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Whites Farm area

This section deals with the history of Whites Farm and the other houses along Whites Lane.

First of all, we had to decide which houses fell within the scope of the “Whites Farm area”.  Whites Farm and neighbouring Nuthurst are pretty obvious choices.  And heading westward, there are no houses beyond Whites Farm until we reach the Guildford-Pirbright Road.  So far, so good.  But difficulties arise as we progress eastwards along the narrow track, and then the rest of Whites Lane.  Which houses should we include, and which exclude?  In the end we decided to include Pirbright House, Brown Hatch and Roughways only, which are the only houses situated on Whites Lane.  We hope no-one is offended by that!  These houses are shown on the Hogleys/Whites Farm map below (with thanks to Ordnance Survey).

Hog-Whites - 2023 map.jpg

Below is a table showing the dates of each of these houses.

The table shows clearly that, until the 1920’s, Whites Farm sat on its own, with just Hogleys Farm for company.  We will now look at each house in turn, starting with Whites Farm, and then progressing eastwards along the northern side of Whites Lane (Nuthurst, Pirbright House and Brown Hatch).  We will then reverse direction, progressing westwards along the southern side of Whites Lane (ie Roughways).


Whites Farm

Today’s Whites Farm was originally (400-odd years ago) called Nuthurst.  Which is a little confusing, because, next to Whites Farm is a relatively modern house called Nuthurst (which we have covered in a section further down this page – any confusion will be removed there). 

We are not sure when the name change from the original Nuthurst to Whites Farm occurred.  It was certainly before the Pirbright Survey of 1807, and we suspect it was when the Lord of Pirbright Manor, Henry Halsey, acquired the copyhold rights for himself in 1803.  Presumably the new name (Whites Farm) was chosen as a nod to the White family, who had owned the copyhold in the 1600’s.

But first we will go back as far as we can.

                                                                         Early history to 1654

The earliest mention of Nuthurst we can find is in the 1332 Lay Subsidies, which mention a “Will de Nothurst”.  We have no idea who this person was, but, in early English language, Nuthurst meant “a wooded hill where nuts flourish”.  There’s no hill around Whites Farm, but there may have been a few hazel or horse chestnut trees there.

The 1552 Lay subsidies listing includes references to a Stephus Colyar and a Margareta Coliar.  In 1574, the listing mentions a Colyer who “holds for himself & his heirs by copy .... a tenement called Notherste with 40 acres ... land ..... arable and pasture round his house 32 acres, in meadow in 2 parcels 2 acres, in one ... pasture 10 acres, in one coppice 1 acre.  And pays per annum 6s 3d. And gives homage …….  6s 3d.”

So it appears that Nuthurst was owned copyhold [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.]  by a family called Colyer (but spelt in various ways).  The Colyers then disappear from the list, replaced in the 1570’s by a Richarde White.  He would have continued to own the property copyhold. 

One possible explanation – and it is only a possibility - for this is the 1577 marriage in Pirbright of an Edward White to a Joane Collier.  If Joane had inherited Nuthurst on the death of her father, than this would mean that the farm was kept within the family, rather than surrendered by the Collyers and purchased by a third party.  Richarde White (see below) might have been appointed a trustee over Edward.

In 1581, this Richard White was buried in Pirbright churchyard.  A copy of the burial register is shown below (slightly adjusted by us to increase legibility).  It reads “1581 Richard White the queen’s cupp maker was buried .... 1581”.  From this, we assume that he crafted drinking cups for Queen Elizabeth I.  He is reputed to be the maker of the 400 year-old Crystal Cup at St Peter’s Church, Yateley, although this has not been proved beyond doubt.  Richard’s will does mention that he had a house in Yateley though....

Whites - 1581 Richard White burial.jpg

The subsequent Lay subsidy records suggest that Nuthurst was inherited by Richard’s son, Edward White (possibly the husband of Joane Collier above?), who died at Pirbright in 1635.  But after then, it is not very clear from the records as to which member of the White family owned Nuthurst until 1654. 


                                                                         1654 to 1919

From 1654 until 1803, we can let the Court Rolls tell the story.  The story is a little hard to follow, so we have made some assumptions, to make it easier to understand.

  • 1654:  The copyholder, Richard White (obviously not the Richard White who had died in 1581) died, and Nuthurst passed to his son, Henry White, who was only 10 years old.  Hogleys which was also owned as copyholder by Henry was sold to John Russell.

  • 1655: a John Matchawick stepped in to act as guardian, and thus the copyhold was held in trust for Henry.

  • 1681:  Henry died.  Nuthurst passed to his wife, Elizabeth White.

  • 1683:  Elizabeth (Boshier – presumably her maiden name or else she remarried) died.  Nuthurst passed to Frances White, the daughter of Henry and Elizabeth.

  • 1694:  Frances died, without next of kin, it seems.  Henry Martin, a yeoman of Worplesdon acquired the copyhold, presumably by purchasing it from the Lord of the Manor.

  • 1722:  Henry Martin died and the property passed to his son, Thomas Martin.  As Thomas was only 16 years old, Elizabeth Martin (presumably his mother) stood in as guardian.

  • 1736:  Thomas Martin “sublet” the copyhold to George Martin of Worplesdon (presumably a relative) for £600.  The property consisted of Nuthurst, a barn, a stable and 40 acres of arable meadows and pasture.

  • 1747:  The “sublease” of Nuthurst to George Martin was taken over by John Martin of Worplesdon (presumably yet another relative).

  • 1791:  John Martin died, and the property was inherited by his wife, Mary Martin.

  • 1803:  The Lord of Pirbright Manor, Henry Halsey, acquired Nuthurst (now renamed Whites) from Mary Martin (who by now has remarried and become Mary Stovold).


Apart from Frances White being born in 1723, we don’t know much about the early Whites, which is a little strange, as we would expect their births, marriages and deaths to appear in the local parish registers.  It’s ironic then that their name is well known today – not from the records, but via the name of the farm they lived in.

We know only a little more about the Martin family: 

  • Henry Martin, who purchased the copyhold in 1694, was considerate enough to leave a will when he died in 1722.  It was witnessed by John Baker IV (1696-1771) of Bakersgate.  In his will Henry left his copyhold lands in Pirbright (ie Nuthurst) to his son, Thomas Martin.  He also owned some land in West Horsley (which he left to another son). 

