There are 7 houses on the short road called Bullswater Lane (which ends rather abruptly) which leads off the Guildford-Pirbright road. We are not sure when the name “Bullswater Lane” came into being, but we think it was quite recent. Electoral Rolls from the 1990’s still described the lane as “Bullswater Common”. The 7 houses in the lane were built in 3 defined modes:
Firstly Bullswater Farm, built as a standalone farm, dating from the 1500’s.
Next Bullswater House and Heather Lodge, built as large country houses around the beginning of the 20th century.
Lastly the other 4 houses, each of which (we think) was built initially to house staff working at one of the 3 earlier houses.
We have considered each house in this section. Below we have included a table showing when each was built. Also shown is the current OS map (with thanks), which shows where each house is. 1 small point: Springbok is now called The Warren.
Bullswater Farm (c1500 - 1899)
But first, we’ll look at the early history of the Bullswater area. For 350 years up to 1899 there was only one dwelling in the immediate vicinity – Bullswater Farm, and its occupants farmed the 30-odd acres which belonged to the farm. Luckily the farm (originally called Heathers or Hethers) was copyhold (ie held by copy from the Lord of the Manor), so there are a number of old records for us to look at. [Copyhold is a little like leasehold. A copyholder, however, in addition to paying yearly rent, had to supply labour at harvest time and also pay a heriot in animals or cash and fine when the property was sold or passed to the copyholder’s heirs.]
The first certain document we have is this one from 1548 (shown below).
Fortunately that august group, Pirbright Historians, have gone to the trouble of translating this (approximately) as follows: John Cobbett holds by copy since September 27th of the 35th year of Henry VIII (ie 1544) a tenement called Hethers, formerly William Pulleyn & before that Henry Pulleyn and pays by heriot & fine (blank) & pays per annum 1s 6d.
So it appears that Henry Pulleyn may have founded the farm and built the farmhouse in the early 1500’s (or late 1400’s). And it seems that Henry’s presumed son, William Pulleyn, who owned Pullens Farm and Hatchers, on The Green, sold the copyhold to John Cobbett in 1544.
Actually it is possible that Heathers was settled even earlier. The lay subsidy of 1332 refers to a “Ricardo ate Hethe”. This may well refer to someone called Richard who lived at an area called “Heath” or something similar. This may have been Heathers, but we may never know for certain.
Dating Bullswater Farm to the early 1500’s would tie in with the timber frame construction and wealth of beams inside. We have shown below 2 photos of the farmhouse, taken by Pirbright Historians in the early 2000’s.
John Cobbett was still the copyholder in a Surrey Taxation Return for 1588, which also noted he must supply a ‘mower, reaper and cart for the Lorde’s worke’.
From 1648 to 1893, there is a record of all the copyholders of Bullswater Farm in the Court Roll of Pirbright Manor. Right is the first entry for Heathers, in 1648.
Christopher Bull was the copyholder at the time, and he probably gave his surname to what we now call Bullswater (any sort of cattle-related connection would be speculative). The area covered by the farm in the 1600’s was 40 acres, but this varied across the years, as pieces were sold or added on. Most often, this seemed to involve the following properties:
Merristwood Mead (a 2 acre field, now part of the property of Hockford Cottage) covered elsewhere on this site,
Speeches (a 7 acre field, now forming part of the Fox Corner Wildlife Area.
Millmead (1 acre), part of Heath Mill.
The table below shows the earliest transactions from the Court Roll (summarised)
We know a little about some of these characters.
Firstly John Faggetter who rented the property in 1665. According to a detailed family tree on ancestry.com, John Faggetter (1622–1667) was the scion of an old Pirbright family dating back to at least 1515, but this has not been checked.
In 1694 the property was purchased by George Martin (or Marten). It was passed down through 4 generations of the Martin family (all the sons were called George). George Martin II died in 1759 aged 84 and is buried in Pirbright churchyard, hard by the porch. His headstone, the oldest one still legible, is shown right. His wife, Sarah’s, headstone we think is next to it.
The fourth George Martin died in 1784, leaving a surprisingly legible will. He is described as being “of Bullswater”, and he left his Pirbright property, comprising around 33 acres, to Elizabeth Boylett, wife of George Boylett, who was at that time in possession of the property. He also left 11 acres in Broad Street, Worplesdon to George Boylett. Elizabeth Boylett was named as his executrix. But who was this Elizabeth Boylett? The neatest answer would be that Elizabeth was George’s daughter, who married a George Boylett. However no firm evidence of this can be traced, so it remains an open question. There is a marriage licence allegation in 1753 of a Geo Boylett, aged 38, a blacksmyth from Worplesdon and an Elizabeth Osbourn, aged 25 of Pirbright at St Martha’s (or St Marie’s), Guildford. This may be our George and Elizabeth, but it would then suggest an element of secrecy – we can only guess why that would be.
We have shown right a section of the Rocque map of 1763. The name “Heathers Far” is prominent, but it is not clear which settlement this relates to. In fact the correct location of Heathers would have been somewhere near the letters “ar” of Farm, but no settlement is shown on the map there. Mr Rocque clearly needed Ordnance Survey to help him.
At the time of the death of Elizabeth Boylett in 1803, Bullswater Farm was mortgaged to James Honer, the new owner of Heath Mill, and unfortunately Elizabeth’s son was unable to repay the mortgage (or arrange a replacement mortgage). Thus the farm became the copyhold property of James Honer (in 1807).
The 1807 survey of Pirbright records Bullswater Farm as being 30 acres, 1 of which was the farmhouse and garden, 20 of which were arable, 1 meadow, 5 pasture and 2 hedges etc. Only half an acre was woodland. Thus the farm had increased by 7 acres from its earlier 23 acres, but we do not know which particular fields were the later additions. Below we have shown the 1807 survey map, the 1841 Tithe map and the current OS map of the Bullswater Farm area. The 1807 area of the farm is shown edged in pink on all 3 maps.
1807 Pirbright Survey 1841 Tithe Map
Current OS Map
The field plans in 1807 and 1841 are very similar (unsurprisingly). But very few of the field boundaries can be identified today, with the exception of “The Moor” (No 170 in the 1807 map). A fair part of the farm has been allowed to become woodland today.
The south-eastern end of the (rather useful) path between Bullswater Lane and the top of Rowe Lane can be seen as a field boundary (between Nos 176 and 177), but it is not shown as a path in 1841.
The only dwelling (coloured pink) on the farm in 1841 was on the site of today’s Bullswater Cottage. This was Bullswater Farm at that time. The only other buildings (shaded grey) are still in place today, right next to Allandale. Although there is no track shown on the 1841 map along Bullswater Lane, we think that one must have existed at the time, in order to access the farm.
But the most obvious change is the construction of the houses along Rowe Lane and Bullswater Lane. Rowe Lane was actually mentioned in a Court Roll of 1665, but is outside the scope of this site at present. We will, however, reveal the identity of the person who sold off the land to develop most of these houses, a little further down this section.
Now reverting to James Honer, who owned the land in 1807 thanks to the previous owner’s mortgage default, he clearly didn’t want to work the farm in addition to Heath Mill (which he owned), and so he soon (in 1809) sold the copyhold to William Collins.
The picture of Bullswater during the following years is not very clear. The 1841 census records 17 families and a total of 90 people living at “Bullswater”, mainly agricultural labourers. But this probably included a much wider area than just Bullswater Farm (it included Hockford Farm, for example). Perhaps by 1841 many agricultural labourers were drawn to the newly-constructed almshouses in Pirbright. Certainly 6 of the 17 families can be accounted directly in this way.
The farmer in 1841 was 33 year-old Henry Collyer, born in Horsell in 1808. In 1851 he was farming White’s Farm and we have covered his story more fully there.
William died in 1845 and his executors in 1846 sold the copyhold of Bullswater to Richard Chasmore. We have now reached firm ground (historically), and know quite a lot about Mr Chasmore. In 1826 he had married Mary Hall, who was the owner of Pullens Farm (now demolished, on the site of the Pirbright Institute). We have told the story of Richard and Mary in the section dealing with Pullens Farm, so will not repeat it here.
Thus from 1846 Pullens and Bullswater Farms were under common ownership and remained so until the mid-1880’s.
Richard Chasmore died in 1857 and was buried in a handsome table tomb close by the church lych gate. His will specified that the Bullswater estate should be left to his nephew, Edward Mason, who was living there. Edward Mason had been born in 1812 in Guildford, the son of Elizabeth, Richard Chasmore’s sister who had married Thomas Mason in 1806. Edward’s parents died in 1841 and were both buried at St Mary’s Worplesdon.
In 1851, Edward was acting as the farmer of Bullswater Farm for his uncle Richard and was perhaps surprised, and probably delighted, to have been left Bullswater Farm in his uncle Richard’s will in 1857.
The following year, Edward married Maria Mansell (born 1824). Maria’s father, Matthew Mansell, farmed 120 acres in Chiddingfold, so there would have been much farming talk over the dinner table when the families met up.
Edward and Maria Mason chose to live at Pullens, rather than at Bullswater (which was occupied by farm labourers and their families). They had 5 children. Edward died in 1872, and Maria and 3 of her children decided to stay at Pullens Farm. In 1881, Maria Mason described herself as “Farmer of 20 acres”, which would only have been around 30% of Pullens Farm. She also owned some land at Cobbets Hill – presumably part of Cobbets Hill Farm. Another of Maria’s relatives – her brother William Mansell – was farming Bullswater Farm in 1881, which was then 29 acres in size.
