Trudie Callan

Photo-a-Week Challenge


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Week 26 -18. Hidden from View

We were visiting Ewell Court House and I was busy with my camera getting some pictures for the Themes. We were approached by a gentleman who told us a bit of the history of the House.

In the Guide it says “Ewell Court House started its life over 300 years ago. In 1790, as Avenue House, it was used by the Bridges family, owner  of the gunpowder mills situated along the Hogsmill River, to house their managers.

In 1875, after the mills had closed, John Henry Bridges commissioned a programme of extension and modernisation to create a house suitable for a Victorian gentleman with a young bride.

After the death of his father in 1892 John Henry undertook further building works to create a house suitable for entertaining. That house remains today.

Eventually, with 9 children and up to six servants, space was at a premium. In 1900 the rear extension, which now accommodates the Public Library, was added. (We were told Mr Bridges did not like the noise the older children made! Seems some things do not change.)

The Bridges family sold Ewell Court House in 1920 to the Stoddart family who remained in residence until 1935 when, with the majority of the grounds already sold for housing development, it was sold to Epsom and Ewell Borough Council.

During World War 11 the house was used as a centre for Civil Defence. A large underground air-raid shelter remains.

Today it is the centre of the Ewell Court community, used for social activities, weddings and parties.”

He also told us about a grotto that was found and reclaimed and it is the subject of the image I have chosen for the above theme.

He was the Chairman of Ewell Court House Organisation (ECHO) which was started by local residents in 2003 to oppose the Council’s plans to dispose of the House for conversion to residential use. They were successful and today ECHO have promoted community events including Open Air Carols at Christmas, an Ice Rink, Craft fairs, Concerts and entertainments. They have raised funds to preserve features such as the island in the middle of the lake which is a breeding ground for ducks, geese and swans. There is a cinema club opening soon so lots going on which we were unaware of. There is a Library and Clinic on site and a charming Garden Nursery and cafe.

 

366_23.01.16

The grotto hidden from view.

18.2

Ewell Court House

18.3

One of the swans having a stretch.

 

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