Houses and Buildings

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Grayshott Hall

Grayshott Hall

Since the beginnings of the village, Grayshott Hall has been largely associated with the Whitaker family but by the time the Whitakers arrived the Hall, originally part of the extensive manor of Wishanger Estate which covered an area of land from Hindhead to Frensham, had, in one form or another, existed for many years.

Wishanger Estate
Early records suggest that in 1167 the overlord of the manor was Richard of Ilchester, the Bishop of Winchester, who at the time granted to the abbey of Waverley, “one hide” of his land of Wishanger. This appears to be an area of land in the Dockenfield vicinity, the ownership of which changed hands a number of times throughout the thirteenth to seventeenth centuries.
The Baker family of Headley, whose ancestors can be traced back to mid 16th century, acquired the estate from a Gerard Fleetwood in 1618. Over a period of time in the 1670’s the estate was acquired by John Speed of Southampton who had married Elizabeth, a daughter of Christopher Baker. John Speed was a third generation member of John Speed, an Antiquarian and Historian who was born in Cheshire in 1552 and later moved to London. Elizabeth died in 1677 leaving John with four young children, one of whom was another John, aged four. Here the Speed family history gets somewhat confusing but following the death of a John Myles Speed in 1780, his widow Harriet married John Silvester.
The estate was then sold in 1797 by the Silvester family for the sum of £4500 to Sir Thomas Miller, 5th Baronet, of Froyle. The first baronet of the Miller family, also Sir Thomas, had been a J.P., a Mayor of Chichester, a member of Parliament and was appointed Baronet by Queen Anne in 1705.
Sir Thomas, 5th Baronet, was a member of Parliament for Lewis, 1774-1778 and Portsmouth 1806-1816, had purchased Froyle Place and the manor of Froyle in 1770. In 1816 his estate passed to his son, the 6th Baronet, Sir Thomas Combe Miller who had become a Priest and Vicar of Froyle in 1811. He also inherited additional land, including the manors of Fishbourne and Ludshott.
In 1868, the Wishanger Estate was sold by the executors of Sir Thomas to a John Rouse Phillips who, it would appear, was a descendent of the Phillips brewery family. Born in Chipping Norton in 1816, the 1871 census records him to be living at the Hall together with his wife Elizabeth and in 1881, also with his son Walter Lawny, then aged 30 years. Income is stated as being derived from the land. At this time the manor is described as being of some 1800acres. It is believed that it was Phillips who changed the name of the property to Grayshott Hall.

Grayshott Farm/Hall
In 1860‘s, Grayshott Farm was described as a two storey stone and brick house with small low rooms and lighted by open casements with diamond panes. In 1861, the census records that the building was occupied by John James Oland, his wife Sannah, four sons, three daughters and Ann Newell a house servant. John Oland was an auctioneer and valuer. (In March 1861, a mortgage is recorded as being issued by Oland, of Grayshott to James Knight, a Banker and Financier who, with his brother John owned a bank in Castle Street, Farnham, in respect “land formerly waste of Headley Common with houses thereon and land at Hindhead Common”).
In 1867 Alfred Tennyson took a two year lease on the property from an Edmund Cornewall, as a base from which to find a suitable site in the district on which to build a permanent home. Tennyson had first visited the area in 1866 to visit a friend, Anne Gilchrist (nee Burrows), who lived in Shottermill, having moved there from Chelsea following the death of her husband. For many years the Gilchrists had moved in literary circles which included the likes of Dante and Michael Rossetti, Ford Madox Brown and other men of distinction. Following the Tennysons’ acceptance of the lease on Grayshott Farm, Mrs Gilchrist undertook to over see the furnishing of the home prior to them moving in together with their three servants.

The Whitaker Family

In 1884, following the death of Phillips, the estate was sold by his executors to Joseph Whitaker, a wine merchant, then of Palermo, Sicily but who also had an estate, Hesley Hall in Tickhill, Yorkshire. The sum paid was £50,954 and when Joseph died a year later, the property passed to his son Alexander Ingham Whitaker. By this time the manorial rights had ceased to exist but the estate comprised of a number of properties including Grayshott Farm ,which we now know as Grayshott Hall.

Joseph Whitaker was born in Yorkshire in August 1802, the son of Joseph Whitaker and his wife Mary (nee Ingham). Mary Ingham was the daughter of William and Betty Ingham and brother to Benjamin, who had moved to Sicily in 1806 and established himself as an extremely successful wine merchant. He is reputed to have tamed the Sicilian mafia to become a Sicilian baron and to move in the highest circles of Sicilian society. As his business expanded he employed a number of his nephews, one of whom was William, the second son of Joseph and Mary Whitaker who moved to Sicily in 1816. Unfortunately, William died two years later and his place was taken by his younger brother, Joseph who moved to Sicily in 1819.

In 1837 Joseph married in Naples, Italy, Eliza Sophia Sanderson, born in Malta in 1816, the daughter of a naval captain from Durham. Joseph and Eliza had twelve children, three girls and nine boys, all born in Palermo. The second youngest, Alexander Ingham Whitaker, was born in September 1857 and educated at Harrow and Trinity College, Cambridge. The 1891 census records Alexander Ingham Whitaker living at Grayshott Hall together with a Housekeeper, Cook, four Housemaids, a Butler, Footman and a Houseboy.

In 1895, Alexander married Berthe DePury, eldest daughter of David DePury who came from Switzerland and lived in Grayshott House, Headley Road. Berthe was a granddaughter of Edward I’Anson and niece of Miss Catherine I’Anson.

