Tag Archives: 1881

Rumbold Farm

Farm house and land off west side of Carshalton Road, on part of what is now the Willow Lane industrial estate. Also known as Rumbold’s Farm or Rumbold Castle, it dated back to the 17th century.

1867 OS map

As reported in the London Evening Standard – Saturday 16 February 1861, the Great Ormond Street Hospital, which had been established in 1852, used its Samaritan Fund to obtain for convalescing children

the renovating influence of sea and country air, and in a large measure the committee were indebted for the opportunity of doing this to the kindness of two friends of the charity, one of whom, at Brighton, undertakes the entire cost of the Home which she has established there, whilst Lady Harding receives the children at a moderate charge of Rumbold’s Farm, Mitcham, a home founded by and still under her management.

The archivists at Great Ormond Street Hospital said that from 1869, the Hospital for Sick Children had its own convalescent home at Cromwell house in Highgate, but prior to that, after opening in 1852, they used the Mitcham home run by Lady Harding and another private home in Brighton. From 1927-83 the hospital had a larger ‘Country Branch’ further out in Surrey at Tadworth Court, which continues to operate today as a charitable trust providing respite care services for children.

Morning Post – Monday 22 July 1861 via British Newspaper Archive

The 1881 census shows a Rumbolt Boarding School, listed between Flat Tops and the Mitcham Junction Railway station. The census lists 46 pupils at the school, with ages from 3 to 12.

Who had the right spelling? The OS maps show Rumbold and the census as Rumbolt.

The farm went up for sale in 1885:

Croydon Advertiser and East Surrey Reporter – Saturday 28 March 1885 – via British Newspaper Archive

Text of ad:

OLD RUMBOLD FARM, opposite Mitcham Junction Station. Mitcham Common.—For Sale, useful old Building Materials, 12,000 plain tiles, window sashes. six cucumber frames, large copper and furnace, large kitchener, 5-ft. wide, nearly new; also capital American cooking range. 4-ft. wide, nearly new, pump with lead pipe, taps attached, with apparatus for supplying bath or high service, quantity of firewood, &c.

Tom Francis took a photo of the farmhouse, which can be seen on Merton Memories.

Maps are reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland.

Homefield House

From The Builder, page 245, 26th Feb 1881:

The two view (exterior and interior) which we give in our present number, illustrate a portion of the alterations and additions recently made to this residence, comprising chiefly the construction of a central hall opening to the staircase, with a stone arcade, the erection of a new wing containing a drawing-room, with guests’ rooms and boudoir over, the re-modelling and re-erection of tbe conservatory in a new position, and various alterations and additions to the kitchen and domestic offices.

Tho hall is panelled the whole height in wood-work, the decoration of the panels resembling “Tarsia” work, the ceiling being also panelled, and having moulded beams with pendants at the intersections.

The general effect of the decoration is a golden brown, the floor is of marble mosaic, and the stonework and steps, and shafts are of red Mansfield stone and Belgian “T” grey marble, the windows being filled with stained glass. Teo chimney-piece, in red Dumfries stone, deeply recessed, moulded, and carved, and having a carved and traceried hood in wainscot, running up to the ceiling cornice, with a central painting (by Weekes), forms a picturesque feature.

The lower portion of the staircase has been reconstructed, and now faces the hall, a screen, with carved and moulded shafts bearing a cusped arcade with carved spandrels, being carried across the entrance vestibule; the newels to stairs are also moulded and carved, having between them pierced and carved panels. The wall-surfaces of the staircase are decorated in tones of blue, the woodwork being black.
Tbe drawing-room is panelled to a height of about 8 ft., finished with a moulded and embattled cornice. The architraves to doorways are enriched with carved beads and moulded shafts, carrying coved heads with moulded ribs, open baluster work, cresting, and pendants.

The ceiling has a geometrical setting-out of plaster ribs with enriched pendants at the intersections, and a frieze in low relief, and the floor has a central filling of French oak, “ herringbone,” with a border of wainscot, walnut, and ebonised pear-wood.

The present scheme of colour is kept light, but low in tone, with some gold, increased richness being intended to be given later on by the painted frieze and the introduction of figure subjects,— possibly illustrative of some poem or legend,— in the panels, in colour on a gold ground.

Externally the work is executed in old brickwork, red Mansfield stone, and brown tiles, the roofs of the turrets and all the finials being of copper ; the barge-boards are moulded and carved, and all the mullions and woodwork to the windows, turrets, &c., are fully moulded.

The general contract work was carried out by Mr. Geo. Amer, builder, of Catford, and the whole of the decorative and art work generally by Messrs. Harland & Fisher, who also executed the stained glass and the marble mosaic pavement; Messrs. Strode, Turpin, and Tagnon respectively providing the gasfittings, parquet, and marble work; the whole being executed from the designs and under the superintendence of Mr. Alfred Jowers, architect, of Gray’s Inn-square, London.

House in Phipps Bridge, home to the Harland family. The varnish factory of William Harland & Sons Ltd. was just to the north, as can be seen on this 1894 map:

1894 OS Map

1894 OS Map

Merton Memories Photos
1920 view of factory buildings
aerial view of factory


Land registered in 1935 by New Ideal Homesteads Ltd., see London Gazette Publication date:10 September 1935 Issue:34197Page:5757

Demolished to make way for Homefield Gardens estate, built by Ideal Homesteads, the same builder of Bramcote Avenue and Denham Crescent.


Maps are reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland.