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Written By: Edward James Gilbert-Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada

Date: February 9,2019


Cricket has been played in Tunbridge Wells as far back as the early 18th century. The games were played until the end of  the 19th century on the Upper and Lower Cricket Grounds (image opposite by Harold H. Camburn). When the Nevill Ground was officially opened on March 30,1898  the first game of cricket was played there in May 1899 and the first county match was played there in 1901, marking the beginning of Cricket Week in the town in 1902.

Cricket Week was held in the summer months, typically in July, and was a much looked forward to event in town. Although daily cricket matches were featured Cricket Week was far more than just an event for cricket, it was a week- long festival for sport and social entertainment, which entertainments included theatrical performances, music, balls, illuminations etc. Although the central site for Cricket Week was at the Nevill Ground, the Pump House, the Calverley Grounds and other sites in the town were the locations chosen for various aspects of the weeks entertainments. Shown opposite is a postcard sent from Tunbridge Wells that refers to the 1910 Cricket Week. Although a bit difficult to read it states in part that "it is a grand week here what with cricket and fairs etc...the town here is beautifully illuminated tonight...."

During WW1 and WWII Cricket Week in the town was suspended and during both wars the Nevill Ground was requisitioned for military use for the grazing of horses and for the keeping of equipment and men. Because of this the cricket pitch became badly damaged and funds were raised both during and after the wars to maintain and restore the grounds so that the site would be ready for the resumption of Cricket Week after the war.

The last reference to Cricket Week before WW1 was the Courier of July 24,1915 which referred to “the illuminations  being an attraction and the annual Cricket Week Ball held Friday at the Pump Room and was as usual a brilliant success”. The earliest reference to Cricket Week after the war was the Courier June 24,1921 which in part gave “ Tunbridge Wells Cricket Week to open July 9th with a cricket match at the Nevill” .

The Courier of July 22,1921 referred to a Cricket Week event held at the Calverley Grounds with streamer throwing and music by the veterans band. The Courier of July 18,1919 however reported that a cricket match had been held at the Nevill Grounds between Kent and Hampshire “like its old time Cricket Week days”.  

At times the raising of subscriptions for Cricket Week proved difficult but the Cricket Week Committee and the ‘Amusement Committee’ always managed to pull it off. Sometimes mother nature did not cooperate and certain days in the week were wet ones, but the rain did not dampen the spirits of the thousands who attended the event from the town and elsewhere. Tourism was important to local business and Cricket Week brought thousands of pounds of revenue to hotels, restaurants, shops etc. The Courier of May 24,1929 had this to say "Tunbridge Wells Cricket Week is one of the leading social and sporting events in the town and district”.

This article provides only a brief coverage of the history and events of Cricket Week given the fact that it has been an annual event in the town (apart from the war years) since 1901 . Cricket Week is still alive and well with ticket prices for adults being about 15 pounds and 5 pounds for children.


A detailed history about the Nevill Ground can be found in the Royal Tunbridge Wells Civic Society book ‘ The Origins of Warwick Park and the Nevill Ground by John Cunningham (2007) and also from the Civic Society the book by Chris Jones entitled ‘ Tunbridge Wells in 1909 (2008) and in my article ‘ The Bluemantles Cricket Club’ dated January 9,2012.  A number of websites also provide information such as Wikipedia. Since the history of the Nevill Grounds has been well reported on in the aforementioned sources given below is a brief summary.

The Nevill Ground is a cricket venue located in Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent, England. It is owned by Tunbridge Wells Borough Council and is used by Tunbridge Wells CC as well as annually for Tunbridge Wells Cricket Week by Kent County Cricket Club. It was opened in 1898 and was first used by Kent in 1901 and has been used by them annually since then, despite a suffragette arson attack that destroyed the pavilion in 1913, which pavilion was replaced soon after the fire.

The Nevill Ground was established in 1895 after the purchase of the land by the Tunbridge Wells Cricket, Football and Athletic Club, with assistance from the Bluemantle Cricket Club. It was purchased on a 99-year lease from the Marquess of Abergavenny as the land was part of his Eridge Park estate. The Nevill Ground was named after William Nevill, 1st Marquess of Abergavenny. Building of the ground's facilities started in 1896 with it being officially opened by the Marquess of Abergavenny in 1898. Shown opposite is a postcard franked 1906 showing the Neville Ground.

The first pavilion was designed by architect C. H. Strange. It was built in 1903 at a cost of £1,200 and was destroyed in a suffragette arson attack in April 1913. A new pavilion was built using the original designs after a series of fund raising concerts at the Opera House at a cost of £1,200. Construction was finished in 9 weeks, being completed hours before Kent were due to play at the Tunbridge Wells Cricket Week in July 1913. Shown below are two photographs by local photographer Percy Squire Lankester of the aftermath of the pavilion fire and below these two images is one by local photographer James Richards.

During the First World War, the Nevill Ground was requisitioned by the British army to graze cavalry horses. This damaged the pitch and it took a few years for it to recover. During the Second World War, the Nevill Ground was again requisitioned for military purposes, this time to hold soldiers. In 1946, ownership of the ground was transferred from the Tunbridge Wells Cricket, Football and Athletic Club to Tunbridge Wells Borough Council.

In 1995, a permanent brick stand was built and became known as the Bluemantle Stand after the Bluemantle Cricket Club members who helped to build it. The Bluemantle Stand was built on the site of the original pavilion. Every Tunbridge Wells Cricket Week, Tunbridge Wells Borough Council erects a temporary grandstand at the Nevill Ground.

The Nevill Ground is used regularly by Kent Cricket League team, Tunbridge Wells CC. It is also used to host field hockey and is used by Tunbridge Wells Hockey Club. It was formerly used to host association football however the Nevill Ground stopped hosting football in 1903. It is also home to the town's athletics club Tunbridge Wells Harriers. Kent County Cricket Club use the ground as one of it’s outgrounds for two or three County Matches a year. Two first-class matches were played every year until 1992, when the number was reduced to one. However, since the demise of Mote Park in Maidstone, Tunbridge Wells regained an extra fixture.

The Nevill Ground was first used as an outground by Kent in 1901 at the behest of George Harris, 4th Baron Harris. In order to assist Kent, Tunbridge Wells Borough Council contribute £25,000 to cover the running costs of hosting Kent's games at the Nevill Ground. The Nevill Ground was popular with Kent's players due to its surroundings and it was described by cricket historian, E. W. Swanton as "no mean contender for the most delectable English cricket ground."

The Nevill Ground was selected as one of the host grounds for the 1983 Cricket World Cup. It hosted one group stage match between India and Zimbabwe on 18 June 1983. Kapil Dev scored 175 not out after India were 9–4, which helped India win by 31 runs and qualify into the semi-finals, thus avoiding a play-off against Australia. Dev's partnership with Syed Kirmani set a world record for the largest ninth wicket stand of 126. This match led to the Nevill Ground being held in high regard by Indian cricket fans with there being a view that the game at the Nevill Ground inspired a change in the way cricket was played in India. This led to players such as Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid playing for India in later years.