During their time in Grayshott the couple became generous benefactors to the village including the gift to the village of various plots of land totalling some thirteen acres, mainly for use as playing fields. Alexander took an active interest in the development of the village as a whole including taking a major role in the running of the village school, the building of the church and the village hall, of which he was a Trustee. He was a Parish Councillor of Headley from 1894 until 1908, a member of Grayshott Parish Council from1902, becoming Chairman in 1908 until he left the village in1927. He also served as a Justice of the Peace and became High Sheriff of the County of Southampton in March 1919.

Alexander and Berthe Whitaker lived in Grayshott Hall until 1927 when it was sold to Sir George Hennessy and they moved away from Grayshott to Bruges, Belgium where Alexander died in 1933. He is buried in St Luke’s churchyard. Berthe returned to live in Redcroft, Grayshott where she died in May 1956.

Grayshott Hall

Etching Grayshott Hall

Etching Grayshott Hall

As noted above, in the 1860’s Grayshott Hall was a small stone and brick house but by 1868 when it was acquired by John Rouse Phillips, it is described as a substantial stone and slate building and estate comprising 1794 acres divided into five holdings –Upper Hearn Farm, Lower Hearn Farm, Wishanger Manor Farm, Land of Nod Farm and Grayshott Hall Farm, extending in area from Hindhead to Frensham Pond. The land tax is recorded as £52.18s.6d and Tithe Charge £214.4s.11d. per annum.
Grayshott Hall Farm estate comprised 224 acres together with Purchase Farm of approximately forty acres, two houses with two bedrooms each and a three-bed roomed house .
The building itself included:

Ground Floor:
– Drawing and Dining roomsKitchen, Breakfast room, Dairy room and Pantry.
First Floor:
– Eight bedrooms and a Water Closet

Outside included:
– Stabling for four Horses
– Cow Shed, Wood Shed, Coach House and Barn.

By the time the estate was purchased by the Whitakers, the Hall had been further modernised and was described as “a picturesque modern residence erected within the past five years from locally quarried Bargate stone”. It included a good carriage drive, large level lawn, walled kitchen garden and a large Entrance Lodge.
The entrance to the Hall was through an ornamental porch into an inner lobby with access to the entrance hall and corridor. Internally, it included a large drawing room, a conservatory, a first floor billiard room with balcony and a total of nine bedrooms. It had extensive domestic offices, including a dairy, scullery, knife house, coal house and a wine cellar. The main house contained water closets but the domestic area only had earth closets. Externally there was a stable yard, a coach house for six carriages and stabling for five horses, a large loose box with four stalls, a harness room and a groom’s bedroom. Behind the stable yard were farm buildings, stabling for six carthorses, a four bay cart shed and various other enclosures. The land measured five acres and water to the premises was pumped from Whitmore Bottom.

Edwardian Grayshot Hall

Edwardian Grayshot Hall

In 1886, Alexander carried out extensive renovations to the buildings, together with a number of additions. The tower, as we see it today with the motto “Pax Intrantibus-Salus Exeuntibus”–(Peace as you enter-Health as you leave), was an addition believed to be in the early 1900’s, although the date inscribed with the motto is 1887.. The architect for all of this work was Edward Blakeway I’Anson. In 1921 the estate was divided and much of it was sold although the Whitakers continued to live in the Hall until 1927. During the Whitakers time, the Hall hosted numerous events connected with Grayshott village. Within the grounds of the Hall was a cricket ground which the village cricket club used, team members of which included Arthur Conan Doyle, John Macmillan, later to become Bishop of Guildford, Alexander Ingham Whitaker, Oliver and Bert Chapman and other local residents, As well as the cricket matches, there were a number of annual events held in the Hall and Grounds. These included the annual Band of Mercy Show, Christmas parties for the school children, annual sports days and a tea party attended by nearly a thousand guests to celebrate the coronation of Edward Vll. Each year the children of the village were presented with a Mug on which is inscribed “Grayshott Hall” and the year.

Other Occupants
Following the Whitakers, Sir George Hennessy, 1st Baron of Windlesham O.B.E., who also owned a property in Belgrave Square, London, occupied the Hall. He was a J.P. and one time High Sheriff of Hampshire and Member of Parliament for Winchester for a number of years, serving under both Andrew Bonar Law and Ramsey Macdonald. Sir George was created a Baronet in 1927 and raised to a peerage as Baron in 1937. He had served as a Major in the army during the Great War. The Hall remained a private residence for a number of owners until it was purchased in 1960 by a Mr A.S. Stalbow on behalf of G.R.(Holdings) PLC with the purpose of converting it into the Health Club which opened in 1965. Further development and refurbishment of the buildings has taken place over the subsequent years, together with another change of ownership, for it to become Grayshott Spa as we know it today.

Brian Tapp
Grayshott Village Archive

Grayshott – Story of a Hampshire Village by J. H. Smith.
Hindhead – The English Switzerland by Thomas Wright.
J. O. Smith – copy of etching of Hall.
Grayshott Spa – Hall photographs


A History of West Down, Hindhead GU26 6BQ

West Down picture

West Down picture


Inscription above fireplace. “This house was built for Marian J James by G Faulkner Armitage Anno Domini MDCCCXCIII”

Miss Marian James

Miss Marian James

Marian Julia James (1830 – 1910) was described by Professor Clyde Binfield in an article as “rich, artistic, musical, conservationist and intense”. Her father listed his occupation as “Editor of Literary and Musical Works” which would account for her musical talents. The Binfield article further mentioned that she was an intimate of and partner in the cultural philanthropy of Mrs S Marshall Bulley. Miss James’s wealth came from a legacy to her of £83,031 (2009 = £7,270,000) from a Miss Emily Coates who died at Looe in Cornwall on 26th September 1888 but who had lived for at least 30 years at Upper Terrace in Hampstead. Miss Coates was a long time friend of Miss James and her widowed mother, who lived for many years at Upper Terrace Hampstead with Miss Coates. The Coates family had earned their money as wine merchants since 1800. Miss James was aged 57 when she received her bequest and was able to devote herself to good works as well as good living.

