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Betchworth Castle (Surrey): alterations and additions to the house, designs for lodge, dairy, ice house, greenhouse and stables, 1798-1800 (68 )

Henry Peters (?1763-1827) was the second son of George Peters, a wealthy Russia Merchant who was from 1766 a director and from 1785 to 1787 governor of the Bank of England. Henry Peters was a partner in the bank of Masterman & Co. of White Hart Court. His wealth led to an invitation to stand ('against the interests of the Duke of Marlborough') as MP for Oxford. He succeeded and was MP from 1796 to 1802. (Information from: www.historyofparliamentonline.org)

'Betchworth Castle dates to at least 1377 when Sir John Fitzalan, Marsall of England was granted license to crenellate his residence there. It is likely that the fortified house was constructed on the site of an earlier castle, traces of which may survive beneath the later buildings. ... The house and park were bought in 1791 by William Fenwick, who arranged for the demolition of the south-western end of the building, turning the the remaning north eastern end into a smaller country residence'. The house was bought by Henry Peters in c.1798 and Soane was commisiioned to make alterations and additions to the house and to build a new lodge, dairy, ice house, greenhouse, house for Mr Dudeny and stables. The additions to the house were, externally, in a castellated form while thatch and flint were materials tried out for most of the other buildings though oviously not the greenhouse. The stable buildings with Diocletian windows, much flintwork and a slate roof was the most distinguished of these estate buildings and, converted into a series of six houses by 1837, is the only survivor. Peters died in 1827 and in 1834 the house was bought by Henry Hope to add to his Deepdene estate. Masonry was re-used for work elsewhere and the Castle was allowed to collapse into a picturesque ruin.
(Information from:www.dorkingmuseum.org.uk/local-history/lost.../betchworth-castle/ and also www.brockhamhistory.org › Buildings)

Jill Lever
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