The History of the main House


The Park Hatch estate can be found in the hamlet of Loxhill, Surrey which lies in between the villages of Hascombe and Dunsfold. The former mansion house that is described below, sadly no longer exists, but much of the infrastructure and magnificent walls that surrounded the gardens still do. As the new custodians of the site on which the mansion stood, we are embarking on a life time project to restore as much as we can of the gardens and grounds which include 917 trees, and plan to build a country house that reflects in part, the Palladian style (but definitely not the size !), of the original house.

The 1700’s

Little is known about Park Hatch during this period, although the etching below shows the North face of a large three-storey house built in 1763 with the Coach House in the foreground.

The 1800’s

On June 29th 1814, the estate was put up for sale by auction. The auctioneers, Messrs Peacock and Son, described it as a “commodious mansion with detached offices, walled in gardens, pleasure grounds, orchards, fish ponds, coach house, kennels and stabling.” They went on to say that the estate was of particular merit for “…. a gentleman fond of field sports, for the present proprietor having spared no expense in preserving the Game, has rendered it in that respect almost without its rival.”

The then mansion consisted of four cellars (one of which we have uncovered and remains dry today), a hall, dining room, drawing room, and breakfast parlour on the ground floor; five first floor bedrooms, and five servants rooms on the second floor.  The kitchen/brew house/wash house/larder was in a detached building.

301 acres of farmland and several “labourers tenements” were included in the sale.  The land was 165 acres of lowlands and 136 of Upfolds.

The mortgage at the time was described as six or eight thousand pounds which seems a little imprecise!

Joseph Godman was the successful bidder.

Joseph was born in 1791 and his family were based in Chichester.  Their early fortune was based around a brewing business in Winchester.  This initial success was the foundation for the real money making venture – a brewing partnership between Messrs Godman, Martineau and Whitbread.  Apparently they drew lots to give the new business one name and it thus became known as Whitbreads – a name that continues today.

Enriched by the success of this new venture, Joseph Godman decided to acquire a country estate, which brought him to Park Hatch.  He died before the project was complete and his eldest son, also called Joseph took over.

It appears that the existing property was retained but massively extended on two sides.  The architect was Henry Woodyer, who employed Thomas Cubitt to build the house – and it was he that produced the watercolour below, to show how the proposed building would look.  The painting is dated 1850.  Cubbitt is best known for building Osborne House for Queen Victoria.

The final building had a grander front portico, as shown below, with four palladian style pillars rather than the two originally designed.  There is also a record of the toll road running to the south of the mansion being diverted in 1833, as Joseph felt it ran too close to the house.   This explains the present shape of the current Dunsfold Road, consisting of two long straights, with a sharp 90 degree bend at the south west corner of the property.

By 1863, Joseph was in occupation but he died in 1873, so had little time to enjoy his new home.  The conveyance shows the estate being passed to his sons, with the main house being inherited by…..Joseph (the third!)  He died in 1896.


The 1900’s

Joseph the Fourth took over and lived at Park Hatch until 1935.  He was succeeded by Joseph the Fifth who vacated the property at the start of the second world war.

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We have been in contact with Margaret Tasker, whose Father was the chauffeur at the house during this period.  These are her reminisces :-