As she was so advanced in years before she acquired her wealth a resume of her life and family background is at an Annex to this brief.

George Faulkner Armitage (1849-1937) was the son of a prosperous cotton merchant in the North West of England but rather than follow into the family business he chose to become an architect and furniture designer. He became internationally famous. and his involvement with West Down is confirmed by books relating to his business where he gives Miss James as the client for a house, coach house, pigeon home, stable for six horses and semi detached cottages all between 1892-96. Incidentally he became Mayor of Altrincham in Cheshire during the whole of the First World War. The Armitage family were very involved with another family of cotton spinners that is the Bulleys. The Bulley family came from Devon and had migrated to New Brighton in the Wirral to continue their cotton spinning business. Samuel Bulley, the founder, had fourteen surviving children and by marriage they became intertwined with the Armitage family and they feature in the history of West Down

Given the quality of the construction of West Down Miss James clearly believed in Hillarie Belloc’s maxim that:

“It is the business of the wealthy man to give employment to the artisan”

The mosaic floor on the two levels of the entrance Hall, the cloak room and the front door oak porch is of the highest standard. Mr Tony Eddon of Grayshott, whose father had been a mosaic tile installer, was very impressed by the quality. The dining/ball room floor is of exquisite parquet laid wood and was underpinned by an extremely long rolled steel joint in the basement that extends the entire length and gives the floor a ‘sprung’ feeling. The windows of the dining/ball room are very imaginative, the window is set in a bay overlooking the garden and the panes of glass are themselves curved giving a good view by day but at night with total internal reflection look black. The main staircase is some four to five feet wide; it goes up on three sides of a square with two small landings at the turns. At the higher of the small landings is a mezzanine floor with windows looking over the north approach to the house. The staircase is made of walnut wood with elaborate carved twisted spindles. The landing at the top of the stairs was extremely large and was illuminated by windows on both north and south sides of the house, the mezzanine floor window and also by light let in through glass panels in the roof to a large nine panel horizontal stained glass window of intricate design set into the ceiling. The landing also had French windows that opened on to an 18 foot lead covered balcony with oak rails that gave a wonderful view towards the South Downs and Petworth hills. The house had an original and innovative domestic heating arrangement with a forced hot air system, in addition to the usual fireplaces. There was a large boiler in the basement using solid fuel and the resulting hot air was ducted to all the ground floor rooms and in the inner hall in the well of the staircase was a large metal grill that directed the hot air to the upper floor. On the roof between the glass panels there was a large flat lead covered area which had the function of collecting rainwater for domestic use. The water was held in enormous slate tanks in the attic. The pieces of slate were about the size of half a billiard table and were cemented and bolted together. One was marked “Stables” indicating the extent of the water system. The stables are on the north side of the house and were later used as garages but are now derelict. The Servant’s Wing was also on the north side of the main house and had connecting doors to the upper floor of the main house for domestic duties and at the ground floor level for service from the kitchen and for the butler to attend the front door. There were six living in servants for the benefit of the six residents! Grooms, carriage drivers, stable lads, footmen etc lived in separate accommodation between the main house and the main road referred to as The Lodge. Miss James’s eleven gardeners lived in two cottages near to Hazel Grove (Fir Cottage and Fir Tree Cottage).The other residents of the main house beside Miss James were from the Bulley family. Earlier mention was made of Miss James’s friend, Mrs Bulley (nee Annie Margaret Armitage) who was wife of Mr S Marshall Bulley. He was ninth of a Samuel Bulley’s fourteen surviving children. Marshall’s eldest sister Ella Bulley had married Rev Elkanah Armitage who two years later became Marshall Bulley’s brother-in-law when he married Annie Armitage, the sister of Elkanah. Ella Armitage and Mrs S Marshall Bulley were related to G Faulkner Armitage who according to the inscription built the house for Miss James. As well as the inscription above the fireplace the four sided finial at the bottom of the walnut staircase in West Down has the initials “MJJ”; “SMB”; “AMB” and “FMB” carved into heraldic shields. These are assumed to refer to the occupants; Marian Julia James; Samuel Marshall Bulley; Annie Margaret Bulley and Felix Marshall Bulley their son.

Miss James and the Bulleys were not related but rumour has it that they had met in Switzerland on holiday and decided to establish a home together in the area that was known as “England’s Switzerland” at Hindhead (800 feet above sea level, pine covered and with clear air to the benefit of people with respiratory ailments) and this was completed in 1893. The name West Down was taken from a ring contour between the property and the Hindhead crossroads and there had been a West Down Cottage at the junction of the Portsmouth Road and the Headley Road about 500 yards from West Down House. (The cottage was later converted and renamed as The Corner House and is now due for further change to make room for a roundabout at the junction). Miss James was living in West Down Cottage in 1891 that is two years before West Down was completed.

The carved wooden fireplace surround which contains the inscription quoted above was originally in the dining/ball room as it matches the shelves there which now surround the post Second World War fireplace replacement. The carved wooden fireplace surround was moved to its present location as part of a later conversion.

