Monday, 31 December 2012

G.W. Rhodes and Joseph King, 30 December 1930

The houses that now stand on the old Foundry Meadow in Kings Road had their plans submitted at the end of 1930.  This land, effectively in the middle of Peasant Arts buildings, must certainly have been owned by Joseph King who owned the surrounding land.  The bulk of the Haslemere Peasant Industries activities had closed down in 1927 after the death of Maude Egerton King, but weaving continued in the Dye House, called the Weaving House in 1933 by Joseph King when he communicated the disbanding of the Peasant Arts Society.  So sometime, perhaps after 1927, Joseph King decided to sell the Foundry Meadow land.

Original envelope holding the house plan by G.W.Rhodes
to my house on Kings Road, Haslemere
in the old Foundry Meadow

Six houses, including mine, were built on the old meadow.  Given his seemingly considerable wealth, it does not seem likely that King was motivated by money to sell the land, perhaps the funds were needed by the dwindling Peasant Arts movement, or maybe King was consciously supporting the architect G.W.Rhodes who designed the houses that were built?

extract of the original plan for my house
on Kings Road, Haslemere
by G.W. Rhodes

G.W.Rhodes designed many houses in Haslemere.  That he designed six houses on Kings Road is not widely recognised as his other houses are on more highly regarded streets, and due to the proximity of the railway line, PVC windows have now been favoured over the traditional leaded windows, which gives the houses a different appearance.

When I revisited our original house plans a few days ago, the first time since I started looking into the Peasant Arts movement, I was struck by the mention of "J. King".  The small map drawn on the plans shows the triangle of Foundry Meadow, bounded by Kings Road at the bottom, and Foundry Lane going from the left hand corner to the top right.  The meadow contains the words "Block Plan", and then next to that, the house with "P. House" written inside, standing for "Proposed House" is my house.  Next to which is the old Dye House, drawn on the map, and then next to that, a building at an angle which must be the now demolished (and replaced by St George's Flats) St George's Hall, also the site of the Country Church.  From the boundary of the "Proposed House" is written "J. King Eq." presumably denoting Joseph King's ownership of the land from that boundary.

Small map on the G.W.Rhodes plan of our house,
Kings Road, Haslemere


  1. How interesting. A real connection with your home and the final years of the Peasant Arts . I suppose that Godfrey Blount would have been elderly by then and would have been living at the big house at St Cross?

    My father, born in 1926, must have been a small boy when King`s Foundry Meadow houses were built. His family then lived along Wey Hill in Meadow Vale, but I imagine that they would have walked that way when he was a child. A more rural way of walking into the centre of Haslemere.

  2. Thanks for your comments. Yes the Blounts would have been at St Cross at that time. How wonderful to have seen the meadow in all it's freedom of the 1920s. What a shame that we have no pictures of it then.

    Incidently, I thought I'd found Little St Cross a few days ago, but it was a red herring. I will have to post on it anyway to show you. In fact I'm going to have a quick diversion and do a planning post, as we have just objected yet again to a proposal a few doors away to demolish a Victoria house and replace it with a block of nine flats.

  3. Hi Kate, I'm about to move to Haslemere and have been enjoying your website, finding out more about the local area. I have a question for you: the house I'm hopefully moving to was built by GW Rhodes in the 1930s. Do you know of any good sources of information specifically about Rhodes and his work? Thanks! James

  4. Hi James, sorry for the delayed response. I think that the best place to look for information on Rhodes is the Haslemere Museum. The staff in the library there are extremely helpful. I've not found much on Rhodes online but I expect that there must be a lot of paperwork on him as he seemed to have designed a significant number of Haslemere houses. I hope you are enjoying your Rhodes house. Best wishes Kate


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...