  • Thomas Martin had been born in Pirbright in 1705.  Unfortunately he was not so considerate to future historians as his father (Henry) – he left no will that we can find, and we know nothing more about him.

  • George Martin is also an unknown. We don’t know of any connection to the George Martin who lived at Bakersgate and died there in 1768.

  • The Land tax records suggest that John Martin may have leased the property to a John Collins from 1781 (or earlier).  John Martin died in Aldershot in 1790, and his wife Mary married a Henry Stovold (or Stovell) in Aldershot in Aug 1791.


It seems that through all this time (1552-1803), Nuthurst had not changed its size (40 acres).  However, the name of the farm was changed to “Whites” when it was acquired by Henry Halsey in 1803.  We will now look at the Halsey family, who owned Whites Farm from 1803 to 1919.

Henry Halsey (“HH1”, c1745-1807) had amassed a large fortune by his work as an “East Indian Merchant”.  He owned properties in Farnham, Chichester, Yeovil, Bath, Woking and 5 houses and an Inn in London, as well as estates in Worplesdon, Ash and Pirbright.  He had purchased Pirbright Manor in 1784 and had lived at Henley Park.  It was he who had acquired the copyhold of Whites Farm in 1803.

By Halsey tradition, upon his death in 1807, eldest son Henry Halsey (Henry William Richard Westgarth Halsey 1801–1885 – “HH2”) inherited much of this wealth, including Pirbright Manor and Henley Park.  He was only 6 years old when his father died in 1807, but when he grew older, he was alert to opportunities to add to his property portfolio, as seen by his purchase of Rickford Malthouse in the 1840’s.  He expanded Whites considerably during the latter part of the 19th century to include other farms.  By 1861 it was 71 acres in size (we show which pieces of land were added in the next section of this page).

HH2 was married twice, and had 11 children.  On his death in 1885, the Manor of Pirbright would normally have passed to his eldest son, named simply Henry Halsey (“HH3”, 1825-1869).  However HH3 had died in New York in 1869, aged only 43, of kidney disease. He seems to have been a pretty dissolute character.  Highlights of his life were:

  • Moving to London and being sued for insolvency when he was aged 25

  • In 1853, marrying a 16-year-old girl (Louisa Thomas) who was 8 months pregnant, and who died, aged 18.  They had 2 children, neither of whom survived a year.

  • Moving to New York within a few months.

  • In 1857, marrying a 15-year-old girl (Frances Deane) who produced 2 children – a boy named Henry (“HH4”) and a girl who died shortly after birth.  Frances’s body was found 2 years later, floating in the water off Brooklyn. 


Quite an impressive performance from HH3.  But as he predeceased his father (HH2), he never inherited the Manor of Pirbright when HH2 died in 1885.  Instead, that pleasure went to HH3’s eldest son, HH4 (real name  Henry Joseph Tenison Halsey 1858-1937).

Upon inheriting the title in 1885, HH4 immediately set about selling off pieces of the 2000-acre Henley Park estate, spread over Pirbright, Worplesdon, Woking, Ash and Farnham.  This continued apace until 1922, when the last bit of land was sold. 

Whites Farm was one of the last pieces to be sold.  It was put up for auction in 1919.  We have covered this in the next section further down this page.

Much has been written about the Halsey family, so we will not repeat it here.  If the reader is interested, he/she might like to delve into the admirable book:  Henley Park in Surrey: The History of a Royal Manor (2012) by John Squier.

The tenants of Whites between 1803 and 1919 were as follows:

Whites - Table of tenants 1803-1919.jpg

We will now write what we know about these tenants.

John Lee.  We know very little about Mr Lee.  The 1841 census shows a John Lee, a farmer born in 1766, who was living in Worplesdon (somewhere in the Whitmoor area).  This looks a good fit for our John Lee.  John was married to Elizabeth (born 1776), and they had 4 children.  They originated from East Clandon, and were possibly related to the John Lee of East Clandon who had married Mary Baker of Bakersgate in 1753.

James Watts.  James was born c1778, possibly in Farnborough.  The 1851 census records that he was born in Pirbright, but we can’t trace his birth in the Parish Registers (although there was a Watts family farming at Pirbright at the time). 

In 1805 James Watts married Sarah Honer, the 3rd child of James Honer and his wife Ann.  James Honer had recently (c1803) bought Heath Mill, and his story is told in that section of this website (where he is referred to as James Honer II).  James II and Ann may not have been entirely pleased with the marriage, as Sarah was 7 months pregnant at the time.  Sarah was born in Pirbright in 1787 (unlike James Watts, the record of her birth is in the Parish Register).  She was just 18 when she married James by licence.

By 1807 James was looking after Hogleys Farm, and Hoads Fields, which today lie in the grounds of Mount Lodge in Malthouse Lane.  These fields were owned by James Honer in 1807, and probably used to grow arable crops to supply Heath Mill.  This may have been some sort of way by which James Honer kept his new son-in-law usefully employed.

James Watts and his family left Pirbright c1834.  The move may have been caused by the death of his wife, Sarah around that time.  In 1841 James was a farmer at Washford Farm, just to the east of West End(!).  He was living with 5 of his children.  By 1851 James was still farming at Washford Farm (77 acres), living with 4 of his children.  James died there in 1857.  His will refers to him as being “of Chobham”.

William Collins took over the copyhold of Whites Farm from James Watts in the mid-1830’s.  William had purchased Bernards, Newmans & Hatchlands (all in Pirbright) in 1825 for £120.  In 1841 he was recorded as occupying Bernards and Hatchlands as well as various other fields, but not Newmans or Whites Farms. 

Instead, the census records that the farmhouse was occupied by William Saunders, his wife Martha, and their 5 children.  William Saunders was an agricultural labourer, aged 30, which does not sound like the right profile to be running a 41-acre farm.  That’s because he probably wasn’t running the farm.  10 years later, he was still an agricultural labourer (at Hodds Farm).  In 1861 he was a broom-maker at West Heath, but in 1871 he had reverted to being an agricultural labourer (at Cowdray Farm, Wimbledon).

