W HERBERT FOWLER (1856-1941), MANAGING DIRECTOR OF WALTON HEATH GOLF CLUB AND PARTNER IN FOWLER AND SIMPSON, GOLF CLUB DESIGNERS: PAPERS AND PHOTOGRAPHS
The following describes the contents of this collection in the Surrey History Centre archives. Find out more about how to see the original documents.
- Ref No: 6714
- Repository: Surrey History Centre, Woking
- Date: 1856-1917
- Format: Archives
- Description: The archive comprises a private accumulation of material, much of it personal records. There are thus relatively few indications of how Fowler's interest in golf course design was managed as a business venture.
- Admin History: William Herbert Fowler was born in Tottenham in 1856, the son of William Fowler, a barrister, and Rachel Maria, nee Howard. The birth certificate of his daughter Mabel records Herbert Fowler's profession as a banker in 1893, when the family were living in Somerset. The records deposited show him investing widely from the 1890s onwards, particularly latterly in the Americas. The family moved to 83 Queens Gate, London, in c.1902.
Fowler took up golf at the age of 35, becoming a member of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews and the Honorable Company of Edinburgh Golfers. Fowler was involved in Walton Heath Golf Club from its foundation in 1903 by Sir Cosmo Bonsor of Kingswood Warren, Fowler's brother-in-law. In 1904, the first or 'old' course was laid out by Herbert Fowler and Malcolm Bonsor, and the club was opened. By 1907, Fowler had designed and laid the first nine holes of the 'new' course, which was eventually completed in 1913. The Fowlers had moved to Corner Cottage, Tadworth, by 1908, near to the Walton course, while waiting for the completion of Chussex, a house designed in classical style by Edwin Lutyens and with a garden by Gertrude Jekyll (just north of the club house XXVI.2). Fowler subsequently became the managing director of the company (golf related correspondence in this deposit often gives his address as 'the Club House', Walton on the Hill).
With Tom Simpson, the firm of Fowler and Simpson was formed to design courses, and later to provide consultancy when they expanded to include Abercromby and ArthurCroome. Projects aside from those featured in the deposited records include the Berkshire Golf Club, Saunton Golf Club, Devon, Woodcote Park Golf Club, Surrey, and West Surrey Golf Club; in the United States projects included the Los Angeles Country Club and Eastwood House, Massachusetts.
- Level: Collection
- Access Status: Open. There are no access restrictions.
- Provenance: Deposited by Walton Heath Golf Club in September 1999.
- Bibliography: Information in the introduction was largely provided by Mr P Truett, archivist of Walton Heath Golf Club.
Bernard Darwin, Walton Heath Golf Club (Golf Club Association, nd)
- Arrangement: The records had been sorted into wallets prior to deposit; the groupings have been for the most part retained, although in some cases these have been sub-divided. This is a temporary box list only.
- For more information contact: Surrey History Centre Collections Catalogue
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