Ewhurst History Society

Old houses in Ewhurst


In 1447 William Sydney was granted a licence to empark 800 acres within the manor of Baynards [part of the park is in Cranleigh parish]. In the 16th century it was owned by Sir Edward Bray. His second wife, Elizabeth Roper, was the granddaughter of Sir Thomas More. Her mother, Margaret Roper, was said to have brought Sir Thomas’s head to Baynards after his execution.
In 1588 the estate was acquired by George (later Sir George) More, [no relation to Sir Thomas More] who built Baynards House in the style of his family home, Losely, near Guildford. It then passed through several owners until 1630, when it became the home of Richard Evelyn, brother of John Evelyn the diarist.
In 1700 it was acquired by Sir Richard Onslow. However, the Onslows resided at Knowle, Cranleigh and Baynards was let, during which time it deteriorated. In 1832 it was purchased by Rev. Thomas Thurlow, who commissioned Thomas Rickman to restore and enlarge the house.

Crown House and Little Crown Cottage

Crown House and Little Crown Cottage take their name from the Crown Inn, a former ale house which closed in 1960 and was converted into two cottages.


Coneyhurst is an old manor house first recorded in 1263. The present house dates mainly from the 16th century but bears traces of an earlier building. The oldest part is the northern cross-wing which dates from around 1400.
Towards the end of the 19th century the house was bought by Frank William Warwick Topham, an artist.


Coneyhurst-on-the-Hill is an important Arts & Crafts house by the influential architect Philip Webb. Webb designed Coneyhurst for Miss Mary Anne Ewart in 1885. Miss Ewart was a woman, not only of independent means, but also of independent mind, who had been actively involved in promoting education for women.

Copse Hill

Copse Hill was designed by the architect Christopher Turnor in 1905. With its wide sweeping eaves, balconies and shuttered windows, Copse Hill has the feel of a Mediterranean villa. During the Second World War the artist Leonard Campbell Taylor lived in the attached cottage and Copse Hill features in his 1942 painting ‘The Letter’ and also ‘The White Drawing Room’, 1943.


The Old Farmhouse at Coverwood is one of the oldest houses in the parish and dates from around 1400.
In the 19th century it was part of the Locke King estate. The Locke King family’s principal residence was Brooklands at Weybridge. Whereas most of the farms were let, the family kept Coverwood for their own use and built a ‘shooting box’ close to the site of the present Coverwood House. Peter Locke King died in 1885 and was succeeded by his son Hugh Fortescue Locke King. Hugh’s ambitious plan to build the motor racing track at Brooklands brought him almost to the point of bankruptcy and the Coverwood estate of over 400 acres was sold in 1907.
Coverwood was purchased by Michael Stephens whose fortune was based on ‘Stephen’s Ink’, the company founded by his father and he commissioned Gerald Callcott Horsley to build a new house to replace the Locke King’s ‘shooting box’.


In the early 19th century Garlands was regency villa in the fashionable ‘picturesque’ style. There were balconies on both sides with stairs down to the garden, one of which still survives on the south elevation. The roof, with deep overhanging eaves supported by ornate brackets, gave the house the appearance of a Swiss chalet and it was crowned by an elaborate chimney with spiral twist stacks in brick and flint. Towards the end of the nineteenth century the overhanging eaves were removed and half-timbered gables inserted.


Mapledrakes was originally a farmhouse and the farm included the land that Mapledrakes Road is built on through to the Ockley Road. The house is thought to date mostly from the 19th century, but the name is considerably older and can be traced back to the 13th century.
Amazingly, Mapledrakes passed down through one family for 700 years. In a quit claim of 1306 Alicia de Mapledrex of Iwerst renounced her rights in Mapledrex to Walter atte Rude [Ryde]. The Ryde family of Oldhouse owned it until the beginning of the 18th century and then after the death of Thomas Ryde, in 1705, it was left to two of his nine daughters. It then passed though the female line and by marriage to the Napper family and finally to the Sharp family.


On the lower slopes of Pitch Hill, the turquoise pantiled roof of Marylands stands out above the trees. It was designed in 1928 by Oliver Hill, one of the most talented architects of the inter war years. Hill had just returned from a tour of classical Spain and the design is reminiscent of parts of the Alhambra Palace in Granada.