In 1885, the copyhold of the property (of 29 acres) was advertised for sale by auction (see newspaper cutting below). We think the ad was placed by Maria Mason, but presumably no-one offered an acceptable amount, as ownership remained with Edward’s wife, Maria.
Then in 1886, a major change occurred: The Manor of Pirbright allowed the Mason family to enfranchise Bullswater Farm (ie convert the copyhold to freehold – for a fee). Copyhold was falling into disuse elsewhere around the country at this time, so this was no big surprise. Copyhold was finally abolished in 1925.
We don’t know if this particular enfranchisement was instigated by the Manor or by the Masons. Whichever, it duly happened, and Maria put the newly-enfranchised farm in the names of one of her sons, John Morey Mason (born 1862), and his sister Anne Brinkwell Mason (born 1865) in equal shares. As well as Bullswater Farm, there was a small piece of land (containing a cart shed) adjoining the farm that had been converted from waste in 1871 by Edward Mason. The cost of the enfranchisement to the Mason family was £84 (£9,000 today – a real bargain).
In 1889, Anne married Thomas William Sherman, son of John Frost Sherman, the miller at Heath Mill. In 1892 John Morey Mason sold his half share to Anne (for which she had to take out a mortgage of £250). Thus Anne now owned the whole of Bullswater Farm, which now comprised 28 acres.
She and Thomas decided fairly quickly to disband the farm and develop the land. The general increase in personal wealth at this time had led to something of a housing boom across the country, as discussed in the economic history described elsewhere on this site. Thomas’s father, John Sherman, had also probably given them some ideas by building 2 large houses in Malthouse Lane on farmland in the early 1890’s. Certainly 2 of the houses which would be built on Bullswater Farm (Bullswater House and Heather Lodge) bear striking similarities to the 2 Malthouse Lane houses in terms of design and appearance. Some of the transactions were in Anne’s name, but others were in Thomas’s name.
At this point (1899), we will end our history of Bullswater Farm as an integrated c30-acre farm, and consider each of today’s properties individually.
We should point out that about one third of the farm was sold off by Thomas and Anne to form the houses along Rowe Lane, but unfortunately Rowe Lane is outside the scope of this site (for now).
Below is a table showing what Thomas and Anne Sherman did with the various elements of the 28 acres of Bullswater Farm.
Bullswater Lane post-1899
Thomas and Anne’s first foray into property development came in 1899, when they built a large house on one of the larger plots (it was 4 acres). Bullswater Lodge (since renamed Heather Lodge) was built in 1899 while Thomas and Anne were living in Rowe Lane. In fact the Shermans never lived in Bullswater Lodge, instead renting it out as described in the Heather Lodge section below.
In 1903, Anne Sherman built Ardeley on Rowe Lane, and an ad was placed in the local newspaper inviting further investment in the grand-sounding “Bullswater Building Estate” (see copy right top).
We are fairly sure that the ad was placed by the Shermans and probably related to the combined Rowe Lane / Bullswater Lane frontages. However, the ad didn’t seem to attract much interest. In 1906 Thomas Sherman tried to sell Ardeley on Rowe Lane (see ad right below). This was also unsuccessful. It was eventually sold in 1911 to an Ernest Ifill Shadbolt.
By 1907, Thomas finally had some success. Alfred Tipper purchased one of Thomas’s plots (3 acres in size) and built another large house, called Oaklands (later Uplands, now Bullswater House – refer section below). That transaction was the last of the Sherman’s property dealings as far as we can tell.
Thomas and Anne repurchased Pullens Farm in 1909, probably helped by the cash they received from Alfred Tipper a couple of years before. Anne was presumably the driving force behind this particular transaction, as she had been brought up in Pullens Farm, at a time when Pullens and Bullswater Farms were under common ownership (her father was the owner of both). The fuller story of this is told in the Pullens Farm section.
Thomas and Anne continued to live at Bullswater Farm between 1911 and 1920, although he sometimes gave his address as Holly Villa, which was possibly a newly built house nearby in Rowe Lane. But Thomas was by then suffering from an illness that was eventually to cause his demise.
Thomas’s death notice and obituary in 1920 are shown below, together with a picture of Thomas and Anne Sherman’s memorial in Pirbright Churchyard. The sharp eyed will see that the death notice and obituary give different addresses as the place of death.
After Thomas’s death, Anne moved out of Bullswater Farm into Sunnyside (which may have been Holly Villa, renamed) and died in 1928 at the house in Jacob’s Well which was owned by 2 of her children, Richard and Annie.
We will now look at each of today’s 7 houses one-by-one, starting at the westerly end. Before we do, we will point out that the names of these 7 houses frequently changed over the years, and in an annoyingly confusing way. So we have shown a little reference table below to help the reader.
Bullswater House (previously Oaklands and then Uplands)
As mentioned above, the Shermans had sold the land for what is now Bullswater House to a Mr Albert Tipper in 1907.
Albert was born in 1857 in Islington, one of a pair of twins, the son of a “Tea grocer” from Sussex.
Albert’s father died in 1876 when Albert was 18, and his mother continued the grocery business, now based in Putney. Albert helped his mother with the business, and it obviously became successful, as by 1895 Albert, his mother and one of his brothers were living at a large house called Fairholme in a rural part of Cobham (today it is a more recently-built house, but still a large one in a forest of other large houses in Cobham). One of the Tippers’ neighbours was Ludwig Mentzendorff, whose company had represented Bollinger Champagne in the UK for the previous 40 years. Today the Mentzendorff Company continues to hold the Bollinger agency, alongside several other prestigious brands. We don’t know how the Tippers became so wealthy. Perhaps running a grocery was more profitable in those days than it is today. Or maybe they were they selling bottles of Bollinger for a vast profit?
In 1903, Albert married a Kate Smith, the daughter of a builder. Albert was aged 45 and Kate 47. Curiously, Kate’s mother’s full name was Joyce Tipper Smith, but we have not investigated any earlier connection with Albert’s family. Albert described his profession as “Independent” on his marriage certificate, which suggests that he had stopped working, and was living off his (and his mother’s) wealth by then.
Albert and Kate built Oaklands and lived there between 1907 and c1915. By 1921 they were living in Wokingham. Kate died there in 1933 and Albert in 1933. They had no children.
A little more about Albert’s development of his Bullswater plot: In 1907 Albert had immediately set about building a large house on his 3-acre plot. We have shown right a plan of the plot and it shows that the plot included what is now The Warren (see section below). It also included a triangular piece of land on the northern side, which today appears to be untended woodland, including a nice selection of brambles and nettles.
We have shown below the plans for the first and second floors of the house, which would have looked normal for a large house at the time, but to our modern eyes seem very dated, with fireplaces in every bedroom, and using terms like “Scullery”, Larder”, “Morning Room” and “Coals”. These plans give some useful clues as to how wealthier people lived in Edwardian times.
The same year Albert built a stable block (since converted into The Warren – see section below). Again we have show right the plan in case anyone wants to see how stables were designed at that time. Of course in 1907, horse-drawn transport would have been the norm (there were apparently only 23,000 cars on Britain's roads by the end of 1904, but over 100,000 by 1910).
The new house was called Oaklands, although Albert seems to have briefly named it Elm Bank (the 1907 Electoral Register shows him as living at “Elm Bank, Bullswater Common”). Perhaps he couldn’t find any elms on the property and decided to choose a more appropriate name. More likely, he found out that there was another property in Pirbright called Elm Bank – in School Lane – and wanted a more “exclusive” name for his new house. Although Albert and Kate lived at Oaklands between 1907 and 1915, they were not present at the time of the 1911 census. Instead the house was being looked after by a 19-year old servant (Elsie Martin).
After WWI the Tippers decided to move to Wokingham and rent the house out. Between 1919 and 1922 William and Mary Cruickshank lived at the house (which had been renamed Uplands for some reason – surely there wasn’t a shortage of oak trees nearby?). Mary Cruickshank was in the 1920 phone directory with the phone number Worplesdon 31. She was one of only 12 Fox Corner residents with a telephone at that time.
After the Cruickshanks left, in 1923, Harry and Eva Gullick rented out Uplands. We know that the Tippers retained ownership until at least 1925, as they submitted a planning application in that year to extend the stables (which they now described as a garage), adding 2 bedrooms, a sitting room and a kitchen area. We think that this was called Uplands Cottage, later becoming Springbok, and recently being renamed The Warren. Its history is covered below in the section dealing with The Warren. As an aside, the plot in 1925 is shown as 5.5 acres (an increase of 2.5 acres from the original purchase in 1907). The accompanying plan unfortunately does not make clear where this additional 2.5 acres lay.
Back to the Gullicks. Harry was born Henry Timbs Gullick in Westminster in 1855, the son of a London bootmaker who had been born in Sicily. In 1881 Harry married Eva (nee Douglas), who had been born in Iowa in 1858. Her father was an iron merchant from Sunderland, and her mother was from Selkirk, Scotland, so she was a British citizen, despite her American birthplace. They went on to have 8 children.
In 1901 the family were living in Camberwell, and Harry was a Director of a “Boot Manufactory”. But by 1911 the family had moved to Broadstairs, and Harry was a director of The Eagle and British Dominions Insurance Company Ltd. As one might guess from such a mouthful of a name, the company was formed from a merger between 2 companies. It was later renamed as simply Eagle Star – a name which would be familiar to many older readers. It is now part of Zurich Insurance Group, a Swiss company.
Today, younger people are often encouraged to change careers during their working life, but for Harry to change from a boot manufacturer to a big player in the insurance industry is pretty extreme – especially at the age of 51 back in 1906. He must have been a bright fellow to have managed that. One of their sons, Arthur Louis Gullick, served in The Buffs (East Kent Regiment, but he died in October 1915, aged only 30.
After their move to Pirbright, the Gullicks threw their energies into local life. Eva became President of the Pirbright Womens Institute in 1925. Harry helped the Parish Council and the Horticultural Society, and was a member of the Cricket Club. In 1928 he was appointed a Churchwarden at St Michael’s Church, Pirbright.
Harry died in 1931 and we have shown excerpts from the newspaper articles about him below.
Eva died the following year, and her obituary is shown below.
A painting of Harry is shown below, together with the memorial to Harry and Eva in St Michael’s, Pirbright Churchyard. There is also a tablet for the Gullicks in St Michael’s, to the right of the door.
Within a few months of Eva’s death, Uplands had new occupants: Major & Mrs Charles Albert Robertson.
Charles Albert Amherst Robertson was born in Brentford in 1897. He joined the Scots Guards during WW1, although we do not know whether he ever saw action. At any rate he received a Victory Medal. Joan Seymour Campbell was born in Toronto in 1899, to well-to-do Scottish parents who lived in Toronto. She arrived in England (travelling solo) in 1921.
Charles and Joan married in 1929 at Camberley (where Joan was living with her aunt). Charles was a Captain in the 2nd Battalion of Scots Guards, and so possibly he was stationed at nearby Aldershot at the time. The following year they sailed to Canada (no doubt to visit Joan’s parents), and returned to live at Ardeley in Rowe Lane (which is just outside the scope of this site, we’re afraid) from 1930.
By 1932 they had moved into Uplands, possibly renting from Albert Tipper’s relatives (the Tippers had died in the previous 2 years). Or perhaps the house had been put up for sale and the Robertsons (who lived next door at Ardeley) snapped it up. Given the various adverts by the Robertsons offering various fittings for sale after moving in, we suspect it was the latter (ie a purchase by the Robertsons), and so that is what we will assume from here on.
In 1934 Joan sailed to Toronto, presumably to visit her family. We’re not sure what happened next, but we fear that the couple may have split up. Charles remained at Uplands until c1938, but Joan was not recorded as living there after 1934. Joan served as a temporary Surgeon Lieutenant with the Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve during WW2. Her entry in the registers show that she was highly qualified, being listed as Joan Seymour Robertson BA, MD. She died in Toronto in 1977, while Charles died in London in 1984.
After 1938 the situation is confusing. In 1939 the house was occupied by a lawyer and his wife, a retired paper merchant (named Adolf Kohlmann), a silk merchant and a freelance artist. That sounds to us as though the house was rented out. Immediately after the war the house was occupied by several people at the same time, presumably because the house was being used to house people who had been displaced during WW2.
But from 1947 the occupiers (presumably owners) of the house were Lt Col Stephen DH Pollen MBE and his wife Marion. The house had been renamed to its current name of Bullswater House and had reduced in size to 3 acres (according to a building plan submitted for next-door Bullswater Lodge).
Stephen was born in Chelsea in 1908, the son of a Colonel Pollen (also named Stephen, 1868-1935) and his wife, Catherine (nee Muir in 1874, died 1954). Catherine is of interest. She was one of 9 children of Sir John Muir, Baronet (1828-1903) and Lady Margaret Muir.
In 1849 John Muir joined James Finlay and Co, cotton mill owners. He became a junior partner and he bought out the other partners to become the sole owner in 1883. Due to the American Civil War the company had to relocate the main source of cotton to India in 1871. John and his cousin Hugh Brown Muir established the firm of Finlay Muir & Co in Glasgow. In 1882, they branched into tea plantations, and then into rubber and jute. They also acquired plantations in Sri Lanka. John was created a baronet in 1892, and by the end of the 19th century his company controlled 270,000 acres (that’s around 400 square miles), 77,000 of which were tea plantations. The company had a staggering 90,000 employees.
Marion Pollen (nee Dixson) was born in 1911 in New South Wales, daughter of a wealthy tobacco-based industrialist (Hugh Dixson). After retirement, Hugh and his wife donated much of their wealth to the Baptist Church and various good causes. Hugh was knighted in 1921. Marion’s sister, Jean, married an army General (General Ian Standish Monteith Hamilton GCB, GCMG, DSO, TD, who commanded British forces at Gallipoli – oh dear), becoming Lady Hamilton. Jean was painted by John Singer Sargent, who is buried in Brookwood Cemetery. If you’re interested, the painting (and a photo of Jean) is easily found on the internet.
So both Stephen and Marion Pollen had distinguished (and wealthy) backgrounds. Just to prove the point, in 1930 the Wiltshire Times proudly mentioned Marion presenting her daughter at Court, where the Duchess of Beaufort was present.
In 1949 the local newspaper reported a burglary at the house, although there was an amusing side to it (see right). The name of the house was incorrectly reported as Bullswater Farm – the writer has some sympathy with the 1949 reporter, as, in addition to a House and a Farm, there have also been a Bullswater Cottage, Lodge, Bungalow and Farmhouse – all separate houses in the same short lane.
But by 1951 the Pollens had left Bullswater House and moved to Sonning. Stephen died there in 1969, and Marion in 1990.
We are lucky to have an early photo of Bullswater House (shown left). On the reverse of the photo is written “1952”, so we assume it was taken then (even though it has an earlier look to it). The 1907 extensions not on the original plans are clearly visible.
By 1955 Bertram and Anne Misselbrook had purchased Bullswater House.
Bertram (known by his middle name of Desmond) was born in 1913 in Christchurch, Hampshire, the son of a grocer’s manager. We know quite a lot about him, thanks to a very readable obituary of him written by none other than Tam Dalyell, the long-lasting Scottish MP. The obituary was printed in The Independent, and can be found here: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/obituaries/desmond-misselbrook-529548.html
We have summarised elements of it as follows (with thanks to The Independent).
In 1939 Desmond was a temporary schoolmaster in Walton-on-Thames, and after WW2 he was a lecturer in psychology and set up the applied psychology unit at the new Edinburgh University.
In 1949 he married Anne (nee Goodman) and joined British-American Tobacco (“BAT”), where he developed a scheme for worldwide remuneration of BAT employees so that there could be an easier transfer of staff. He inaugurated one of the first earnings-related pension schemes in a major company. He set up BAT management training. He was a man regarded in BAT as of phenomenal physical stamina. It was said that there had to be two teams of employees dealing with him, one from 6pm to 10pm and another from 10pm to 2am, when he would often end the evening with a cheerful "and just so that we can clear our minds, one more Martini". This must have been at the time when he was living at Bullswater House. He and Anne moved to Ewshott, near Farnham c1962.
But in 1972, Desmond changed direction completely. He moved north of the border again to become Chairman of Livingston Development Corporation. He was appointed by Edward Heath’s Conservative Government, but had replaced a man appointed by Harold Wilson’s Labour government, who was seen as having done a good job in the post. Mr Dalyell, and others, did not take this lying down... (see newspaper headline right)
Anyway Desmond seemed to have done a good job at Livingston (even Tam Dalyell approved and regarded him as a friend) and became a director of some other Scottish companies, including Standard Life (of which he became deputy chairman).
They had 2 children. Desmond died in Blairgowrie in 2005 and Anne in Edinburgh in 2016.
We then have a gap between 1962 and 1967, where we do not know who lived in Bullswater House.
Between 1967 and 1972 the house was owned by Kenneth and Pauline Parke, who had previously been living in Horsell. Kenneth was born in Haltwhistle, Northumberland in 1913. Pauline (nee Halford) was born in Bournemouth in 1914. They married in Gateshead in September 1939. Kenneth was wearing military uniform during the service. Pauline was working as a municipal clerk in Gateshead at the time.
In 1945 Kenneth was a Temporary Major with the Royal Artillery, and recommended for the Order of the Bronze Lion (we do not know whether he received it). The following year he sat his Law (Solicitors’) Final Exam (having started the course in 1936) and presumably passed.
We think that he then worked for the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (which in 1953 was renamed British Petroleum Company, now just BP). He flew frequently (at least 5 times) to New York between 1955 and 1962.
After 5 years at Bullswater House, the Parkes moved to Albury in 1972, perhaps at the time of Kenneth’s retirement. They had 2 children. Kenneth died in 1984, and Pauline died in Compton in 1992.
We now have another gap in our knowledge between 1972 and 1981.
c1981 the house was purchased by Lionel and Joyce King. For some reason, the Electoral Register shows that the house had been renamed Oaklands (a name which had been dispensed with in 1917). Whether this was due to a Council mistake or to owner whim is not known. If we had to guess, it would be the former, as today the house is still called Bullswater House (just as it had been since 1947).