So who was William Collins, the tenant of Whites Farm?  Unfortunately William Collins was a fairly common name in our district at that time.  But we think that this William Collins also held the copyhold of neighbouring Newmans Farm (just west of Whites Farm).  He was born c1800 (his father was also a farmer called William Collins) and lived in Stoke (the name for North Guildford at that time).  In 1838 he married Ann Hunt (daughter of Benjamin Hunt, a labourer) at Stoke.

In 1841 Whites Farm was still 41 acres in size, and we have shown below (right) the Tithe Map of that year (Whites Farm is coloured blue).

William Collins died in 1844, aged only 44 (without any children as far as we can gather).  He left his farming property in trust to his executors, who were his son (John Collins) and cousins (Henry Hammond of Horsell and James Fladgate of Chobham), with instructions to sell it and invest the money for the benefit of his wife, Ann. 

Henry Collier (Collyer) took over the tenancy of Whites Farm.  The name Collyer was relatively common in our area during the 1800’s, and it is a little tricky to isolate the right Henry, just as it was with William Collins above.  But we are fairly sure that our Henry was born in Horsell in 1808.  In 1831 he married Ann Faggetter in Pirbright.  But who was Ann Faggetter?  Although the 1851 census records Ann as having been born in Pirbright, the only Ann Faggetter who remotely fits was Ann, born in Horsell in 1813, the daughter of James, a labourer, and Sarah Faggetter.  So we think that both Henry and Ann came from Horsell.

Were these Collyers descended from the Colyers who owned Nuthurst way back in the 1500’s?  We doubt whether this can be proved one way or the other, so we’re afraid we haven’t tried to find out.

In 1841 Henry, Ann and their 3 children were living at Stanford Farm, and Henry described himself as a farmer.  Just to illustrate the difficulties of identifying individuals so far back, there is another married couple, Henry and Ann Collyer, on the same page in the census, of similar ages.

By 1851 the Collyers were installed at Whites Farm with their (now) 6 children.  Whites Farm by this time was 71 acres in size.  The owner, Henry Halsey (known as Th’owd Squire), had taken the opportunity during the 1840’s to transfer 30 acres of his own land (which lay to the west of Whites Farm) from one of his farms to another.  We think that this land had belonged to the farm just north of Burners Farm, on the east side of the road into Pirbright called Newmans. 

1841 Map - Hogleys and Whites.jpg

But in 1861 Ann Collyer died at Horsell (the register showed that she was living in Pirbright – we don’t know what she was doing in Horsell).  In the 1861 census Henry (now widowed) was living at Green Cottage (now Vynes Cottage) on Little Green, and described himself as a retired farmer.  In the meantime, one of his sons, James Collyer, was looking after Whites Farm.  Around this time, Henry transferred the copyhold in Whites Farm to James and his brother, William Collyer.

By 1871 Henry seems to have had enough of retirement and was farming 11 acres from the farmhouse on Pirbright Green where Lord Pirbright’s Hall is now.  In 1863 he had remarried Elizabeth Lambert (a spinster aged 38, the daughter of a Pirbright tailor) and they had 2 young children, Walter (born 1864) and Betsy (born 1868).

By 1881 Henry had retired for good, and was living at Green House (refer above) in Pirbright Village.  He died in Pirbright the same year.  Elizabeth died in 1906, living in Connaught Road, Brookwood with Betsy and her family.

Back now to Whites Farm.  By 1871 William Collyer had moved to Chobham, where he was a labourer, and James Collyer was still farming Whites Farm.  But by 1881 James had decamped to Dartford, where he was a labourer.  William was still labouring in Chobham.  It seems that neither of the 2 Collyer boys had their father’s passion for farming.

In 1880 the copyhold of Whites Farm was taken over by James Martin.  Yet again we have a common name in the district to try to sort out, but this person was kind enough to leave enough information so that we can identify him precisely.  Thank you, James.

James was born in 1829, the son of John Martin a cordwainer (someone who makes shoes), who lived at Linnards on Little Green.  In 1855 James married Jane Loveland.  Jane had been born in 1830, the daughter of a farmer from Bisley.  But her parents happened to be working in Pirbright when Jane was born, so Jane had been born in Pirbright.

In 1861 James was a labourer and the family (ie James, Jane and 5 children) were living in Vapery Lane.  By 1871 the family (now with 8 children) were living at Linnards.  It seems quite a big step to move from being a labourer to farming Whites Farm in the space of 10 years, but that is what happened. 

By 1881 James and Jane were living at Whites Farm with 6 of their children.  The census of that year records that the farm had increased in size by a further 15 acres to 86 acres.  This does not fit with other records, which suggest that the farm remained at 71 acres in size.

In 1890 the Surrey Mirror reported an “exciting” accident in Guildford (see cutting left).

The activities at Whites Farm were varied.  In 1890 James was selling 15 gallons of milk daily.  In 1891 he advertised 4½ acres of turnip greens.  In January 1893 he placed an ad selling 40 tons of potatoes (that’s a lot of potatoes – they sell for around £400 per ton these days).  He placed another ad in April, advertising 30 tons for sale, so he hadn’t sold much of his original crop. 

In 1894 James and Jane had moved back to Linnards (or Lennards or Leonards) Farm on Pirbright Green.  Jane died in 1900 (see press cutting below), and in 1901 James was living there with one of his daughters, Fanny, and 4 of his grandchildren.  Meanwhile in 1901 Whites Farm was being looked after by one of James and Jane’s sons, Jesse Martin, who was living at the farm.  An Arthur Llewellyn and his wife, Clara from Herefordshire were living in a cottage on the farm, although we do not know exactly where this cottage was (it may have been at Burners).  We have shown below an early picture of Whites Farm, but the date is unknown.

Whites Farm date unknown.jpg

James was still involved in the farm during the years after 1901, as he advertised 10 pigs for sale in 1904.  The farm at that time was 70 acres in size.  2 years later he had a little upset with the law regarding diluted milk (see cutting below). Below as well are photos of Whites Farm and the barn from the same period.  James died there in 1908, aged 79, although his death does not seem to have been reported in the local rags for some reason.  The same year Linnards Farm was sold for £466 (£46,000 today), although the Martin family remained in nearby Linnard House (until 1942).

