Houses in Kemnal Road
The main houses were all built by 1884. Of those original buildings only eight remain more or less intact today: Nizels, Wild Wood, Mulbarton Cottage, North Lodge of Foxbury, Foxbury itself, Selwood, Westerland Lodge and The Coach House.
Original houses from the south-east corner northwards:
Woodheath. This house was ravaged by fire in 1909, and again in 1913. It was then left unrestored until it was rebuilt in its present form in 1925, and renamed Hoblands, an ancient name attaching to this area. Its original grounds included Hoblands Cottage, which was originally the stables (now demolished and rebuilt). Additional stables were built to the south in about 1903. These were later developed into a house now called Woodheath Cottage. Queenborough Gardens now stands in the original gardens of Hoblands.
Nizels. A print of 1891 shows a drawing of this house. By 1909 the house was extended. Trees and Walden were created as separate households within the same house after 1950. The house is one of the few original main houses still standing. There is a massive wall on the northern boundary for which statutory listing was requested in 1995.
South Home. Originally named The Hollies, the original house was demolished in 1958, and replaced by flats, also called South Home, which in turn were replaced by Oaklands in 2000. Its grounds included what is now Wild Wood, which was originally two homes for servants of South Home.
Inglewood. The house was built in 1881.It was demolishedin 1963 and replaced by the existing block of flats. The original grounds include what is now Inglewood Cottage, and the modern houses Cascades and Columbine.
Kemnal Warren. Originally called Homeleigh, the house and grounds were acquired by the owner of Mulbarton Court (see below) in about 1930. The house was demolished, and the grounds incorporated into those of Mulbarton Court. The present block of flats were built on the same site in 1961. There are three newer houses standing in its original grounds, Kemnal Lodge (on the site of the original lodge to Kemnal Warren), Little Byfield and Avondale.
Wyvelsfield. The name was changed to Mulbarton Court in 1920. The house was badly damaged in a German bombing raid in October 1940 and it was demolished by 1958. The new Mulbarton Court was built on the site by 1960. Included in its original grounds are Mulbarton Cottage (formerly the Lodge), Barton, and, very recently, Piermont, which brings back to Kemnal Road some of the grandeur of the original houses.
Foxbury. The Tiarks family bought the grounds of Foxbury in 1874, moved into their new house in 1877 and lived in it for 60 years. There were two lodges and other properties within its boundaries, including Home Farm, and Bothy Cottages. After 1936 it was used for various training purposes until it was re-acquired as a private residence in 2003.
Kemnal Manor. The history of Kemnal Manor goes back to 1150. The last rebuilding of the house was completed by 1875. It was occupied as a private home up to the start of the Second World War, when it was taken over by the War Office. It was destroyed by fire in 1964, and any trace of the house has now disappeared. The house also had a number of cottages and two lodges in its grounds. The grounds are currently largely undeveloped.
From the north-west corner southwards:
The Foxearth. Originally Woodheath Cottage, was situated on the junction of Kemnal Road and Kemnal Lane. A new house was built in 1925 by the Tiarks family and renamed Francis Lodge. In 1940 its name was changed to The Foxearth.
Holly Bowers. Designed by George Lethbridge, this splendid house was set in very large grounds. The house was damaged during the Second World War but repaired in 1946. It was demolished to be replaced by Mapledene flats in 1966. Acorn Close, Eaton Court and three modern houses, The Marmot, Woodside and Jackdaws are all built in the original grounds. The north side of Dickens Drive and Copperfield Way are also within Holly Bowers’ original grounds.
Kemnal Wood. This house had a most unusual design, (by G Somers Clarke) After the Second World War it was divided into three residences, and then demolished in 1972. Now the south side of Dickens Drive, Dorritt Way, part of Pickwick Way, and four neo Georgian houses, Pickwick, Cherith, Middlemarch and The Roses, are built on the land.
Selwood. First called Timara, the house bears a date of 1878 on a plaque on the west wall. Willett House was built in 1962 on Selwood land. In the 1980s Pickwick Way was extended into the western end of the original grounds, reducing its gardens even further, but the original house remains.
Westerland. Built in 1876 and originally called South Laund, the house was renamed Westerland in 1930. It was demolished in 1957, and replaced with flats. These were in turn replaced by the present Worsley Grange in 2003. Westerland Lodge and the stables, now The Coach House, were originally in its grounds. The gardens of The Coach House include a strip of land formerly part of the grounds of Woodlands on Ashfield Lane.
Woodlands. The house on the south-west corner of Kemnal Road, fronting onto Ashfield Lane was Woodlands. This house was occupied from 1871 until 1922 by the Webster family (whence Webster's Pond at the junction of Kemnal Road and Ashfield Lane) and was later acquired by the Church Missionary Association, who had a training school there, Liskeard Lodge. The house and its land was sold for redevelopment in 1968.
A note on ownership: Many of the houses in Kemnal Road would have been leased rather than owned outright by their occupants. There are only a few cases (Foxbury, Westerland and Woodheath being examples) where we have clear information about ownership.