Lionel Underwood Raymond King was born in Cambridge in 1923, the son of a stationmaster. Joyce was born Joyce Gloria Scowen in 1925, daughter of a porter at Harrods named Harry Septimus Scowen. In 1939 Joyce’s parents were living in Wandsworth (Harry was now a motor driver), but Joyce was at school in Knaphill, which seems odd.
They married in 1951 and had 2 daughters. The couple lived in Worcester Park for nearly 30 years before moving to Bullswater House. They stayed there for less than 10 years before moving to North Devon. Joyce died there in 2005, and Lionel in 2008.
Sometime between 1981 and 1988 the house was purchased by Robin and Penelope Privett. Robin was born in Cheshire in 1940, the son of a Woking solicitor. He grew up in Chobham, and followed his father’s profession in becoming a solicitor. In 1964 he married Penelope Bate and the couple moved to Chelsea. They then purchased Bullswater House and lived in it for over 20 years.
c2009 they sold the house (moving to Puttenham) and the current owners purchased it.
The Warren (previously Uplands Cottage, then The Gardens, Bullswater House)
As mentioned in the above section on Bullswater House, what is now The Warren was a small cottage built in 1925 as an add-on to a garage by the then owners, Mr & Mrs Albert Tipper. We have shown the plan for the cottage below. It comprised 2 small bedrooms and a sitting room.
Despite several subsequent alterations, some of the original brickwork can still be seen at the back of the house. It was built to house staff working at Bullswater House (which was at that time called Uplands) and named, not surprisingly, Uplands Cottage.
The earliest occupants were Victor and Violet Leggett. Victor was a chauffeur by trade, who was living (according to the Electoral Register of 1931) at Uplands. In 1921, Victor (born Sussex in 1897) was living at Connaught Road, Brookwood with his parents, working as a motor mechanic. Violet (nee Greenaway in 1891), however, was living in Thanet as a servant with the Gullick family, who in 1923 moved to Uplands (refer above).
So what presumably happened was that Violet moved with the Gullicks in 1923 from Thanet to Uplands. Victor became the Gullicks’ chauffeur after the move, and then he and Violet became an item (they married in 1926). Harry Gullick may have commissioned the creation of Uplands Cottage from Albert Tipper, so that Victor and Violet could live away from the main house, closer to his car in Uplands Cottage.
But the Gullicks died in 1931-32, and so Victor and Violet left Uplands Cottage, moving to West Heath, Pirbright. In 1939 Victor was still plying his trade as a chauffeur and he later worked for Vokes Ltd. The Leggetts had no children. Victor died at West Heath in 1958. Violet died at Hook Heath Road in 1964. Both are buries at St Michael’s churchyard in Pirbright.
Beatrice Jenkyn also worked for the Gullicks in Thanet, and moved with them to Uplands. She also may have lived at Uplands Cottage, rather than the main house.
The next occupants of Uplands Cottage were Albert and Mary Bradley, who had previously been living at Littlefield Common, near Wood St. Albert (who was known as Walter for some unknown reason) was born in Wimborne in 1868, one of 11 children of Frederick Bradley, a shepherd. He spent his early years in Wiltshire, where he met Mary Ralph (born Coombe Bissett in 1870). They were married in 1890 (3 months before the birth of their first child), at which time Walter gave his occupation as shepherd, like his father. Walter and Mary soon moved to Hampshire and produced a total of 12 children. Some sons just have to outdo their fathers...
Walter was still working as a shepherd in Hampshire in 1921, but in 1923 he and Mary moved to Puttenham. They moved to Uplands Cottage in 1933, together with their youngest son, Edward. There was another family of Bradleys living nearby, Henry and Mary Ann, who were living at Ravensclough, Heath Mill Lane, having previously lived at No 20, Pirbright Cottages. However that family of Bradleys originated in Suffolk and the 2 families do not seem to be related to each other.
In 1933 Edward was fined 10 shillings for entering War Dept land in order to catch rabbits. But a much more unsavoury incident occurred in 1938 concerning Edward. The cuttings right (from the National Press) explain what happened. At the Central Criminal Court, both of the Bradley brothers pleaded guilty and were imprisoned for 18 months.
Edward was a sawyer in 1938 and described himself as a carpenter in 1939. Albert died in 1944 aged 76. Edward married Kathleen Thomas in 1948, but his mother, Mary, died the following year in 1949, aged 79. Edward and Kathleen continued living in Uplands Cottage for a year until 1950, but then decided to decamp to Monmouthshire, where Edward died in 1978.
After the Bradleys left, there was a series of short-term occupants, probably renting the cottage. The first of these (in 1950) were Richard and Bridget Nagle, who had moved from Frimley. As the name of Uplands had been changed to Bullswater House, so the name of Uplands Cottage was changed (to The Gardens, Bullswater House).
Richard was born in 1903, probably the son of a domestic gardener in Alton. Bridget (nee Finnegan in Dublin in 1907), was the daughter of a quay labourer. They married in Surrey in 1935. In 1939 Richard was a Head Gardener and poultryman, and the couple were living at Wharfenden Cottage, Frimley, near the Basingstoke Canal, right next door to where Richard had spent all his life, and Richard’s parents were still living.
The Nagles moved into Uplands Cottage in 1951 (as it was called then) and stayed at The Gardens until 1958, when they moved to the Woking Road, Guildford. In 1967, we think that Richard was working on the night shift at Drummond Bros, a lathe manufacturer at Wood Street (now closed). Richard died in 1968 and Bridget in 1994, living just off the Epsom Road, Guildford. Left is a photo of Bridget.
In 1958, William and Nora Wiltshire moved into The Gardens. William was born near Swindon in 1913, the son of a farm labourer. In 1939 he was a motor driver. He married in 1931, again in 1945, and yet again in 1961, to Nora (nee Fisher in 1920). Nora had been living at East Clandon. After leaving The Gardens c 1962, William and Nora moved to Bookham. William died in 1979 and Nora in 2003 (in Merrow).
In 1962 Malcolm and Olive Carruthers were living at The Gardens. Within a couple of years they had moved to Wokingham. We then have a gap in our knowledge until 1969.
In 1969 Mary Baker and her son, Trevor, were living in the house, which they renamed Springbok. Mary and her husband, Hugh, had lived in Wych Hill Way, Woking, in a house named Springbok since 1948.
Hugh was born in Woking in 1911, the son of a bicycle engineer. He was christened Albert Hugh, but most records give his name as Hugh A. We have absolutely no idea why this was the case. In his youth, the Baker family lived in Commercial Road in the centre of Woking. In 1939 Hugh was working as a senior clerk at Woking Electric Supply Co. In 1942 he married Mary Baillie (who we think was South African, born in 1922) in Johannesburg, where presumably Hugh had been posted during WW2. They lived at the Baker family home in Commercial Road for a while after WW2 before buying a house called Springbok, in Wych Hill Way, Woking. The family sailed back to South Africa in 1951 with their 2 year-old son, Trevor.
Hugh died in 1969, and Mary bought The Gardens, which she renamed Springbok, thus preserving her South African heritage. Mary and Trevor lived at Springbok (the Bullswater one) for only a very short time and seem to have moved out by 1971.
By 1973 Michael and Margaret Brookes had purchased Springbok. The Brookes family lived at Springbok for nearly 50 years. Springbok was sold in 2022 to the current owners, who changed the name of the house to The Warren. Perhaps they prefer rabbits to antelopes?
Path to the Guildford–Pirbright Road
A narrow alley exists from Bullswater Lane running west-north-west to the northern end of Rowe Lane. It’s a very useful path as it cuts off a corner, but it’s not the busiest path in Pirbright by any stretch - you would be very unlucky to meet someone coming in the opposite direction. It’s a good path for a spot of quiet contemplation.
The path is shown on the earliest OS map (1873) as a section of the track between Heath Mill and Fords Farm, joining the road to Pirbright. The whole of this footpath can still be walked today – a very nice 10-minute stroll.
The Glade sits a little way up the path described above, on the north-eastern side.
Rhona Parsons of Heather Lodge (see section below) applied for and eventually received planning approval in 1957 for The Glade.
However in the electoral registers of the time, there don’t seem to be any occupants of a house fitting the bill of The Glade. There are, however, individuals whose address is Heather Lodge, and we think that they may have in reality been living at what is now The Glade, but gave their address as Heather Lodge. These occupants may have been servants or home help, and included Leigh Pennington (in 1959-60) and Janet Laing (in 1962). This is just guesswork on our part.
c1967 the house was sold to the current owners, who renamed it The Glade.
Heather Lodge (previously Bullswater Lodge)
Heather Lodge was built in 1899 for Thomas Sherman, the son of John Frost Sherman, and his wife Anne, who owned Heath Mill. Thomas and Anne were living in Rowe Lane at the time.
We have shown below a plan of the proposed house, together with a drawing of what the front of the house would look like. It is clearly recognisable today.
The new house was named Bullswater Lodge. From around 1903, the Shermans rented out Bullswater Lodge. Eustratio and Edith Eumorfopoulos were the first tenants. Eustratio (pronounced you-strat-ee-you) had been born in London in 1870.
