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The Glen

There was once a property in Normandy that has now vanished with hardly a trace. It was a smallholding called "The Glen", sometimes known as "Pirbright Glen". It lay at the end of a rough track running north off the Pirbright Road about a quarter of a mile west of Henley Park. It consisted mainly of meadow and there was a house and outbuildings.

The house was built of brick with tiled roofs. The 1910 Survey describes it as having a sitting room, kitchen, scullery, two bedrooms, a wash house and a pantry. Water was from a well. There was a fodder room, cart shed, stable, pigsty and meal house. James Mullard rented the property between 1923 and 1930 and in his time the downstairs rooms were known as "Main Room", "Small Room" and "Kitchen". There was a small dairy in the northwest angle with a marble slab for the utensils and an earthen floor. In the corner of the main room was a large fireplace with a bread oven having an outside-hatch. The kitchen had an open fire with fire dogs and a spit for roasting.

The smallholding was enclosed from the waste of the Manor of Cleygate and the earliest record we have is when Richard Moody, the then holder, died in 1720 and the smallholding and cottage known as "Richard Moody's House" passed to James Smith and his wife Elizabeth who was Richard Moody's daughter. It is possible that the house which was demolished in 1987 was developed and extended from this cottage on the site.

From time to time it was recorded in the proceedings of the Manorial Court that the occupier of the smallholding had encroached upon the waste but in spite of threats of penalties these encroachments were eventually accepted until the property reached an extent of almost four acres. It was held as Copyhold of the Manor and changed hands many times over the years often descending through families or family connections. Each time it changed hands the new holder was required to be admitted at a session of the Manor Court and pay a fine. This procedure lasted until the 1920s when the powers of the Lords of the Manors and Copyhold tenure were abolished and all properties formerly held as such were made Freehold.

In 1885 The Glen was sold to Thomas Osgood. His name appears in many land transactions in the area and he served as a Councillor for Normandy Ward in the early days of Ash Parish Council. He bought The Glen from Alice Daffarn, the daughter of the last civilian Lord of the Manor of Cleygate, Mrs. Rose Mangles the tenure of The Glen having reverted to the Lord of the Manor on the death of John Rhoades in 1872. In 1896 Thomas Osgood sold The Glen to Lord Pirbright. When Lady Pirbright died in 1914 it was left in trust for her great nephew, Philip Brydges Henriques. He was killed at Ypres in 1915 and his father Sir Philip inherited the property.

The Glen
The Glen

David Richards bought The Glen in 1939 and let it to George Parry but it appears to have gradually declined until in 1953 it was bought by Naim Asian, an Egyptian architect, Asian and his English wife Enid, also an architect, had four daughters and the property was bought as a country retreat from their practice in London. They restored the cottage, had a parquet floor laid in the main room and a division erected to form a small hall into which the front door opened. The former dairy floor was laid with quarry tiles. They also laid out an attractive walled garden with statuary. They stayed until 1972 when it was bought by the Ministry of Defence.

In 1983 the boundaries of this part of Ash Ranges were redefined and enclosed following a fatal accident at Frimley. The house and smallholding were allowed to decay and the house was demolished in 1987. Today all that remains are traces of the floors and scattered brickwork.

Also see "Vine Farm of Normandy"

Jack Kinder
My thanks to Arthur John Mullard for the information for this article.

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