Holmwood: The Old Nags Head and September Cottages

The Old Nags Head and September Cottages, Holmwood Common. Image: K.Atherton

The Old Nags Head and September Cottages, Holmwood Common
Image: K.Atherton

The two semi-detached cottages sit a little back from the A24 on the eastern side of the road at Mid Holmwood. They were built in the late seventeenth or early eighteenth centuries between the Common and a low grade track that skirted its western edge. One remains in stone, the other has been stuccoed.

In 1755 the Horsham to Epsom turnpike established an all weather road across the Holmwood. Climbing over the hill (to where North Holmwood church now stands) it passed down past the cottages then followed the line of the current A24 south. One of the cottages was swiftly converted into a public house. The Old Nags Head has been the subject of numerous tales of smuggling and highway robbery.

In the 1820s the turnpike was diverted. With the establishment of Spook Hill the road cut further west before turning south. The Nags Head found itself no longer at the roadside. Trade was transferred across the road to the newly built Norfolk Arms.

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