The Eumorfopoulos family originally came from Greece, Eustratio’s father Aristides (1825-97) being a grain merchant, a trade followed by his sons Eustratio and Stamati in partnership. Eustratio’s mother was born Mariora Scaramanga (a surname very familiar to James Bond fans). Aristides’s office was in Leadenhall Street, with another in Rostoff in Russia. The family must have been quite well-to-do, living at 1 Kensington Park Road in the 1881 census. Eustratio may have married a little beneath him in 1899, his wife Edith Henderson (born in Edinburgh in 1879) being the daughter of an unemployed waiter. Unusually an “outsider” was found as a marriage witness. Edith was five months pregnant when they married, which may have had something to do with it.
Eustratio and Edith had previously lived for a short while at Woking where their eldest child Esmeralda (1900-54) was born. The other three children, two girls, Mimica (1904-81) and Mariora (1912-2003), and the only son, Aristides (1908-66) were all born at Pirbright. It appears that Esmeralda was the only one to marry, and had just one daughter.
In 1906 the Shermans extended the house sideways (as shown in the plan right). This may have been done at the request of Eustratio, who needed more than 1 servant (which was what the original house was designed for). As well as an extension on the east side of the house, the attic was converted to servants ‘quarters. The Eumorfopoulos family managed to keep 5 servants in the house.
At the start of WW1, Eustratio placed some adverts in the local press appealing for socks and boots for the army recruits who were stationed on nearby Bullswater Common. The family also generously opened a reading room in their house for the use of the soldiers. The story of these brave lads is told in the Bullswater Common section.
In 1915 Eustratio was summonsed for not keeping one of his bulldogs under control. Below left is a cutting describing the incident (the gardener, William Packham was living at next door Bullswater Farm Cottages (refer section below)). Next to the cutting is a photo of the house from that time (post the 1906 extension on the right-hand side of the house). Was one of those 3 dogs the offending one in 1915?
We have also shown (right) a strange cutting from a 1920 edition of that well-known journal Kinematograph Weekly, which suggests that Edith was investing in the fast-developing film industry.
By 1922 the Eumorfopouloses had moved out of Bullswater Lodge. Photos of Aristides (left) and Eustratio (centre) are shown below. We have also shown one of their Christmas cards (right), printed just after they had moved into Bullswater Lodge. Eustratio was obviously known as “Stratti” to his friends.
Eustratio and Edith moved to London, then North Holmwood. It seems that they then split up. Eustratio lived in Norwood, and then to near Lingfield. He died in 1956. Below left is a photo of his gravestone in West Norwood Cemetery, taken by his granddaughter (who also supplied some of the above photos – with thanks).
Edith lived in Weybridge, London and then the Isle of Wight. She died in the Kettlewell area of Woking in 1944. Below are 2 photos of Edith, again with grateful thanks to her grand-daughter. The middle hand photo looks to us as though it may have been a wedding photo.
In 1921 Rachel de Carteret purchased Bullswater Lodge as well as Bullswater Farm from Annie Sherman. The early history of Rachel and her husband, Frederick de Carteret, is told in the section dealing with Bullswater Cottage below. This section will deal with the de Carterets after 1921.
By 1924 Rachel and Frederick had moved into Bullswater Lodge. To a modern eye, it seems that the de Carterets wanted to present something of an aristocratic appearance to the outside world. As a small example, Frederick liked to give his name as just “St George de Carteret”. Meanwhile, Rachel was Hon Secretary of the local Women’s Branch of the National Unionist Association (a women's suffrage organisation open to members of the Conservative and Unionist Party).
In 1936 Rachel had a new bungalow built on part of the Bullswater Lodge land. The house is today named Allandale, and is covered in the section below. The builder was James Ball, who was living at Elcombe in Malthouse Lane, and who had built 3 of the houses in Malthouse Lane. The first house he built there (Ivory Cottage) was lived in by William Packham and his family from 1929. William had been the gardener at Bullswater Farm (refer below). Perhaps he had recommended James to Mrs de Carteret? Further minor alterations were made to Bullswater Lodge in 1937 by Mrs de Carteret.
In 1952 Frederick died at Bullswater Lodge. His death notice in the local newspaper is shown right.
Rachel then decided to split the Bullswater Lodge / Bullswater Farm property into two:
Retaining Bullswater Lodge as a residential house with a reasonable-sized garden. We continue the story of this a few paragraphs below.
Upgrading the 2 cottages that had belonged to Bullswater Farm, and combining them into a well-provided single house. The house was given virtually all of the remaining land that had belonged to Bullswater Farm – about 8 acres. It was renamed Stable Cottage.
By 1953 Rachel had sold Bullswater Lodge and moved to Brockenhurst on Woodham Rd, Horsell. She later died in 1964.
But she sold (or gave) the new Stable Cottage to her son, Amias de Carteret, and his wife Susan. They moved into Stable Cottage in 1953.
In this way a fair chunk (8 acres) of the original Bullswater Farm estate that Rachel had bought in 1921 was retained within the de Carteret family. The extent of this land can be seen edged in dark red on the plan below. We can see that the original plan had been prepared pre-1953, as Stable Cottage had not yet been built (it is still the shape of the original Bullswater Farm Cottages). We continue the story of Stable Cottage in the section dealing with Bullswater Farmhouse below.
Back now to Bullswater Lodge. It was purchased c1954 by Major Geoffrey and Rhona Parsons and they immediately renamed it Heather Lodge. We don’t know much about the Parsons family, except that they married in London 1947 and had 2 sons. Geoffrey was a Major in the Royal Army Ordnance Corps. Rhona (nee Carstairs) had been brought up in a leafy residential area in Kingswood, near Tadworth.
In 1957, Rhona applied for & eventually received planning approval in 1957 to build a new house on the northern part of their land. The new house was named The Glade and is covered above.
The Parsons moved on in the early 1960’s and the next owners (from c1967) were Arthur and Beryl Liquorish. Arthur was born in Leicestershire in 1924, the son of a commercial traveller working for Ingersoll Watch Co Ltd (an American company which is still in business). He later changed his employment to selling Rawlplugs.
Beryl was born Beryl Veness in 1929, the daughter of Leonard and Edith Veness. Leonard was a foreman at a Timber mill and their family were living off Triggs Lane in Woking. Veness is a highly unusual surname in England and probably has French or Italian origins. Curiously, 40 years earlier a Sarah Veness was living in No 1 Malthouse Lane, only half a mile from Heather Lodge. For such an unusual surname this would be quite a coincidence, but it seems to be that – just a coincidence. Sarah had died in 1945, and the 2 ladies do not appear to be related, even by marriage.
Arthur and Beryl were married in 1954 and they lived along the Guildford Road in Bisley, then briefly in Bedfordshire prior to moving to Heather Lodge. Beryl’s mother, Edith Veness lived with them briefly.
The Liquorishs left Heather Lodge c1977 and moved to the eastern edge of Woking. Beryl died in 2020, aged 90.
In 1977 Derrick and Valerie Titchener purchased Heather Lodge. They had previously (between 1972 and 1976) been living at Bullswater Bungalow (which they renamed Shebbear, and which has since renamed Allandale – see section below). Before that they had lived at Jacob’s Well. It seems a little surprising that they moved from a bungalow into a large house in one step. Perhaps they had been renting at Bullswater Bungalow (Shebbear) and saving up for a deposit for a larger house. This was at a time when house prices had just started to rise quite sharply. Maybe they had just won the pools (it was pre-Lottery days).
Derrick was born in 1937, the son of a “Grocery provision manager” who worked at a shop on Wych Hill in Woking. In 1976 he was a Works foreman. Valerie (nee Coates) was born in Windsor in 1939 and qualified as a nurse (SRN) at St Peter’s Chertsey in 1960. They married in 1971 and had 2 daughters (another reason for moving into a larger house).
We know that Derrick had fine taste in cars, as in 1971 he had been fined £20 for driving his Jaguar XJ6 at 90mph along the A3 at Send (at the time this was a single carriageway road each way, not today’s wonderful dual carriageway). This story had the honour of appearing on the front page of the Surrey Advertiser of the day.
The Titcheners left Heather Lodge in the early 1980’s. Both Derrick and Valerie died in 2015 in mid-Devon.
The next owners of Heather Lodge were John and Louise Compton. They were married in 1977 and lived at the house from the early 1980’s to the early 1990’s. They then moved to Mill Lane, Pirbright, then to Sussex. John was a keen collector of vintage motorbikes.
The next owners from the early 1990’s were Stuart & Susan Walker. The house was then sold to the current owners in 2003.
Allandale (previously Bullswater Bungalow, then Shebbear)
Allandale was built in 1936 for Rachel de Carteret on land then belonging to her house (Bullswater Lodge, now renamed Heather Lodge). A copy of the plan is shown below right. The plan shows several outbuildings which had previously been used by Bullswater Farm (shown on the plan as Bullswater Cottage) when it was a working farm.
The first occupants (in 1937) were William and Iris Boylett, who gave their address as “The Bungalow, Bullswater Common”. We have shown a picture of them below on their wedding day. William was born in 1913, the only son of William Boylett, a builder living in Pirbright Gardens and Emily (nee White). William (the father) joined the Duke of Cambridge's Own (Middlesex) Regiment at the start of WW1, but was killed in December 1916. A picture of his gravestone at Croisilles British Cemetery near Arras is shown below. A much fuller account of William (the father)’s life is on the Pirbright Historians website here: https://www.pirbright.info/WW1/BoylettWill.pdf
William’s mother, Emily, had also unfortunately died in 1916, aged only 36, and so William was left orphaned at the age of 3. He was brought up by Mrs Hill of the Brookwood Bakery, and in 1934 married Iris Farley (born 1916), who was living at Chipstead. Goodness knows how William (who was working as a chauffeur/gardener for the de Carterets at Bullswater Lodge) managed to meet Iris, an 18 year-old girl from Chipstead, but he did.
