Molesey Local History Society
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This is to ask whether any member of the Molesey History Society has information on the Dodwell family, who lived in West Molesey in the eighteenth century. I believe that their house may have been called The Priory. My wife is descended from the Dodwells, and we would be interested in any pictures of the house of details of the family.
The house and grounds of The Priory occupied the area where Molesey Football ground, Anne Way and Helen Close are today. The first mention we have of The Priory is from 1769 when it was the residence of Henry Dodwell (1706-1784), a barrister and religious controversialist.
Less than two years after the Montgolfier Brothers demonstrated their hot air balloon, on 5th May 1785, one of the earliest flights in England took off from the grounds of The Priory. James Sadler and William Wyndham MP set off for France but came down at the mouth of the River Thames.
The outbuildings were acquired by Messrs J. C. & C. Field, candle-makers, in 1845. They specialised in bleaching wax for church candles but the factory closed in the 1890s when they switched to importing wax from the south of France.
Charles de Montmollin La Trobe, a theatrical manager, bought it in April 1928 and sold it in March 1933 when he moved up to Chiswick Park. His daughter Carlotta was born there in September 1928. Writing to Elmbridge Museum in July 2001, Carlotta Blake recalls:
“The grounds were extensive, lawns, copse at one side, a paddock, a very large walled kitchen garden with fruit trees… [They were] beautiful. There was a drive from the main entrance at the side of the house end on and a small lodge in which our gardener lived.
“Also, an interesting detail, the floors were flagstone and my father and some friends prised up one on the large hall finding a cellar which had a tunnel going off on one side (in the direction of Hampton Court I was told). They couldn’t follow this up as the air was very foetid, and it looked dangerous (possible cave-ins I suppose).”
The house was demolished after the sale in 1933.
can you tell about the flat roof houses on eastcote ave and molesey ave , when they were build , any info would be gratefully recieved
This is a link to one of our newsletters – https://www.moleseyhistorysociety.org/mlhs/wp-content/uploads/newsletters/Newsletter%2029%20-%20April%202014.pdf – which has an article about ‘Howard Houses’ the flat roof properties.
I’m doing some research into my mother’s childhood for a novel and she was relocated during the war to East Molesey. She has dementia, so I was only able to verify that based on a report card she received from Mildred Lodge Preparatory School @ 3 Matham Road. Why I’m telling you this is because I remember the many years ago, long before I was interested in writing anything about my mother’s childhood, she told me that she stayed with the Jupps. In 1969, when I was 11, I remember that we visited the home where Mum stayed. As I’m poking around on-line for some sense of what this experience was like for her, I saw your last name, and thought I might as well ask if perchance, you are a descendant of that family, perhaps your grandparents put my mother and her sister up during the war?
(mum’s name at the time: Lisa Levy, she was 3 in 1940 when she was taken out of London)
Thank you for telling us about your mother’s connection with Molesey and Mildred Lodge Preparatory School. We know of one other refugee story. Eva Yachnes attended the school briefly in 1940 and told her story to the the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2010. You can listen to it at https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn42216
Hi, i have some photos of the winter of 1963 when the River Thames froze by Hampton
court Bridge. Also one photo of carnival floats entering Cigarette Island in 1958. I was a pupil
at Orchard Infants School then, and we used to walk to Cigarette Island from the School to
have our sports day. I can only print the photos on ordinary A4 paper, also i have 2 School
class photos at Orchard Infants School with me on around 1958. if you are interested i would be happy to send them to you,
Mr. John Fenwick.
Mr. John Fenwick.
Thank you for your kind offer. I’m sure members of the Society would like to see them as well.
I would be very interested in your photos of Cigarette Island Carnival and your memories of school sports days. I am doing some research on the history of this park and why its use and interest has declined.
I was wondering if anyone could help me – in July last year my partner and I moved into Spencer Park in East Molesey. We absolutely love it here and I have read a lot of information about the local history of the area. However I have yet to come across any specific information regarding Spencer Park, and given it’s size and nature, I would have thought it might have been a stately home for somebody back in the day! The only manor houses I’ve read about are East Molesey Lodge, Grove House, The Grove, Radnor House and of course The Wilderness next to us. Does anyone know of sources of information that I could look up? Obviously I cannot search the local libraries due to the pandemic, and an Internet search has unfortunately not been fruitful.
Can anyone offer advice as to how we can find out the original name of our house in Arnison Road. I have a list of house names from the 1911 census, but can find no original maps etc to match them up. When our house was built in 1879, there were fewer houses than there are today. The houses must have been numbered sometime after development in the 1920s and 30s.
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