The Bothy

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The Bothy in the 1920's
The Bothy in 2004



The first evidence of buildings at The Bothy is seen on Lindley & Crossley's 1789 map of Surrey where it is possible to make out a cluster of buildings to the northwest of the Mansion. These may have been erected at the time of the foundation of the estate in the 1760's. The earliest detailed map of Ottershaw Park, the Enclosure Award map dated 1802, shows that there were buildings on the site of the present Bothy. The Ordnance Surveyors' Drawings of 1806/7 also shows a number of buildings with a similar layout but more clearly shows a group of buildings around a courtyard and another group of buildings to the southeast.

The sale catalog for 1819 describes a Coach Yard "at a convenient distance from the house and properly secluded". The catalog description records "four coach houses, loose stable, an eight stall stable, a five and a three stall stable, corn and hay lofts and three rooms over, a blacksmith's shop, bottle house, brew house, completely fitted up, wash house and laundry". From this description some of the stabling and coach houses must have been located in the building to the south-east. The catalog also describes an "adjoining building containing four rooms, coal house, drying ground and bailiffs house". The last mentioned could be a description of the present no.15.

The courtyard buildings are clearly shown on the 1844 tithe map of Chertsey but by this time the buildings to the south-east had disappeared.

The 1859 sale catalog described The Bothy as "The Stable Yard... paved with stone" and also contained a map of the estate and number of detailed ground floor plans of the estate buildings including one of The Bothy. The map shows a similar layout for the Bothy to a number of earlier ones and may very well be based on one of them. However, the ground plan shows for the first time the exact layout of the buildings and, moreover, their use. The present no. 15 was clearly the principal coach house with harness room and loose box. Between the present nos. 15 and 16 was a manure pit. The present no. 16 and part of 17 was a stable block. Ventillation grills high up in the rear wall of these houses can still be seen. The present no 17 was a tun room for storing beer barrels and a tool house. On the site of the present nos.18 and 19 was a brewery, wash house, a second coach house, a gun room and coal house. Above these rooms were corn and hay lofts and other laundry facilities and possibly also rooms for coachmen, grooms and stablemen. According to the sale catalog the brewery was built by Richard Crawshay while he was owner of the estate (i.e. between 1841 and 1859). Other parts of The Bothy may well have been partly rebuilt during this period but it is not known the extent or date of any such changes. The buildings to the southeast have by this time probably been demolished as the amount of stabling compared to the 1819 account is much reduced.

The first national population census in 1841 contains no specific mention of anyone living at The Bothy and Ryde's map of Chertsey, 1865 which distinguishes between dwellings and other buildings, indicates that the Bothy was not inhabited at this time.

From the censuses of 1881 and 1891 is it clear that The Bothy was used in part as a dwelling for staff on the estate. James Rappel (a coachman) and his family probably lived at No.15 in 1881. By the time of the 1891 census, the coachman was Edward Pape. Grooms and stablemen probably lived in upstairs rooms in The Bothy. The 1901 Census records that The Bothy was occupied by four journeyman gardeners, Joseph Smith, Arthur Thatcher, Thomas Marshal and Ernest ?Gibbin while Henry Cox, a domestic groom lived in the Stables.

There is a report in the Surrey Herald for June 1892 of a fire at Ottershaw Park when the entire roof of the stables was destroyed. This probably accounts for the relatively new roof timbers in the present nos. 16 and 17 and the different roof tiles.

From the description and map in the 1907 sale catalog the "Capital Stabling" at The Bothy appears to have had a similar layout as in 1859 but by now the Brewery had ceased to function and Laundry had been moved to The Gothic Chapel. This gave more space for accomodation and seven separate men's upstairs rooms are mentioned. Specifically mentioned in 1907 is a "Gardener's Bothy with four bedrooms over stables". Also singled out for individual description was a "Coachmans House" in the Bothy; this is probably the present no.15. A sign of the times is seen in the description of a timber built and corrugated iron roofed "motor house and workshop" for three cars nearby. The exact location of this building is not known but it may refer to the south side of the Bothy.

Accompanying the rebuilding of the Mansion in 1910 it is likely that many changes were made to the buildings in the Bothy. The 1914 OS map (surveyed in 1912) clearly shows that the ground plan for The Bothy had changed since 1907. The present Nos.15 and 16 seem to be the same but the area between them had changed in shape and the southern side of the courtyard (the present nos. 17, 18 and 19) appears to take on its present form. A glass canopy (removed in 1981) had by this time been erected in front of the garages.

A valuation survey report on the estate in 1923 describes the Bothy as "brick and tile roofed... with 7 bedrooms, bathroom, 2 living rooms, kitchen, scullery..". There was also standing for 3 horses and, reflecting the increased popularity of motor vehicle transport, a garage for 8 cars. At this time the present No. 15 was occupied by the Chaffeur. The same survey provides the first mention of the clock tower on the roof of the present nos. 18 and 19. The clock no longer works and the bell and some parts of the cupola structure have been removed. This structure has been attributed to the architects Niven & Wigglesworth (letter from Dept.of National Heritage, 1992) who designed the new Mansion which was constructed between 1910 and 1912. It is likely that parts of The Bothy, principally nos. 18 and 19 were remodelled and re-roofed at this date.

The 1930 and 1931 sale catalogs describe The Bothy as "The Stabling and Garage Premises" and there is a photograph of Miss Schintz's fleet of limousines parked in what are now nos. 18 and 19. Part of No. 16 is also shown in use as a garage. Shutters for this garages survived until recent years and an example remains entombed in the wall space of no. 16 to this day. It is recorded that Miss Schintz owned amongst others a Phantom Rolls-Royce (registration YP 4286), a Cabriolet Rolls-Royce (registration LE 4107) and a Lanchester saloon (registration PD 6682). The sale catalogs describe several other stores and there is special mention of men's lavatories. There were still rooms above the garages and stables and various other washrooms, kitchens, etc. Also mentioned is an underground petrol store in the bank behind The Bothy which is still there. In keeping with increased emphasis on motor transport the "Coachman's House" (the present no. 15) is described as the Chauffeur's cottage!