Miss James died on 10th November 1910 and a mention of her death in a copy of the British Medical Journal reported that she had given donations of £200 & £300 (2009 = £15,100 & £22,700) to hospitals and that her residual estate “which would appear to be £50,000 (2009= £3,780,000)” should be applied to projects which gave single, educated, professional people of limited means a place of respite and holidays. Professor Clyde Binfield’s article refers to “Mrs Bulley’s hostel for tired professional people, singers, musicians, actors/actresses, teachers and the like, educated men and women who by a timely holiday in the fine air of this hill country, may often be saved from over-strain.” This is the same place in Bramshott Chase which also benefited from Miss James’s generosity and was formed by the two ladies as a Limited Company called “The Hostel”. The Bramshott Chase Hostel later became a home for nun nurses and was renamed as Mount Alvernia after the Guildford Hospital where they worked but now it is called Shannon Court as part of the British Masonic Benevolent Institution. Other projects that benefited from Miss James’s philanthropy were Ludshott Common, the Grayshott Village Hall (her name is on a plaque in the entrance hall) and St Luke’s Church in Grayshott (she was on the committee for the building of Grayshott Parish Church). Miss James was also one of 68 shareholders in the Grayshott and District Refreshment Association which was the precursor of the Fox & Pelican pub in the Village. As J.H. Smith says in his book “it was a scheme which will supply alcoholic drinks of good and reliable quality, whilst at the same time the villager or passer-by will be able to procure a good and cheap cup of tea or coffee, a plate of meat, bread & cheese, or any other refreshment he may require” . In 1899 she helped to run a series of six afternoon lectures on “The Republic of Plato” in the Congregational Hall, part of the Congregational Church at Heather Bank (home of the Groves, big London builders). J.H. Smith, in a conversation in 1977, reported that she had invited George Bernard Shaw to lecture the people of Hindhead on the evils of drink. This is perhaps a little ironic given the source of her wealth and their joint involvement in the Refreshment Association.

The total value of her estate at her death was in fact £92,240 (2009 = £6,980,000)and she made many bequests the most interesting for our purpose was one to Margaret Hattersley Bulley, daughter of Thomas Raffles Bulley one of S Marshall Bulley’s elder brothers. (Margaret H Bulley was an authoress and wrote many books on the history of Art). The bequest was “for the use of West Down, its furniture, and £350 (2009 = £26,500) per annum”. After Miss James’s death the Bulley family continued to live in West Down because although Mr S Marshall Bulley had died in 1908 (two years before Miss James died) his widow survived until 1947 and is shown in an indexed archive as dying whilst at West Down. A likely explanation would be that Margaret H Bulley who received the bequest for the use of West Down and money for her upkeep lived there as a companion to a lonely Mrs S Marshall Bulley (who had lost her only son Felix in 1909, a year after her husband had died) and the property was probably disposed of after the death of the widow of S Marshall Bulley in 1947. There is a record of land at Bramshott Chase being purchased from “the Trustees of the estate of Miss James” in 1912 which could explain how her estate was managed after her death. .In 1926 at the age of 44 Margaret H Bulley married her cousin Godfrey Armitage at a Registry Office in London (a witness at their wedding was G Faulkner Armitage). There are no records of whether she continued to live at West Down with her new husband but she probably did. She lived for a further 12 years after Mrs S Marshall Bulley died and herself died in Southport in the Bulley heartland. Mr S Marshall Bulley involvement with the Village was as a conductor of the Choral Society and was also a keen gardener and plant expert. His brother Arthur Kilpin Bulley was renowned arboristist closely associated with collecting trees from China and the Himalayas for Ness Gardens in the Wirral (some of which may have come to West Down) and he founded Bees Seeds. It is of interest that G Faulkner Armitage as well as building West Down for Miss James also built a house at Ness for Arthur K Bulley in 1897/8 four years after the building of West Down. Mr S Marshall Bulley wrote to the Gardeners’ Chronicle in 1903 concerning rock garden plants that he had raised at West Down together with a photo. He referred to the success of his plants at West Down compared to their failure in his previous home in Cheshire. The rock garden could be seen from the bay window in the dining room. It is believed that at Miss James’s death, either through her Will or local interest, many exotic trees and shrubs were removed from West Down gardens and taken to a local arboretum. Any remaining ones were destroyed by the tunnel building work.

In 1947 after the death of Annie Margaret Bulley, West Down was occupied by The Grove School as a junior division of the school. The ink stains on the parquet floor in the dining/ball room of West Down testify to its use for school rooms! The Grove School had been established in Hindhead in 1928 having moved from Highgate and taken over the premises of the Lingholt School on the A3 to the east of the junction with Crossways Road and south of West Down in the ecclesiastical, though not the civil, parish of Grayshott. Miss E.M. Fletcher was the Headmistress there for over 30 years retiring in 1955. There were three dormitories in West Down, and according to Electoral Rolls the house was occupied by the father of the Headmistress, her brother and at least five female members of the staff of the Junior School. In 1995 the Grove School amalgamated with the Royal Naval School in Haslemere to become The Royal School. The Grove building is now the junior division of The Royal School.

In 1955 a developer named Trevor George Hughes acquired the property which included several acres of land adjacent to the Nutcombe Valley. Miss James had earlier given part of the Valley to The National Trust (NT) to protect it against any road building to the south of her property. (She must now be spinning in her grave!) The boundary of her property became known as Miss James’s Walk and was advertised as such in NT literature and guides. The developer’s aim was to demolish West Down and divide the land into quarter acre lots for new housing as had been done with Rozeldene, The Moorings, Kingswood Firs, Hindhead House, Heather Bank and other large houses in Grayshott and Hindhead. He was refused planning permission on the grounds that the exit from the resulting estate would be directly on to the A3 London to Portsmouth road, a major trunk route and this was unacceptable to the planners who were already considering improvements to the A3 with a mandate that changes should be “along the line of the existing carriageway”. All the other cases of housing developments cited above had access on to minor side roads. As a result of the planning decision Mr Hughes sold off Fir Tree Cottage and Fir Cottage which had been the homes of Miss James’s gardeners at the end of her Walk and just off Hazel Grove. Some land adjacent to Hazel Grove registered as a separate plot in 1955 was sold to a Mr Eric Edward Nicholson Causton in 1975 for £3000 (2009 = £18,000). His motives for purchase are not clear but probably he hoped to make a profit from compulsory purchase when the A3 was developed “along the line of the existing carriageway”. Trevor George Hughes also sold a parcel of land to the north of the carriage house running alongside the A3 up to the point where Miss James’s Walk started. Presumably the purchaser had a similar motive to Mr Causton although maps produced to illustrate the A3 development projects show it as National Trust land.

