Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Springfield Manor, Puttenham

Copyright Ray George 2007

"While travelling along the Hog’s Back towards Farnham, just past the exit to Puttenham, you will see a sign announcing "Springfield Manor Nursing Home". This property enjoys a splendid view of Puttenham below and across the North Downs. It must have been built for some wealthy person in the days before the Town and Country Planning Act, which would have prevented such a development. Less than a hundred years ago, there was only a field. This field was one of the pieces of land acquired by Thomas Parker who bought the manors of Puttenham Priory and Puttenham Bury in 1761. It was then called Great Bury Down. At the time of the production of the Tithe Map, when it is called Great Bevil Down, it was owned by the major landowner of Puttenham, Richard Sumner who however was not the owner of the manors. The field, which was arable and had an area of about 9 ½ acres, was rented to William and James Avenell. After the Sumner family, the land was acquired by Frederic Ferdinand Smallpiece, a Guildford solicitor. In 1923 he sold it to James Hodgson.

James Hodgson presumably purchased the land with a view to its development, for on 6th September 1929 there appeared in The Times, the following advertisement including a photograph of the building :"Hog’s Back. Magnificent Position, Brightlands, Puttenham, Nearly 600 feet above sea level, facing south. Entrance Hall, panelled lounge dining and drawing rooms, six bed and dressing rooms, two bath rooms, labour saving offices. Electric lighting. Company’s water. Modern drainage. Excellent cottage. Garage for three cars. Stabling. Garden and grounds. With ample scope for attractive treatment, having warm Southern slope and including fine kitchen garden of over an Acre. Small orchard. Herbaceous border and beds, and grassland. All in about 9½ Acres. For sale privately or by auction on September 17th next, at London Auction Mart, EC4." As no mention is made of the open-air swimming pool, this must be a later addition. From the Court Circular of The Times on 23rd December 1930, we learn that "Mr and Mrs F.W.-Hutton-Stott have left 52 Queen’s Gate Terrace SW for Martin Place, Puttenham, near Guildford (telephone Puttenham 59) which will be their permanent home for some time." The new name "Martin Place" is probably derived from that of the world famous street in Sydney, New South Wales. The Wilson-Hutton-Stotts conducted their social life using the Court Circular of The Times. On 7th January 1938, there appeared the announcement, "Mrs F.W.Hutton-Stott, Martin Place, Puttenham very much regrets having to postpone her party for Jan 8, on account of sudden illness." By 1945 they had moved away and the estate was sold to Blanche Eames in 1947. During the mid 1980s the property underwent its second change of name to Springfield Manor and by 1990 it had become Springfield Manor Nursing Home.

When Brightlands was built, the good communication link afforded by the main road along the Hog's Back between Farnham and Guildford must have been a selling point. The build-up of traffic over the years has turned this into a nightmare. After the dual carriageway was constructed in about 1970, only an exit towards Farnham was possible. To alleviate the problem, a new driveway was constructed at this time to join Martin Place with School Lane which leads into Puttenham Village.

The cottage mentioned in the for-sale advertisement may have been provided for the chauffeur. A Times advertisement on 6th April 1932 seeks "Chauffeur-Mechanic, experienced, also electrical plant. Full particulars, letters only, no original testimonials. Wilson Hutton, Martin Place, Puttenham, Surrey." Blanche Eames divided the cottage in two and sold the eastern half, now known as Martin’s Wick in 1966. The western half, now called West Lodge, was sold in 1973 by the next owner of Martin Place, Michael Pendleton. He built another residence between West Lodge and Martin Place, which he called Jefferson House and sold it in 1975.

Since the house has become a nursing home, a single-story extension has been built for additional residents' bedrooms and a new lounge bows out on the south elevation."

Article written & provided to the Puttenham One Place Study by Ray George
28 May 2007

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