The Slaugham Archives

Dencombe
The Slaugham Archive
Dencombe

An aerial view of Dencombe.
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Picture added on 28 January 2012 at 20:15
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Dencombe
Comments:
I have now found a clearer copy of this aerial view and replaced the original inferior copy.
A Large Version has also been added.
The small white dot in the middle of the lawn is the sundial. See picture #666.
Added by Barry Ray on 03 January 2016
My great-grandfather, John Cowley, was the groom on the Dencombe estate in the 1920s.
My great-aunt told the family that she was born in the Garden Cottage in 1925.
I was wondering if anyone has any information on the house, the job my great-grandad would have done, and even if the cottage is still there.
I would be very grateful for any information.

Added by Emma Manwaring on 25 April 2019
Emma, as you will know, your great-aunt, Enid Florence Cowley, was a sister to your grandfather, John Henry Cowley. Enid appears in picture #642 as a Land Army girl working on the Nymans estate.
I checked the school records to verify which address was given. The entries show the following for your grandfather and great-aunt Enid. Alas, the addresses were not specific enough!
John Henry Cowley: DOB 22.1.1916. At school from 27.2.1922 to 16.4.1930. Address Dencombe Cotts. Reason for leaving - Left to work - Age 14+.
Enid Florence Cowley: DOB 23.11.1925. At school 14.4.1931 to blank. Address Dencombe Cotts. Reason for leaving- Blank.
Your great-grandfather was a groom, feeding and generally caring for the horses. The horses were likely to work on the land, now replaced by tractors and other implements, and for riding or pulling carriages on the public highway.
The 1933 Electoral Roll shows your great-grandfather and his wife, Annie, living at "Dencombe, Handcross". Regrettably, all the addresses on such documents in that era tended to be very vague.
The 1911 Census shows Dencombe House with five female servants in residence only; the owners obviously not at home on Census night. In an unnamed cottage on the estate was Henry Beecroft, a "herdsman", with his wife and three children. There was another cottage with three "laundrymaids" in residence. This cottage, with attached laundry building, was described as High Beeches Laundry; it may have been on Dencombe land, but probably did the laundry for both Dencombe and its "parent" property next door, High Beeches house.
Lastly, there was another residence called "Dencombe Stables" in which Alfred Edward Hill, a single man aged 26, lived and who was described as a "groom".
Further evidence is supplied at picture #1636 and picture #1637 relating to the auction of Dencombe estate in 1972. The accommodation for the stables is described (on page 5 of the auction particulars) as "adjoining and above the stables". Perhaps your great-grandparents started off there, but it seems that when Enid was born in 1925 they were living in a more conventional cottage. You say that Enid describes the residence as the "Garden Cottage" and a picture of it appears on picture #1637.
On the 1842 Tithe map, Garden Cottage comprised three small tied cottages for the staff who worked on the estate. After the estate was sold in 1972, it was converted into a single detached house and is now known as Old Timbers. It is now classed as a Grade II listed building. You wondered if it still stands, and I can confirm that it does. Select Open Document above to read the description of Old Timbers in the listed buildings register.
Old Timbers is located about 120 yards southeast of Dencombe house.
There is a picture of the old stable block on picture #2042 which shows, I presume, the groom who preceded your great-grandfather.

Added by Barry Ray on 25 April 2019
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Handcross

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