Grazing 2014

Early Photos of the Estate

These photos were sent to us by Mrs Rosemary Westwood who used to live on the Estate (South Lodge) when she was a little girl. Also shown in the photos are Rosemary’s sister, mother and father. Her father (Mr Simons) was gardener for 35 years and one of his jobs was to cut all the grass!

Whilst we don’t know the dates of the photos, they were probably taken around the early 1940s, and mainly for the family photo album. However, it’s good to see that very little has changed in terms of the surroundings!

Generator House

This lovely old photograph of the Generator House / Pump House / Well House (call it what you will) was found by a local resident. Perhaps a future project will restore this area to its former glory!

Wartime Memories

Elizabeth Rudd contacted the website with this evocative wartime memory:

I was an evacuee to Chorleywood house at the beginning of the war. I don’t know how long I spent at Chorleywood House, it seemed a long time. I remember a field of daffodils.

I was just seven when I came, my sister three years older. Our Mother came with us to see us settled in. My first memory was walking in the front door to see a long table with slices of bread and jam; of course we were all hungry. The local school was full so we had lessons in the church hall, very cold, and the bottles of milk had ice in them.

Another naughty memory I have, after we had been there awhile, there was an orchard very near – don’t think it belonged to the house. A group of us decided we needed some apples so we decided to go scrumping. I was voted to go over the wall whilst the remainder stood outside to keep watch while I threw some of the delicious apples over to them. I daresay we suffered tummy ache the next day.

I think we were at the house for quite a while (from what I understand most people weren’t happy to have siblings). There was a group of Brownies at the house so we had our meetings in a hut in the grounds. Because we all lived together our uniforms were often mixed up especially hats and at some point I caught ringworm and in those days you had your head shaved – I was devastated.

Eventually we went Catlips Farm, we weren’t happy there and so my mother managed to move us to a Mr & Mrs Walker who lived at Langsett, Chorleywood Bottom. We were very happy there and kept in touch with them after the war. There must have been a big pond or lake on the common because one winter’s day we took the Walker’s dog for a walk and she ran onto the ice and fell in. We were so frightened but eventually we got her out.

When we went to Langsett, their son was still at home so we shared a bedroom with Catherine (how generous was that!). I remember being fascinated watching her brushing her hair 100 times every night. They always made my parents welcome when they came to visit.

The photos below, most likely taken at the top of Pink Chestnut Avenue, show Elizabeth (Betty) with her mother, father and sister.

Sunken Garden

Here’s a picture of the Sunken Garden taken early August 2012 from inside Chorleywood House by resident Monty.

Snow on the Estate

Here are some photos taken on the Estate in early February 2012 by Tim Venner.


Sheep at Dell Nature Reserve

The annual visit of sheep to the Estate took place on Monday 15 August 2011.

Within a few days, one sheep was dead and another injured, probably savaged by dogs. The bites were quite low on the sheep’s neck, and could have been caused by terriers who are small enough to have squeezed under the wire. Understandably, the sheep have now been removed and the injured sheep is making a good recovery. But sadly, it is unlikely that a grazier will trust us with sheep again.

Pond Party

As a way of celebrating the completion of the pond restoration, and the re-awarding of a Green Flag to the Estate, and to thank everyone involved for their help and support, a drinks party was held by the pond during the early evening of Tuesday 9th August.

Drinks and nibbles were provided, and Rosemary played some decorous cocktail music at the keyboard.

Slideshow of some photos taken at the Pond Party

Hover your mouse over a picture to pause the display

Yoga on the grass

Free Yoga sessions were again being held throughout the summer on the Chorleywood House Estate, every Sunday from 31 July to 21 August 2011, 10:30 until 12 noon. For more information, see this poster or contact the www.yogatree.org.uk website.


Photo taken at one of last year’s sessions

Restoration of the Fire Pond

The ornamental pond in front of the house was leaking, so Friends volunteers cleared out the sludge, and re-sealed it in preparation for re-filling with fresh water.

It took less time to fill than we expected. After 27 hours it was half full.

Having left the water to aerate for 3 days we were ready to re-stock it with lilies. Andy, the Common Ranger, donned his wet-suit and braved the deep!

He took the old lilies that we had re-potted, and new ones from Solesbridge Mill Water Gardens.

Since it is an ornamental pond, not a wild-life pond, we invited Andy to use it as a new home for all the gold-fish that thoughtless people have released into the ponds on the Common. Here are some of the first 100 ………!

Did you know that when goldfish arrive in a new home, the first thing they do is swim round the perimeter to explore !

This is what it looked like after we had finished. I know you can’t see the fish, but trust me – they’re in there somewhere.

[N.B. All text and photographs courtesy Tim Venner]