There was no official footage taken of the match since the BBC was on strike on the day of the match, the Nevill Ground being ruled as too small with India and Zimbabwe being deemed too "irrelevant" for a camera crew to be sent to the match. Despite this there were reports of an Indian who filmed unofficial coverage of the match with a camcorder. The tape was purchased by Dev after the match for an unknown amount. However, it has been claimed that this is an urban legend and that there was no proof of this occurring.

In 1993, The Nevill Ground was selected as one of the venues used in the 1993 Women's Cricket World Cup. It hosted one match between Australia and the West Indies, which Australia won by 8 wickets.

In 2008, to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the game, Dev returned to the Nevill Ground to film a news segment. Afterwards he was welcomed by representatives of Kent County Cricket Club and Tunbridge Wells Borough Council.

 In 2012, Kent's Friends Life Twenty20 match against Sussex was moved to the St. Lawrence Ground after the Nevill Ground was flooded after heavy rainfall leading to the 100th Tunbridge Wells Cricket Week being cut short.


A review of online local newspaper reports about Cricket Week in the town was made for the years 1890 to 1949 and from that review it was noted that the earliest reference to Cricket Week, from the hundreds of articles found, was the Courier of July 24,1891 which in part stated “ Twelve months ago the idea of starting Cricket Weeks was discussed and last month at a Ratepayers Association Meeting support to starting a Cricket Week was given”. Despite this however the first Cricket Week in the town did not begin until 1902.  Due to the large number of articles referring to Cricket Week over its long history only a sample of some events (1903 and 1909) are given below. In general Cricket Week consisted typically of daily cricket matches at the Nevill Ground, illuminations throughout the main thoroughfares of the town, balls, musical entertainment and theatrical performances held at various venues.  Shown above is a photograph dated 1938 of the local team by Photochrom.


Cricket Week in 1903 was held in July. The Courier of April 3,1903 reported that a meeting of the Tunbridge Wells Cricket Week Committee took place at the Castle Hotel with Alderman W.H. Delves presiding. The meeting was held to discuss the upcoming cricket week and the funds raised for it by subscription.

The Courier of April 10,1903 reported “ The Cricket Week Tunbridge Wells –We understand that Mr Alan Mackinnon to whom we are indebted in the past for dramatic entertainment has arranged to produce and perform the well -known comedy ‘The Passport’. Shown above from the Tatler dated August 12,1903 is a photograph pertaining to this performance with related text. Mr Mackinnon was an amateur theatrical performer and manager. He was often referred to in theatrical publications in the 1890’s and early 1900’s and in the book ‘ The Rise of the Victorian Actor’. In 1910 he co-authored the book The Oxford Amateurs’. Mr Mackinnon is the gentleman shown back row on the left in this photo as noted by the text below the image.

The Courier of June 26,1903 reported that money for the event had proven to be difficult to raise as a number of events in the town were being organized by other institutions seeking funds. Funding for Cricket Week came largely from subscriptions but entrance fees and revenues from the sale of refreshments etc helped to defray costs both for the event and also in aid of funds for the Nevill Ground itself.

The Courier of July 10,1903 reported “ The Cricket Week programme of events 6 days sport and amusement full details- The arrangement for the Tunbridge Wells Cricket Week, which commences on Monday are not practically complete, and the programme gives promise of a most enjoyable week”.

The Courier of July17, 1903 reported “ W.E. Urguhart of the Castle Hotel (image opposite) supplied the refreshments on the Nevill Ground in his usual and thorough and capable manner there being no less than six tents placed in convenient spots.”. Photographs and postcard views of the Nevill Ground during Cricket Week show the tents referred to. Information about Mr Urguhart and the Castle Hotel can be found in my article ‘The Castle Hotel on London Road’ dated September 11,2012. A postcard view of the hotel with Mr Urguhart referred to as the proprietor of the hotel is given opposite.

Other newspaper reports indicate that Cricket Week was a great success and well attended.


The source for the information for this year comes entirely from the book ‘ Tunbridge Wells in 1909’ by Chris Jones of the Royal Tunbridge Wells Civic Society , which book should be consulted for a more complete coverage than what is given below.  Shown opposite from the referenced book is the programme for Cricket Week  held from Monday July 12th to Saturday July 17th. As one can see the programme consisted of daily cricket matches at the Nevill Ground, illuminated promenade concerts, Vaudeville entertainments, amateur theatricals and a ball at the Spa Hotel which was attended by about 300 people. The events took place at various venues as noted in the programme.

The event was organized by the Cricket Week Entertainment Committee. As Chris Jones notes “ It is unfortunate that there are no pictures of good enough quality to illustrate the concerts and other events”.



Written By: Edward James Gilbert-Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada

Date: February 8,2019


William Waters (1861-1935) was born in East Malling, Kent, one of several children born to George Waters(1821-1898) and Eliza Waters, nee Couchman (1829-1861).

William lived in East Malling with his parents and siblings until his marriage in the 3rd qtr of 1882 at East Malling to Emily Jane Allington (1861-1918) and with her had five children between 1882 and 1887 who were all born in East Malling.

In 1891 the family of William and Emily Waters moved to Southborough where William opened a fruiterer and greengrocers shop at 110 London Road. The shop was located on the corner of Forge Road and London Road, which shop was previously the premises of Thomas Bridgeland.

At the time of the 1901 census was employing others to work in the business and his daugthers Ethel Maude Waters and Emily Waters were working for their father as fruiterer’s assistants.

At the time of the 1911 census, taken at 110 London road, Southborough, William was a greengrocer wholesale and retail employing others. With him was his wife Emily and their daughter Emily who were both assisting in the business.

William’s son William Waters (1882-1931) followed his father in the same line of business. He had been born in East Malling and came to Tunbridge wells with his parents and siblings in 1891 but was not living with his family at the time of the 1901 census. Instead he married Fanny Alcorn (1882-1965) in Southborough in 1902 and with her had three children namely George William (1903-1974); Emily (1906-1978) and Edward Cecil (1910-1982) who most often went by the name of “Sam”.

At the time of the 1911 census, William junior was working as a fruit hawker and living at 11a Forge Road, Southborough with his wife Fanny and his two children George and Emily.

Fanny took over the running of the shop at 3 Bedford Road when her husband signed up for service in WW1. Her son George left school early due to asthma and helped in the shop until later he went on to establish a wholesale business from a warehouse in Norton Road.

On December 5,1931 Fanny’s husband William was knocked down by a motorcar outside the Bell Inn (image opposite) in Southborough and died the next day at the General Hospital in Tunbridge Wells.

Fanny Waters continued to run the business up to the end of WWII and when her son Edward Cecil Waters returned from the war (RAF) he and his sister Emily took over the running of the business on Bedford Road from their mother which business was known as E. & E.C. Waters.

Emily Waters died in 1978 having never married. Her brother Edward Cecil Waters married Dorothy Olive Tilley (1912-1996) in Southborough in 1936 and with her had two sons, the youngest of which was Roy Waters. When Edward Cecil Waters died in 1982 Roy Waters took over the business but closed it in 1986. Roy remained in Southborough and in 1998 he was living in Norton Road where his shop knows as “Waters” sold children’s items until it closed in September 1998.

In this article I present information about the Waters family in Southborough along with some images of them and their shops.


