Brook House

Owner/Occupiers of Brookside/Brook House

(As far as is currently known – 2006)

1840Thomas FutcherKelly’s Directories
1881James Futcher1881 Fovant Census
1886Major F.B. Beauchamp1919 Pembroke Sale Catalogue
(held the lease for a period of 40 years from 20.9.1886)
1891Mary Gray Harvey1891 Fovant Census
Fanny B. Harvey
(these ladies were born in Bermuda and Philadelphia respectively)
1907Henry Herbert FutcherKelly’s Directories
1910James Futcher (deceased)County Records Office
(property sold on his behalf)
1911William P. StaplesKelly’s Directories
1915William George SimmondsKelly’s Directories
1921 – 1934Commander and Mrs G.F.W. Grayson.Monica Borwick (née Grayson)
1938Capt. Patrick Hill NormandKelly’s Directories
????Sir William and Lady LuceVillage memory
????Mr. and Mrs Blackditto
????Nicola Orr-Ewingditto
(daughter of Mr & Mrs Black – inherited the property)
2006Mr. and Mrs. Gray Gilbertcurrent owners

Questions raised by the owner/occupier list.

  1. Who occupied the house between 1840 and 1886?
  2. In 1886, when Major Beauchamp took over the lease for the next 40 years, did he then sublet it until James Futcher bought the property?
  3. When did James Futcher buy the house? It seems likely that at this stage the property was still part of the Pembroke Estate, so who did James Futcher buy the property from? Perhaps it was just the lease he bought — can one buy a lease?
  4. If James Futcher had previously bought the house why was it advertised as part of the Pembroke Estate to be sold by public auction at the White Hart Hotel in Salisbury on August 27th 1919?
  5. Commander Grayson didn’t buy the house until 1921, so who bought the property for £600 at the sale in 1919? (the price is pencilled in faintly on the original sale catalogue)
  6. As to when Brookside was built, all we can say is that it doesn’t appear on the 1787 enclosure map but does make an appearance on the 1840 Tithe map, so obviously the earliest version must have been built at some time during the intervening years.

As to when Brookside was built, all we can say is that it doesn’t appear on the 1787 enclosure map but does make an appearance on the 1840 Tithe map, so obviously the earliest version must have been built at some time during the intervening years.

Relevant page from the 1919 Pembroke sale catalogue.

The Original Brookside

“The house was quite small. It was only one room thick really, the drawing room being on the left, a widish hall and dining room with hatch on the right and kitchen at the back from which was the scullery which I know originally contained a well. There was a rear passage with a small pantry and loo and a nice staircase led up from the hail to a loo on the left and two largish bedrooms with a small one over the front door. There was another small bedroom and bathroom with a steep stairway down to the kitchen.

Work was immediately commenced on doubling the size of the house.”

Monica Borwick née Grayson

Brookside after its extension.

“To the middIe left at the rear of the house was the Tower House built by my father, where a dynamo and batteries produced electricity for the house. Behind the roof of the new building can be seen a huge walnut tree which was on the slope behind the steps going up to the swimming bath”

Monica Borwick

Brookside Cottage and the Malthouse.

“Work on the house extension coincided with the ‘renovation’ of the cottage for the chauffeur and his wife and converting the very run down old Malt house into sleeping quarters on one side for the staff, who were always brought down from London, and the other half into a flat for the gardener and his wife, Mr. and Mrs. Rogers.

The structure in the middle ground to the left of the crazy paving path was a wooden garden table with four chairs fitted underneath made from ships timbers; a canvas cover is spread over all.”

Monica Borwick

Fronting the High Street tall iron gates, flanked by a high wooden fence stretching from the Malt House on one side to Brookside Cottage on the other, gave access to, and ensured the privacy of, the house itself. At one side of the courtyard thus enclosed, a driveway passed a circular grassed area, and undoubtedly continued “behind the cottage (to) where the garage was”. Passengers could then alight and walk up the nearby crazy paving pathway leading to the house.

Tall iron gates on the left.
Malt House with cowl,
The water wheel
The swimming pool
A morning swim

“My father converted an old chalk pit at the top of the garden into a swimming pool. He dammed up the stream in the summer and made a water wheel which pumped up the stream water to the swimming bath. It was a peculiar shape … made of cement which was from time to time painted white.

At the end of summer the water was somehow siphoned out in a large pipe which must have been buried under the kitchen garden. Then a large stopcock entering the stream downstream from the waterwheel was turned. and the water gushed out nearly to the other side”.

Monica Borwick

Site of swimming pool
Small pipe
Junction pipe

The remains of the swimming pool in 2006

A succession of owners followed the Graysons, who sold the house in 1934. The swimming pool fell into disrepair, and the house was renamed Brook House by one of the new owners, but little else was changed. Even today in 2006 the only change appears to be the blocking up of the former main driveway to the house and a new one made further down the High Street.

Current parking area for The Malt House and Brookside Cottage, showing blocked up former entrance to Brookside

Thank you Monica

J.O.H. M.B. 2006