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The Old Rectory

A Grade II Listed Building in Chipstead, Hooley and Woodmansterne, Surrey

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Latitude: 51.2782 / 51°16'41"N

Longitude: -0.1871 / 0°11'13"W

OS Eastings: 526546

OS Northings: 154784

OS Grid: TQ265547

Mapcode National: GBR JHG.TSN

Mapcode Global: VHGS3.P4ZH

Entry Name: The Old Rectory

Listing Date: 13 September 2016

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1435567

Location: Reigate and Banstead, Surrey, CR5

County: Surrey

District: Reigate and Banstead

Electoral Ward/Division: Chipstead, Hooley and Woodmansterne

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Traditional County: Surrey

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Surrey

Church of England Parish: Chipstead

Church of England Diocese: Southwark

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Timber framed hall-house of C15 origins, extended by two wings in the last C17. C19 alterations, 1930s restoration and refurbishment and futher alterations in circa 1960.


Timber framed hall-house of C15 origins, extended by two wings in the last C17. C19 alterations, 1930s restoration and refurbishment and further alterations in circa 1960.

MATERIALS: the C15 and C17 parts are timber-framed with brick or cement infill. The C19 additions are in flint with red brick dressings, with some first floor tile-hanging or roughcast. The tiled roof has five brick chimneystacks and a wooden bellcote with iron weathervane.

PLAN: the C15 part comprises a two bay former open hall with a two storey solar wing adjoining to the E. The W side of the open hall shows the exposed medieval E end wall of a further W wing. The original part of the building was enlarged by the addition of cross-wings to both E and W in the later C17. It was further enlarged in the mid-C19 by the addition of a central rear wing with dining room and bedroom over and an E service wing. The former open hall was probably restored to full-height in the 1930s with the addition of a new staircase and gallery. A single storey flat-roofed extension was added to the SW in the 1937.

EXTERIOR: the N or entrance front is of two storeys with eight windows. At the W side is a projecting late C17 cross-wing, the ground floor of stone with brick dressings, the upper floor of timber-framing of thin scantling with some diagonal tension braces. The gable end has a C19 carved barge-board with pendant. The first floor has a metal casement window and the ground floor a four-light canted bay with French windows. To the E of this is a central section of four bays which encloses the C15 part of the building. This is timber-framed with cement infill and includes some exposed bay posts. The first floor has four casement windows, two of them semi-dormers breaking through the eaves, one of which is a full-height four tier window lighting the former open hall and gallery. There are three full-height brick buttresses. Under the eastern semi-dormer is a stone, 1930s four-centred arched doorcase. Further E is a full-height gable of two storeys and attic and two bays with metal casement windows. The timber frame is of thin scantling and nail holes show it was once covered over. The gable has a similar C19 barge-board and pendant. This elevation terminates in an eastern recessed service bay, the ground floor of brick, the first floor timber-framed with cement infill, with a metal casement window on the ground floor.

The W end has a stone ground floor with red brick dressings and a timber-framed first floor of thin scantling with cement infill. There is a massive external chimneystack of reused stone and flint with red brick dressings and a set back wing at the S end, tile-hung on the first floor.

The S side has to the W a first floor four-light window breaking through the eaves and a projecting flat-roofed 1930s canted bay window with French windows. In the centre is a later C19 projecting wing, roughcast over a brick plinth. The gable has a carved barge-board with pendant and there is a two storey four-light canted bay window and a smaller mullioned and transomed casement adjoining. This elevation ends in a C19 service extension, the ground floor of stone with red brick dressings and tile-hung above with metal casement windows. There is a similar barge-board and pendant to the gable end.

The E end is of three bays and the roof has a louvred wooden bellcote. To the N is a projecting end, the ground floor of stone with red brick dressings, timber-framed with cement infill above, with a similar barge-board with pendant to the gable end. Adjoining is a projecting two storey brick porch to the service entrance with four-centred arches on both floors, open at the corner to provide an entrance. The S bay is of stone and flint with red brick dressings. There are metal casement windows throughout.

