Bonsey's Lane Cottages

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Nos 2 & 3 in 1931
Berwin (no.5) in 2003


Bonsey's Lane marks the western boundary of the old Ottershaw Park. There are no dwellings on the Ottershaw Park side of the lane shown on the Ordnance Surveyors Drawings of 1806/7. The 1819 sale catalog shows that Ewell Slade Cottage stood on a small plot of land at the junction of Bonsey's Lane with the Chobham Road. A plan accompanying the conveyance of Ottershaw Park from Sir George Wood to Richard Crawshay in 1841 shows that another cottage, now used as a workshop in the grounds of Berwin Park further down Bonsey's Lane, had been built by that date. This is probably the cottage referred to as Cleargain Cottage in the 1841 census as it is on a plot called Clear Gain Stripe in the 1819 sale document. In 1851 it was occupied by Miles Ansted a gamekeeper, his wife and eight children! This property was probably always the gamekeepers cottage and was described as such up until 1931 (sale catalog). The name Berwin was so named by the owners in 1946, Bertram and Winifred Pickett.

There are two other cottages listed in the 1841 census returns, occupied by agricultural labourers, James Harding and William Martin and their families. These were on the other side of Bonsey's Lane and formed part of Ford's or Dolley's Farm . The cottages are clearly identified on a map of the lands belonging to Francis Sewell Cole (undated, but probably 1840's) as Ford's Cottage (opposite Cleargain Cottage) and Twitchen Cottage. In the 1881 Census both were referred to as Ford's Cottages. They were still shown on the 1897 OS map (surveyed 1894/5) but had been demolished by 1912 (survey date of 1920 OS map).

The 1859 sale catalog refers to Buckland's Cottage where Ewell Slade Cottage had previously been. This may mean that the cottage had been rebuilt or maybe merely renamed. Up until the 1881 census there appear to be only these four cottages (Ewell Slade/Buckland's, Clear Gain, Ford's and Twitchen cottages) in Bonsey's Lane. Only Ewell Slade and Clear Gain remained at the time of the 1891 census. However, by the time of the OS map of 1896 (surveyed 1894/5) three more cottages had been built. These comprised a pair of cottages, now nos 2 & 3 (now called Oaktree Cottage and Fairoaks Cottage) and no. 4 (now Oakleigh). It would appear that Ewell Slade/Buckland's Cottage was replaced at this time by the present no.1 (now called Fairacre but previously called Dingley Dell and before that when occupied by Mr King, The Pines). These four "excellent modern cottages" were referred to as "Bucklands cottages" in the 1907 sale catalog for some reason and were probably built by Lawrence Baker for his agricultural labourers in the mid 1880's.

Albert Smith, a gardener at Ottershaw Park for over 70 years, lived at No. 1 or "top house" as it was then called for many years until 1931 when he moved to one of the other houses to make way for the head gardener, Harry King.

William Atkins, head ploughman for Lawrence Baker, Freidrich Eckstein and Miss Schintz, lived at first in one of the cottages in Brox Road but later moved to No. 4 Bonsey's Lane. His son (also William) recalls that he won many ploughing competitions.The horses in the 1920's were called Punch and Turpin and stabled at Bonsey's Farm, then part of the Ottershaw Estate.

In 1950 No. 5, Berwin Park, was described as a "bungalow ... constructed of brick and tile... with two bedrooms and bathroom." The bathroom was evidently an addition to the original building. It has an unusual triangular chimney. The original water well is still in use.The original porch is now missing and the building has been much altered and is now used as a workshop. The cottage apparently once featured in an episode of TV series "The Sweeney".

The table below shows the occupants of the cottages in Bonsey's Lane from 1819 to the present day.

Occupiers of Bonsey's Lane cottages:


Ewell Slade cottage/Buckland's cottage/The Pines/Dingley Dell/FairAcre

No. 2
Oaktree Cottage

No. 3
Fairoaks Cottages


Cleargain cottage/The Nursery/Berwin Park

1819 (Sale catalog)
Nos 2 - 4 built mid 1880's?
1841 (census)
John How
John Burrows
1851 (census)
?Alexander Cannon
Miles Ansted
1871 (census)
William Manley
George Baker
1881 (census)
1885-1891 (er)
George Oakford
Thomas Low
Joseph Rayson
1891 (census)
Henry Blackbone or Blackbow
(not in census)
Thomas Low at "Garlands"
William Tyler in Chobham
1891-1905 (er)
George Oakford
Thomas Low
1900 (er)
Charles John Dunning
William Tyler
1901 (census)*
William Russell
1906-1910 (er)
Joseph Pullinger
1911 (er)
1912-15 (er)
1921 (er)
Albert Smith

Frank Edward Thomas Newman, Henry Boakes Plumridge, William Petter & William Stockley
NB.Alfred Dyer in No. 2 according to his son

William Atkins
Robert Bettridge
1922 (er)
John Herbert Pickett, Frank Edward Thomas Newman & William Petter
1923 (er)
1924 (er)

John Herbert Pickett, Frank Edward Thomas Newman, Frederick Reynolds, Stanley Morton
plus Herbert Alfred Wheeler (Dairyman) in 1927

1925-27 (er)
1929 (er)
John Herbert Pickett, Frederick Stoner & Stanley Morton
1930 (er)
Albert Smith
John Herbert Pickett & Frederick Stoner
Charles Reed
1930 (sale catalog)
H Smith (typo?)
Mr Byde
1931 (er)
Albert Smith
George Alfred Bye
Charles Reed (or 3)
1931 (sale catalog)
Mr Bide
1932 (er)

Albert Smith (or no. 4)

Arthur Oliver Marshall in one of these houses
John Brimfield
1933 (er)
Henry Willis
Arthur Sizmur
Frederick Wallace, Mark Coote, John William Taylor
Albert Harry Smith
1934 (er)
Walter Johnson (or No.5)
1934 (sale catalog)
Mr Wallace
1935 (er)
Mary Anne Wallace, John William Taylor, Mark Coote
1936 (er)
Harold David MacNess
William Ward
1937 (er)

William Robert James Cross

1938 (er)
James Sheffield
William Ward
1939 (er)
Harry King
Arthur Marshall
1946 (er)
James M Anderson
Frank Neighbour
Frederick Marsh
Bertram F Pickett
1947-48 (er)
Joseph L P McCann
1949-50 (er)
Albert Smith

Clifford Wood
(owner - John
Barrington Stiles)

c.1950 (sale document)
Mr E Crew
1951 (Land registry)
John Beach
2004 (Land registry)
Irene Zajac???
Graham Smith
John & Diane Beach

(* Joseph Rayson and Henry T Blackbow in Bonseys in 1901 census)