(Part 4, Chapter 2, Section 4) ( Bk. Index )

[ Some Other Notable Houses and Properties ]

4. Vine Cottage

Vine CottageVine Cottage

Views from High Street and from garden

Although not idenified as a Listed Building, an initial survey suggests that parts of Vine Cottage might be around 300 years old. However, the parts of the building immediately facing the High Street are 19th century.

Site Plan from the 1839 Tithe Map
The house is in Plot No 411 on the south side of the Street, adjoining the former Red Lion and cottages to the west  


1839 Tithe Map plan

1839 Tithe Apportionment
Plots 411, 412.  Two houses, outbuildings yard, owned by Edward Smith, tenant George Smith, area 15 roods.

Vine Cottage

At the present day the site will be known as a continuation of the Red Lion building, along the Street. Vine cottage itself, end on to the road, with Creston and Vesta Cottages on the east side, and a shop on the other side. Vine Cottage might better be called Vine House, it is a farmstead style two storey dwelling of substantial size.

In the spacious days of the early 18th century, the Rosery farmstead spread its yards and paddocks right through to the Street. The owner, John Edmunds had purchased the farm from John Palmer, and in selling off a small plot adjoining the Street, to John Ingram in 1743, had no significant loss and £9 gained. "All that piece or parcel of ground as the same is now set out by the said John Ingram and John Edmunds together also with the stone wall thereon containing in the whole sixteen rods."  [Add Mss 28321-42]

‘Yeoman’ Ingram was the last in a line of the family occupying extensive farmland in Ecclesden owned by Sir Cecil Bishopp, and it may have been his intention to retire to the house he built there, next to the future Red Lion Inn.  But, whatever his intentions, he died in 1748 when he might still have been at Ecclesden, for he bequeathed to “Elizabeth Teckner widow, now living with me, my new house and garden, now in the occupation of Daniel Pen” as a lifehold.  After that the ‘new house’ was to be sold for the benefit of his cousin John Olliver.

According to the church burial registers Elizabeth Tickner came to the end of her life interest in 1760, and a Mary Tickner died soon afterwards in 1773. For that reason, it would seem likely the next transaction for the house is dated two years afterwards in 1775, with its sale to John Olliver. Although the occupant is given as Richard Ausden or Austin.

The same Richard Austin eventually owned Vine Cottage, purchased from William Sayers yeoman in 1790, Sayers having inherited the house from his grandfather John Olliver in 1787. But Richard did not enjoy it for many years for he died there in 1804, having just sold it to John Smith innholder - in fact landlord of the Lamb nearby. At which juncture John took the opportunity to split off part of the site to build a small cottage on the west side. There follows a complicated series of transactions, involving George Rose the occupant of Vine Cottage, but these culminated in Edward Smith owning both houses or cottages, his presumed father John having died in 1813.

Edward then completed the infilling of buildings around Vine Cottage, with another in about 1850, which was or became the two Creston cottages, and also converted the existing small cottage to a bakehouse. His son George no doubt the first baker there, from which date it continued to be a shop of some kind. Edward’s will of 1854 spoke of himself as a ‘gentleman’ as much as to say a propertied person. George then continued in ownership and occupation of Vine Cottage, with the two Creston dwellings as the homes of Sarah Smith his mother, and John Leach.

George evidently moved to Brighton, having mortgaged the Angmering property, and had to put the houses up for sale in 1860 to settle his debt. The house and adjoining bakery was now tenanted by William Etherington and later Mr Wapling, as in 1887 when Henry Grant purchased the houses. Grant’s daughter Mary having married the well known builder Edwin Harris, what was described as a “dwellinghouse, bakehouse, and two cottages” passed into their hands.


“I also remember Wapling’s lardy cakes and also his rock buns and living so close to him and his wife I also smelt his cooking.  Waplings moved to Dorking and John Card took over the bakery, I spent a month in Dorking with them after they moved away.”  [Grace O’Neill]

“It was a bakery in the 1890s and the ovens were removed in 1959.  The small shop was used as a barbers about 1910, as a pork butchers 1913 to 1941, now in use as a greengrocer and general store.” [WI notes 1971]


 RWS 2009 NRD