William Waters (1861-1935) was the founder of the fruiterers and greengrocers business in Southborough.

William had been born March 28,1861 in East Malling, Kent and was one of several children born to George Waters (1821-1898) and his wife Eliza Waters, nee Couchman (1829-1861).

In the 3rd qtr of 1882, at East Malling, William married Emily Jane Allingham (1861-1918) and with her had the following children (1) Frank Waters (1882-1943) (2) William Waters (1882-1931) (3) James Elon Waters (born 1884 (4) Ethel Maud Waters (born 1885) (5) Emily Waters (born 1887). All of the children were born in East Malling.

Emily Jane Allington was born 1861 in East Malling,Kent, one of seven children born to Richard William Allington (1829-1899) and Jane Alllington, nee Hodge, who was born in 1824. Emily had lived with her parents and siblings in East Malling up to the time of her marriage to William Waters.

In 1891 the family of William and Emily Jane Waters moved to Southborough where William opened a fruiterer and greengrocers shop at 110 London Road. The shop was located on the corner of Forge Road and London Road, which shop was previously the premises of Thomas Bridgeland.

Shown opposite is a photograph of the W. Waters fruiterer shop at 110 London Road, which photo was taken circa 1918. This shop was incorporated into the Flying Dutchman pub in 1938. The lady shown in the doorway is Emily Waters, Williams wife. She was the daughter of William Allingham, a farmer from Well Street, West Malling. The little girl inside the shop standing behind the shop window is Emily Waters (born 1908) who was William and Emily’s granddaughter.

The 1901 census taken at 110 London Road gave William Waters as a fruiterer and greengrocer employing others. With him was his wife Emily. Also there were his daughters Ethel Maud Waters,age 15, and Emily Waters,age 14, both of whom were working for their father as fruiterers assistants. A nephew was also there.

The 1911 census, taken at 110 London Road gave William as a greengrocer wholesale and retail employing others. With him was his wife Emily and his daughter Emily both of whom were assisting in the business. The census recorded that they were living in premises of 4 rooms and that the couple were married in 1882 and had five children, all of whom were still living.

William Waters died in Southborough February 18,1935  and his wife Emily died in Southborough October 28, 1918.  In 1920 William married for a second time, this time to Grace Young Berkeley with whom he had no children.


William Waters (1882-1931) was the son of William Waters (1861-1935) and Emily Jane Walters, nee Allington (1861-1918). William had been born October 7,1882 at East Malling and was baptised there October 9,1882.

William lived with his parents and siblings in West Malling until the family moved to Southborough in 1891.

On December 25,1902 William married Fanny Alcorn (1882-1965) in Southborough. Fanny had been born in the 3rd qtr of 1882 at Tonbridge (most likely in Southborough although the 1911 census notes she was born in Tunbridge Wells).  After the marriage William and his wife moved to Eastbourne, Sussex where in 1904 they had a son Georfge William Waters. By 1906 the family returned to Southborough where William’s last two children were born. William and Fanny had the following children (1) George William Waters (1903-1974) (2) Emily Waters (1906-1978) (3) Edward Cecil Waters (1910-1982).

The 1911 census, taken at 11a Forge Road in premises of five rooms gave William Waters as a fruit hawker. With him was his wife Fanny and their children George,age 7, Emily, age 4, and Edward age 1. The census recorded that the couple had been married 8 years and that they had three children all of whom were still living.

In 1914 William Waters enlisted for service as a private in the army and served in France until discharged at the end of the war.

Shown opposite is a photograph of the F. Waters greengrocers shop at 3 Bedford Road, Southborough bedecked with bunting to celebrate the Silver Jubilee of King George V in 1935.  Fanny’s son George William Waters left school early on account of ashthma and he helped in the shop for some years.

William Waters was knocked down by a car December 5,1931 outside the Bell Inn in Southborough and was taken to the General Hospital on Mount Pleasant Road, Tunbridge Wells, where on December 6th he died from his injuries. William was buried December 10th in the Tunbridge Wells Borough Cemetery. At the inquest a verdict of ‘accidental death’ was recorded with no blame attached to the driver, Albert John Pitkin, a chauffeur driving his employer’s family back to London. The Waters family insisted that William Waters had popped into the Bell Inn for ‘just the one’ , having gone out with the intention of getting a piece of steak for his supper. His son George remarked after the inquest “ And we never even found the steak”.

Upon William’s death his wife Fanny ran the shop until her son Edward Cecil Waters returned from serving with the RAF in WWII. Fanny died in Southborough in 1965.


George William Waters (1903-1974) was born in Eastbourne October 10,1903. By 1908 he moved to Southborough with his parents. At the time of the 1911 census he was living with his parents and sister Emily and brother Edward at  11a Forge Street in Southborough.

George attended the local school but due to asthma had to leave school early and for a time he worked in his parents shop. George later went on his own and opened a wholesale business from a warehouse on Norton Road. It was not established whether or not he was married but no marriage record was found for him. Probate records gave George William Waters of Lyndhurst, Bedford Road, Southborough when he died February 4,1974 leaving an estate valued at 55,850 pounds.

Emily Waters was William’s daughter and had been born 1908 in Southborough. She grew up in her grandfather’s shop on London Road and in her father’s shop on Bedford Road. As a girl and young woman she helped out in the family business. At the time of the 1911 census she was living with her parents and her brother George and Edward at 11a Forge Street. No marriage record for Emily was found. Emily died in Southborough in 1978.

Edward Cecil Waters, most often referred to as “Sam” was born in Southborough April 11,1910. He was living with his parents and two siblings at 11a Forge Street in Southborough at the time of the 1911 census. On May 31,1936 in Southborough her married Dorothy Olive Tilley (1912-1996) and with her had two sons, the youngest of which was Roy Waters. Edward Cecil Waters served with the RAF during WWII and when he returned from the war he took over the business from his mother Fanny and teamed up with his sister Emily who worked in the business.

Dorothy was born July 18,1912 and died in the 1st qtr of 1996 in Tunbridge Wells. Probate records for Edward Cecil Waters gave him of 13 Norton Road, Southborough, when he died on September 23,1982 leaving an estate valued at 23,195 pounds.

Emily and her brother Edward Cecil Waters operated as partners in the fruiterer and greengrocers business under the name of E. & E.C. Waters and had their shop on Bedford Road. When Edward Cecil Waters died in 1982 his youngest son Roy Waters took over the business. In 1986 Roy closed the business. In 1998 Roy Waters was still living on Norton Road in Southborough and his shop bore the name of ‘Waters’ where he sold children’s items until the business closed in September 1998.

Shown above is a photograph of Edward Cecil Waters on his motorcycle and sidecar in 1936. At the time this photo was taken Edward was courting Dorothy Olive Tilley and he used to swap the fruit and vegetable sidecar for a ‘Torpedo’ sidecar in which Dorothy used to sit when they went out on a Sunday.


Written By; Edward James Gilbert-Thunder Bay,Ontario,Canada

Date: February 6,2015


This business  ,founded by others, reportedly dates back to about 1840 and over the years passed through a number of hands before becoming the firm of Edwards, Richardson & Dodwell by 1882, who expanded the business to include shops at 19 and 21 Vale Road and 38 Mount Ephraim. This partnership continued until about 1890 when Richardson left the business . Edwards and Dodwell carried on in partnership under the company name of Edwards & Dodwell until the partnership was dissolved March 25,1892, and they continued in business in the town on their own.