The Martin family remained at Whites Farm until 1907.  Coincidentally, as with the Collyers before them, Whites had been owned (copyhold) by a family named Martin many years earlier.  We do not know whether the later (19th century) Martin family were related to the earlier Martins, or even knew of their existence.

In 1908 the copyhold passed to Henry Layton.  This gentleman was William Henry Layton (known as Henry), born in 1866, although the early records are rather ambiguous as to who he really was.  In 1885 he married Jemima Harriet Layton (born 1847).  Yes, you read that correctly – Henry Layton married a lady 19 years older than himself, also with the surname Layton.  Jemima Layton had been born in Putney, the daughter of Thomas, a nurseryman, and Ann Layton. 


Was this a coincidence?  We’re not sure.  We do know that 2 Layton brothers (one named Thomas, the father of Jemima) the other named Lavender – yes, really - moved into the Fox Corner area c1870.  One brother lived in Chapel Road (now Chapel Lane), the other lived in Goose Rye Road.  Both brothers modestly named their houses “Layton Cottage”.  We have told their story under the section dealing with Goose Rye Road, and without any deeper investigations, we will now quickly move on.

Henry and Jemima had moved into Jemima’s parents’ house in Chapel Road after her father’s death in 1891 and Henry was a farmer at Grove Farm, primarily involved in dairy and market gardening activities.  In 1901 he got himself into trouble by taking some sheep to Guildford market while they were infected with sheep scab.  This apparently was a very infectious disease, and so was treated seriously.  Henry pleaded ignorance, and then pleaded guilty.  He was fined accordingly.  At the time he was a member of Pirbright Parish Council (in 1944 he became the chairman).  A little later Henry witnessed an offence which was reported in the local newspaper.  We think there is a funny side to it, and so we have shown the cutting right.

But finally in 1919, Henry Joseph Tenison Halsey, the Lord of Pirbright Manor (who is discussed above as “HH4”) had run his wealth down so low (due to his rackety lifestyle) that he had to put up for sale some of his last properties.  As can be seen from the advert below, it included the 72-acre Whites Farm. 

Whites - 1919 sale ad.jpg

A map of the property at that time is shown left.  We have edged in the original 41-acre Whites Farm (per the 1841 Tithe map), so that the reader can see the 31 acre Newmans plot that was added on the west side of the farm in the 1840’s. 


The successful purchaser was John Cherryman of Causeway Farm.  John paid £2,200 (worth £94,000 today).  We have dicussed John Cherryman in more detail a little way below.

Henry Layton stayed at the farm for a couple of years, but decided to leave (or was pushed out) in 1921.  He placed an advert for the sale of all his farming stock and equipment. 

Henry and Jemima celebrated their golden wedding in 1929 (see press cutting right).  The cutting refers to a nephew of theirs, Sir Walter Layton.  Sir Walter built up an impressive CV, and became Baron Layton of Daneshill (in Sussex).   He has his own Wikipedia page here:,_1st_Baron_Layton

The following year, in 1930, an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease was discovered at Henry’s Grove Farm.  Part of a press cutting about this is shown below.  This resulted in an order prohibiting all animals within a 15-mile radius from being moved outside the area.  Henry’s popularity might have taken a bit of a hit at this time, we suspect.

Jemima died in 1940 and Henry in 1951.  They had 3 children.  The parents and their 2 younger children are buried in Brookwood Cemetery.

The sale by the Halsey family of Whites Farm in 1919, followed by the Laytons’ departure in 1921 marked the end of a long chapter of Halsey ownership in Whites Farm’s history.  We will now look at what has happened to the farm since that time to the present.

Whites Farm 1930 cutting re F-A-Mouth.jpg

                                                                             1921 - date

First we will look at the new owner of the enlarged Whites Farm, John Cherryman (who we shall call John Cherryman III).

John III’s father was also named John Cherryman (John Cherryman II), who had been born in Bisley in 1816, the son of a mealman called – John Cherryman I.  In 1841 John II married Ann Faggetter (daughter of John Faggetter, 1774-1847 and Ann Faggetter, nee Stevens, 1770-1846).  John II was a farmer, owning the 115-acre Cowshot Farm (now part of the Bisley Ranges). 

John Cherryman III was the youngest of 4 children, born in 1855 in Pirbright and was brought up on his father’s Cowshot Farm.  In 1881 John III married Maria Hawkins, aged 20, daughter of William Hawkins, who farmed 80 acres, part of Cowshot Farm.  Over the next 20 years they had 11 children.

By 1891 John III was farming Castle Bridge Farm (later Causeway Bridge Farm, now Causeway Farm), and he remained there for the rest of his life.  We have shown a picture of him below left, which we think dates from 1909.

John III had purchased quite a lot of Pirbright farmland, presumably as an investment.  He had bought nearby 100-acre Bakersgate in 1909. 


And although he farmed at Causeway, he also owned at various times Fords, Cowshott, Little Cut, West Hall and Manor Farms in Pirbright.  He also built Cooks Green Cottages and Elm Bank in School Lane. 

John Cherryman III died in 1925.  Some of his achievements are set out in the attached notice in the local newspaper.  He left an estate of £21,000 (£1 million today).  Maria died in 1933, and a cutting about her funeral is also shown below.  We have also included a real curiosity – a picture of the sign to Cherryman’s Farm.

As to the ownership of Whites Farm, John Cherryman almost immediately after he bought it in 1919 passed it to 3 of his children, Frederick, John IV and Albert Cherryman.  6 years later, in 1925, Frederick sold his one-third share to John IV and Albert, who therefore now had a half-share each of the farm (which was still 71 acres in size). 

In 1929 John IV and Albert sold some of the Newmans piece (9 acres) to Basil Bennett, who owned Fords Farm.  Thus Whites Farm was reduced to 62 acres in size.  Then in 1929, John IV and Albert sold the 62-acre Whites to Arthur Brooke Johnstone, a farmer from Cranleigh for £3,400 (worth £180,000 today).  This was a profit of £1,200 on the price paid by their father 10 years earlier, so a nice piece of business.  Arthur Johnstone stayed in Cranleigh, treating Whites Farm as an investment until (we think) 1937, when he sold the farm to Patrick and Betty Milligan (who we discuss below).

