This drawing of East Horsley Park in 1839 shows it as Charles Barry designed it.

This drawing of East Horsley Park in 1839 shows it as Charles Barry designed it.

‘East Horsley Park’, 1839

There was a small tower with an onion dome over the front door, but during alterations in the 1850s Lord Lovelace added a porch in front of this entrance and a Great Hall, or Banqueting Hall as it was sometimes called, to the right of the porch. The large windows in this hall were emblazoned with coloured glass depicting the armorial bearings of the family.

The East Front as it is now with the Great Hall on the right  Image: HCPS

The East Front as it is now with the Great Hall on the right
Image: HCPS

3

The arched trusses in the roof of the Great Hall

Image: HCPS

The great window in the Banqueting Hall Image: HCPS The great window in the Banqueting Hall

Image: HCPS

 

The southern aspect of the house now consists of three floors, but the original house had only two, as can be seen from the old photograph below, taken in the late 1860s.
Horsley Towers, southern aspect, late 1860s

Horsley Towers, southern aspect, late 1860s

Horsley Towers, southern aspect, present day  Image: HCPS

Horsley Towers, southern aspect, present day
Image: HCPS

Lord Lovelace married for a second time in 1865. His bride was a widow who had three sons, and another son was born nine months after the wedding. Perhaps there was a need for additional accommodation for his larger family, because soon afterwards another floor was added onto this side of the building.

The first addition to the house that Lord Lovelace made was the stuccoed tower (previously called the clock tower). From a photograph in a sales catalogue dated 1919 it looks as though the main tower was built of flint with brick quoins at the back and the two circular turrets on the front were also in brick. There is also evidence of a machicolated parapet at the top. The whole tower may have been encased in stucco during the 1920s or 30s, hence its later name, but it has now been restored to show the flint on the main part of the tower.

The west aspect of the house with the tower and the cloisters on the left  Image: HCPS

The west aspect of the house with the tower and the cloisters on the left
Image: HCPS

6 Responses to East Horsley, Horsley Towers

  1. Tracy Bourke says:

    What a lovely building would love to explore!

  2. Laurie says:

    I remember staying here for a few days whilst on a course when I was an apprentice with the CEGB back in the late 50′s.
    Beautiful building, wasted on us youngsters then, but can appreciate it now that I am a little older

  3. I was there a few years ago, sneaked in the back way to see where my grandparents used to work. I should have gone and knocked on the door. The women at the hotel did not know much. I later discovered that the stables and outbuildings are now part of the hotel. My father was born in one of those rooms, son of the Earl’s coachman. He lived there till the age of 12. The Earl died and things fell apart and they had to move. We are all horsey because of that place, my sons and I. Horses are in our blood. They reared horses for he Anglo-Boer War and WWi.

    • Alan Davies says:

      Interesting that your grandfather was a coachman at Horsley Towers. My great grandfather, Robert Whiteside 1837 – 1905, was also a coachman there, and his wife Jane was a domestic servant. My maternal grandmother, Alice Durdle (nee Whiteside) was probably born there. Although born in Surrey, I have never been there, and live in the north of England now.

  4. Geoff says:

    I we’ll remember Horsley Towers from the 1960s when I attended several courses there.
    Most favourite was a two week course when it was sometimes possible to get a game of cricket on the Tower’s oval at the weekend.
    We slept in timber huts remote from the house…..cold in winter , fine in summer.
    Halcyon days!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Dennis Ogden says:

    My father worked for the Central Electricity Board and their London office was evacuated to Horsley Towers at the outbreak of WW2. He was a keen church organist. There was an old hand-pumped pipe organ built in to one of the rooms (a chapel?) and I was just old enough to pump it – with strict orders not to let the weight on the string rise up (indicating that the air supply to the pipes was failing). Being a boy, aged about 7, this was too much of a temptation. The weight went up, the pipes moaned dismally and dad was not pleased. Luckily it wasn’t an important occasion – probably a rehearsal. Happy days.

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