This article reports on the history of the business during the time that Edwards, Richardson and Dodwell were involved in it and provides information on each of the partners.


I lead off my coverage of this upholsters and cabinet makers business with the image opposite(right) of the shop at 38 Mount Ephraim. The business also had a shop at the same time at 19 and 21 Vale Road. This image and the related text given  here came from the 1892 publication ‘Pictorial History of Tunbridge Wells and District’. “ This old established business dates back to about the year 1840, and since its commencement has greatly increased its trade. The premises are situated respectively, at 19 and 21 Vale Road and 38 Mount Ephraim, consisting of two double-fronted shops containing a good selection of well-made cabinet and upholstery goods, carpets,linoleums, iron and brass bedsteads, bedding,spring and other mattresses etc. The manufactory is situated in Newton Road, and is one of the largest and most convenient in the borough of Tunbridge Wells for the manufacture of every description of articles connected with the trade-constant employment being provided for a good number of thoroughly experienced hands, under personal supervision. The work of dismantling, removing and re-fitting of gentlemen’s residences is executed in the town or country with promptitude and dispatch. Every description of window valances and draperies, inside and outside blinds, etc, of the latest designs. Funerals completely furnished”. Shown opposite is a modern photo of the front of 38 Mount Ephraim when it was the business premises of Pangs Sushi Bar.

Shown below is a modern view of 19 and 21 Vale Road when they were the premises of the Royal Male barber shop and TN 1 Interiors. Although much of Vale Road and the surrounding area has been redeveloped the old shop building remains although both its exterior and interior have been modified over the years.

The 1882 Kelly directory gave the listing “ Edwards, Richardson & Dodwell, cabinet makers and upholsterers, 38 Mount Ephraim and Vale Road”. No listing for the partners business was found in 1874 or 1899 confirming that these gentlemen did not open their business until the late 1870’s and were gone in 1892. William Edwards was the oldest of the three, having been born 1842 in Chelsea,London. His partner William Henry  Richardson was an upholsterer who was born in Tunbridge Wells in 1850 and joined with William Edwards, a cabinet maker, and took over an established cabinet makers and upholsters business on Mount Ephraim. Richardson however left the partnership a few years after 1882, but not before the third partner in the business Christopher John Dodwell, a cabinet maker,born 1852 in Cleave,Gloucestershire, had joined the firm.

The London Gazette announced on June 10,1892 that the partnership between William Edwards and Christopher John Dodwell carrying on business in Tunbridge Wells as upholsters and cabinet makers under the style of ‘Edwards & Dodwell’ had been dissolved by mutual consent as of March 25,1892 and this marked the end of the business, however it is believed by the researcher that Edwards continued to operate at least one of the companys shops for a few years afterwards.The last directory listing for this partnership was Kelly’s 1892 directory which gave “ Edwards & Dodwell, upholsters and cabinet makers, Tunbridge Wells”.

The departure of Richards from the company is noted in two identical advertisments in the Kent & Sussex Courier dated December 8,1886 and January 12,1887 where the business of Richardson was described as “W.F. Richardson (late of the firm of Edwards, Richardson & Didwell upholsters and general house undertakers etc) Every furnisher, description of upholstery and cabinet work executed. The best possible manner and at modest charges.Bedding purified and remaid, carpets……….”

In the following sections I provide information about each of the partners in this business.


William Edwards was born 1842 in Chelsea,London. William married Louisa Ann  Tricker born 1848 London  sometime before 1877. Louisa was one of several children born to bootmaker Charles Tricker, born 1821 in Blackford,Surrey, and Elizabethg Tricker, born in St George in the East,Middlesex. The couple’s first child was William F. Edwards , born 1877 in Tunbridge Wells suggesting that after the couple’s marriage in abt 1876, they moved to Tunbridge Wells from London. William and Louisa would go on to have a total of four children namely (1) William F, born 1877 (2) Stanley C. born 1878 (3) Leonard A, born 1883 (4) Mabel, born 1888. All of their children were born in Tunbridge Wells.

The 1881 census, taken at 23 Vale Road, recorded William as a cabinet maker. With him was his wife Louisa, their children William and Stanley , one visitor and William’s sister in law Mary Ann Tricker, a single 21 year old lady born 1860 in London.

The 1891 census, taken at 19 and 21 Vale Road recorded William as a cabinet maker employing others. With him was his wife Louisa and their four children. At this time William’s son William was working for his father as an upholsterer and cabinet makers apprentice and the other children were attending school. When Williams son Leonard was a young man, he also took up the trade of upholsterer and cabinet maker.

The 1901 census, taken at 39 London Road recorded William as an upholsterer employing others. With him was his wife Louisa and his son Stanley, a cabinet maker employer, who became a partner in his father’s business. Also present  was his son Leonard who was working for his father as an upholsterer and cabinet maker. Also present was Williams daughter Mabel, one domestic servant and two visitors.

When William retired, his sons carried on their fathers business. Probate records show that William Edwards was of Sydenham Villa,Tunbridge Wells when he died September 8,1907. The executor of his 3,713 pound estate was his wife Louisa Ann Edwards and Edward Catchpole, secretary. William was buried in the Tunbridge Wells borough cemetery on September 11,1907.

William’s wife Louisa continued to live at Sydenham Villa after her husbands death. Probate records show her of Sydenham Villa when she died on July 14,1916. The executor of her 3,869 pound estate was Edward Catchpole, secretary and James Norman Maunder, retired apartment house keeper. Louisa was buried in the Tunbridge Wells borough cemetery on July 18,1916.

Information about the business activities and lives of William’s sons may be the subject of a future article on this branch of the Edwards family.


William was born in Tunbridge Wells in 1850. He was one of a number of children born to Herbert Richards, born 1819 Mayfield,Sussex, and Eliza Richardson, born 1820 at Horsmonden,Kent.

The 1851 and  1861 census, taken at Frant Road, Sussex, gave Herbert Richardson  as a bricklayers labourer. With him was his wife Eliza and their son William, who was attending school.

Sometime before 1871 William married Louisa Pentecost (maiden name unknown), who had been born 1848 at St Leonards,Sussex. The 1871 census, taken at 4 Abergavenny Cottage recorded Herbert Richardson as a bricklayer and living with him was his wife Eliza; his son William, an upholsterer, and Williams wife Louisa Pentecost Richardson.

William and his wife had only one child, namely Frederick Richardson , who was born in Tunbridge Wells in 1872. It is believed that Williams wife Louisa died from childbirth complications for she died in 1872, with her death being registered in the 1st qtr of 1873 at Ticehurst,Sussex. There is no record of her burial in the Tunbridge Wells borough cemetery.

The 1881 census, taken at 48 Frant Road recorded just two people living there, namely, William H. Richardson (widower) working as an upholsterer, and his 9 year old son Frederick, who was attending school.  Not long after this William married his second wife Mary Maria (maiden name unknown) and it appears that there were no children from this marriage. William and his family are found living in Tunbridge Wells at the time of the 1901 and 1911 census, where they had taken up residence in Grosvenor Park.

