Old Woking: The Old Vicarage

The Old Vicarage Image: Phillip Arnold

The Old Vicarage
Image: Phillip Arnold

A survey carried out in 1623 referred to the vicarage house being in an acre orchard and garden bounded by the lands of George Dunston a churchwarden in 1635 to the north, on the east by the common highway leading to the river in the south and the river to the west. On the other side of the common highway was a small house with the churchyard to the north, the land of Robert Garret to the east and the river to the south.

A Robert Garrett, clarke appears in the St Peters church rate assessments from 1673 to 1684. The rate of 24th February 1681 made specific reference to the repair of the fence wall between the lands of Mr Robert Garrett and the churchyard, and the churchwarden’s accounts make reference to 15. 15s 0d pd to Henry Boylett for bricks, lyme, sand and all workmanship for building three parts of the wall at the east end of the churchyard (the other part to be paid by Mr Robert Garrett, clerke by agreement made between the parishioners and him). It is interesting to note that the churchwardens mention that Mr Garrett had not, in his capacity as a parishioner, paid his proportion of the parishioners’ contribution, 8d!

There are assessments in respect of the Parsonage for Lord Aungier (1673-6) with tenant and Richard Bird and William Harvest as tenants (1682-5). This was almost certainly the house which is now known as The Old Manor House today or a previous house on the same site

There seems no doubt that The Old Vicarage was not used as the vicarage in the 19th century or even in later years. Possibly it was too small for the large families common to Victorian clergymen. The censuses of 1841-81 show the use of the house for the accommodation of curates. What is now The Grange became the Vicarage (or Parsonage) in the early 19th century.

The census returns 1841-1901 show the occupants of The Old Vicarage as:


  • George Robinson, curate and clergyman and Martha Cook and William Styles, servants.

1851 Vicarage House

  • John Bowman curate of Woking and his wife Mary together with Thomas White groom and Eliza Chitty house servant.


  • Francis White, curate of Woking, his mother Eliza White and two house servants, Harriett Hill and Elizabeth Penning.


  • Carter William Daking Ireland Moore Member of the Cambridge senate, MA of St John College, Cambridge, clergyman, curate of Woking, Hon. Chaplain to the Royal Dramatic College, Woking and domestic chaplain to Viscount Valentia.In a diary entry of 8th August 1869, Edward Ryde notes, Mr Carter Moore, the new curate. With this distinguished gentleman lived his wife Lucy Fanny and their children, Annesley Valentia Daking Ireland, Mary Windham Mountmorris, Haversham Anglesey Carter William, Drogheda Wentworth Mountcathel and Lucy Beaufort Noel Sarah Somerset plus an annuitant visitor, Georgiana Elizabeth Nurse and a general servant, Ann Edes.

A succinct account of the Rev. Carter Moore is given in J A Venn, Alumni Cantabrigienses, Part II vol IV, Cambridge 1951, p.450, as follows:

Admitted sizar (subsidised student of moderate means) at St John’s 5 Dec. 1836, of Lines., son of Rev. DWC (Daking William Carter) Moore; matriculated in the University Michaelmas Term 1837; gained B.A. 1841, M.A.I847. ordained deacon (Lincoln) Dec. 19 1841, priest 18 Dec. 1842; curate of Barton-on-Humber Lines, 1841-3; curate of St. Anne’s Limehouse 1843-6; curate of West Ham Essex 1846-8; curate in charge of Flordon Norfolk, 1848-5 2; ‘deprived of his licence by the Bishop of Norwich, for having, in full canonicals, cursed a magistrate of Norfolk as he was getting into his carriage at Flordon station; committed to Norwich Castle 21 March 1852; domestic chaplain to Viscount Valencia, 1855-84; curate of Leyton Essex, 1867-9; curate of Woking, Surrey, 1869-71; curate of St. Martin’s Colchester and curate of St. Peter’s Colchester, in 1878; chaplain of Colchester Union, 1875-84; author: ‘Sermons: The Institution of the Sabbath’, etc.; died 1884.


  • John Maber, the curate of Woking, his wife Theophila, daughter Ethel Mary, son Alfred, a nurse, Mary Ann Elson and a servant, Alice Emma Crane. Another curate of Woking, Francis Champneys, was living at Goldsworth Old Nursery with his mother Sophia and sister Jessie, a cook, Kate Lambert and a servant, Susan Gray.


  • John Willsher, living on own means, his wife Helen and their daughter, Amy.

An entry in Edward Ryde’s diary of 7th May 1884 (now in the care of the Surrey History Centre) notes, Attend sale of the Glebe at the Masonic Hall and buy the little meadow for 120, (George) Smallpeice buys the House and Garden for 440, the house having no connection with the church thereafter.

The Old Vicarage was sold by auction by the Devisees under the wills of the late William and George Smallpiece on 13th October 1894. At the time the house was said to comprise:

On the ground floor,
Drawing and Sitting Rooms, Study, Kitchen (fitted with Range, Cupboard and Dresser), Butler’s
Pantry (with Sink and Water laid on), Larder, Cellar and a detached Scullery and WC.
On the first floor, approached by front and back staircases
Four bedrooms, Dressing Room, Bath Room (with hot and cold water laid on) and WC.
The grounds were described as well timbered and comprising Lawn, Flower and Kitchen Gardens.
There was Stabling and a Coach House.
For those wishing to view, the keys were with Mrs Cole, close by.

After the then vicar, the Rev. Charles Bowles, moved to the Grange the Old Vicarage was used for the accommodation of curates.

The Woking News and Mail Directories for 1919 to the present day show the occupants as:

1919 Mrs H Willsher 1921-5 J Fleming 1926-39 W Fleming 1948-57 PM Watts 1964-9 AF Leggatt WNM

For more information about Old Woking visit www.oldwoking.org.

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