While the estate was owned by Ottershaw College (1932 - 1939) the Bothy was used as science laboratories and classrooms.

During WWII The Bothy was once again used for garaging vehicles including vans, small cars and a bus belonging to The Vacuum Oil Company who had their headquarters in The Mansion. Other parts of the Bothy were used as research laboratories.

From 1948 to 1981 Ottershaw Park became Ottershaw School. The 1981 sale catalog describes "The Bothey (sic!) complex" as classrooms with workshops and handicraft facilities for the boys and two staff residences. The Old Coach house (the present no. 15) was occupied by the late Handl Goddard, a maths and science master and his family, and another teacher lived over the workshops (Mr Oeken in 1971) under the supervision of Arthur Oettinger (who lived in Lynwood) in the present numbers 18 and 19. History, Latin, Religion and English were also taught in classrooms here. The present 16 and 17 housed the Art room (with art master Harry Burrow) and Pottery.

The gates which once stood at the Chobham Road entrance to The Bothy were reported in the Ottershaw School magazine to have been removed by Surrey County Council during 1958 and re-erected at the back of Kingston Technical College. However, the gates presently seem to be identical to those seen in photographs taken in the early 1940's, albeit with the component parts re-arranged into a different configuration. Quite what happened to the gates is therefore uncertain.

In 1981 The Bothy, along with the rest of the estate which had been occupied by the school, was redeveloped as private dwellings now numbered 15 - 19. The glass canopy was removed at this time but evidence of its existence can still be seen from iron beams in the walls of no. 16 and the opposing wall and the supporting pillars were recently discovered on land belonging to number 27.

Occupants Occupation Comments
1881 Census James Rappel Coachman No.15?
1887 Electoral register Edwin James Chipping, Joseph Collyer   Rooms over stables
1890 Edward Page   Rooms over stables
1891 Census Edward Page Coachman No.15?
Electoral register Charles Water, Frank Brown, Harry Sheppard, John Grayson Stablemen and grooms  
1895 William Pantling, William Tamplin   The Bothy (?15)
Henry Sheppard, Frank Baker   Rooms over stables
1900 Alfred Barton, Matthew Blalock   Stables
Charles Edwin Bates, Frank Nicho(a)ls, JohnSlaughter   Rooms over stables
Frederick Pearce, Arthur Thatcher   The Bothy (?15)
1901 Joseph Smith, Arthur Thatcher, Thomas Marshal and Ernest ?Gibbin Journeyman gardeners  
Census Henry Cox Stableman Stables
1906  Electoral register Alfred Barton, Ernest Nesling, Albert Tilling   Stables 
Charles Edwin Bates, Frank Nicholas   Rooms over stables 
Frederick Pearce, William Burchell   The Bothy (?15)
1907-08 Alfred Barton, Ernest Nesling, Albert Tilling   Stables 
Charles Edwin Bates    Rooms over stables
Frederick Pearce (1907), George everhard Frankham, Frederick Kemp, Thomas Wakeman   The Bothy (?15)
1909 Ernest Nesling, Albert Tilling   Stables 
Charles Edwin Bates    Rooms over stables 
George Everhard Frankham, Frederick Kemp, Thomas Wakeman, Joseph Fitch, George Foss   The Bothy
1910 Charles Edwin Bates    The Stables
1914 Henry Edward Fisher, Herbert James Taylor, William John Davis, Henry Wrist   Garage Cottages
1915 Henry Edward Fisher, Herbert James Taylor, Henry Wrist   Garage Cottages
1919 Henry Wrist   The Garage
1920 Edward Fisher, Edward Richard Weston, Jane Elizabeth Weston   The Garage
Edward Betts, Sidney Chennel, John Cortrell, George Hobbs   The Bothy
1921 Frederick Bonner, William Cash, Elsie K Cash, Charles E Chapman   The Stables
1922-23 Ernest Stanley Hayes, ElizabethHayes   The Bothy
Frederick Bonner, William Cash, Elsie K Cash, Charles E Chapman   The Stables
1924 Frederick Bonner, William Cash, Elsie K Cash   The Stables
1925 Harry King, Agnes King, John Walter Reynolds, Florence Reynolds, Walter Woodford   The Bothy
Frederick Bonner, William Cash, Elsie K Cash   The Stables
1926-27 Harry King, Agnes King, John Walter Reynolds, Florence Reynolds, Alexander McDonald   The Bothy

William Arthur Cash
Robert Charles Fry


The Garage
William Cash, Edith L Cash   The Stables
1928 Harry King, Agnes King, John Walter Reynolds, Florence Reynolds, Alexander McDonald   The Bothy
William Cash, Edith L Cash,William Arthur Cash   The Stables
1929 - 30 Harry King, Agnes King   The Bothy
William Cash, Edith L Cash,William Arthur Cash   The Stables
1931 Arthur George Lawrence, Alice Lawrence   Garage Cottage
William Cash, Edith L Cash,William Arthur Cash   The Stables
1934 Electoral register Harry & Agnes King   Garden Cottage No.1
The Ayres   Garden Cottage No.2
between. 1948-81 Ottershaw School records Mr Oecken (upstairs No.16/17), Handl Goddard (No.15) School teachers Ottershaw School
1981-2004   5 dwellings in private ownership   Ottershaw Park