The home for the carriage and the housing for horse related employees that was known as The Lodge and was close to the A3 Portsmouth Road. It was occupied in 1950 (according to Electoral Roll) by Sharp and Stella Braithwaite who sold it after 1955 to a Mr Dan Aylmer who retained the name West Down Lodge. It was long believed that the Lodge was under sentence for demolition when the A3 became a dual carriageway.

The part of West Down used by the domestic staff with access to the main house was sealed off and sold to an unknown purchaser and subsequently to Mr Michael Anthony Swayle who renamed it Eastwood.

The main south facing part of the house was divided into two residences. Access between them was closed by bricking up an arch just under the stairs, bricking up an opening at the top of the staircase and closing up on the south side where there was a series of short steps leading into the Music Room. This created a West Wing named as such by Mr James Noel Miskin in 1960 when he purchased it for £3150 (2009 = £54,000). The West Wing had to create its own new front door and a staircase but it contained Miss James’s bedroom with a many sided window looking over her whole estate. Although the house had not been divided in 1908 at the internment of the ashes of Mr S Marshall Bulley (first ever internment at St Luke’s Church, Grayshott) he was described as living in West Wing, West Down so there is a history of the name.

The balance of the house retained the name West Down and included the extensive basement and enormous attic in the property but several alterations were necessary. The front door had a large porch with shelves for flowers. The door used by the butler from the Servant’s Wing to attend the front door from inside was bricked up and the hall on two levels with its wonderful mosaic floor ended at a pair of doors with beautiful stained glass panels. Beyond these doors there came the first major challenge. Beyond the double doors with leaded glass panels was a large space with a door to the garden, a door to the Music Room and a door to the dining/ball room and access to the staircase. Above a fireplace was reported to have been a large Narwhal Horn. This space was obviously a withdrawing room and an assembly area for pre-dinner, pre-music or pre-garden activities. By erecting an artificial wall of wood and glass with double doors on the north side of this space it was created into a new separate drawing room. The three steps that led down to the Music Room (now part of the West Wing) were boarded over and the door bricked up. The Narwhal Horn over the fireplace disappeared and the fireplace surround from the dining/ball room (the one with the inscription) was moved into this new room. The door to the garden remained and led to a portico under the balcony on the landing and thence to the garden. The door to the dining/ball room with its elegant hand hammered brass door handles shaped as horns also remained.

As the kitchen had been in the Servant’s Wing of the house that now became Eastwood a new kitchen was required for West Down. This was achieved by taking the Butler’s pantry with its access to the dining room and knocking down the wall that led to the butler’s secure room where cutlery, crockery and silver were stored thus creating a large if oddly shaped kitchen. The door to the dining room, with its serving hatch, had a horn shaped handle on the dining room side but a plain one on the Butler’s side! In addition to the door to the dining room two new doors were added to this newly created kitchen, one led out to the garden and thus down the steps to the basement and the other led out of what had been the secure room and opened outside the new drawing room and led to the hall and the walnut staircase. The door that had led from the original kitchen to the Butler’s pantry was bricked up.

At the top of the staircase the landing arch which led to Miss James’s bedroom was closed with brickwork as were two doors that allowed the maids access to the other bedrooms. A plaster stud wall was erected directly above the artificial glass wall that had created the new drawing room and this became the main bedroom of West Down. It retained the French windows that had allowed access from the old landing to the balcony and a new door was sited to give access to a new en suite bathroom. The other bathroom at the east end serviced the two bedrooms also at the east end but facing south. These two bedrooms had themselves been created from one large bedroom from Miss James’s era. A further bedroom and lavatory were created by a stud wall on the north of the landing. The creation of the new main bedroom and the small north bedroom considerably reduced the light coming on to the landing even with two glass panels in the main bedroom stud wall. By daytime the light coming through the stained glass ceiling panel, the bedroom wall glass panels and the mezzanine floor windows was adequate but at night it needed considerable artificial light. The newly created West Down, even after the division of the main house, was still a large property and was purchased by Mr Charles Frederick Lambert in February 1956 for £2500 (2009 = £46,500).

The passage of time and the variations to the Governments plans for the A3 have changed some of the ownership of the properties. When Mr Lambert died on 4th April 1967 his widow retained the property and she registered it in her name on 27th November that year with a valuation of £8000 (2009 = £108,000). She intended the house to be a home for her family but when her daughter gained a divorce it made her decide, nine years after Mr Lambert had died, to sell the house. The year before in 1975 she had sold 110 feet from the southern end of her land adjacent to Miss James’s Walk to the NT as they said that they wished to own the land on both sides of the Walk. This was a pointless exercise as individuals, particularly children going to school, created a new mini Miss James’s Walk along the new boundary fence. The owners of West Wing also sold land from their southern boundary to the NT.

West Down property was then purchased by Lieutenant Colonel David Dunn in July 1976 for £32,000 (2009 = £172,000). Sybil Agnes Ruth Lambert relocated first to Hindhead and then to Petersfield where she lived until her death. Colonel Dunn retained West Down for over twenty three years during which the A3 development projects for a “Red” and “Yellow” route and a roundabout round the Happy Eater/ Royal Huts Hotel were presented, discussed and eventually abandoned in the face of local protests. Mr John MacGregor, the Conservative Transport Minister then proposed a tunnel under Gibbet Hill. He had the support of the local MP, Virginia Bottomley whose husband, Peter Bottomley MP, had been Minister for Roads. He had been in post during the M3 Winchester By-pass furore over the Twyford Down cutting and believed that a tunnel there would have prevented that protest movement with “Swampy” and the adverse publicity that it attracted. When the new Labour Government confirmed the tunnel project in 1997 Colonel Dunn invoked the Town & Country Planning Regulations and in particular the regulation that said that if the Government were going to compulsorily purchase some part of a property owners land then the said owner could insist that all their property was purchased. The Highways Agency agreed to this demand and in April 1999 they purchased West Down and placed it with a property agency who rented it out to Mr Christopher John Holloway until one year after the tunnel project was completed and officially opened, when the house would be put on to the property market under certain conditions. Advanced work on the tunnel site started in 2007 with tunnel boring starting in 2008.

