounds built on to form Langton and Hampton roads.
E Manterfield 2007
Epsom Herald 13 Mar 1980
Inland Revenue Valuation Survey 1910
Leatherhead Advertiser 25 Jan 1980
OS Map 1:2500
The Rolls-Royce Twenty by JM Fasal 1979.