John Cherryman IV (whose picture is shown below, aged 53) was tragically killed in cycle accident in 1936.  He was pushing his bicycle along the road near Clarke’s garage just south of Pirbright Green, when a 1932 Austin Seven coming the other way skidded, overturned and crushed him.  Apparently, the Coroner had personal experience that 1932 Austin Sevens were apt to skid, and this is supported by one of our Pirbright Historians, who used to drive a 1930 Austin 7 Chummy (aeons ago).  The verdict was Death by Misadventure.  We have shown a picture of a 1929 Austin 7 Chummy below (clearly not taken anywhere near Pirbright).

Whites - John Cherryman IV.jpg
Whites Farm 1929 Austin Chummy.jpg

That deals with the ownership of Whites Farm.  We will now look at the occupants after Henry and Jemima Layton left in 1921. 

The first occupants after the Laytons were Albert and Mabel Cherryman, who moved into Whites Farm in late 1921.  Albert (1891-1963) was the 6th of John and Maria Cherryman’s 11 children.  During WW1 he had seen service as a private in the Surrey Yeomanry.  Below are 2 photos of Whites Farm (back and front) from that time.

In 1921 he married Mabel Faggetter (1891-1995) who was quite probably a relation of Albert’s mother Ann (nee Faggetter), but not a particularly close one.  This is probably what led him to leave his parents and siblings at Causeway Farm and set up a separate home.  They were a little tardy in starting a family – their only child, John (1932-1919) did not arrive until 11 years into their marriage.  Below is a postcard (front and back) sent by Albert to Mabel in 1915, together with, we think, a picture of Albert and Mabel on their wedding day.

The Cherrymans farmed Whites Farm until c1929, when they sold the farm to Arthur Brooke Johnstone (referred to above) and moved to Park Farm, Badshot Lea, near Farnham.  Before they moved, they were careful to carve out a nice piece of land from Whites Farm for another Cherryman brother, Arthur, to build a house on.  This house was built 2 years later in 1931 and named Nuthurst.  It is covered in the section below.

Albert died at Badshot Lea in 1963, but Mabel lived until 1995, just a month shy of her 105th birthday.  She died in Chichester.  A photo of Mabel is shown right.

Under Mr Johnstone’s ownership, it looks as though Whites initially lay empty for a few years 1929-1933.  Given the economic difficulties faced by the country in those years, perhaps we shouldn’t find it surprising that no-one wanted to take on a 62-acre farm at that time.  The foot-and-mouth outbreak in 1930 at Henry Layton’s nearby Grove Farm (refer above) probably didn’t help either.

The next occupants we know of were Francis and Elsie Walker, who moved into Whites Farm in 1934 (we assume they were renting the farm from Arthur Johnstone).  Francis (born 1910) was a London-based accountant, the son of Captain Edgar Walker, who was killed in action at Armentieres during the “Race to the Sea” right at the start of WW1 in October 1914. 

In 1934 Francis married Hilda Beatrice Elsie Moore (born 1896, known as Elsie), a lady 14 years older than him, who had recently been divorced by her husband, Ralph Mackay.  Elsie had had a daughter back in 1912, 5 years before her marriage to Ralph.  Francis and Elsie were married only a few months after Elsie’s divorce, and so we assume that her liaison with Ralph was the cause of the divorce.  Maybe they moved to Pirbright to be out of the London spotlight for a while.  We don’t know much about the Walkers except for what was reported in the newspaper cutting below.

The Walkers left Pirbright in 1936.  Francis died in Reading in 1976, while Elsie lived until the age of 95, dying at Chichester in 1991.

Then in 1937 Patrick and Betty Milligan moved into Whites Farm.  We guess that they purchased the farm from Arthur Johnstone.  Patrick was born at Lancing in 1910, the son of a medical practitioner, but went to school in Guildford (at Edgeborough School on the Epsom Road, which has since relocated to Frensham).

Patrick became an underwriter, and in 1934 married Betty Rogerson (born 1912), the daughter of Frank Rogerson, a Lloyds underwriter and also a company director.

As WW2 loomed, it looks as though the RAF rented (or temporarily confiscated) Whites Farm from the Milligans.  In 1939 Jack and Joan Hunter (with their 2 children, a nurse and a servant) lived there.  Jack (born 1899) was a Naval Officer at Portsmouth Naval base.  Joan (nee Aldridge in 1903) and he had previously been living at Shamley Green.

Jack had served in the Royal Navy in WW1, fighting on HMS Erin at the Battle of Jutland in 1916.  His captain wrote that he "lacks intelligence, no initiative. Improved slightly, but still indifferent."  He was duly promoted to Lieutenant in 1919, and then to Lt Commander in 1927. 

He was mobilised in 1938, and presumably this was accompanied by the offer of accommodation in a nice farm in Pirbright in which to live.  He was promoted to Commander in 1945 and retired from the Navy in 1947.

In 1941 a Mrs Margaret Barne placed some ads in the local newspaper for staff.  She was later fined £2 for a blackout offence.  3 years later she was living at Knapwood House in Knaphill (and still placing ads for staff).

After the war, the Milligans returned to the farm, but in 1955 they sold up and moved to Orchard Cottage in Blackhorse Road.

The next owners from 1955 were Lt Col Roland and Kathleen Pennefather.  Roland (born 1912) was a London solicitor, who had married Kathleen Hart (also born 1912) in 1938.  Their parents were both members of Walton & Weybridge Urban Council.  They lived initially in Cannon St, London, and then at St George’s Hill, Weybridge, before moving to Whites Farm.  A photo of the farm from (we think) the 1960’s is shown left. 



During WW2 Roland became an acting Lt Colonel in the Royal Regiment of Artillery, for which he was awarded an MBE in 1945.  In 1951 he was appointed clerk of the Worshipful Company of Glaziers and Painters of Glass.  He remained with the livery company in various roles until the 1980’s. 

Kathleen died in 1971, and in 1975 Roland moved out of Whites Farm into nearby Little Cramond, Chapel Lane.  However in 1977 he remarried Joyce Lyle, widow of Charles, Lord Lyle, who had been living at Bakersgate since 1928.  Joyce died in 1983, and Roland remarried again the following year (at the age of 72) to Mrs Elizabeth Ledward.  He died in 1988, leaving £700,000 (worth £1.8 million today). 