Probate records gave William Henry Richardson of 41 Grosvenor Park,Tunbridge Wells, who died march 19,1913. The executor of his 187 pound estate was his wife Mary Maria Richardson. William was buried in the Tunbridge Wells borough cemetery on March 24,1913.


Christopher was born 1850 at Cleave,Gloucestershire. The background of his life before arriving in Tunbridge Wells with his brother William Henry Dodwell, born 1852 in Cleave,Gloucestershire, remains a bit of a mystery for reliable records of the family are few and far between. However , the family is found in an 1851 census, taken at Bishops Cleeve,Gloudestershire ,which record a Roberts Dodwell, a farm labourer, born 1814 at Cheltm, Gloucestershire with his wife Leah, born 1817 at Oddington, Gloucestershire, with a son Christopher, born 1850 at Stoke Orchard,Gloucestershire.Christopher and his brother were no doubt just two of several children born to their unconfirmed parents from Gloucestershire.  The birth  of Christpher John Dodwell was registered in the 1st qtr of 1850 at Teskesbury,Gloucestershire.

The first census record for the Dodwells was that of 1881, taken at 11 Dale Street,Tunbridge Wells. Present there was the family of John Laker, a gardener, and living with them, as boarders ,were Christopher and his brother William. Both men were single, with Christopher working as cabinet maker and William as a bellhanger and gas fitter. The 1886 electoral list gave ‘ Christopher J. Dodwell, Tunbridge Wells.  By the time of the 1891 census the brothers had split up.

William H Dodwell  married Charlotte Margaret (maiden name unknown)(1850-1937) born 1850 at Lamberhurst,Kent in 1883 in Tunbridge Wells ,and with her had the following children (1) Christopher, born 1884 (2) Henry, born 1887 (3) Albert,born 1890. The 1891 census, taken at 34 Grosvenor Road recorded William as an ironmonger. Living with him was his wife Charlotte and their children Christopher, Henry and Albert. Also present was one domestic servant. The 1901 census, taken at 34 Grosvenor Road recorded William as an ironmonger employer at home.With him was his wife and children Christopher, an ironmongers assistant and his sons Henry and Albert along with a sister in law and one visitor. The 1911 census, taken at 16 Rock Villa Road,Tunbridge Wells gave William Henry Dodwell as a retired plumber. With him was his wife Charlotte; his son Henry, a plumber and gas fitter, and his son Albert, an assistant clothier. William and his son Henry had gone into the plumbing and gas fitting business together. The census records that William and his wife were married in 1883, that all three of their children were still living and that they were residing in premises of 7 rooms.  A review of local directories gave for 1903 “William Henry Dodwell, ironmonger, 34 Grosvenor Road”. His son Henry is found in the directories of 1913 to 1930  as “Henry Dodwell, plumber, 16 Rock Villa Rd,Tunbridge Wells. Williams son Christopher is found in the directories of 1930 to 1938 as “Christopher Dodwell, plumber, 16 Rock Villa Road,Tunbridge Wells. The two Dodwell sons had a good career as plumbers in the town.Probate records show that William Henry Dodwell was of 16 Rock Villa Road,Tunbridge Wells when he died October 3,1918. The executor of his 1,052 pound estate was his wife Charlotte Dodwell and his son Christopher Dodwell, 1st air mechanic R.A.F. who had signed up for service in WW 1, and who had survived the conflict. William was buried in the Tunbridge Wells borough cemetery on October 9, 1918.

Returning now to Christopher John Dodwell, one finds that he married Matilda Jenner in the 1st qtr of 1887 at Eastbourne,Sussex. Matilda was one of six children born to Henry and Sarah Jenner and her father was a farm bailiff. In 1861 the Jenner family was living in Ewhurst,Sussex. In the 1871 census, taken at Gove House in Robertsbridge,Sussex Matilda was working as housemaid for the family of Thomas Marton, a landowner and farmer. The 1881 census, taken at ‘Blackhurst’ in Lansdowne Park,Tunbridge Wells, recorded Matilda working as a parlour maid for the family of William Wilson, a retired paper manufacturer.Matilda had been born 1855 at Ewhurst,Sussex.

The Law Times of December 9,1893 and the London Gazette of November 6,1893 both recorded that Christopher John Dodwell, upholsterer, of Tunbridge Wells had become bankrupt by an order dated November 29,1893. 

Christopher left Tunbridge Wells sometime after 1893 and before 1889. He is found in the 1901 census in Croydon,Surrey, where he was a cabinet maker worker. Living with him was his wife Matilda and his three children (1) Daisy M. born 1889 in Eastbourne,Surrey (2) John Jenner, born  1891 Tunbridge Wells (3) Robert, born 1893 Tunbridge Wells.

Christopher died in Surrey sometime between 1901 and 1911. His widow, Matilda is found in the 1911 census at 61 Canterbury Road,Croydon as a housewife. Living with her was her son John Jenner , an assistant in the boot trade, and her son Robert, a porter in a bottling store. Also present in their 6 room residence was on boarder. The census recorded that Matilda had three children and that they were all living.

On January 12,1912 Matilda Dodwell married Albert William Spooner, a 54 year old engine driver, and a widower. The couple were married at Christ Church in Croydon. The parents were given as Henry Jenner, deceased farmer, and Albert Spooner, a gardener. At the time of the marriage Matilda was living at 98 Dennett Road in West Croydon and Albert at 61 Canterbury Road in West Croydon. Matilda died in Croydon in the 1st qtr of 1933.



Written By: Edward James Gilbert-Thunder Bay,Ontario,Canada

Date: January 2,2015


Frederick James Castle , born 1824 in Southborough, Tunbridge Wells, began his working life as a hop factor but became a well-known land developer in the area, who is perhaps best known for his work in the Camden Park  and Dorking Road developments.

His personal life is a rather tragic or at least a strange one. His father was Charles Daniel Castle,of the Royal Navy, and his mother Mary Castle,nee Brampton, born circa 1795 in Southborough. Although his parents had four sons and one daughter, only Frederick and his sister Emma appear to have survived infancy. Fredericks father passed away in 1826. Frederick and his sister ,until her marriage in 1857, lived with their widowed mother in Southborough, on London Road, where his mother ran a lodging house.

Frederick went most of his life as a single gentleman and it was not until he was 72 years of age that he married Kate Sinden and the following year he passed away. Although Frederick was legally single he lived common law with Kate Sinden and began to take on the surname of Sinden, which he used in census records ,but not elsewhere, and  did not legally change his name. Under the name of Sinden he fathered  three sons, all of whom were baptised with the surname of Sinden.His personal life was one of great mystery.

Today he is remembered by the existence of several fine homes in the aforementioned developments and more modest homes elsewhere in town which he played a part in creating through his various land development ventures. This article reports on the person life and business activities of this man.Shown above is a British Royal Navy ship of 1800 like the one Fredericks father sailed on.


Frederick was born 1824 in Southborough and was baptised in Southborough on August 8,1824. His parents were  Charles Daniel Castle and Mary Castle and he was one of five children born to the couple.

