Spring talk 2019: Gleanings

Saturday 23rd February 2019

Gleanings from the Estate Records, and the stories they tell

by Madeline Hutchins
The west of Chaldon parish (Tollsworth and Chaldon Court farms) has been owned by the Jolliffe family / Lord Hylton since 1788, and for a long period of time they owned much more of the parish, including Rook Farm and Chaldon Common.

Madeline looked first at what can be learnt from the Sales Particulars of 1788, and the Estate map (from 1768) attached to them. Then using material from the accounts books of the Hylton / Merstham Estates held in the Somerset Archives, Madeline explored details from the records that told stories of housing, sanitation, farming and woodland management in Chaldon in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

In 1877 the Estate earned a considerable amount of money from the sale of bark. The accounts include:

Samuel Barrow & Bro. for bark

350 bags of bark £140 3s 10d

194 ditto £83 6s 4d

The bark was used in the process of tanning leather. Samuel Barrow & Brother ran tanneries in London and Horsham.


The accounts for 1901 showed the architect’s fee and the amount paid to R Whitaker to build the new cottage for the gamekeeper at Chaldon (now Keepers Cottage on Doctors Lane).


In 1902, the Merstham Estate accounts show £5 income from Mrs Ellen Harris for Furzebank. Ann Lardeur, who lives in Furzebank, 22 The Heath, off Chaldon Common Road, kindly showed Madeline the collection of deeds and documents she has on the house. From these it became clear that the Merstham Estate made a 99 year lease with Mrs Ellen Harris, wife of a builder, for the land, with a rental of £5 in the first year, then £9 a year. Mr Harris built the house Furzebank and later built three more on the plot of land.


33 people attended the talk which generated a string of questions at the end.