“My father was with the Godman family and was their chaffeur for many years. He was born in 1881, and was in the first world war.  I do know if he was with them before the war,maybe after he came back from this war.  He lived in a house in Burgate Lane with his first wife and daughter. This is on the way up to Burgate house.
My mother was in service at park hatch, when she was 13-14yrs old, she came from Co.Durham. I am not aware of the details, you know how these family details were kept secret!!!  My mother and father obviously knew each other then, 1925 or there about.  My father’s first wife died at 47yrs old, and somehow my mother and him kept in touch, as she returned to the North to become a nurse.  He would drive up to the estate in Inverness which the Godmans owned, and would meet in Newcastle.  Or so the story goes?!!  
Anyway they did marry in 1937 in Guildford and lived in a flat over the garage, which I believe was the stables before.  I was born there, and now I believe it is the coach house.  I did go in there many years ago on one of my trips back.
 He stayed with the Godmans until the 2nd world war, then it was taken over I think by the air-force, but anyway they never lived in it again.  We moved down to one of the houses in New Road, and that was where we remained until his death in 1948. Years later we moved to Binhams Meadow in Dunsfold.
 My childhood memories are of always going into the Park, and over into the garden of Park hatch and picking primroses in the huge garden. The corner cottage at the crossroads to Cranleigh and Dunsfold, lived the head gardener Mr Markwell, so I was always allowed to collect the flowers. 
When I was a baby my mother had a bad car accident in New Road, and the people who lived in the Lodge towards Loxhill, each side was a separate house, their name was Hampshire.  Well they looked after me for quite a long time, as my father was working. 
 I clearly remember the large pond, and the kitchen garden, which had greenhouses attached to one of the long walls to the big house. I would often go up with Mr.Markwell to help water this.  
 I suppose I thought it all belonged to us as it was on the doorstep, and a wonderful playground.
The photos I have of the house, I have the originals, but are framed on the wall of our house.  Also many black and white photos of my father with the car he drove, some in the snow, which was higher than the car.
 I always think these stories are worth recording for history,and my childhood is very clear to me. 
 The couple who lived in the coach house some years ago, and I cannot remember their name,her name was Geraldine, were doing some research on the house, and did have lots of photos, and I let her have copies of a couple of mine. I know she now lives in Bosham, and with my friends from Dunsfold maybe able to locate her?
Regards Margaret Gregory Tasker.1945 to 1957″

During the war, the property was occupied by Canadian troops – the 22 Armoured Brigade – who built Dunsfold Aerodrome (which is now the location for the Top Gear track and studio) located a couple of miles south of Park Hatch.  There are still signs of their occupation on the site.  Rows of concrete bases for barracks exist on the western edge of the land ………

and the officers latrines block remains (but only just)

At the East Lodge entrance, a tank maintenance facility was established, where the present owner of East Lodge, who was a boy at the time, recalls tanks being craned into the building through an open roof.  The concrete base of this building remains in a small copse and is said to be many metres thick.

RSM Lockwood MBE recalls the building of Dunsfold Aerodrome at

He describes arriving to find…”acres of beautiful crop and pasture land, broken at intervals by groves of staunch blue and red oak trees.  It was one of the grandest pastoral scenes in the whole of England.”

We know little of what went on during this time and the once regular visits to the estate by ex servicemen who were billeted at Park Hatch appear to have ceased. We continue to search for more information.

What is clear is that the Godmans had no desire to return and maybe, due to the effects of post war austerity and the ridiculous death duties, they lacked the funds necessary to restore the house. The Surrey Fire Service used the property in the post war period.

In 1951, the entire estate was put up for auction.  We believe the whole lot was acquired together.  The purchaser was the Fourth Duke of Westminster.

Some time after this, the entire mansion house was demolished.  Of the original four cellars (from the house built in 1763), three were caved in and filled with spoil and the fourth was bricked up.  The front steps and some of the walls are all that remain of the original house.

The orangery was demolished but the heated floor and the undercrofts remain.


Following the death of the Duke of Westminster, the southern part of the estate was put back up for auction with John D Wood on 9 September 1958.  The remaining part of the original estate – 1313 acres, four farms, and eleven houses – was sold later by the Duke of Westminster’s estate on 20 July 1972.

Lot 29 is described as “A most attractive site for the erection of a private dwellinghouse,  (subject to planning permission) formerly the site of Park Hatch Mansion.”  The lot included the stable block and walled garden plus 32 acres of pasture.  The rateable value was £1.  The catalogue included two photographs of the westerly and easterly views as below.

It would appear that Lot 29 was purchased by a property developer, who divided the estate into the three parts that exist to this day – Park Hatch, The Coach House, and the walled garden of Round House.

He chose to build a small chalet bungalow where once had stood the mansion, with an integral garage, kitchen and living room.  This was bought by  Mr & Mrs Corson, who extended the property in 1964, adding a second kitchen and dining room and converting the garage into a downstairs bedroom.


They also adapted the gardeners lean-to into the present Garden Cottage, as a home for Mrs Corson’s mother.

Here is Mrs Corson stood at the front entrance

In the 1994, Jan Pieter Veerman and his family moved in.  JPV came back to see what we were up to in 2014.  Here he is at the site.


