Sunday, 20 January 2013

Searching for Little St Cross, Weydown Road

A few weeks ago I thought that I might have stumbled across the building of Little St Cross which was in the garden of St Cross, Godfrey Blount's old house on Weydown Road, Haslemere.  I wrote about this unique church in my Haslemere Cranks - Part 2 post.

Little St Cross,
reproduced courtesy of The Dartford Warbler

From looking at a plan of that part of Weydown Road, you can see that the houses of Greville MacDonald, Wildwood, and Godfrey Blount, St Cross, would have been next door to each other in the early 1900s.  Now there are three houses 'infilled' between them.  These are all quite recently built.  It would appear that two were built in the garden of Wildwood and the other in St Cross' garden.

One of those three houses is currently for sale, and can found here on Zoopla.   The owners told me that they built the house about 10 years ago.  In stark contrast to the rest of the estate agent's photographs of the house is the 'studio' right next to it.   This is a very unusual outbuilding that is clearly a relic from an older time.  I thought it might be Little St Cross, it is certainly an intriguing building which looks like a chapel, but it clearly is not Little St Cross.  The land that the house is on, was part of Wildwood's garden, and is represented on the map below in the garden of the most furthest bottom house.  The entrance faces the road, and is situated before the main house of Wildwood, suggesting that the building was for visitors.

map of part of Weydown Road, Haslemere

The studio on Weydown Road,
from Zoopla

The studio on Weydown Road

The inside of Little St Cross differs from the inside of this studio also.  The owner kindly invited me to look at the studio, and you can see from the photograph taken through the glass that there is wooden panelling halfway up the walls, the ceiling is boxed in towards the top and intriguingly the far end is raised like it would in a church or theatre.  There is no record of Greville MacDonald being a craftsman, so if the building dates from his time at Wildwood (c.1919-1944), I do not think it would have been used as a workshop by him.  Any ideas?

Inside Little St Cross,
reproduced courtesy of The Dartford Warbler

The view inside the studio, Weydown Road
taken from the door
From the map it would appear that the only other outbuildings on the original site of St Cross are probably just the garages.  The map came from a Surrey County Council objection in 2010 to St Cross building a house in their front garden.  It says "Wildwood Cottage was an exception and was a new build replacing an earlier demolished bungalow".  I think that this new building could have built on the site of Little St Cross.


  1. What a mystery! I wonder if the present studio was built by recycling some of the materials from the old Little St Cross? The roof tiles look very similar, as do the the lower strips of horizontal wooden panelling. Either that, or maybe they were designed by the same person?

    I wonder if there might be any original planning documents in the County Archives at Guildford?

  2. Hi there.

    I think that there were two studios built around the same time, possibly by the same person. The museum had a few photos of Little St Cross or named something like that too I think, and I have a niggling feeling that it may have looked more like the studio above. I thought the buildings were the same, what with the horizontal exterior wood, but when I saw it, it was clear that the buildings are different. I think that looking in the County Archives is a great idea. I'm about 2 years behind on doing any research at the moment, so I'll add it to the 'to do' list!

    Incidentally, from reading some of Greville's memoirs a few days ago I saw that he was talking about his woodwork and also taking some jewelry-making lessons to make his mother a gold necklace. So I think I stand corrected, Greville did make crafts too.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...