Frederick had a sister, Emma Brampton Castle ,who had been born 1818 in Southborough, and baptised October 21,1818. Her middle name came from the maiden name of her mother Mary.She lived with her parents in Southborough and when her father passed away she lived with her mother and siblings in Southborough. In the 2nd qtr of 1857 Emma married William Thomas Crundwell (1811-1897) and with him had two sons and one daughter. In 1861 and 1871 she was living with her husband and children at Freshley,Surrey where the family had a farm. In 1871 the family was living on Holden Road at ‘Dowes House’ where her husband was given as a retired farmer. He obviously came out of retirement later for in 1871 they were living at West End Farm, where Emma’s husband was a farmer of 120 acres employing 8 men and 3 boys. Her son William was also a farmer. Emma died in the 4th qtr of 1883 in Kent.

Frederick also had four brothers namely Charles Hall Castle,William Wingate Castle who was baptised August 16,1820 in Southborough ,Henry Thomas Castle, baptised August 28,1822 in Southborough and  Frederick Castle. A Hubert James Castle is mentioned in the will of Daniel James Castle  as his son but no baptism record was found for him.It is believed, as the writing is not clear that Hubert James Castle was actually Frederick James Castle.  How long Frederick’s siblings lived is not known and it is believed by the researcher that they did not survive infancy, for no records after their baptism could be located. The last record for them was in the will of Charles Daniel Castle dated October 29,1825 in which Charles Daniel Castle was identified as being with the Royal Navy, and a resident of Southborough, and that he left his estate to his “beloved wife Mary” and his children .His children were given as Charles Hall Castle, Emma Brampton Castle, William Wingate Castle, Henry Thomas Castle and Hubert (Frederick ?) James Castle.

Little is known about Charles Daniel Castle but the National Archives has a record of him as a Lieut with the Royal Navy (date of seniority given as January 22,1806) with the record dated 1817. The Naval Chronicle of 1808 gave “Lieut Charles Daniel Castle, assigned to the ship ‘Helicon’” . A marriage record shows that Charles Daniel Castle married Mary Brampton on August 26,1816 at Saint Bride Fleet Street. London. There is a burial record at St Peter and St Paul Church in the district of Tonbridge for Lieut C.D. Castle (1785-1825) and with him are his children Frederick, Charles Hall Castle (1817-1827), Emma Castle, William Wingate Castle,and  Henry Thomas Castle.

The 1851 census, taken at Southborough recorded Mary Castle, widow, as head of the household with the occupation of ‘house proprietor. She was given as born 1795 in Southborough.Living with her was her children Emma and Frederick, both over age 27 and single, with no occupation given. Also present was one lodger and two domestic servants.

The 1861 census, taken at London Road, Southborough, recorded Mary Castle, age 66, born 1795 Tunbridge Wells.Living with her was her single son Frederick, age 37, who was working as a Hop Factor, and one domestic servant. A ‘Hop Factor’ is an agent who buys hops from a grower of hops and sells them to a brewer who in turn uses the hops in the manufacture of beer. Kent ,throughout its history, has been well known for the growing of hops and the brewing of beer. There were several hops farms and brewers in the Tunbridge Wells area and so Frederick would have had no difficulty finding clients to deal with. Shown opposite is an image relating to the hops industry in the area.

Interestingly there are no census records for Frederick James Castle after 1861. There are however electoral records for him by that name in Southborough from the 1850’s up to as late as 1895.

It appears that in 1896 Frederick left Tunbridge Wells. There is an interesting marriage record for a Frederick James Castle to a Kate Sinden at Greenwich, Kent in the 2nd qtr of 1896, in which year Frederick would have been age 72. One has to wonder why he would marry at such a late date in his life, and it is believed by the researcher that this was done so that Kate would  be assured of inheriting Fredericks significant property holdings and other assets when he died.The fact that the marriage took place the year before his death suggests that Frederick was aware of his failing health and the marriage fortold of his impending demise.

As noted in the ‘Overview’ there are records for Frederick and Kate in the census records after 1861 but not under the name of Castle. Sometime in the late 1860’s Frederick James Castle and Kate Sinden decided to live common law. Kate was born 1840/1841 at Brenchley,Kent (according to census records).Details about her life before taking up with Frederick were not determined.

Frederick James Castle (who began to use the surname of Sinden) had three sons with Kate, namely Frederick Arthur Sinden (1869-1945),Walter Ernest Sinden,born 1871 and Gordon Sinden, born 1874. All of the sons were born in Paddington,London. The son Frederick became a solicitor and Gordon became an auctioneer. Walter Ernest Sinden ,born April 6,1871 (name registered as Ernest Walter Sinden), was baptised as Walter Ernest Sinden January 9,1879 at Paddington St Mary Magdalene, and appears to have died in Berkhamstead in 1944.The executors of his estate were Doris Edna Boot, spinster and Horace Eustace Jarvis,solicitor.

The 1871 census, taken at 54 Moscow Road in Paddington London recorded Frederick Sinden as born 1831 Tonbridge with the occupation of “hop merchant retired”. Living with him was his “wife” Kate, who was working as a “court dress maker”. Also present was their son Frederick Arthur Sinden and a woman who worked as an assistant dress maker.

The 1881 census, taken at 17 Monmouth Road St Johns Paddington, gave the head of the household as “Frederic Lindern (presumably and error in recording by the census taker), born 1825 Tunbridge Wells. Living with his wife was “Kate Lindern” born 1841 Brenchley,Kent,who was a dressmaker,  and their son “ Gordon Lindern” born 1874 Paddington.

The 1891 census, taken at 63 Nepilliau Road in Deptford,London, recorded Frederick Sinden  living on own means. With him was his “wife” Kate and his son Arthur, a law articled clerk, and his son Gordon, an auctioneers clerk.

It is known from a 1911 census that Frederick Arthur Sinden married Florence Ada Sinden; worked as a solicitor; and had five children. Details about his brother Gordon were not completely investigated but as you will note later in my account about the Dorking Road Development his name surfaces in connection with the same of lots . Gordon was baptized January 9,1879 at Paddington, with parents given as Kate Sinden and Frederick Sinden. Birth records have his birth registered at Kensington,London in the 3rd qtr of 1873. Gordon had married Adeline Helen Kenny in the 4th qtr of 1902 at Steyning.His death was registered in the 1st  qtr of 1941 at the Isle of Wight, Hampshire. Probate records have him of Kite Hill Court Woolton Bridge I.O.W. and that he died January 17,1941. The executors of his 7,194 pound estate were Dorothy Ethel Smith (wife of John Edward Sherlock Smith) and Horace Eustace George Jarvis, solicitor.

Electoral records for Kate Sinden record her from 1891 to 1898 as a resident of Tressillian Road, but no record for Frederick is found there except in his probate record which is given below.

The 1901 census, taken at 20 St James Road,Tunbridge Wells records “Kate Castle” as a widow and head of the home, where she is living on own means. With her was her son Gordon Sinden, age 27, single, who was working as an insurance agent. Also present was one domestic servant. Kate Castle died in Tunbridge Wells April 10,1912. The probate record for Kate Caste had her at 20 St James Road,Tunbridge Wells, widow, who died on the date given above. The executors of her 33,081 pound estate were her son Gordon Sinden, gentleman, and Edwin Reynolds, solicitors clerk.

