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                                        Fullers House - (Part 3)
                                       The Twentieth Century

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                          Fullers Cottage, 2004
                         Viewed from north side


The Twentieth Century
1904 – A major auction of all Staplehurst property belonging to the Hoare family took place on 22 June 1904. Fullers House was part of this sale although it is not known who bought the property. A following map dates from 1873. All the land from Pinnock Lane to Chittenden Farm  on the west side of the main road once was associated with Fuller's. The woods were probably sold after the death of John Buckland in 1664. The lots of land shown as The Quarter came into existence after Henry Hoare bought the property. The 20th century saw the sale of the rest of the land and this section provides the details.

                A section of a 1873 map showing the southern part of Staplehurst.              

1930 – Kelly’s Directory for Staplehurst lists Mr. John Anthony Kenward of Fuller House as a private resident. It also shows Mr. Arthur Ledger as a dairyman at Fuller House under the commercial heading. 

1934 – Kelly’s Directory again lists Mr. John Anthony Kenward of Fuller House as a private resident. It also lists Mr. Arthur Ledger as a dairyman at Fuller House under the commercial heading. 

1938 – Kelly’s Directory now list Mrs. Kenward as a private resident (she is now a widow). Arthur Ledger is no longer mentioned.

 Charles Igglesden published a book in 1942 called A Saunter Through Kent with Pen and Pencil. He states that at that time there was a great deal of building going on in Staplehurst and that the streets were gas lit. He goes on to say ‘ It is along the Cranbrook road that we come upon several spots of interest. Here, about half a mile away from the village, is one of the best-preserved specimens of an Elizabethan house to be seen. Judging from its size and solidity it must have been a house of great importance, although I can find nothing historical about it beyond the fact that it belonged to a family named FULLER. At the present it is known as FULLER HOUSE, and it is divided into 3 dwellings. The walls and the woodwork, the windows, the chimney – all are truly characteristics of the Elizabethan period, no building of this age could be in a better state of preservation.’
Charles was incorrect in assuming the windows were Elizabethan and hopefully this document will help fill the gap on information about the house.

Details from Land Registry
1920 Fuller House
On the 3 July 1920, Emma Kenward, wife of John Anthony Kenward of 35 Lausanne Road, Peckham, London bought the property known as Fuller House from Montague Gregory Scott Pitcher of Haywards Heath for £1200.
The Land Registry states the property consisted of : All that messuage or tenement yard garden and outbuildings together with the adjoining land known as ‘Fuller House’ site in the Parish of Staplehurst, Kent together with the piece of meadow land or paddock adjoining all of which contains 5 acres or thereabouts and were delineated in the plan.
This broadly included the Fuller House homestead (part of field 355 on the OS Map), the field behind known as 356 on the OS Map, and the field north of Fullers House and south of 17 The Quarter known as field 355 on the OS Map. At that time, there were several barns and outbuildings on the fields but no houses.

1943 Fuller House
On the 31 March 1943 Emma Kenward sells Fuller House and the property described above and shown in appendix  to Hilda Coombs for £1500.
Emma Kenward is now of Sunnybrae, St Johns Road, Crowborough and is described as a widow. Hilda Coombs is the wife of Terence Clark Coombs of Northgate House, Copthall Close, London.
On the 18 June 1943, Hilda Coombs raises a mortgage on the property for £1000 from The Honourable Edith Harriet Loddock.
Edith Loddock dies on the 24 December 1950 and the estate and heirs request the mortgage payment. Hilda Coombs pays the mortgage in full on the 25 September 1951 but has had to sell the land.
It is thought that Hilda Coombs did not live at Fuller House as both the 1943 conveyance and the 1951 conveyance note her as living in Northgate House, Copthall Close, London.

1951 Sale of Land Associated with Fuller House
On the 25 September 1951, Hilda Coombs sells all the land bar the garden that had been part of Fullers House to Betty June Roberta Cutbush of Chittenden Farm, Staplehurst for £1250.
The conveyance notes this as all the parcel of land in the Parish of Staplehurst, Kent having a frontage to west side of main road leading to Maidstone of 200 feet or thereabouts and containing an area of approximately 4.5 acres and being field number 356 and part of field 355 on the Ordinance Survey Map for said parish being bounded in the south east side by property known as Fuller House as per plan together with the barns and other buildings now standing. 

All future reference to this land is covered in the section headed The Quarter.

      

Fuller House Sale 1951
 

The sales brochure stated the house was to be sold by auction on Thursday 28th of June 1951 at 3 pm. The sale took place at The Royal Star Hotel in Maidstone. Major N. T. Herbert bought Fuller House for £2720.

Major Herbert
In November 1951, Major N.T. Herbert bought Fullers House as one building for £2750.
The auction leaflet in the archives at Maidstone. The auction took place on 28 June 1951 at The Royal Star Hotel, Maidstone.  The particulars read ‘ Fuller House, Staplehurst, Kent and builders yard and greenhouse in Church Lane.’
"Fuller House, Staplehurst is described as Lots 1 and 2 together comprises a large Elizabethan House suitable as a private residence or small guest house, with adjacent farm buildings, and about 4 ½ acres of Market Garden Ground, which is capable of profitable cultivation, either in conjunction with the house or separately. Domestic Supplies – Comprises water connected; also main electric power.
Main Drainage.
Rateable value £45.
General Rates past year £40 3s 4d.
Freehold and vacant procession.

Historical: In ancient times the property was probably associated with the medieval weaving industry.