Roland moved out of Whites in 1975, and the next record we can see is of Esmond and Pamela Banks, who moved into Whites c1981.  Previously they had lived for a short while at Hunters Green on the Bagshot Road.

The next owners purchased Whites Farm sometime in the 1980’s or early 1990’s.  We think that c2000 they then moved next door into Nuthurst (see below), where their family still live.  A photo of the farm in 1987 (taken by Stan Dabbs) is shown below.

After 2000 the current owners and their family purchased the farm.

Unsurprisingly, Whites Farm and the nearby barn (40 yards from the farm) are Grade II listed buildings.  We have included the listing particulars below.

The Farm:

House. C16 with C17 extensions, C20 wing to rear. Timber framed, underbuilt in brick, frame exposed above with red brick infill: plain tiled roofs, half-hipped to right.  L shaped plan with cross wing to left. 2 storeys with square stack to left, further stacks to left and rear. 3 framed bays with first floor bracing to right. Blocked windows to left. Two 5-light wood framed, leaded, casement windows to first floor, 2 below. One 3-light window in each floor of cross wing. Boarded door to left under

flat, braced hood. Queen-post truss in gable end of cross wing.


Right hand return front: heavy bracing to first floor left, C20 brick extension to right and rear.


The Barn:

Barn, now store. C17, extended in C19. Timber framed with brick walls to north and south sides, weatherboard cladding above. Plain tiled roof, half-hipped extending down over penticed extension to side. Rectangular, with tiled side. 5 framed bays. Gabled entrance projection to centre of south side, opposing entrance to north behind brick extension.

Interior: Queen-post, curved windbrace roof, altered, braced posts below.


Nuthurst was built in 1931 on land that had been carved out of Whites Farm when that was sold by Albert Cherryman in 1929.  This carved-out land was owned by another of the Cherryman brothers - Arthur Cherryman, and it was he that commissioned the new house. 

It was a thoughtful touch to choose the name Nuthurst.  This had been the original name of Whites Farm in the 1600’s up until 1803, and Arthur would surely have been aware of this from title deeds (as well, possibly, as passed-down family chatter).  So we have now ended up with a 1930’s house called Nuthurst 100 yards or so away from the 17th century farm called Nuthurst.  The building plan for Nuthurst is shown right.

Whites - Nuthurst - 1931 building plan.jpg

Arthur Cherryman (born at Pirbright in 1899) was the 9th child of John Cherryman and his wife Maria, who had bought Whites Farm (refer section above) in 1919 from Henry Halsey. Initially (c 1917) Arthur moved to Redhill and joined the Northumberland Fusiliers.  He did his military training at Crowborough, where in one incident he was reprimanded for “Not complying with battalion orders, ie deficient of soap and towel with battle order”.  He then saw 4 months of active service in 1918. 

After the end of WW1, he returned to Redhill, where he was a bank clerk (dealing with foreign exchange at the local Lloyds Bank).  But by 1926 he was back in Pirbright, living at the Cherryman family home, Elm Bank, near to the family farm, Causeway Farm.  In 1931 he married Edith Martin (born 1900), daughter of Henry and Sarah Martin of Manor Farm, Pirbright.  We assume that Arthur’s marriage was the reason for Nuthurst being built the same year.  We have shown a photo of the happy couple on their wedding day left.

Arthur and Edith had one daughter, and lived in Nuthurst until they died (Edith in 1973 and Arthur in 1978).  Former residents have told us that Edith was a little ‘strange’ in later years, and was known to attack passers-by with a spade.

We do not know who lived at Nuthurst between 1978 and 2000.  But from c2000 the house was purchased by the family who had owned Whites Farm for the preceding 10 years or so.  The same family still lives in Nuthurst.


Pirbright House (previously Woodcot, then Pleasant Cottage)

The house now named Pirbright House was built in 1933 for Mark and Mary Wood on land that had belonged to Whites Farm.  We assume that Arthur Brooke Johnstone (who owned Whites Farm at the time) sold this plot to Mr Wood.

Part of the original building plan is shown below.  The house was tucked in behind Brown Hatch (see section below), just as it is today.  But today’s plot is considerably larger than the original.  It is double the width of the original plot, and not far off double the length as well.  Presumably the land was acquired from the owners of Whites Farm at a later stage.

Whites Lane is shown on the plan as Chapel Lane.  One might think that perhaps this was what the lane was called in 1933.  But the Electoral Register records the address as being Whites Lane, so the name on the plan was simply an error.

Mark Wood was born in 1882 in Bailgate, Lincolnshire.  In 1904 he enrolled in the Royal Welsh Fusiliers at the age of 21.  He remained with his regiment for 15 years until 1919, reaching the rank of Company Sergeant-Major.  He saw active service in WW1, but not very much.  He spent virtually all of the war (October 1914 to November 1918) as a POW in Germany.

He left the army in 1922.  His record card describes his military character as “Exemplary”.  His commanding officer wrote:  “He is one of the best Warrant Officers it has been my honour to serve with.  But for being taken prisoner with 7th Division in October 1914 he would have gone far in his profession.” 

Just before the war, in 1913, he had married Mary (nee Torrington in 1886 in Pembrokeshire) at Southsea.  Mary’s father was an Infantry instructor (with the rank of Sergeant). 

After WW1 the couple moved around the country according to where Mark was posted.  In the 1921 census, they were living at Denbigh in North Wales.

We don’t know where the couple lived from when Mark left the army (1922) until 1933.  But in 1933 Mark bought the land for Woodcot, and had the house built.  The reason for their choice of location would surely have been a recommendation from his sister-in-law, Lottie Wood, who had been widowed in 1914 and had been living at next-door Brown Hatch (see section below) since 1931.  Possibly Lottie had heard about the land being put up for sale, and alerted Mark and Mary to the opportunity.

In 1939 Mark was the manager at a Wines and Spirits Merchant, which would surely have made him a popular sort of fellow in the neighbourhood.