There is a death record for Frederick James Castle, born 1824 who died 2nd qtr of 1897(registered in Greenwich,Kent) and a probate record for Frederick James Castle of  63 Tressillian Road, Brockley,Kent, where he died on May 15,1897. The executor of his 19,167 pound estate was his widow Kate Castle. As you will read later Frederick left his wife a considerable amount of land and other assets.

Both Frederick James Castle and Kate Caste were buried in the Ladywell and Brockley Cemeteries in Lewisham. Shown opposite are their grave stones. One stone reads “ In loving memory of Frederick James Castle of Southborough and Brockley who was laid to rest May 16,1897 aged 72 years”. The second stone reads “ Also of Kate Castle, the wife of Frederick James Castle, who died April 10,1912 aged 71 years.

The personal life of Frederick James Castle was a strange one indeed. Why Frederick decided to live common law with Kate Sinden and produce children by her out of wedlock and adopt his wifes maiden name as his surname, although not a legal name change, is most peculiar, particularly since he decided to finally marry Kate the year before he died.

Although he was known as a land developer of Southborough ,and electoral records for him in Southborough exist throughout his life, his children were all born in London and census records after 1861 show he was residing in the London area.If he had a second residence in the Southborough and Tunbridge  Wells area its location was not determined.


For anyone interested in the history of Camden Park I would recommend the book entitled ‘ The Residential Parks of Tunbridge Wells’ by the Tunbridge Wells Civic Society, that was published in 2004. The section on Camden Park tells of plans by George Charles Pratt, Marquess Camden (1799-1866), a possessor of very large estates in Kent and elsewhere, who seeing the success of John Wards Calverley Estates Development divulged his intention to develop his Camden property along the same lines in 1847. However his plan was slow to be brought to fruition and the plan involved, by way of covenants, that no building was to be erected on the lots with a value of less than 1,200 pounds with lots being about one acre in size. As part of the plan some 7-1/2 acres of land was to be kept as open land in the middle of the estate as a meadow or pasture. By 1851 only the east and west lodges had been built (3 were planned).

The 1851 census referred to two new houses being built  and some houses were constructed in the 1860’s. The Marquess of Camden was somewhat dismayed at the slowness of the development and continuation of the project fell to the 2nd Marquess of Camden after his death in 1866. His son John Charles, the 3rd Marquess of Camden took over but he died in 1872 leaving a daughter and an only surviving son John Charles, the 4th Marquess Camden who was only a few months old. The management of the estate passed effectively to Trustees and Agents. There was pressure to sell off the land and in 1875 Frank Stone offered to buy 20 acres of the estate but no deal was made. On August 13,1875 an auction was held but there were few bidders and  only three lots were sold. Now the book gives the following account as it relates to Frederick James Castle.

“A detailed map of about 1883 shows the subsequent history of the disposal of much of the estate, as well as nearby land at Hawkenbury which was also Camden property. From this it appears that seven plots were bought about this time by Mr Castle ( Frederick James Castle)-these were adjacent sites on Bayhall Road as far as the northern entrance to Camden Park and were part of the Camden Park estate. Frederick James Castle, described in the local paper in 1887 as “a well-known land agent”, would nowadays be called a developer. He was responsible for laying out many of the less exclusive areas of the town and so his appearance in Camden Park is somewhat surprising. A newspaper report of 10 June 1887 reveals what his motives were, carrying a fascinating account of a case where he was the defendant in an action brought by Brendon Halliburton Collins and Mrs Stoddart Douglass. Collins was a formidable opponent, being the owner of Dunorlan and much surrounding land, and Mrs Douglass of Chilston House had purchased Halls Hole Farm from the Camden estate in 1883. The report tells how the Marquess Camden had tried to sell plots in Camden Park (incidently giving 1856 as the date when sales commenced) with covenants to ensure that no house would be built at a cost of under 1,200 pounds. However, not all the plots had sold and the defendant had bought up a number of them and had tried to purchase the remainder with a view to erecting houses which would cost only 600 pounds each.; it is interesting, incidentally, that as early as 1869, Stone had written to Cramer Roberts, warning him that they suspected Castle (Frederick James Castle) had it in mind to do this. The Court heard expert evidence from Henry Hickman Cronk the architect, to the effect that reducing the class of houses in this way would damage the character of the surrounding property, and issued an injunction restraining Mr Castle from doing this, costs being granted to the plaintiffs. The houses later built on these plots were certainly substantial enough to satisfy the most critical local resident, worried about falling property values”.



A second article that relates to Frederick James Castle and Camden Park appeared in the Tunbridge Wells Civic Society Newsletter of Winter 2012 in the form of an article by Robert Manning entitled ‘The History of Crocodile Lodge’. Crocodile lodge, derived its name from the ornate crocodile sculptures on the grounds but for most of its existence was referred to more commonly as Powells Lodge after one of its residents. This lodge was one of 3 built as entrance lodges to Camden Park and if you refer to the 1909 OS map above , it is the one at the south west entrance off Grove Hill Road, opposite ‘Oakfield Court’. . Robert Manning gives an interesting and informative account of the history of the lodge and it can be read in full online at the Civic Societies website. With respect to Frederick James Castle it states “ Until 1885 the Lodge was in the estate of the Marquess of Camden. In June 1885, however, a number of lots in Camden Park, including the Lodge, were acquired by Frederick James Castle, a builder from Southborough. Robert Manning stated “ The indenture for the purchase of the lodge by Frederick James Castle is dated 4th June 1885 with Frederick given as “esquire”. In 1886 it was up for sale, one of 14 lots in an auction at the Camden Hotel. The Lodge, which didn’t sell, was described as “Powell’s Lodge.” With a large Garden and Greenhouse. ….Also significantly, when Frederick James Castle came to sell the Lodge to Alfred Ashton in 1893 he included a new deed of covanent” that prevented a “shop or any other purpose than that of an entrance lodge to Camden Park from the Cambridge Road. Castle (Mr Castle) may well have taken exception to the running of a shop (or Garden Centre). Engaging in trade could be seen as lowering the tone of Camden Park………” Robert Manning adds “ The indenture for the sale of the Lodge is dated the 8th June 1893 between Frederick James Castle of Southborough near Tunbridge Wells in the county of Kent, Gentleman, and Alfred Ashton” Shown opposite is a photo of Crocodile Lodge.


Shown opposite is a plan showing details of the Dorking Road development from an article by the Friends of Grosvenor & Hilbert Park in their Autumn 2013 newsletter, which was one of the exhibits in an article entitled ‘Early History of Dorking Road and The Boundary Wall’, from which I give the following extracts. For those unfamiliar with Dorking Road it can be found east of the Grosvenor Bridge ,east of and parallel to Auckland Road, south of the Recreation Ground. By 1909 most of the homes on Dorking Road had been built on the west side with only a few on the east side.I wish to thank Mary Hughes for providing the aforementioned plan and for a second document, an abstract of title, from which information is given later.