When Mr Dan Aylmer died in the 1980’s his widow retained the West Down Lodge in anticipation that if either the “Red” or “Yellow” routes proposed by the Department of Transport at that time were implemented then the property would be compulsorily purchased to her advantage. When the tunnel route was adopted and the Lodge was no longer under threat Helen Aylmer sold the property and moved to new accommodation in Grayshott where she lived until her death.

When Mr Michael Swayle died in 1991 his widow approached the Highways Agency for them to purchase her home. None of Eastwood’s land was to be touched by any of the three schemes proposed but Mrs Swayle claimed that if any of the proposals for developing the A3 were to be implemented then the proximity of any new road to Eastwood would blight her ability to sell. The Highways Agency agreed with her argument and made the purchase and put the property in the hands of an estate company as they later did with West Down. They rented out the house called Eastwood and Susan Swayle relocated to Haslemere.

When Mr Noel Miskin died in March 1999 his family decided to remain in the West Wing and endure the disruption and noise of the tunnel construction involving as it did the digging of a 64 foot deep cutting some 11 feet from the south side of the house. Photographs show how close the access road to the tunnel and the Hazel Grove interchange came to West Down. A special concrete wall was necessary to prevent the house slipping into the cutting! The tennis court installed in 1979 was cut in half by the embankment and the original Miss James’s Walk was decimated. A new concrete footbridge christened “Miss James’s Bridge” now spans the new A3 and links parts of the old walk. On the weekend 14/15 May 2011 pedestrian access to the tunnel was allowed to examine the engineering before trials were to be conducted on vehicular access and the associated safety precautions. An official opening took place in July 2011.thus achieving the aim of the new road being ready before the Olympic Games in London in 2012. A new chapter in the history of West Down is about to be written and its contents will be interesting.

Author’s Note
Many sources have contributed to this history. The late J. H. Smith had written a history of Grayshott which mentioned Miss James and I had conversations about her with him when on duty, at St Luke’s Church. Although in Surrey, West Down is in the parish of Grayshott, Hampshire. Joan Counihan and Dr Brenda McLean were biographers of the Bulley family and gave me much background information. They introduced me to the writings of Professor Clyde Binfield and he has since then been very helpful… My brother James did considerable public records research for me and took some of the photographs. Mr Christopher Holloway provided the pictures of wood carvings. John Bebbington provided a copy of the picture of Miss James at her piano. Ms Kit Bithrey-George confirmed the occupation of West Down by The Grove School between 1947 and 1955. My discussions with the local chapter of the National Trust and the Land Registry over the years concerning the boundaries of my land unearthed some interesting facts. Living in the property for 23 years and discussing matters with my neighbours gave me much anecdotal evidence and gossip. We lived through the Department of Transport/Highways Agency formulation, public presentation and abandonment of the “Red” route through Mead Road and later the “Yellow” route through Tyndall Estate which elicited further information before the tunnel project “Yellow Route (Revised)” was chosen. The conversion of monies from the date of the event to a 2009 baseline was made by a computer programme called “Measuring Worth”. However any misinterpretation, misinformation or mistakes are to be taken as my fault.

David Dunn
St Helier, Jersey
1 September 2011

Annex to West Down History

Aerial view of West Down

Aerial view of West Down

James Family Time Line
Some dates before 1 July 1837 are suspect, as there was no formal record keeping.  It is known that in early censuses some enumerators rounded children’s ages up by up to 5 years.

Event and source of information
William Nelson James Born
Date calculated from 1841 Census
7 Apr
Mary Anne Arthur Born
St Marylebone, Westminster
1 Oct
William and Mary Anne Arthur Marry
All Souls, St Marylebone
7 Aug
Marian Julia James Born
Date taken from Baptism Record (See 1852)
Census William James
Mary Anne James (nee Arthur)
Marian James
Father described as Editor of Literary & Musical Works
At King Street, Westminster
Census William James
Mary Anne James
Marian Julia James
Father described as Editor of Musical Works At 336 Oxford Street, Westminster
Marian Julia James Christened
St James. Westminster
30 Dec
William Nelson James Buried
Willesden, St Mary
Burial under “Coroners Warrant”
Census Emily Coates
Mary Anne James (Widow)
Marian Julia James
At Upper Terrace, Hampstead boarding with Miss Emily Coates. Miss James’s widowed mother also there Miss James described as “Vocalist”. Miss Coates described as “Wine Merchant” and “Head of House”
Census Sydney T Dobell
Emily Dobell (nee Armitage)
Marian Julia James
Shown as visiting Sydney & Emily Dobell
At Hoke Place Hucclecote, Gloucester Dobell “Wine & Spirit Merchant”
Miss James shown as “Authoress”. Mother not listed. Still living in Hampstead
Census Emily Coates
Mary Anne James (Widow)
Marian Julia James
At Upper Terrace Hampstead Miss Coates still described as “Head” and Miss James still “Authoress”. Mother listed
18 Dec
Mary Anne James Buried
Willesden, Middlesex
22 Oct
Death of Miss Emily Coates at Looe in Cornwall
Described as “late of Upper Terrace Hampstead.”. Miss James also of Upper Terrace the sole beneficiary and Executrix of estate of £83,031 2s 6d
Census Miss James
Annie M Bulley*
Felix M Bulley
Living in West Down Cottage with 3 domestic staff
Mrs S Marshall Bulley* and her 13 year old son Felix visiting.
West Down built
G Faulkner Armitage Architect & Builder. S Marshall Bulley, wife and son also live there.
Census Felix Bulley
Now living in Hammersmith as a Medical student Sharing house with Arthur Elliot, friend
14 Mar
S Marshall Bulley dies
As result of an Operation
Widow Annie Margaret Bulley (nee Armitage) and son Felix inheritors.
1 May
Felix Bulley dies
Trimmers field, Hindhead, Surrey. Died at 9 Mandeville Place, Middlesex.
Widow, cousin Godfrey Armitage and solicitor given probate
10 Nov
. Miss James dies
Her Will bequeathed use of her house at Upper Terrace, Hampstead (presumably inherited from Miss Coates) to Briton Rivierè & wife and use of West Down to Miss Margaret Hattersley Bulley with Mrs S Marshall Bulley still living there.
Census Annie M Bulley*
Edith Mary Rigby
Occupation given as Private Means
Visitor (Occupation given as Private Means)
Living with 4 domestic servants
1937 10 Nov George Faulkner Armitage Dies 87 Altringham, Cheshire
10 Oct
Mrs S Marshall Bulley* dies
At West Down