INTERIOR: entry from the principal front leads straight into a large full-height hall which includes the two circa 1450 open hall bays. There is an off central C15 truss with posts, a chamfered tie beam, arched braces (one later moved to the centre to accommodate a later passage) and an octagonal crown-post which has been truncated, probably in the C18 to provide attic space. The hall retains exposed medieval rafters. On the western wall is the exposed first floor end wall of another medieval structure of a different height with eaves at the top of slightly curved braces. The eastern wall is present on the first floor but is missing on the ground floor but it retains the exposed floor joists of the solar wing with mortice holes for a former partition, later incorporated into the hall. The original C15 un-sooted solar roof structure of common rafters and collars survives in the attic above.

The S wall of the hall has a very fine early C17 stone chimneypiece imported after 1936 but before 1962. The overmantel has a gadrooned band, central and end pilasters with five-petalled roses in the capitals, strap-work decoration and masks below. The two overmantel panels are decorated with scroll-work and putti bearing festoons with fruit. Below is a gadrooned band and a four-centred arched fire surround with a strap-work frieze containing a central shield and Ionic pilasters with strap-work decoration.

In the 1930s the walls of the hall were panelled in oak almost to full height and a staircase was inserted on the W side leading to a first floor gallery, both with bulbous balusters. Under the staircase is a 1930s oak panelled bar fitting.

The western end room is said to have been decorated in the 1960s and has a carved cornice and two round-headed display cupboards flanking the chimney. The fireplace was recently stolen. This room incorporates the 1937 flat-roofed extension by Henniker.

The adjoining room to the E, possibly a dining room, has full-height 1930s panelling similar to the hall and a plastered ceiling with diamond and circle motifs. There is an arched display wall cabinet in the W wall. The fireplace was recently stolen.

The ground floor of the service end retains the separate room divisions. The kitchen retains circa 1960 fittings with formica tops. The butler's pantry and the utility room also retain similar fittings.

The main staircase in the hall leads to the upper floor. The principal W bedroom has circa 1960 built-in cupboards and a bathroom to the N with pink marble shower enclosure, built-in wash basin and a bath with triple arched mirrors.

To the SE of the main bedroom is a dressing room with circa 1960 full-height built in wardrobes, a reeded fire surround (although there is no chimney behind) and two built-in bookshelves.

The bedroom adjoining the E wall of the hall has an exposed tapering wall post, and is succeeded by a bathroom with a circa 1960 suite and a bedroom which has an exposed an upright post with a square jowl. The adjoining room to the E has an exposed wall-plate and a number of studs which mark the end of the eastern late C17 wing.

A large bedroom in the SE gable has a 1930s round-headed brick fireplace. The corridor has a number of arched wooden doorcases and a large linen cupboard. At the eastern end is a service flat in a C19 extension which has a separate half-winder service staircase.


The earliest part of the building is a four bay timber-framed building of circa 1450 which may have been constructed by Chertsey Abbey who held the glebe, manor and tithes at the time of its construction.

Land at Chipstead was granted to the Abbey of Chertsey as early as 675 by Frithwald, sub-regulus of Surrey. One of the two entries for Chipstead in Domesday Book shows the overlord in 1066 as Chertsey Abbey; by 1086 the lord is recorded as William of Vatteville but the tenant in chief as Chertsey Abbey. Chipstead was held as farm of the abbot. In 1402 an inspection carried out for the Archbishop of Canterbury found that Chertsey Abbey had a pension of fifteen shillings from the Rector of Chipstead for the tithes of Pirbright and Lovelane. Chertsey Abbey remained overlord of the manor receiving all the tithes of the lands of Purbright and Lovelane until its dissolution in 1538.