JPV sent me the following from his Xmas letter in 2010:-

In England, I visited old friends on the Park Hatch estate. The house, deserted, overgrown and dishevelled, still not re-developed (4½ years on!) When it is (the plans are palatial bordering on the megalomaniac), the most likely new owner, I was given to understand, will be a filthy-rich Russian mafioso; in which case, the shutters will go down, the electric fences up, and the Khalashnikovs cocked. My all-time favourite dog Bas, who taught Erik to walk, laid buried in the grounds. Visiting requests likely to be met with a curt ‘Njet,’ a hail of bullets, or the jaws of a hungry Rottweiler. I dug Bas’s remains up, transported them, plus the heavy granite gravestone, to Isabel’s garden and re-enterred him there. Never done so weird an undertaking. At the first sight of animal remains, buried deeper than I’d thought (‘though vividly remembering the hard work at the time), I started talking to him, almost unvoluntarily. But his ghost cannot have been there: the ‘obolon,’ the small coin I’d pressed under his tongue when burying him, was untraceable – whilst all the other ‘imperishables’ were there. So he must have paid the mythical Ferryman to be transported to the Elysian Fields, and deservedly so. 

In 2005, the site was acquired by a property developer who tried to get permission to build an enormous 25000 sq ft Footballers house on the site.  This was eventually turned down on appeal.

Thus it was that on 5 January 2012, we became the new owners.


In August 2013 – we were visited by Mrs Joe Godman and her son Dominic, plus Caroline Hyman nee Godman.

Joe and Caroline are the siblings of the last Godman – their father Joseph – to own Park Hatch.

Attached is a photo of them on the original front door steps, plus some other great photos that I copied from Caroline’s home photo album.

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68 thoughts on “The History of the main House”

  1. Hi Guys ….. what a treat to look at your website ! Park hatch was where I grew up. I always thought it was the prettiest place in England with acres of garden and woodland to roam and dream of adventure !
    I left home in the mid nineties when the garden was a picture … mum and dad spent most of thier spare time keeping the place under control …. hacking back the brambles and laurel, cutiing the rides of grass, planting trees, doing the edges and endless weeding of borders. The rose garden in the walled enclosure of the new cottage that you are building was a gem, the fragrance on a summers evening was sometghing else.
    By the photos the place needs a lot of tlc …. goodluck !



  2. I have only JUST had a wet afternoon to go thro your amazing website/ Sad to see the surroundings so derelict. BUT what has happended to the lovely Linenfold pannelling in the Drawing room, it looks as if it is away from the Walls!!!! Much looking forward to seeing it again in November!

  3. Have left a message on the site hope that it went through. As my father was chauffer at Park Hatch for many years. Margaret Gregory Tasker his name was Arthur Gregory, know as Tom.

    1. Hello

      Thanks for making contact – unfortunately, the only message received was the above.

      I will send you an email and please please send me any details and photos you have of your Father.


    2. Hello Margaret, my name is Alan Markwell, my grand father whom you mention in your letter was Head Gardner from about 1928 until? I’m trying to piece together a family history and would be grateful for any reminiscences that you may have

      Many thanks

  4. I came across your information and found it most interesting. My great Grandfather was Joseph Godman. I remember my mother saying how glad she was her mother who had grown up there, would never know the house had been demolished. Sadly I now have no one in the family alive with information about the original house, just well documented family history.
    I wish you well in your exciting new venture.

    1. How fantastic to hear from you

      Last year, we heard from another grandchild (a Godman) who sent us some of the photos now on the site.

      We also know a lovely man – Anthony Weiler – who now lives in Hambledon, and who remembers Joe Godman.

      I think they were pals way back when!

      We would love to hear from you re family history and you are very welcome to come and visit

      What a tragedy that the house was demolished – its foundations and cellars are still here and causing us lots of problems in putting in the new house foundations. Its a problem we love – the old house making sure we dont forget it!!!