* Donates same person


Baillie Scott – Architect

The son of a Scottish aristocrate

H Baillie Scott

H Baillie Scott

Mackay Baillie Scott was born near Ramsgate, Kent in 1865 .The son of a Scottish aristocrat, he was originally trained as an agriculturist with a view to eventually running the family sheep stations in Australia but later decided to become an Architect. He was articled to a Bath City Architect and at the end of his articles in 1889, he moved to Douglas in the Isle of Man. There he set up a practice, initially working for Fred Sanderson, a local Surveyor. He also attended evening classes at the College of Art.

In 1901, Baillie Scott returned to mainland England and settled on the outskirts of Bedford, eventually moving to Brighton where he died in a nursing home in1945. He had continued to practice as an Architect and designer of furniture until his retirement in 1939 by which time, architectural designs of some three hundred houses were attributed to him together with many pieces of furniture. He was elected a Fellow of the RIBA in 1927 and served on the Arts Committee for four years from 1928..

His work had been discontinued during the First World War when he returned to Bedford for a while before moving to Bath. After the First World War he recommenced his practice in Bedford until moving a number of times to London, Haslemere for a short while, and other locations.

Unfortunately, the majority of the drawings of property designed by Baillie Scott up until 1911 were destroyed in a fire in March 1911. Then again, most of the drawings that survived the fire in 1911, plus many of those since produced, were destroyed in wartime bombing raids during the second world war.

His links to Grayshott probably arose during his period of residence in Haslemere. Two properties have to date been identified as being designed by Baillie Scott: Bede Cottage, Headley Road: This property was built c.1930 and has since been divided into two dwellings, and is now known as Bede Cottage, East and West. Boscobel, Hammer Lane, Grayshott was built c. 1932.

The Grayshott Estate
The other connection the Architect may have had with Grayshott was the proposal to build a very large housing estate along the north side of Headley Road, to the west of the village, consisting of two hundred and one plots. The area of this proposal included what is now Applegarth, east to the bottom of Whitmore Vale and along Whitmore Hanger, both sides of Hammer Lane and west as far as the north side of Headley Road opposite Ludshott Common. This project was known as “The Grayshott Estate”. The connection with Baillie Scott is, however, rather tenuous and by no means certain but it is interesting to note that the two houses identified above are both within the area designated for the Grayshott Estate.

The area opposite Grayshott House, on the corner of the current Waggoners Estate, was occupied by the military during the Second World War. There the military operated a Searchlight Battery, this area becoming known locally as the “Searchlight Field”. The temporary accommodation erected on the site was occupied after the war by a local family until about 1955 and was thereafter demolished. Also during this period the field was rented to Charringtons, who owned Whitmore Vale Farm, to grow wheat and corn on it, much needed to help alleviate post war food shortages. A little further to the east where the current Sports Field is today, the Grayshott Rifle Club had their premises, which they occupied from the end of the war until sometime during the 1950’s.

It is not clear as to why the Grayshott Estate scheme never went ahead, but it was possibly due to the lack of interest by developers at that particular time, the only houses built around that period being Bede Cottage and Boscobel. It was not until the 1970’s that planning permission was granted for the development of Waggoners Estate

Brian Tapp,
Grayshott Village Archive


Grayshott Conservation Area

Study and Character Appraisal – East Hampshire
District Council’s Consultation Document, Issued September 2009

Grayshott Village Archive Management Committee’s Response
A copy of the EHDC Consultative Draft for the Grayshott Conservation Area can be downloaded HERE from the EHDC website. The document is in PDF format and therefore you will need a copy of the Adobe Acrobat Reader which can be downloaded free from HERE.

Summary & Recommendations
Members of the Archive Management Committee welcome the proposed extension to the present Conservation Area, the minor adjustments to the boundaries to address anomalies and that active consideration should be given to the use of tighter planning restrictions through the use of Article 4 (2) Direction.

However, the Committee would also like to see a number of very important additional buildings added to the proposed Conservation Area. These buildings are to be found in the Avenue, Headley Road, Crossways Road, Whitmore Vale and School Road, Grayshott and are specified property by property in its report.

Should these properties become an integral and designated part of the Conservation Area within Grayshott, then this enlarged ‘Area’ will include virtually all the buildings surviving from the original development of the Village and they will help to preserve the Village’s unique and much valued character.