Mount Cottage and Church Gate Cottage

This pair of cottages developed from one original building, the oldest part of which is the rear of Mount Cottage, which dates from around 1700. In the early 19th century a room in Church Gate Cottage was used as a schoolroom. Solomon Child was described as a schoolmaster in Parish Registers of this time and the cottage is shown in a watercolour of 1822, by John Hassell, entitled ‘National School’.
From the mid 19th century Church Gate Cottage was a grocer’s shop. Henry Cheeseman ran it from the 1890s and the front room at the of Mount Cottage was used as a branch of Capital and Counties Bank [later Lloyds] on Friday afternoons. After the First World War the business was taken over by Forest Stores and moved to new premises in The Street [now Eden Spa hairdressers] Church Gate Cottage then became Hillman Attwells Chemists and Mount Cottage became Miss Pam’s Sweet Shop. The distinctive bay windows date from this time.

The Old Post Office

The Old Post Office was the village post office from 1912 until 1942, but before that it was an inn known as The Bull’s Head or The Bull. In 1908 the brewery built the new Bulls Head Hotel and the old building remained empty for a few years and then in 1912 became the village post office.

The Old Rectory

The present Old Rectory was designed by W H Fletcher in 1874. In the 1970s the church authorities built a new rectory to the east and sold off the Old Rectory and it is now a nursing home.


Oldhouse is approached by a long drive through parkland, to the west of Ewhurst Green. The main range of the house dates to the 15th Century and it was extensively remodelled in the early 20th century. The name Oldhouse has been in use since the 18th century, but the house was originally known as Ryde House and was connected with the Ryde family. The Rydes were an important local family of yeomen farmers and the name can be traced back to the early 14th century. In the 1920s the house was purchased by John Horniman of the ‘Horniman Tea’ family. It was probably John Horniman who remodelled the house, but he did not live there for very long and from the 1930s it was the home of Eric, later Sir Eric Miller, who lived there until his death in 1958.


In 1625 Rumbeams was part of the endowment of the Abbot’s Hospital in Guildford. George Abbot was born in Guildford in 1562 and educated at the Royal Grammar School. He became Archbishop of Canterbury in 1611. As a gift to his hometown of Guildford he founded the Hospital as ‘The Hospital of the Blessed Trinity’ in 1619 and endowed it with land so that its future income would be secure. The income from rents would go towards the upkeep of the Hospital and Rumbeams formed part of this endowment. By the end of the 19th century it was felt that the farms did not provide the best return for investment for the Hospital and as leases expired they were gradually sold off and Rumbeams was sold to George Weller, the tenant, in 1922.

Somersbury Manor

In 1154 Henry II split the Manor of Gomshall into three – East Gomshall, West Gomshall and Somersbury. The first indication of a tenant occurs in 1272, when Herbert de Somersbury obtained a quit claim on it from the parson of Ewhurst.
From 1576 it was owned by the Dendy family who also owned the Manor of Breach. In 1648 it was acquired by Richard Evelyn of Baynards with John Dendy in occupation. In the 18th century it was in the possession of the Onslow family and then in 1863 became part of the estate of William Scarlett, Lord Abinger. By this time it was a tenanted farm. The Abinger estate was broken up and sold in 1920.

White Hart Cottages

White Hart Cottages is a terrace of three cottages, which includes a medieval hall house of exceptional architectural interest. The northern cottage, White Hart House, dates from the early 15th century and is one of the oldest houses in the village. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries part of White Hart Cottages was an alehouse called the White Hart. The aptly named George Buck was the landlord in 1901 and was later succeeded by his son, Albert, who was killed in the First World War.


Now the Duke of Kent School, Woolpits was originally the country residence of the Doulton family of ‘Royal Doulton’. The house was built between 1886 and 1888 by George & Peto for Henry, later Sir Henry Doulton.
The house was built of red brick with terracotta dressings, made at the Doulton factory in Lambeth and the interior was decorated with specially commissioned works from the Doulton Studio.
After the Second World War the house was sold and became a boarding school, St Thomas of Canterbury School. In 1976 the school amalgamated with Vanbrugh Castle School, which had been founded by the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund to provide an education for the sons of airmen killed on active service. The new school was named the Duke of Kent School, after George, Duke of Kent.


Wyndrums has been dated by dendrochronology to 1571. In the 20th century it developed into a garage business. Henry Coldman ran a taxi service with horses and traps, and was known as the ‘Fly Proprietor’. It later became known as Pitt’s Garage and then Bennett’s Garage.

Want to know more?

Ewhurst History Society’s publication Ewhurst Houses and People looks into the history and architecture of around 130 houses in the parish of Ewhurst.