After the Dissolution the property became the rectory. In 1613 the advowson and rectory was conveyed to John Huntley, by 1658 was owned by a Mr Moore and in 1664 was still held by his wife Margaret. Two later C17 cross-wings were added to the property. From 1753 to 1808 the Rector of Chipstead, the Rev John Griffiths, who was also the incumbent of Sanderstead near Croydon, appears to have travelled from Sanderstead when necessary and therefore for most of his tenure the Old Rectory was converted into labourer's cottages; he occasionally stayed in the nearby Parson's Cottage instead. A granddaughter of the succeeding rector related that during that time the dead bodies were left in the church until the parson next came round. He used to give out the next meet of the hounds from the pulpit and cricket matches were played on the church green outside the church, which was used as a pavilion where beer, bread and cheese could be had by the players. Matches were said to be 'notched' on the edge of the altar.

The Rev Peter Aubertin, of Huguenot descent and an antiquarian, Rector from I808 to 1861, was the first resident rector for a long time. He reclaimed the property as a rectory and an 1821 watercolour of the north front by John Hassell shows the building before Aubertin's restoration and enlargement: rendered with Georgian sash windows and a square wooden bellcote on the E side. Aubertin was also responsible for restoring the church roof and rebuilding the collapsed S transept circa 1856.

His son took over as Rector from 1861 to his retirement in 1889 because of ill health. The building is shown on the 1869 First Edition 25 inch map with its current outline apart from a small extension on the S side. Gardens are shown to the SW of the house, including a square garden divided into four sections by paths, possibly a kitchen garden. His successor, the Rev Charles Gordon Young, who had founded the Queens Park Rangers football club in his previous parish, did not live in the property. No change is shown to either house or grounds on the 1896 map. The next rector, James Hervey, sold it in 1902 because of the rectory's distance from the church and a rectory closer to the church was built in Elmore Road.

The Victoria County History states that The Old Rectory was the seat of a Mr E Campbell Cooper in 1911. There is no change in the outline of the house on the 1913 map but the square garden is no longer sub-divided into squares and a greenhouse has been added at its N end.

From 1931 to 1936 the house was owned by a Mr and Mrs William Bernstein. Restoration of the house took place in 1931 and the architect is believed to be H V Kerry. The panelling was installed in 1931 and probably also the plaster-work.

From 1936 to 1956 the house was occupied by Francis Curzon, the Fifth Earl Howe (1884-1964), a famous racing driver, known as the grand old man of racing. A flat roofed extension on the S side was added by an architect called Henniker in 1937. The 1934 Fourth Edition Ordnance Survey map shows no changes to house or garden since the 1911 map. A fine early C17 strap-work fireplace in the hall is not shown in a photograph of 1936 but is probably in position by a 1962 plan.

In 1956 the house was purchased by Harry Hyams, the developer of Centre Point, who lived here until 1969, although he retained ownership until his death in 2015. There have been a few changes to the house since 1956 including internal refitting of the main bedroom, dressing room, bathroom and service rooms but no extensions since 1937. A number of elaborate cast iron gates in the grounds were supplied by Harrods in 1956. The circular sunken garden, fountain and kitchen garden were laid out in 1962 by the notable firm of George G Whitelegg, who exhibited at many Chelsea shows.

Reasons for Listing

The Old Rectory, a timber-framed C15 hall house, originally owned and probably built by Chertsey Abbey, later Chipstead Rectory and after 1902 privately owned, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Architectural interest: as a C15 timber-framed open hall house of two bays with a solar wing to east, the surviving end wall of an even earlier wing to the west and late C17 cross-wings, extended mainly in the mid C19;
* Plan form: despite later alterations and additions the original plan form is readable externally and internally;
* Degree of survival: the hall and solar retain exposed posts to the wall frame, a truss with curved braces and a truncated crown-post, original floor joists to the solar and both hall and solar retain their original roofs of common rafters and collar beams. The late C17 cross-wings retain their gables and fabric in side walls;
* Historic interest: in a long and well-documented history, land at Chipstead was granted to Chertsey Abbey in AD 676 and the abbey held the glebe, manor and tithes until its dissolution in 1538. The property then became a rectory until 1902, interrupted for a period in the C18 under an absentee rector when it became labourers' cottages, until it was gentrified in the C20 by private owners. Apart from the parish church this appears to be the oldest building in the Parish of Chipstead.

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