It is quite possible that the de Carterets built The Bungalow specifically for the Boyletts. If so, then it was a very nice gesture, given William’s difficult start in life. William and Iris lived in the bungalow until 1939. They had 4 children, and after WW2, moved to Epsom, near Tattenham Corner (of Epsom Racecourse fame).
After WW2 it rather looks as though the de Carterets let out the bungalow to senior staff of Pirbright Institute. During 1945-46 John and Muriel Brooksby were living at “The Cottage, Bullswater Lodge”. They were followed by Hubert and Mary Skinner. Both the Brooksbys and the Skinners lived later on Bullswater Common Road, and we have said a little about them there. The Skinners also lived for a time nearby at Stanemore, Rowe Lane (which for the moment is outside the scope of this site).
After the de Carterets left Bullswater Lodge in 1953, we think that the bungalow continued to be rented out by the new owners of Bullswater Lodge (now renamed Heather Lodge), Geoffrey and Rhona Parsons, who renamed the bungalow Bullswater Bungalow. After the Parsons family left Heather Lodge, we think that their replacements, Arthur and Beryl Liquorish also rented the bungalow out.
From 1955 the occupant was a John A Young, about whom we know nothing.
By 1958 Harry and Leah Goodenough were living in the bungalow. They had previously been living in Bisley. Harry had been born in 1896, probably in Bermondsey, the son of George Goodenough, a fruit warehouseman. In 1939 Harry was a “clerk at the RAMC Record Office (War Office Outstations)”, whatever that involved. Harry died in 1976.
Leah may have been born in Norfolk in 1890. It looks as though Harry and Leah were married in Peterborough in 1932, although Harry gave his name as Fred for some reason. In 1939 Leah was working as a hospital nurse and the couple were living in Bagshot. We don’t think that they had any children. Leah died in 1971.
Although Goodenough is an uncommon surname, we think it is a coincidence that a Francis Goodenough was living a few yards away in 1901 in No 1, Bullswater Cottages (see section below). Francis had been born in 1868, the son of a Thomas Goodenough (an agricultural labourer) in Swindon in 1866. We don’t think that Harry and Francis were related.
The Goodenoughs moved out in the mid-1960’s and an Eric and Davina Belford moved into the house. We don’t know for sure who these people were.
c1972 Derrick and Valerie Titchener occupied Bullswater Bungalow and they had 2 daughters there. We think that they moved into the bungalow as a short-term measure before they bought Heather Lodge in 1977. Maybe they had made some form of agreement with the Liquorish’s (who owned Heather Lodge at the time) to live pro tem in the bungalow until the Liquorish’s moved out of Heather Lodge, at which point they would buy Heather Lodge. This occurred in 1977, and the Titcheners’ story is told in the Heather Lodge section above.
But in this short stay they renamed the bungalow Shebbear (or Shebbeare). The reason for this is a mystery, as “Shebbear” is a small village in the middle of North Devon. Maybe the family had experienced happy holidays there. The name “Shebbeare” is a very rare surname in Britain.
We think that at this point (1977) Shebbear was put up for sale and that the purchasers were William and Winifred Greenwood.
William was born in Farnham in 1922, the son of Thomas Greenwood, who described his occupation in 1939 as “Gardener, handyman, engine fitter, motor vehicles”, which seems to cover most things. But young William in 1939 limited his own occupation to “Engine fitter, motor vehicles”. At this time the Greenwoods were living in a house on the A324 road between Ash and Pirbright.
Winifred was born Winifred Apark at Shalford in 1925, the daughter of an assistant in a newsagent’s shop. She and William were married in 1946 and had 2 children. Initially they lived at Bailes Lane, Normandy, but by 1970 they were living on the Worplesdon Road between Pirbright and Worplesdon. William had established a business at Fairland Farm as a waste paper merchant. By 1976 William had moved his business to The Old Forge on Pirbright Green, and the family had bought (we think) Bullswater Bungalow.
We have shown right a delightful photo from 1995 showing a presentation to a retiring employee of the waste paper business (which by then was also a distribution agent for the Surrey Advertiser). William is the fellow on the right with the pipe. The fellow making the presentation is John Greenwood, the son of William and Winifred.
By 1983 the Greenwood family had moved to Vapery Lane in Pirbright. William died in 2000, and a few years later Winifred moved to Fairlands.
In 1983 there is a record of a Mr Dancer obtaining permission to extend “Shebbear Cottage”.
By 1989 Daphne Watson had bought the house and renamed it Allandale. We think she was born around 1928, but beyond that we know nothing about her. Allandale is a village between Glasgow and Edinburgh. Perhaps that had a special memory for her.
Daphne moved out in 2020 and the current owners bought the house.
Bullswater Farmhouse (previously Bullswater Cottages, then Stable Cottage)
We think that Bullswater Farmhouse originated as 2 semi-detached cottages, named Bullswater Farm Cottages (or simply Bullswater Cottages) sometime around 1901. Each cottage had 4 rooms according to the 1911 census. The cottages belonged to Bullswater Farm, owned by Anne Sherman.
The earliest occupants in the cottages were Francis and Sarah Goodenough, and Susan and Emily Strudwick, all of whom were recorded in the 1901 census. The cottages don’t appear ever to have been numbered, and so we will call the cottage that the Goodenoughs moved into “No 1”, and the Strudwicks’ cottage “No 2”.
The first occupants of No 1 were Francis and Sarah Goodenough. Francis W Goodenough was born in near Swindon in 1868, the son of Thomas Goodenough, an agricultural labourer. Sarah was born Sarah Tucker in 1880, also near Swindon, the daughter of a willow cutter. In 1898 Francis and Sarah married at Weybridge, having already had one child. Francis described himself as a cowman.
They didn’t stay long at Bullswater – just a couple of years. By 1911 they were living at a farm at Bramley, Francis still being a cowman. They had 2 more children (at Ripley and Shalford respectively). So it sounds as though the family had moved around a lot, never staying more than 2 or 3 years on one place. But in 1913 Sarah died, aged only 33. By 1939 Francis was living at Newbury, working as a general farm hand (aged 73). He died in 1946.
Although Goodenough is an uncommon surname, we think it is a coincidence that a Harry Goodenough was living a few yards away in 1958 in Bullswater Bungalow (see section above). Harry was born in 1896, the son of a George Goodenough (born in Brentford in 1873) and we don’t think that they were related.
By 1911 William and Caroline Horton were living at No 1. William, a farm labourer, had been born in Bramley in 1873. Hs father (also called William) was living nearby at No 2 Malthouse Cottages in Berry Lane in 1911, but had had the misfortune to lose his wife when she was aged only 40. The elder William later moved to the Testing Station and then to Westbrook on the Guildford-Pirbright road, and so lived much of his life in the area covered by this website.
Caroline (born in Kentish Town in 1889, nee Hanson) was 16 years younger than William
In 1939 William and Caroline were living at Broadwood Cottages, Wood St with 3 of their 6 children. William described himself as a retired labourer. William died there in 1957, aged 84, and Caroline died in 1986, aged 97.
The Hortons didn’t stay long at No 1. In fact nobody seemed to stay very long there until several years later.
By 1921 Ernest Saunders Currell and Ada Marion Currell were living at No 1. Ernest was a market gardener, but there is some confusion over where they lived. That they lived in No 1 is confirmed in the census of that year. Also, their daughter, Rose, was baptised in St Michael’s, Pirbright in 1920, and their address was given as “Bulswater Cottage”. But puzzlingly, their address on the Electoral Register between 1919 and 1927 is “1, Pirbright Cottages”, not “1, Bullswater Cottages”. And a 1919 newspaper cutting (shown right) gives their address as “12, Pirbright Cotages”. We think that Ernest and Ada were kicked out of No 12, Pirbright Cottages c 1919 and then moved to No 1, Bullswater Cottages (where they were presumably a little prompter in paying their rent).
Anyway, we do know that by 1924 the Currells had moved out of No 1 and were living near to Brookwood Cemetery. Tthe following year they decamped to Reigate, then to Ewhurst. By 1939 the Currells were living in Dorking, and Ernest was a jobbing gardener. Ernest had been born at Northchapel, near Haslemere in 1885, the son of a shoemaker. He and Ada (nee Denyer in 1895) were married at Chiddingfold in 1915 and had 4 children. Ernest died in 1967, aged 81 and Ada in 1974, aged 79.
The Strudwick sisters (Susan, born 1824 and Emily, born 1827) were both single and had both been born in Chiddingfold, daughters of John Strudwick, a grocer. Susan worked as a servant, and then a housekeeper, at various houses around SW Surrey. Emily followed a similar pattern, although she described herself variously as nurse, lady’s maid, and simply “needlework”. We do not think they were related to the Strudwicks who lived at St Brelade or No 1 Malthouse Lane. In 1901 they were living quietly in one of the Bullswater Farm Cottages, living off their own means.
Susan died in 1904 but Emily remained in the cottage until 1908, when she moved to Maybury. Emily died in 1910. Both sisters are buried in St Michael’s churchyard (photo left).