      Peter Thurston

    2. Fascinating to read your comments on Park Hatch.
      My father was Joseph Godman who sold Park Hatch in 1951.
      You say your great grandfather was Joseph Godman.
      I wonder which Joseph Godman he was. Perhaps he was my great grandfather too?!
      Would love to hear from you.
      Many thanks
      Caroline Hyman (nee Godman)

      1. Hello, I am also a Gt- Gt Granddaughter of a Joseph Godman. My Grandmother Hester Godman, married Lt Col John Colvin and their daughter Susan is my mother. Hester’s father was Charles Bulkeley Godman, the youngest of 13 children of Joseph of Park Hatch.
        My mother remembers Park Hatch from her childhood.
        Is The Earl’s grave still visible? He was the warhorse, taken to the Crimean War, and brought home by Temple Godman. I’d love to see the grave if still there.
        Best wishes
        Serena Merton

        1. Hi Serena

          The Earl’s grave is still here – see the page on our website entitled “The Park” for a photo of his grave stone

          You and your mother would be very welcome to come and visit

          Peter Thurston

          1. Hello and thank you for the reply (which I have only just found). Sadly my mother is blind (and nearly 93) so won’t be coming to see Park Hatch but my husband and I are coming to Dunsfold this Wednesday (11th) (to go to Top Gear filming on the aerodrome) and depending on traffic thought it would be nice to go to the graveyard and see relations there and maybe see The Earl’s grave if it is possible. We have to be at the aerodrome by 12 (and it’s several hours drive from here) so might not manage it in time. It would be lovely though. Best wishes Serena

      2. I have just spoken to my mother (86) and she remembers you and Joey. Her mother Flo Cosens was great friends with your mother and Dora Wakeford . She remembers Tom the gardener lived near the pub in the village and he picked her and her mother up from aldershot and took them back to Burgate House for lunch several times . She has fond memories of your kind family and was thrilled to read all about this .

      3. Hello Caroline,
        I have recently acquired a hip flask with the engraving ‘J. Godman. House Sports. Eton. 1919’. Having done some research I believe this to have belonged to a relation of yours perhaps your great grand father.
        I would like to return it to a family member for whom it may have some meaning.

        1. Hi Ashley, the Joseph Godman who was at Eton was my grandfather. How amazing that you have his hip flask. My email address is
          I live in Singapore, but perhaps we could meet next time I am in the UK nearer Christmas.
          Best wishes

      4. Caroline. I wonder how you are. You may remember that we met at children’s dances but then you went off to live in America, where you married. I married Liz Clay from Hascombe and we lived at Knightons at Dunsfold for many years where i was chair of the Parish council, and used to see your brother Jo from time to time. We now live at Lurgashall where I write a lot of local history for the parish newsletter and was thinking of doing a piece on Park Hatch. If you are ever in the UK, I would be pleased to meet.

  5. Reading the above brought back my childhood memories. My name is Graham Smith and I live in Adelaide, South Australia. I was born in 1950 at Markwick Farm. A year or so later we then moved to Handon Cottage (just up the road from Markwick) and remained there until 1959 when we emigrated to Australia. My father was Adrian Gordon Smith who was the Farm Manager for the Grosvenor Estates from 1950 until we left for Australia in 1959. The estate consisted of Park Hatch, Gorebridge Green, Markwick Farm and Burgate House – Dad managed the lot. I remember the Godmans or Major Godman as he was known. My sister Diana and Caroline were childhood friends. They used to live at The Raswell and I was born at Markwick Farm delivered by a wonderful mid-wife called Nurse Cains who lived in Raswell Cottage.
    Park Hatch from what I can remember was always a ruin but we used to have picnics there and collect fruit from the walled garden. The house Little Nore in the distance (NW) was bought by Dirk Bogarde which you can see from Park Hatch. It was very different in those days as it was a busy working farm with cattle, sheep and crops also a battery plus the pheasant shoot in front of Handon Cottage where we lived. When I returned in 1973, the farming activity had gone which was a shame.
    Those were wonderful times and I will always cherish the memories. Please contact if you want more information. I shall dig through Mum’s old photo albums and see if I can find any photo’s from that period.

    1. Thanks for getting in touch Graham

      Photos of the old house would be great

      I have brought your post to the attention of Caroline Hyman – nee Godman who will hopefully remember Diana

      Regards and stay in touch

      Peter Thurston

  6. Peter Turton, No not you Mr Thurston, Peter and Geraldine Turton was the name that Foxy was trying to remember. Foxy? that is Margaret Gregory’s nickname. Her great friend in Dunsfold (now Bramley) at the time she left for OZ one Iris Coote only ever refers to her as Foxy. Geraldine I believe still does live in Bosham (Peter died a few years ago) and is a great friend of Beryl West, Bricklayers House, Dunsfold. Beryl could possibly help.
    Regards, Cliff.D Eden Cottage, Dunsfold.