Grayshott Village Archive was set up in 2002 to commemorate the centenaries of the Grayshott Parish Council and the Grayshott Village Hall with the purpose of:-

‘Identifying records relating to the activities of Grayshott residents and Grayshott organisations covering the period from the middle of the 19th century to the present day, and to devise and implement measures whereby these records are preserved and catalogued so that they are available to present residents, future residents, and others for purposes of interest, reflection and study.’

As such, the Management Committee and Friends of the Archive are keenly interested in the preservation of the character of the village by a designated conservation area and welcome the Consultation Document issued by the District Council in September 2009.

The report given below sets out the Archive Management Committee’s comments and recommendations on the District Council’s consultation document issued in September 2009.

Friends or members of the Archive (i.e. individuals and families contributing financially to the Archive) currently number 40 and the Archive is managed by four individuals elected annually by Friends and two appointed individuals, one from the Parish Council and one from The Village Hall. Further details of our work may be obtained from the Archive’s web site at

Background to the development of the village and reasons to extend the present conservation area
The earliest dwellings in the valleys of Whitmore Vale (leading to Barford) and Stoney Bottom (leading to Waggoners Wells) were mainly ‘squatters’ making a meagre existence from poor quality land, smallholdings and woodland industries.

Land now forming the ‘new’ central part of Grayshott was offered for sale by auction in September 1879 but nothing was built on until 1885 when Henry Robinson developed the three plots that he had bought at the 1879 auction for the grand total of £19 – 10s -0d. This became the first shop/ post office with living accommodation attached, now known as Crossways House. Further development took place from 1890 onwards and coincided with the rapid expansion of nearby Hindhead, whose popularity came from the notable Victorian, Professor Tyndall, who declared that the air on Hindhead was as pure as that in the Swiss Alps. This attracted a large influx of tourists to the area, since it is in easy reach of London via the railway to Haslemere.

Rapid development of Grayshott followed. The new village became an active trading centre supplying all the needs of the tourist trade at Hindhead. As such, there was a large and disproportionate number of shops relative to the population of Grayshott. Expansion continued throughout the 20th century, and then two world wars brought vast numbers of troops to the area. Following World War 2 tourism never returned but the former Canadian army camps were turned over to social housing, again bringing prosperity. By the 1960s the area had become a prime residential site for commuters working in London, and more recently with the convenience of travel via the motorway network to Heathrow and Gatwick airports.

Fortunately, virtually all of the original development has survived making this unique in East Hampshire. Examples of the architecture are very well illustrated in the Consultation Draft.

In Appendix A to our report there can be found early images of properties and streets in Grayshott. These photographs provide a splendid record of the ‘new’ i.e. late Victorian/Edwardian commercial development with its associated residential accommodation and the good amenities provided by local benefactors.

Members of the Archive Management Committee welcome the proposed extension to the present Conservation Area and the minor adjustments to the boundaries to address anomalies and with active consideration to be given to the use of tighter planning restrictions through the use of Article 4 (2) Direction. However, the Committee would also like to see a number of important additional buildings added to the proposed Conservation Area. These buildings are to be found in the Avenue, Headley Road, Crossways Road, Whitmore Vale and School Road, Grayshott as shown below in Table 1.

Table 1
Properties which in the opinion of the Management Committee should be
included in the Grayshott Village Conservation Area

Headley Road:
built c1897
 ‘Ash Villa’
built c1902
 Village Hall
built c1902
 ‘Old Cycle Shop / Helens’
built c1899
 ‘Oak Cottage’
built c1899
 ‘Homeside’/‘Avenue House’
built c1900
Glen Road:
 Aberdeen Terrace
built c1905
The Avenue:
 All below
built c1900
 ‘Little Garth’
 ‘The Laurels’
 ‘Odessa’/’Corona Cottage’
 ‘Fairview’/’Maidstone Villa’
 Avenue Cottage’
‘Hindhead View’
 ‘Woolmer View’
 ‘Granville Cottages/Hazelhurst/

The Ferns/The Villas’

Crossways Road:
 ‘Firlands/Rake House/Hindhead Chase’
built c1897
built c1897
 ‘Western Lodge’
built c1898
Whitmore Vale Road:
 Whitmore Hill Cottages
built c1899
 Whitmore Vale Cottages
built c1901
School Road:
 The Pottery (formerly The Laundry)
built c1895
 Grayshott School
built 1871
 ‘Fir Croft’ headmaster’s house
built 1900

Captioned photographs of many of these properties may be found in Appendix B to this Archive report.

Conclusions and Recommendations
Should the properties set out in Table 1 our report become an integral and designated part of the Conservation Area within Grayshott then this ‘Area’ will include virtually all the buildings surviving from the original development of the Village. As such these properties will help to preserve the Village’s unique and much valued character.

Therefore, the Management Committee of the Grayshott Village Archive strongly recommends that all these buildings are included, designated and formally added to the Conservation Area set out in the Rural District’s Consultative Paper entitled, ‘Status of Grayshott Village Conservation Area, Character Appraisal’.

Finally, may we draw the District’s attention to the following minor additions/amendments that should be made to its Consultation Paper.

  1. Much of the brick and tile materials used emanated from the Hammer Brick and Tile Works and nearby Hammer Vale, Haslemere.
  2. p.5. The railway from London to Haslemere was not directly instrumental in the development of Grayshott.
  3. p.6. View 7 is of Crossways Road only.
  4. p.7 ‘Jubilee Terrace and Victoria Terrace’ should read ‘Grayshott Terrace and Victoria Terrace’.
  5. p.2 The Church spire was added in 1910 not 1920. The materials used were locally quarried Bargate stone.

Grayshott Village Archive central records
Grayshott Village Archive photographic collection
Grayshott Village Archive web site:
Ordinance survey maps 1895
Do. 1913, Hants revisions 1909

The Management Committee
Grayshott Village Archive
October 2009