The “Friends” in this article refer to them undertaking work on the Boundary Wall, which led Mary Hughes ,who lived in Dorking Road, to investigate the history of the road and the wall. She says “ The land that would become Dorking Road (approx.. 6-1/2 acres) originally formed part of Lipscombes Farm, owned by John Beanes Charity, which was for the benefit of Protestant Dissenting Ministers at Guildford and Dorking and of poor inhabitants of Guildford and Dorking and elsewhere in the County of Surrey. The land was known as the Dorking Charity Estate giving rise to the name of Dorking Road…The land was sold in 1888 for 2,500 pounds to Frederick James Castle of Southborough. A restrictive covenant specified that no more than 40 houses should be built on the west (or evens) side of the road and no more than 30 houses on the east ( or odds) side. This was nearly followed (38 houses on the evens: 29 on the odds) but they were not the neat semi-detached houses on the plan! They were built at different times, in a variety of styles, some semi-detached and some detached!.The variety of house styles gives Dorking Road a unique character. Following the death of Frederick Castle in 1897, 19 plots of land on the odds side were left to his wife, Kate Castle. Houses had been built on only 3 of these plots. In 1928, the empty plots of land were sold by Frederick Arthur Sinden, son of Kate Castle, to William, Frederick and Alfred Huggett. The Huggetts built the semi-detached houses  15 and 17 Dorking Road and sold number 15 to Mr William Lloyd June 1930. The covenants relating to the sale of the land in July 1888 state that the purchaser should build a brick wall along the eastern boundary of the land within 12 months….” Mary continues with her coverage of the history of this development, but since no further mention is made of the Castle or Sinden family I end my coverage of her article. How Frederick Arthur Sinden, the son of Kate Castle, fits into the history of the family,  and of the Dorking Road development is found in the following record.

From the ‘Abstract of the title of W.T. Huggett, F. Huggett & A. Huggett esq’s Part of the Dorking Road Estates situated in Dorking Road, Tunbridge Wells’ are a number of references to Frederick James Castle. This document is dated 1930 but begins with  an abstract with  respect to a convenyance dated February 22,1889 between (1) Daniel Roberts Fearon of Whitehall,”the Official Trustee of Charity Lands” (2) David Williamson of Guildford (upholsterer), Thomas Wilson of Harpenden (B.A. London), William Drane of Dorking (Gent), Samuel Smith of Dorking (Gent), Francis Rees Carling of Guildford (ironmonger), and George James Jacobs of Guildford (coachbuilder), being the Trustees of the Charity known as John Beanes Charity for the benefit of Protestant Dissenting Ministers at Guildford and Dorking and of poor inhabitants of Guildford and Dorking and elsewhere in the County of Surrey (3) Frederick James Castle of Southborough (Gent).

With this document was an attached plan of Dorking Road showing a plan of proposed housing and footpath and also intended roads. This is the plan I gave above. The agreement states that a sum of 2,500 pounds was to be paid to the Trustees by Frederick James Castle for the purchase of the freehold simple of the said land and the tithe rent charge issuing out of the same. It states that the land contained “6 acres and a half thereabouts part of a Farm called Lipscombe’s Farm situated in the Parish of Tonbridge in the County of Kent now or late in the occupation of George Wickens and bounded on the north by a piece of land intended for a public recreation ground”. Other terms and details of the agreement were given  and within it was the following “ 20th June 1896-by his will of this date the said Frederick James Castle gave all his property to his wife Kate Castle and appointed her sole executor. 15th May 1897-the said F.J. Castle died. 28th June 1897-Probate of the will of the said F.J. Castle was granted this day to said Kate Castle the sole executrix. 18th June 1909 –by conveyance of this date made between Kate Castle of 20 St Johns Road,Tunbridge Wells,kent, widow, of the one part and Frederick Arthur Sinden of 221 Sydenham Road, Sydenham,Kent ,gent of the second part, citing that the said Kate Castle was desirous of conveying the said messuages and hereditabments unto her son the said F.A. Sinden for his absolute use and benefit in freehold simple. It was witnessed that for effectuating her said desire and in consideration of her love and affection for the said F.A. Sinden the said Kate Castle hereby conveyed unto the said F.A. Sinden all those messuages, tenements and premises mentioned and described thereto”.  Following this was a Schedule in which was given “ All those nineteen plots, pieces of parcels of land part of a larger piece of land containing 6-1/2 acres part of Lipscombe Farm…purchased by Frederick James Castle….comprising plots 40 to 47, 53 to 56,61 to 63 all- inclusive and 65,66,69 and 70 on the plan of the estate together with the three messuages or dwelling houses standing and being upon the said plots numbered 63,65 and 66 and now known as numbers 7,9, and 13 in Dorking Road. Under the heading of ‘Executed by the said Kate Castle’ was “28th March 1928 by statutory declaration of this date that the said Frederick Arthur Sinden declared that (1) he was the owner of the plots of land numbered 40 to 47, 53 top 56 all inclusive and 61,62,69 and 70 on the plan of the Dorking Road Estate (2) The said property was conveyed to him by conveyance dated June 8,1909 and (3) the whole of the land had since the date of conveyance to him bit let to various allotment holders and that he had been in regular receipt of the rent and profit therefrom. On March 30,1928 an agreement was made between F.A. Sinden and the Huggetts “all of 73 High Street,Tubnridge Wells, builders” where 16 plots on the East side of Dorking Road were sold to the Huggetts, who no doubt were the builders that later constructed homes on this land.

Chris Jones of the Tunbridge Wells Civic Society stated to me that “In 1869 Frederick James Castle seems to have bought a plot of land from the Wards that was east of St James Road and north of Albion Road-it is probably all part of that Dorking Road story,though I understand that also involved the Dorking Charity”. The location Chris described certainly puts the land at or near Dorking Road, but the date of 1869 would suggest it is a different parcel of land to that which Frederic James Castle purchased from the trustees in the 1889 record I gave above. Chris goes on to state “I think the Dorking Charity sold a strip of land to the west of Charity Farm (possibly in two stages) to create Dorking Road.Tha tis in the bottom of the valley. The Ward land was higher up, forming the eastern side of that stretch of St James road, and possibly the road between St James’ and Dorking”.


As noted in the Parks book by the Civic Society Frederick James Castle was involved in a number of development projects in Southborough and Tunbridge Wells and that he was a well- known developer of Southborough and that most of his projects were on a less ambitious scale as those described above.

Two indentures were found for 1861-1863 relating to property on Park Road in Southborough. One dated July 22,1861 was between Frederick James Castle of Southborough and Charles Gallard of Southborough and William Gorham of Tonbridge for a plot of land “being about 7 acres”.

A record of land ownership ,dated 1873, for Frederick James Castle of Southborough recorded that he owned 26 acres with an estimated gross rental of 328 pounds.

The book ‘The Residential Parks of Tunbridge Wells’ by the Tunbridge Wells Civic Society, published in 2004 reported “Much of development in the lower part of St James Road was by Frederick James Castle, who had bought for 3,000 pounds, what was called the St James Estate, which included the land which is now the present day Auckland, Vernon and Rochdale roads.Much of the building was carried out for him by George Mercer of nearby Goods Station Road”.


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