In 1908 William & Bessie Packham moved into No 2. William was a gardener at Bullswater Lodge for Eustratio Eumorfopoulos (see above). William and Bessie suffered a tragedy in 1916 when their 14 year-old son died (see newspaper cutting below). The Packham family background is rather unusual, and we have detailed it in the section dealing with Ivory Cottage in Malthouse Lane, which is where they moved to in 1929. The Packham family were to stay in Ivory Cottage until 1979.
As to ownership of the cottages, in 1921 the cottages were sold by Anne Sherman to Rachel de Carteret, as part of Bullswater Farm.
By 1936, when Allandale (see section above) was built, the plan for Allandale shows that the cottages were being used as a garage, not as dwellings. We think that they had ceased being used as dwellings in around 1930.
In 1953 Rachel de Carteret combined the 2 cottages (probably still being used as a garage) into a single house, no doubt improving it significantly, and transferred virtually all of the remaining land that had belonged to Bullswater Farm – about 7 acres – to the new house. It was renamed Stable Cottage and it was given (or sold) to one of their sons and his family (Col Amias and Susan de Carteret).
Amias Guy de Carteret was born in India in 1908, the son of Frederick and Rachel St George de Carteret. He was no doubt descended from the Channel Island de Carterets who held several titles in Jersey, Guernsey and Sark in the 1500’s and 1600’s. There was in fact an Amice de Carteret (1559-1631), a Jerseyman who became a Jurat of Jersey’s Royal Court and was then appointed Bailiff and Lieut-Governor of Guernsey. He was apparently a renowned opponent of witchcraft and tried 77 alleged witches, 34 of whom were burned alive. Nice. He is buried in St Helier, Jersey.
In 1911 Amias was living with his grandparents (Ernest and Georgina Fowler) near Lowestoft. But from c1920 he was living with his parents at Bullswater Lodge (see section above). During WW2 he served in the Welch Regiment, reaching the rank of Colonel.
Susan was the daughter of a retired Royal Navy Captain William and Margaret Puxley, who were living at Heatherwood on the Aldershot Road.
Amias and Susan were married at Pirbright in 1948. It was a large wedding, and it is possible that Amias’s mother “gave” Stable Cottage to Amias and Susan in 1953 as a delayed wedding present. A Tatler photo of their wedding is shown right (with thanks).
A rather odd story appeared in the Surrey Advertiser in 1959, which we reproduce below.
Amias and Susan lived at Stable Cottage until 1971, when they moved to the ancestral de Carteret homeland of Jersey. Amias died in 1986 in Jersey in 1986. Susan died in 1997.
In 1971 Amias sold Stable Cottage (including the 7 acres of land) to Brian and Patricia Ann Cashman. The Cashmans had previously been living in Byfleet. Brian was born in 1935 and brought up in Selsdon (South Croydon). Patricia was also brought up in Selsdon. They married in 1960 and had a daughter. The family lived in Croydon for a while, and then moved to Byfleet before moving to Stable Cottage.
In 1981 the house was purchased by Michael and Nicola Hillman. Michael was born in 1947, the son of a tea broker. He and Nicola (nee Evans) were married in 1969. Michael died in 1992 at Bramshott.
By 1992 the current owners had purchased Stable Cottage (including the 7 acres of land) and renamed it Bullswater Farmhouse.
Bullswater Cottage (previously Bullswater Farm)
Our introduction to this section, ended in 1899, when Thomas and Anne Sherman were living at Bullswater Farm, at that time the only house in the lane. We will now pick up on what happened after that.
A fire broke out at the farm in July 1909. The local fire brigade attended and did the necessary. In those days, the fire brigade was funded by the parish council, who then insured against any costs.
Thomas and Anne Sherman were living there in 1911, but they moved to a house in Rowe Lane. By 1919 the farm was occupied by 2 of their sons, John (1892-1967) and Richard (1896-1990) Sherman.
After Thomas’s death in 1920, Anne sold the farm in 1921 to Rachel St George de Carteret. Fortunately we have a plan of the farm prepared at that time (shown below). By comparing it with the Tithe map of 1841 (shown towards the top of this web page), we can see that the only land sold off by the Shermans was the 10 acres now occupied by the houses on Rowe Lane. In addition the Shermans had sold the land for what is now Bullswater House (shown as Oaklands on the map), built what is now Heather Lodge (shown as Bullswater Lodge on the map) and built what is now Bullswater Farmhouse (not named on the map). [In case the reader is thinking that the house names a little confusing, you are not the only one who thinks that!]
So that left Bullswater Farm as about 10 acres in size. It contained one house (the original farm) and the 2 farm cottages.
Who were Rachel and Frederick St George de Carteret?
Rachel was born Rachel Fowler at Gunton, near Lowestoft in 1878. Her father, Ernest Fowler, described himself as a gentleman. He was the son of Robert Cook Fowler, a gentleman who had married Georgiana Gooch in Kent in 1837. Robert had been born in 1801, and became a Captain in the East India Naval Service, and then a Magistrate for Suffolk.
Robert’s father, Thomas Fowler, had purchased the Manor of Gunton in 1802. It comprised Gunton Hall as well as 900 acres of land (200 of which were a rabbit warren). The hall is long gone, and today, hundreds of houses fill this space. We are not sure how Thomas Fowler acquired his wealth (during the 1700’s), but a fair amount of it remained within the Fowler family for several years, and Rachel was one of several beneficiaries of this and grew up in Gunton Hall (in 1881 and 1911 there were 8 and 7 servants at the Hall respectively). All that family wealth explains why Bullswater Farm was bought by Rachel and not her husband in 1921. At that time the vast majority owners of property in England were male.
Frederick was born in 1873 in Guernsey. His father had been a Master Mariner on Jersey, which is not surprising as the de Carterets originated in the Channel Islands, and members of the family had held important posts there since the 1600’s. However by 1881 Frederick’s family were back in England, living at Brading on the Isle of Wight. Frederick moved to India in 1894 aged 21, where he worked for the Indian Police as an Assistant District Superintendent.
We don’t know where or how Rachel and Frederick met (given that Frederick was working in India), but they married in 1904 at Gunton. By then Frederick had been promoted to Police Superintendent. In 1914, Frederick became a freemason in Agra. Quite how being a freemason would help a Police Superintendent to carry out his duties is beyond us. We have shown the relevant entry in the local Freemason Register below.
Frederick retired from the Indian Police at the end of 1922 (aged only 49). Rachel had returned to England a year earlier, possibly to search for a suitable house for them to purchase. She selected Bullswater Farm, and went ahead and purchased it from Annie Sherman. Rachel was registered as the sole owner.
The de Carterets had ideas as to what to do with the farm, and over the next few years they put them into action as follows:
In 1926 they sold the original farm and 2 acres of land as a single property. It was renamed (most confusingly) Bullswater Cottage.
The same year the de Carteret family moved into Bullswater Lodge (now Heather Lodge), which had previously been rented out.
In 1953 they converted the 2 Bullswater Cottages into a single dwelling (which they presumably improved at the same time) and transferred the remaining 7 acres of land to that property. It was renamed Stable Cottage and given to one of their sons (Amias) and his family. This plot will be dealt with under Bullswater Farmhouse (see section above).
The remainder of this section will deal only with the 2 acre plot comprising the original Bullswater Farm, now renamed Bullswater Cottage. A plan attached to the 1926 sale together with a photo of Bullswater Cottage from 1923 are shown below.
Curiously, there followed a rather quick turnover of owners of Bullswater Cottage (4 different owners in an 11 year span up to 1937). The purchaser of the house in 1926 was Maud Gillespy Chanter.
Maud (nee Bois) was born in Colombo, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) in 1886. Her parents were Percy and Margaret Bois. Percy (1856-1946) was one of 15 children of a well-to-do coal exporter and was born in London in 1856. We think that Percy went to Colombo c1880 to help one of his brothers set up a plantation business there. Margaret Bois (nee Gillespy, 1865-1955) was born in Croydon in 1865, the daughter of a steamship agent (who had 13 children). We have no idea what Margaret was doing in Colombo, but whatever it was, she presumably thought it was worthwhile in hindsight, as she returned to England married with 2 daughters.
Percy and Margaret were married in Colombo in 1884, and returned to England in the late 1880’s, relatively wealthy. They lived near Godalming, and then in Liss. Maud volunteered to serve as a Red Cross VAD (Voluntary Aid Detachment) nurse in WW1 between 1915 and 1917. She served in Malta and France. Could this be Maud on the motorbike (left)? [The odds are about 15,000 to 1 against this being true, but our thanks to the British Red Cross.]
In 1926 Maud married Edgar Dale Chanter (1873-1934) in Shottermill (near Haslemere). Edgar was 13 years older than Maud and had been born in Cornwall. In his 20’s he worked in India for the East India Company, and then as a civil servant. He returned to England in April 1926 and within 3 months had married Maud.
2 months after her wedding, Maud purchased Bullswater Cottage. Maybe it was a wedding present? In any event, the Chanters never lived in the house, living in Haslemere instead. They had one daughter, but within 2 years Maud chose to sell the house. Edgar died in 1934, 8 years after their marriage, aged only 61. Maud moved to Castle Cary in Somerset and died in 1972. A photo of Maud is shown right.