  7. Good morning

    If you can give me your email address the I will be able to talk directly to you.

    When you see the passport, you will no be disapointed

    Home tel. 01787 46163


  8. Have just come across your web site, as near neighbours at Hall Place, just off Stovolds Hill. We are in the process of researching the history of Hall Place House (we are in the old Farm) – the adjacent estate to Park Hatch dating from 1865 when a large house in the same Italianate style was built. It too was knocked down (late 1940s) leaving walled gardens, coach house and terracing but little else. The fountains on the B2130 and in Hascombe were donated by Edward Lee Rowcliffe, owner of Hall Place. We have found the 1865 brochure at the Surrey History Centre, but despite searching widely have no photos at all!! If in your researches, you find anything relevant we’d love to hear. (18/2/14)

    1. Hi Chris and Cilla

      Nice to know we are not the only ones interested in the history of our homes.

      We also went to the SHC and found auction catalogues but most of the photos have come from the family that once lived here

      This may be an option for you if you find the last owners names

      Good luck

      Peter Thurston

  9. My grandmother Kathleen Butcher (later Kathleen Chenery), of Perth WA, was the great-granddaughter of John Hunt Butcher, the J H Butcher who appears on the 1814 auctioneer’s document as the vendor. He emigrated to Tasmania in 1822 and died there in 1839. His son Edward later moved to WA. I am therefore J H Butcher’s great-great-great-grandson. Butcher’s property at Richmond Tasmania was called Lowlands, which I see is a name associated with Park-Hatch. Butcher was baptised at Cranleigh in 1781. Beyond that I know nothing about him. Do you know when he acquired the property, how long he lived there, or who owned it before him? I hope to be in the UK next year and would like to come and see the estate and the church in Cranleigh.
    Dr Adam Carr
    Melbourne Australia

    1. Hi Adam

      Thanks for getting in touch. I know little of J H Butcher – but its amazing to hear from a relative. It may be that his parents were local and are buried at Cranleigh, or indeed Dunsfold or Hascombe. You could do some research when you come over.
      The foundations of his house remain, but little else bar the sketch drawings of the house. The drawing says that the house was built in 1763 and the drawing is dated 1814. I guess this was used for the auction.

      Do come and see the place when you are over


      Peter Thurston

      1. Hi Peter, it’s nearly eight years since I posted the above comment, and since then for various reasons (work, COVID etc) I have not been able to come to the UK. However I now hope to do so in July. Are you still associated with Park Hatch? Would it be convenient for me to visit in July.
        Adam Carr

    2. My name is Sally Lynch , daughter of Reginald Charles Burchell-Butcher , I have a brother who is very interested in the family history , who lives in Tasmania (of course) and would love to contact you , as he is not on computer , you can if you wish correspond with me. His name is Terry Butcher , 884 Cloudy Bay Road. Cloudy Bay TAS 7150. Thank you , Sally

      1. Hi Sally, I’m sorry I didn’t see this comment when you made it in 2017. Are you still about? Is your brother still at that address?
        Adam Carr

  10. I descend from the brother of John Hunt Butcher’s father. JHB inherited land and money through several roots – the Hunt and Chandler families -those lines died out and the fortune passed to the next male in line. My own line was in Shere before heading to Bramley and Wonersh, but by the time my Grandfather was born the family was in Wanborough then into Guildford.

    The move to Tasmania I suspect was encouraged by the brother of JHB’s wife Sarah nee Burchell, whose brother was a famous botanist.

    Adam, do get in touch as I can certainly take the Butcher’s back a little and sideways! I suspect the family heads back to Rudgewick Sussex circa 1705, but I need another decade in the Records Office!

    1. Hi Julie, I’m sorry I didn’t see this post when you made it in 2015. Are you still about? I would be keen to find out what you know about the Butcher family.
      Adam Carr

  11. Tortington Park, Arundel, Sussex a girls school was evacuated in 1940, first to Aldworth House, Haslemere and then to Park Hatch. I was a pupil and remember my time there well. Unfortunately the numbers of girls diminished and the house was not very suitable so the school went to Ballachullish Hotel, Scotland at which point l left and was sent to another scmhool.