Mark died in 1963, leaving Mary and Derrig Gwyer Gibbs of Roughways (see section below) as his executors.  Mary decided to move from Woodcot (though we don’t know where to).  She died in Wrexham (in the land of her birth) in 1981, aged 95.

Edward and Joan Unsworth then purchased Woodcot and immediately renamed the house “Pleasant Cottage”.  Many would think this a rather nondescript name for a house, but the Unsworths had previously lived in a house called Pleasant Cottage at West End on the Windlesham Road, and they obviously liked it (the name, that is). 

We know little about either Edward or Joan.  Unsworth is a name primarily associated with Lancashire, and our Edward may have come from there.  Edward and Joan had married in 1942 at Eton, and by the time they lived in Whites Lane, Edward was a Chamois merchant (ie someone who trades chamois leather – a niche occupation if ever there was one).

In 1973 the current owners bought the house.  After various renovations, the house was renamed to today’s much more imposing-sounding Pirbright House.


Brown Hatch

Brown Hatch was built in 1931 for Charlotte (Lottie) Wood and her family.

Lottie (nee Thompson) was born in 1883 in Pirbright.  Her father, Charles Thompson, was a wheelwright, carpenter and builder, and the family was living at Brook House, between The Terrace and Cove Bridge.  c1907 she married Robert Wood, a plumber from Lincolnshire who was the brother of Mark Wood (see Pirbright House section above). 

Robert and Lottie soon had 2 children, Winifred and Robert (“Bobbie”).  Robert’s occupation was a soldier in 1907 when his first child was born, and we think that he was a Grenadier Guardsman.  As a result, his was one of the first regiments to go to France when war broke out in 1914.  On 12 August  1914, just eight days after the Declaration of War, the 2nd Battalion of the Grenadier Guards left for France.  Robert Wood’s Medal Roll shows he entered France on the 13th.

Tragically he was killed in action, aged 34, at the First Battle of The Aisne (near Reims).  The full details of this are set out on the Pirbright Historians website.  It happened in the very early days of WW1 on 14 September 1914 and the news must have been a tremendous shock for the 31 year-old Lottie and her 2 young children.  Robert’s name is the first one on the Pirbright War Memorial. 

A year after the end of WW1, in 1919, Bobbie died, possibly from the epidemic of Spanish ‘flu.  This would have been another dreadful shock for Lottie and Winifred.  They continued to live at Brook House until 1931, when they decided to commission Brown Hatch.

The 1931 building plan for Brown Hatch is shown right.  The house today seems to have shifted a little to the west since the plan was drawn up – maybe an inaccurate plan, or some sharp building practices?  But the plot is the same size and shape today as it was in 1931.  The plan was drawn up for “Miss W Wood”, which was Winifred, aged only 23 at the time.

Lottie and Winifred lived in the newly-built house until 1935, when Winifred married Derrig Gibbs.  Winifred and Derrig immediately purchased what is now called Roughways (the house directly opposite Brown Hatch), which must have been a great comfort for Lottie, who remained at Brown Hatch alone for the next 25 years.  In addition, Lottie’s brother-in-law, Mark Wood and his family were living next door at Woodcot (now called Pirbright House), as explained in the section above.

In 1960 Lottie moved into Roughways to live with Winifred, and we continue her story in the Roughways section below.  Meanwhile, Donald and Gwendoline Duggan purchased Brown Hatch in 1960. 

Donald may have been born in Wolverhampton in 1930, but we can’t be sure about Gwendoline (who was born Gwendoline Terry).  They were married in Surrey in 1949, and initially lived in Kingfield, Woking.  Gwendoline was a supply teacher. 

In 1960 Donald witnessed an accident in Woking, when a car, driven by a 19 year-old named John Lorimer, knocked a young boy off his bicycle.  Lorimer had bought the car for the princely sum of £5 (£95 today).  Fortunately the boy was not badly hurt, but his bicycle was.  We have shown left the relevant press cutting, as it does have some mildly amusing aspects. 

However, it looks as though Donald and Gwendoline were divorced soon after moving into Brown Hatch in the early 1960’s:  In 1964 Donald remarried a Josephine Frowen (born Islington in 1935), mysteriously changed his surname to Duggan-Hill, and he and Josephine continued to live in Brown Hatch.  The same year, Gwendoline seems to have married a John Summer in Kensington.

Around 1972, James and Dorothy Prickett purchased Brown Hatch.  James Wyndham Rice Prickett was born in Oxford in 1917, the son of a carpenter.  In 1939 he was a motor mechanic in Brighton.  Dorothy Joan Edna (“Queenie”) Lott was born in Kingston in 1918, the daughter of a photographic reproducer. 

James and Queenie married in Staines in 1947 and had 1 child.  They lived at Park Road, Hampton Wick and then East Molesey before moving to Pirbright in 1972. 

Queenie died in 2005, but James remained at Brown Hatch until, we think, his death in 2017, aged 100. 

In 2019 the house was purchased by the current owners.


Roughways (previously Bellevue)

In 1922, Arthur Neeves, who lived at Hogley House submitted plans for a new house called Bellevue (or Belle Vue) where Roughways now is.  We have shown a "map" from the plans right.  This "map" really does look as though it was drawn on the back of an envelope.  The White Hart seems to have been carefully written first, and everything else scribbled in around it.  Belle Vue is rather inconspicuously written near the bottom right hand corner.  We wonder what Guildford Borough Council would say if someone submitted a plan like that today.

Despite the map quality, the plan was approved, the house duly built, and within a few months, Arthur and Louisa Neeves had moved into it from Hogley House.  Arthur and Louisa stayed at Bellevue until 1927, at which point they left the area.  In 1939 they were living at Shoreham-by-Sea.  Arthur died in Weston-super-Mare in 1942, and Louisa died there 4 years later.

By 1929 Owen and Miriam Wallis had purchased Bellevue.  Owen was born in 1868 in London, the son of a piano tuner who lived near Victoria Station.  Miriam, born in 1871 (nee Evans) was the daughter of a fishmonger from Hammersmith.

Owen and Miriam married in 1898 in Hammersmith, when Owen described himself as a house agent.  They soon had 3 children and moved to Wimbledon. 

