The North (Chertsey) Lodges

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The North Lodges in 1859
The North Lodges in 1966



Two grecian style lodges with Doric porticoes were built by Edmund Boehm to the design of the eminent architect James Wyatt in about 1805 at the entrance to the estate from where a coach road ran to the Mansion. These replaced the two earlier Inner Lodges (q.v.) when Boehm acquired additional land under the 1800 Enclosure Act on the North and Northeast side of the estate between 1801 and 1804. The Enclosure Award map dated 1802 shows that these lodges had not been built at that date but they do appear on the 1806/7 Ordnance Surveyors' Drawings. The sale catalog of 1819 describes an "entrance to the park by iron gates" and the schedule describes the "New plantation, lodges and road". Curiously, the lodges are not marked on the accompanying plan but there are recesses in the boundary lines exactly where the lodges stand. However, the lodges do appear on what is thought to be the original drawing of the catalog map. John Hassell painted these lodges in 1824 although the perspective of his illustration is rather distorted and the lodges appear much further apart than they really are. The tithe map of 1844 also shows the lodges, as does the sale catalog map of 1859 and subsequent maps.

William Keane's description of Ottershaw Park in 1849 mentions "...the beautiful park gates of wrought iron ..... adorned on each side with handsome lodges embellished with figures in bas-relief.... ". These figures are of reclining ladies and putti (winged cherubs) in classical style displayed on plaques of "Coade stone", a type of artificial stone manufactured by Eleanor Coade and used by James Wyatt to adorn many of his buildings. As noted by Alison Kelly in her book Mrs Coade's Stone, these figures "now shock the viewer" having been inappropriately painted.

The lodges were subsequently enlarged by Eckstein in about 1910 and again in the 1960's and survive in fine condition today. A pair of now somewhat worse-for-wear wrought-iron gates also erected by Eckstein to replace the originals, bear his monogram. Lair and Pevsner's Surrey (1962) describes them as 18th and 20th century "ornamented iron gates... flanked by probably older railings and pedestrian gates, lower in height" suggesting that some of the wrought ironwork may be original.

Census records show that in 1871 and 1881 Thomas Lowe (cowman) and his family lived in one of the lodges and were succeeded in 1891 by George Lankshere (stableman) and family and in 1901 by Alice Jamieson, a District Nurse. The other lodge was occupied in 1871 by Alexander Cannon (agricultural labourer), his wife and a herdsman, by the name of John Martyn. In 1881, 1891 and 1901, George Lankshere's father-in-law, George Abrahams (farm labourer) and family occupied the other lodge.

In the 1920's John Ernest Savage the Butler lived in one of the lodges. The westernmost of the two lodges (now The Gate House) was occupied in 1931 by a Mr A Dyer, a gardener, the other by Mr J Dawes, the estate carpenter and his wife, the cook. After the sale of 1931 they had to move and Mr Dawes built The Laurels in Bousley Rise. Frederick Pluck appears to have purchased both lodges and surrounding large plots of land in 1931. In the 1934 sale document the East Lodge (now Chertsey Lodge) was let to Mr. Lucas, West Lodge to Mr. Robins. From 1936 until the 1950's Alpheus Curly Travers and his family of seven children lived in Chertsey Lodge. I am grateful to James Lucock, son in law of Mr Travers, for the following detailed history of the Lodges.

"Mr Travers was Foreman for the builder H Pickrill who came to Ottershaw in 1936 to build in the Park. Building ceased at the start of the war, but Mr Travers continued to live in the Lodge paying rent to the Ottershaw Park Investment Company (O.P.I.C.) and working as a General Builder/Painter and Decorator. In 1960 I married Mr Travers' youngest daughter and at the same time Mr Poulter was buying both Chertsey Lodge and the Gate House along with the adjoining gates. The Gate House was renovated by Mr Poulter using Mr Travers as the builder and adding a kitchen and bathroom extension. Upon completion it was sold to a Mr & Mrs Bolam who stayed until the 70's when they sold to a Mr & Mrs R Culver. I believe they in turn sold it in the 80's to the present owner.

In the early 1960's when Mrs Travers died, my wife and I moved into Chertsey Lodge with Mr Travers after agreeing with Mr Poulter that we could purchase the lodge at a later date after modifications to the Gate House had been carried out. When we bought the lodge in the mid 1960's Mr Poulter retained ownership of the gates as he claimed that it was the gates that had first attracted him to the properties. On his death Mrs Poulter approached us and said that she did not want to retain ownership of the gates and would we buy them for a nominal sum. This was done and the complete gates up to and adjoining the Gate House became the property of the owner of Chertsey Lodge. We sold the lodge in 1983 to a Mr & Mrs P Merchant from Weybridge and they in turn sold on."

The lodges, the gates and railings are now Grade II listed.

Occupiers of North Lodges:

[NB: not always clear who lived in which lodge]

The Gate House
Chertsey Lodge
1841 (census)
William Collyer (servant)
occupied both lodges?
1871 (census)
Alexander Cannon (labourer)
Thomas Lowe (cowman)
Both = "Lodges"  
1881 (census)
George Abrahams (labourer)
Gate House = "The Lodge" 1885
1890-95 (er)
1891 (census)
George Henry Lankshere (stableman)

Both lodges = "Front Lodge" 1890
Both lodges = "Entrance Lodge" 1891 census

1900 (er)
George Oakford (carter)
First mention of "Chertsey Lodge"
1901 (census)
Alice Jamieson (nurse)
Both called "Lodges" 
1906-09 (er)
James Collyer
1910 (er)
1915-18 (er)
Henry George Sleet
1919-20 (er)
Joseph Ernest Savage (butler)
"Front Lodge"/"The Lodge"
1921-27 (er)
1928-30 (er)
James Dawes (carpenter)
1930 (sale catalog)
Mr Dyer (gardener)
1931 (sale catalog)
Frederick Pluck
1934 (sale catalog)
Mr Robins
Harry John D Lucas
1935 (er)
James Alfred Scofield
"2 Chertsey Lodge"/"1 Chertsey Lodge"
1936, 37
Alpheus Curley Travers

Owner: OPIC. AC Travers was foreman to H Pickrill

1938, 39
Frederick James Clarke
Bertram George Poulter
Poulter purchased both gates but subsequently sold to Lucock and passed to Merchant
1960's - 1973 at least
Mr J & MrsC B Bolam
James Lucock
Mr & Mrs Culver
Mr & Mrs P Merchant
Bridget Carratu
1997 - 2008
Mr & Mrs Rickwood