    I thought the house and grounds were beautiful and I am sorry the house is no more though I cam appreciate the reason for this.

  12. If the house was built in 1763, then I think it was owned by the Butcher family from the beginning. Richard Butcher who wrote his will in 1766 (died 1769) described himself as “Richard Butcher of Park Hatch in the Parish of Hascomb”. He passed the property to his son Richard, whose will in 1790 also describes him as “of Park Hatch”, and when he died in 1793 the property passed to his son John Hunt Butcher. As Dr Carr says, John Hunt Butcher then sold the property before emigrating to Van Diemens Land (now Tasmania) in 1822. Both Richards were buried at St Peter, Hascombe, but I have no idea whether any gravestones are still to be seen. For more on J H Butcher see: (which also contains a link back to your website!
    All best wishes

  13. Hi

    I have in my possession an old leather bound game shooting register for Park Hatch from 1904 to 1911 please get in touch if you are interested in it.



  14. I lived at nore house when it was owned by the wilsons can stil
    rember the rose garden
    I was max wilsons race mechnic and built for max the Lola
    BRM T70 P Prototype sometime in the late 1960 a löng time
    ago am now 75 would like to know about max .

    Regards Paul Collier

  15. Dear Peter. It is wonderful what you are doing and I hope by now you might nearly have finished? I live near Horsham and am descended from the 4th son, Percy Godman, of Joseph and Caroline Godman of Park Hatch. I am at the moment doing research on Frederick (son no.3) and have given a talk on the Godmans of South Lodge. I wondered if you would have time to tell me about the brewery in Winchester. I know about the Whitbread connection but I didn’t know that whilst at the Pallant House in Chichester, Joseph 1 had a brewery in Winchester. My grand daughter is at school in Cranleigh so I wondered next time I come over to see her there, could I call in and see you?
    All the very best Robina Arbuthnott

    1. Hi Robina

      I am afraid we know little about the godman family, apart from the present generation who have been to see us. we know nothing about the brewery – try Whitbread’s themselves


      1. Thank you for your reply. I only asked about the brewery in Winchester because you mention it in your history of the house in the 1800s and it was interesting to note that Joseph Godman before he moved to Park Hatch might have had his own brewing business as you mention, in Winchester, before joining up with Whitbreads.

        Best wishes and thanks

  16. Hello Peter,
    My Grandfather Thomas Charles Rolison was the Gamekeeper at Park Hatch from about 1901 to 1914. My Father Frederick William Rolison was born there in 1905 as were many of his siblings. I have been researching my family tree for many years now, but recently one of the history sites I use have put the electoral rolls for this period on their site, and it says that Thomas Charles Rolison lived at Park Hatch Laundry, so I don’t know if this was a separate building or not. Lovely to have found your site. Regards Rosemary.

  17. Hello

    I have a manuscript leather bound game register for Park Hatch Estate covering the years 1902-1912 and i wondered if you may be interested in it?


    1. Hi Edd

      I am currently researching the estate and would be very much intrested in looking at the document you have please let me know if you still have it.


  18. My father George Tait was appointed head gardener at Nore in 1936 following his time as a student at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. He was engaged to be married at the time with his fiancee, Margaret living in Selkirk. He had to rush to various Registrars in order to public his banns before returning to Selkirk for the wedding and then returning to Nore to work. His wife found it difficult to settle in as incomers were considered to almost be ‘outcasts’ and one had to live there for 25 years before being accepted! She also had an aversion to snakes which were in the garden.
    In 1937. they moved over to Chevening where my father became head gardener to Lord Stanhope. I came along early in 1938 so I must have been conceived in Nore!
    I have followed in my grandfather and father’s footsteps and have enjoyed a horticultural life, much of it in Edinburgh. I too, wotking in the Royal Botanic garden

    Yours sincerely

    William (Bill) Tait

  19. Florence Cosens ( my grandma ) was good friends with Dora Wakefield – the nurse maid to Caroline and Joey during the Second World War. My mother still has fond memories of Visiting Aunt Dora and sat in the nursery and played with joey . The chauffeur picked them up from Aldershot . The nursery was green . The head gardener was Tom

  20. Hello again, we communicated a while back. I would be so grateful if I could take you up on your kind offer to come and visit the grave of The Earl as I am researching Richard Temple Godman.
    Thank you so much

    1. Hello Serena,
      Regarding Richard Temple Goodman, I have the book the fields of war which I brought in the 1980s. I have read the book several times but one thing that puzzles me is the photograph of the painting of the Earl held by Kilburn. As a servant would he be in that uniform, or is it a printing error.
      Regards Bob.