By 1907 Owen had set up his own estate agency, called Owen Wallis & Co.  He worked from offices near St James’s Square, just off Pall Mall (very nice!).  We have shown below (with thanks to Country Life) a large spread that he placed in 1907.  We can see that his firm operated across the south-east, and was pitched decidedly at the upper end of the market.  His telegram address might give us a clue as to his modesty:  “Owenisme”.

By 1911 Owen described himself as an auctioneer.  The 1921 census shows that the family had a live-in housekeeper, Mary Starling, aged 44.  Owen was now an auctioneer at Harrods.  We didn’t know that Harrods held auctions at that time, but Owen worked in the Estates division, which auctioned properties


By 1928 Owen was working for Ellis and Sons in Dover St, another London auctioneer, just off Piccadilly.  Ellis and Sons started was 1877 in Manchester and had only just opened a London office at Dover St in 1928, so perhaps they bought the Harrods Estates division (or cherrypicked some of their staff, including Owen).  The company is still alive today as part of The Ellis Campbell Group, a property company based in Alton.  The cutting right shows an ad for one of Owen’s auctions in 1928.

Owen was 61 by the time the family moved to Bellevue, so perhaps he hadn’t enjoyed the move from Harrods to Ellis and instead decided to retire from his auctioneering work.  2 of their children, also called Owen and Miriam, moved into Bellevue with them.  However, Owen the younger, who was an estate agent in Guildford, was married in 1930 and moved to Dunsfold with his new wife, but Miriam the younger stayed with her parents and never married.

Miriam the elder died in 1934, aged 63.  Even though she only lived in Pirbright for 5 years, she was well-known in the village, as the funeral notice below attests.  A few of the names mentioned above are familiar to us.  As well as the faithful Miss Starling, the names of Muriel Woodger and Olive Baly (misspelt), Miss Cawthorn and the Cherrymans appear.

A few of the names mentioned above are familiar to us.  As well as the faithful Miss Starling, the names of Muriel Woodger and Olive Baly (misspelt), Miss Cawthorn and the Cherrymans appear.

His wife’s death may have driven Owen to sell Bellevue in 1935 and move to Albury with his daughter Miriam and their housekeeper, Mary Starling who was by now aged 58.  They lived in Albury next door to Owen the younger and his family.  Owen the elder died at Albury in 1944. 

The purchasers of Bellevue in 1935 were Derrig and Winifred Gibbs.  Their first action was to rename Bellevue as Roughways.  Perhaps the trees had grown up since the house was built, such that the “vue” was no longer “belle” by 1935.  But surely describing the ways of Pirbright as “rough” is a bit harsh.

Derrig Allenson Gwyer Gibbs was born in Lambeth in 1908, the son of Henry and Margaret Gibbs.  Henry was a photographer.  Margaret was born in Donegal c1873 and her middle names were Stanislaw and Derrig (the latter name being an Irish name).  In 1910 Henry and Margaret moved to Pirbright, initially to the Army Camp, but then to Cooper’s Hill (just north of the Army Camp), presumably for work reasons.

The purchasers of Bellevue in 1935 were Derrig and Winifred Gibbs.  Their first action was to rename Bellevue as Roughways.  Perhaps the trees had grown up since the house was built, such that the “vue” was no longer “belle” by 1935.  But surely describing the ways of Pirbright as “rough” is a bit harsh.

Derrig Allenson Gwyer Gibbs was born in Lambeth in 1908, the son of Henry and Margaret Gibbs.  Henry was a photographer.  Margaret was born in Donegal c1873 and her middle names were Stanislaw and Derrig (the latter name being an Irish name).  In 1910 Henry and Margaret moved to Pirbright, initially to the Army Camp, but then to Cooper’s Hill (just north of the Army Camp), presumably for work reasons.

Winifred Frances Wood was the daughter of Robert and Lottie Wood.  Their story is told more fully in the Brown Hatch section above.  But briefly, Robert was unfortunately killed in 1914 at the start of WW1, when Winifred was aged only 7.  Lottie thus had to bring up 2 small children on her own.  In 1931, Winifred helped her mother to get Brown Hatch built, and the 2 of them proceeded to live there.

Over the ensuing 4 years, Winifred met Derrig, and the couple were married in 1935.  It was fortuitous that Bellevue came up for sale right at the time of Winifred’s marriage.  It meant that Winifred could live with her new husband in the house right opposite her mother. It is not known the extent to which Derrig liked this arrangement.  From 1960 onwards, Lottie moved into Roughways with her daughter and family.  Lottie died in the Kingston area in 1984, aged 101.

Derrig had become a photographer like his father, and in 1935 he was engaged in taking military photographs at the Pirbright Army Camp.  The newspaper article leftindicates that he had some difficulty collecting his fee for one assignment.

Over the following years, Derrig became a well-known figure in the photography field.  He was a director of Baron Studios, a company set up by Sterling Henry Nahum (known for some reason as “Baron”), who was one of the country’s best known portrait photographers in the 1940’s and 1950’s, seen as a rival to Cecil Beaton.  Baron took many photos of the Royal Family, as well as celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe.  One of his young assistants at his studio was Anthony Armstrong-Jones, who went on to marry Princess Margaret.  Some of Baron’s pictures and stories about him can be seen here:

We have shown 4 of Baron’s photos below, with grateful thanks to the Royal Collection Trust.  The youngster is now King Charles, by the way.  Baron died unexpectedly in 1956, aged only 49, and a newspaper article at the time (shown below), talks about the company’s future, mentioning Derrig (though spelling his name incorrectly).

In 1971, Derrig stood as a candidate in the Guildford Rural District Council elections.  The press cutting below gives some additional information about him, though we don’t know whether or not he was successful.

Derrig and Winifred sold Roughways in the early 1980’s and moved to Goslings, overlooking the Green in Pirbright.  Derrig died there in 1985 and Winifred in 1989.

The next owner of Roughways (in 1992) was a Colin R Prior, about whom we know nothing.  In 2004 a planning application was made by a C Doyle & M Bannister to demolish the existing house and build a replacement.  The application was approved.   Again, we know nothing about either of these people.

By 2007 the current owners had bought Roughways.  Several further applications have been made to extend or alter the house since then.  The plans for these show that the Roughways plot is larger than one might imagine – about 2 acres, stretching all the way down to the Hogley House plot.  

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