The next owner of Bullswater Cottage was Agnes Gates (1878-1959). Her main claim to fame was being the wife of the chairman of the company later called Cow & Gate. His name was Walter Rougier Bramwell St John Gates, but he was known as Bramwell. First, here is a short history of Cow & Gate, a name very familiar to those over a certain age.
The story starts with a grocer’s shop in Guildford in the mid-1800’s run by Charles Gates. After Charles’s death in 1882, two of his sons converted the shop into a dairy. One of these was Walter Valder Gates (1846-1914). In 1888 three more of the Gates brothers and their sons joined the business, which led to the formal registration of the company under the name of the West Surrey Central Dairy Company Limited. By 1908, the company was selling powdered baby food under the name of “Cow & Gate Pure English Dried Milk”. Presumably the name was a pun on the family name of Gates.
Walter Valder Gates had one son, Bramwell Gates (1874-1959), who married Agnes in 1898. By the start of WW1, Bramwell had become Managing Director of the company, and he oversaw an expansion of the company’s activities. It bought creameries and bottling plants in Cornwall and other parts of the UK and set up its own transport company, which became Wincanton Transport, a large, well-known company today. In 1929 the entire company was renamed “Cow & Gate”.
Bramwell stayed at the helm of Cow & Gate until 1957, at which point the company merged with United Dairies to become Unigate (now called Uniq plc). The Cow & Gate brand survives as a specialist baby food brand, owned by Netherlands-based Numico, now owned by Danone. A photo of Bramwell is shown below.
Agnes had come from a wealthy background. She was born Agnes Paul in 1878 in Guernsey, the daughter of a farmer who farmed 950 acres in Dorset. She married Bramwell in 1898 and in 1901 they were living in the centre of Guildford. By 1911 they were living in Harvey Road, Guildford with their 4 children.
As far as we can tell, Agnes never lived in Bullswater Cottage but may have rented it out. There are few entries for the house in the Electoral Registers of the time, suggesting that this may not have been too successful. Agnes only owned the house for 4 years, before she sold it to Reginald and Janet Tait in 1932.
Curiously she lent the money to Reginald (via a mortgage) to enable him to do this. In the preceding few years the UK economy had been struggling, so perhaps Agnes had wanted to sell the house and was forced into providing a mortgage to Reginald in order to get the house off her hands.
Reginald (1901-1978) was born in Willesden, the son of a civil servant. Janet (nee Cameron) was born in Wolverhampton in 1904, but her parents separated soon after her birth. Reginald and Janet were married in Willesden in 1927, and then lived in Brookwood prior to moving to Bullswater Cottage (which they seem to have sometimes called “Heathers”). In 1932 Reginald returned to England from Rangoon (now Yangon) in Burma (now Myanmar) and gave his profession as Advertising.
The Taits stayed in Bullswater Cottage for only 2 years. But they managed to appear twice in the local newspapers, which is pretty impressive in such a short time. The first instance is as described in the cutting right.
The second, more serious, instance was in 1933 when the Tait household and some houses in Rowe Lane were broken into by “two gypsies living in a tent at Perry Hill”. Some damage was done and several items taken (though later recovered). The 2 lads (aged 17 and 20) were convicted and (given their previous record) were sentenced to 9 months imprisonment.
Perhaps this was what convinced the Taits to move, as move they did, later that year. But it could have been down to marital difficulties: It rather looks as though Janet sailed (alone) to the US in 1937. Reginald in 1939 was an advertising director, and we cannot find Janet in the Register of that year. In 1956 Reginald was living on his own in Hampstead (with no sign of Janet).
In 1934 Reginald sold the house to Arthur & Ethel Bourner. Previously they had been living at the prestigious Albert Hall Mansions in Kensington.
Arthur Charles Nicholson Bourner (1884-1948) was born in 1884 in Nottingham. His father (Arthur Charles Bourner) was a Chartered Accountant, practising in the West Midlands. By 1917 the elder Arthur had become a director of Singer & Co, a company which manufactured cars and motorcycles. [Singer was eventually taken over by Rootes Group in 1955. Older readers may remember the Singer Gazelle (which was an up-market Hillman Minx – see the picture right, showing the car in a very natural setting)].
Below left is a (not very clear) picture of the elder Arthur from a 1933 newspaper. Later that year, he died, aged 73, leaving £190,000 (worth £11 million today). His will was unusual, in that it railed against the then Labour government’s possible tax plans, and directed his executors what to do in the event that a wealth tax was introduced. He added an extraordinary paragraph in his will which shows his strength of feeling about the government of the time (also reproduced below on the right). We’re not sure it made much difference to anything though
Son Arthur Bourner duly became a Chartered Accountant as well and married Inez Denyssen, the daughter of a senior South African judge, in 1909. Inez was born in South Africa in 1868 (and so was 16 years older than Arthur), but she died in 1919 at the age of 51.
By 1927 Arthur had remarried a lady called Ethel Mackintosh, born in 1897. Ethel may have been a Territorial Nurse during WW1, although we cannot find any other details of her. Ethel had given birth to a daughter the previous year (1926), at which time the family were living in East Molesey.
They purchased Bullswater Cottage in 1934, but only stayed there for 3 years. Arthur died at Eastbourne in 1948. He was living in London at the time. We cannot trace what happened to Ethel.
In 1937 the Bourners sold Bullswater Cottage to Clara Aldridge. In contrast to the previous 3 owners, Clara stayed at Bullswater Cottage for a reasonable length of time (21 years). Clara was born in Clapham in 1876, the daughter of a builder, William Rowe. In 1900 she married Arthur William Staples Aldridge, a surveyor who ran a practice in London. The couple had 3 children, and lived in Cheam.
However things did not go well for the family: Arthur and Clara divorced in the early 1920’s. Clara moved to Leatherhead, describing herself as a “femme sole”, while Arthur married again (in 1924) and yet again (in 1938 after his second wife had died aged only 39). Arthur died in 1947 a wealthy man (he left £207,000, worth £6 million today). It rather looks as though Clara did reasonably well out of her divorce settlement, as she was able to buy Bullswater Lodge, despite having no paid employment that we can see.
Clara must have liked Bullswater Cottage, as she went to the trouble of buying a narrow strip of land off Rachel de Carteret (who was living in Heather Lodge –see above) in 1938 for £25 (equivalent to £750 today). The strip of land was the ditch to the north of Bullswater Cottage, plus the south bank of the ditch (but not the north bank). In addition she negotiated an agreement that she could plant flowers or shrubs on the north bank of the ditch on condition that she paid one shilling (£1.50 today) to Rachel every Christmas. So she must have enjoyed gardening as well. Just in case anyone is remotely interested, we have shown a plan of the ditch in question on the right.
Perhaps looking after Bullswater Lodge became too much effort for Clara, as she sold the house in 1958 and moved to Aldershot. She died in a Haslemere Nursing Home in 1962, aged 86.
The new owners in 1958 were Iain and Irene Eaton. Iain was born in London in 1936. Irene (nee Morris) was also born in 1936. He and Irene were married in 1958, and Bullswater Cottage was their first marital home. They had 2 children, but only stayed 6 years before moving to Frensham. However, Irene died in 1991, aged only 55. In 1994 Iain married Nicola Lomax on the Isle of Wight, where they were living. Iain died in early 2023.
The next owners (from 1964) were Franklin and Lorna Simmonds. Franklin Adin (“Sam”) Simmonds MA, MD, MB, B Ch, FRCS was born in 1910 in Putney, the son of a builder. He graduated at Pembroke College, Cambridge (where he played golf for the University) and qualified as a doctor at St Thomas’s Hospital in London. During the early years of WW2 he worked at St Nicholas’s Hospital, Pyrford (now Rowley Bristow Orthopaedic Hospital). When Rowley Bristow became Brigadier in charge of orthopaedic services of the British Army, he recruited Sam into the Royal Army Medical Corps. Lt Col Simmonds commanded base hospitals in North Africa, Sicily, France and the Far East.
After the war Sam returned to Pyrford and worked there and at The Royal Surrey County Hospital until his retirement in 1975. His simple but effective test for rupture of the Achilles tendon was developed in 1956/57 and is still widely used today (and is known as the Simmonds Test).
He detested both of his given names, preferring to be called Sam. He maintained a zero golf handicap into much of his adult life (which to hackers like the author is highly impressive).
Lorna (nee Sketch) was born in Buenos Aires in 1909 to British parents who seemed to travel widely. In 1939 her father described himself as a Director of Royal Sovereign Pencil Co, which was only formed in 1919, but we don’t know what caused him to be in Buenos Aires in 1909.
Lorna and Sam married in 1939. They lived initially in Pyrford, then Horsell, before moving to Bullswater Cottage in 1964 (presumably to coincide with Sam starting to work at the Royal Surrey County Hospital in Guildford. c1980 they moved near to Staines, where Lorna died in 1983 and Sam in 1984.
From 1980 until c1986 Michael and Glenys Reynolds owned Bullswater Cottage. They had married in 1967 and before moving to Pirbright had been living in New Haw.
c1986 Derek Bytheway and Christine Ellis purchased Bullswater Cottage. They subsequently married in 1989 and lived in the house until 2015. Derek died in 2021. He was well-liked in the community, and a copy of the leaflet printed for his funeral is shown below.
In 2015 the current owners purchased Bullswater Cottage.