  21. Sir, during a visit to Park Hatch with “Dunsfold Evergreens” in the summer of 2017, I briefly spoke to your wife, saying I had some slides (tranpancies) of Park Hatch but would need to locate them. Having done so, 11 in total, ,mainly of old Post Cards. Should you wish to look at them please get in touch.

  22. I have been looking for this house for some time, but the picture I have is of the rear view, I believe, but in this case well covered with foliage.
    You will see from the mount ‘Dunstable’ ?. Consequently it has taken a while to find.
    Please feel free to add to your collection if you wish.
    I don’t seem to be able to attach file, please contact me by email if you would like a copy.

  23. Please could you let me know the source of the attribution in your history of the main house of the employment of Henry Woodyer by Godman and the engagement of Cubitt in the rebuilding . I am updating the Pevsner guide for Surrey and would be very interested to know more as this not appear in any published lists of works by Woodyer. Are there drawings or other documentary information?

    1. Hi Charles

      Good question. I think it was from a village history of Dunsfold but I have come across the attribution in more than one document

  24. Hello
    I have just discovered your Site after researching family history. It came about because some 2nd / 3rd cousins of mine were trying to work out how we were related. We have now found out that our great grandfathers were brothers. My great grandfather was called William Welsh and the family lived in a village called Bournmoor County Durham. The father Edward Welsh was a groom at Lambton Park Estate. As my grandparents lived in Surrey we were looking at how they came to be so far away from County Durham. Just today we have found more details from Census records. William was born in 1850 and by looking at various Census dates found that by 1877 he was living in Surrey. In 1881 he is listed as being married to Mary Ann Adams ( born in Ewel) and working as a gardener at Park Hatch Gardens. They also had two children, Edward 3years and Ethel 1 in 1881. As William’s father Edward had been a groom at Lambton Park Estate (historical seat of the Earls of Durham) I think William must have been a gardener there. I don’t know if there is a connection between the two Estates which caused William to move, or he was looking for a new life. William and his family moved to a rented house in Cobham, overlooking the Tilt Green. I don’t know where he was working while living there, or if possibly another Estate is situated near Cobham. My grandfather was born there in 1888. It has been fascinating reading all about Park Hatch.
    Regards Jennifer Terry

  25. My grandfather Henry Markwell is the Head Gardner referred to twice in May Taskers notes. I had know he was Head Gardner from my father who mentioned it many years ago and refers to their time as a family at Park Hatch briefly in his memoire that I am about to publish. I would love to learn more of Henry, his wife (Winnie) and my father (Eric) and their times at Park Hatch if anyone can help please

  26. Hi and Thanks,

    I’ve just spent a very pleasant hour reading through all your interesting stuff about Park Hatch. I am just up the road in Guildford and know the White Horse in Hascombe well!

    You are probably aware – but if not and for your records/time line – the 1911 Kelly’s Directory tells us that at that time “Park Hatch, the property of J. Godman esq. of Ness Side, Inverness N.B. and the residence of David Lionel Beddington esq. stands on an eminence in a fine undulating park of about 200 acres, studded with timber and stocked with deer. J. Godman esq. who is Lord of the Manor, …etc…are the principal landowners.”
    David Lionel Beddington was my wife’s great-grandfather. His primary residence was in central London, but he presumably leased Park Hatch as a country estate from the Godmans at this time. There may even be some old photos in the family archive. I will investigate.

  27. Hello,

    I am currently researching an Olwen Greene whom I believe married the fifth Joseph Godman in 1970.

    I would love to talk to anyone who may know more about her.


  28. So interesting to see this….my great grandfather was called Arthur Godman; his father, also Arthur was one of the children of the original Joseph Godman. And weirdly I visited Park Hatch a few years ago on a garden visit I think, but didn’t connect the dots although I remember my grandmother Polly (nee Godman) having books and pictures of the house. Anyway very interesting to see the photos etc …

  29. Maybe a little late for your book?? Have read about your Grandfather and of course remember him well, and your Grandmother. They looked after me a lot, as they lived in the house at the end of New Road Dunsfold road now called I believe. T road left to Cranleigh and right to Dunsfold. Only2 houses in that long straight road. Both divided in 2 so was outside of the village Dunsfold. I would go very often up to Park Hatch with your Grandfather when he had to water the plants in the greenhouses mostly at the weekend. Their was a path at the back of their house to the back gardens.I also spent many hours picking primroses in the grounds which were everywhere in the ground near the pond. My father died January 1948 when I was almost ten and stayed with your Grandparents overnight. My memory was that your Grandfather’s birthday 25th January and mine is 24th, he would say that I was older than him, at that age I could not work that out??? Your Grandparents moved I think to maybe somewhere to the North as we went to see them, but I do remember you Grandmother died and had been ill for a short time. My Mother looked upon them as parents as she came from Co.Durham and so they were like relatives to us. I had a younger brother born when in New Road, although I was born at Park Hatch , a flat over the garage, until we later moved to the house. Always going up to the Godmans Estate in Scotland each year. I have such clear and fond memories of my young years living in what was to a magical time of my childhood. I have a photo of the cottage that your Grandparents lived in, do you have any? I think maybe your father worked in a Bank? is my memory right there? I do not think I met him. Sorry so long getting back to you, of course I came to Melbourne,Australia in 1963 for 2 years and here I am still!!! Regards Margaret Gregory Tasker.

  30. I did write about the Markwell”s a few weeks ago, maybe I did not leave my email address. I grew up with them, my father was Tom Gregory, worked for the Godmans. I will leave my email address. You maybe interested., for your book. Margaret Tasker nee Gregory.

  31. My then husband Michael Day (we later divorced) and our baby daughter moved into the Coach House, Park Hatch in 1959 (will have to check dates) which we bought from the man that had bought it with the main house (then came the Corsons) above and some of the land. We had two more children and moved out when we sold it in 1976 (?). As it is quite a long time that we lived there please contact me if you would like to know more and I will check dates etc.

  32. My former husband, Michael Day (later we divorced), bought the Coach House, Park Hatch and 3? fields in 1959 and moved in there with our baby daughter. We bought it from ? (who also sold the house he built on the site of the former main house to the Corsons). We lived there until we sold it in 19 76 by which time we had 4 children. As that is a considerable length of time if anyone would like more information please contact

  33. My former husband, Michael Day (later we divorced) and I bought the Coach House, Park Hatch and 3? fields in 1959 and moved there with our baby daughter. We lived there until we sold it in 19 76 by which time we had 4 children. As that is a considerable length of time if anyone would like more information please contact:

  34. My former husband, Michael Day and I bought the Coach House, Park Hatch and 3 fields in 1959 and lived there with our children until we sold it in 1976. If anyone would like more information re this period of time there please contact:

  35. My mother remembers Dora Wakeford who was Caroline and Joey’s nanny- she was a friend of my grandmas. When Mum was around 14 she would be picked up by Tom who worked there and taken over for dinner. She has happy memories of Park Hatch. Mum is 92 born in 1930.

  36. From dorset.. ex Park Hatch!! afriend staying was asking about the House pictures, in her room, and I said it was our home for 32 years Park Hatch, and she suddenly produced all the above,which has been a fascinating After Breakfast lazy read! You have done far more in tracing history than we ever did, mostly rescuing the 14 acre garden from Bramble and rubbish .!!
    I see Anne Day, our neighboour then, at The Coach House has written, might you send me her email please, as I have totally lost touch, since their divorce and move! We often in summers, had Canadian ex Army visitors to show wife where he lived before D Day!, not to mention some of the house and garden staff of Godman Days when we opened the garden for NGS!…sincerely christine Corson

  37. From dorset.. ex Park Hatch!! afriend staying was asking about the House pictures, in her room, and I said it was our home for 32 years, and she produced your Info on her mobile!!
    I see Anne Day, our neighboour then, at The Coach House has written, might you send me her email please, as I have totally lost touch, since their divorce and move! We often in summers, had Canadian ex Army visitors to show wife where he lived before D Day!, not to mention some of the house and garden staff of Godman Days when we opened the garden for NGS!…sincerely christine Corson

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