The property is subject of comment by the late Sir Charles Igglesden from his book ‘A Saunter Through Kent’ – ‘few strangers make the journey from Staplehurst to Cranbrook without being arrested by the black and white structure with its high hedges’."

Rights of Ways Established
There is little doubt that Major Herbert bought Fuller House as an investment with the intent to subdivide the house and sell it as two properties.  In order to do this, he had to organise access for the back portion of the house.
On the 21 December 1951, Major Herbert bought from Betty Cutbush a 33 foot parcel of land which the southern portion of the barn and a right of way of the purchaser and his successors for £225.
The conveyance states ‘all that piece or parcel of land situated in the Parish of Staplehurst, Kent having frontage of 33 feet on the west side of the main road leading from Maidstone to Cranbrook and a maximum depth of 159 feet and being part of Field Number 355 on the Ordinance Survey Map being bounded on the south side by the property known as Fuller House and on the north and west sides by other land of the Vendor and identified on the plan together with the southern portion of the timber and tiled barn erected on the land as shown in the plan and the right of support for the said portion by the adjoining northern portion. Together with the right of way for the purchaser and his successors in title with or without horses carts and motor vehicles over and along the roadway marked on the plan.’ It goes on to state the purchaser must pay one half of the cost of maintaining the right of way.
Planning permission was given to Major Herbert in March 1952 to convert Fuller House into 2 units.  Major Herbert was living in Tunbridge Wells at this time. A copy of the planning consent is on file. Permission was also granted for the change of use of one or two rooms for the purpose of serving teas etc. in December 1951 although this is not thought to have actually happened. In July 1951 the property was listed as being of Special Architectural and Historical Interest.
Nicholas Herbert was never resident at Fullers.

Fullers House from 1953
Since 1953, Fuller House has exchanged hands several times. Like all property in the South East of England, the value of the house has risen at a phenomenal rate.

  • 1953 - On the 11 September 1953, Major Herbert sold Fuller House, which is now the front half of the house, to Frank Graham Lofts for £2,200.
  • 1960 - On 15 September 1960,  Fuller House is registered to Phyllis Thompson of Barleymew House, Headley, near Bordon, Hampshire who is the wife of John Archibald Julius Thompson. The conveyance price was £3500.
  • 1977 - On 2 August 1977, Fuller House is registered David James Andrews and Lynda Kathleen Christine Andrews.
  • 1983 - On 27 October 1983, Fuller House is registered to Michael Joseph McGrath and Penelope Anne McGrath of Fuller House.
  • 1985 - On 15 August 1985, the house is registered to Christopher Robert Jolly and Deborah Anne Jolly of Fuller House.
  • 1995 – Fuller House was on the market for £245,000.
  • 1998 – Fuller House was put up for sale for £230,000.
  • 2001 – Fuller House on the market for £390,000.

Fullers Cottage from 1953
In 1953, Nicholas Herbert, a Major (retired) was about to leave the United Kingdom. He gave the power of attorney to David Hanson and Geoffrey Stone of Tunbridge Wells with instructions for them to ‘sell and dispose of his messuage and land know as Fuller Cottage (including the barn or outbuilding appurtenant)’.

Similar to Fullers House, Fullers Cottage has seen various owners since 1953.  The right of way negotiated by Major Herbert, led to future problems when Shepherds House was built. 

  • 1953 – (June) Major Herbert sold Fuller Cottage to Robert Gresley Denning for £2,350. Denning was a civil servant. Mortgage document and deed of assignment are on file.
  • 1957 – (July) RG Denning, from Charing, sold Fuller Cottage to Leslie Hyde Green for £3,273/6/6. Mr Green ran a small boarding kennels there. Conveyance document on file.
  • 1969 – Mr. Green sold Fuller Cottage to David Richard Wass and his wife Delphine Mary Wass for £7,950.
  • 1988 - Until 1988, Fullers Cottage had a right of way to the property (see Transfer and Release and Extinguishments of Right of Ways) which came off the Cranbrook Road  several meters north of the current boundary where the Shepherds House now stands. This right of way was given up in exchange for a small strip of land, which abutted into the garden of the Fuller Cottage (where the drive now is) The title deeds have been changed. A copy of the legal and other papers are on file.
  • 1992 – Fuller Cottage put up for sale at £140,000. Bought by Ms Catharine C. Goodwin for £130,000 with completion on 7 February 1993.

 The Quarter
The only houses on the west side of the Cranbrook Road in The Quarter before 1870 was the cottages belonging to Fullers House known as 14 –17 The Quarter. These were built around the 1680’s to house farm servants or family members. At one time we know that the widow Mary Simmons lived in one of the cottages. They remained as part of the Fuller House estate until the property was sold to Henry Hoare in 1841 or 1842. In the 1870’s, as part of the building of the Iden Manor, cottages on the east side of the road were demolished and new cottages built on the west side by the Hoare family.

 

                                                        The Quarter 1977

  A- Site of future Shepherds House
  B- Right of way
  C- Old Barn, gone by 1985


The Quarter 1840 - 1901
The Poor Rate Assessments for Staplehurst (June 1840) identify Henry Hoare of Staplehurst Place as the owner of many of the cottages in The Quarter. He has various tenets in the cottages but it is impossible to state which tenant was in which cottage. We know that some of the occupiers were James Ottaway, John Borden, Sol Cheeseman, Samuel Croft, Robert Farmer, John Pankhurst, Edward Trayman and Edward Waterman. It is also noted that Thomas Simmons and sons owned one cottage in the Quarter which was lived in by Mary Simmons, Thomas’s mother.

Number 14 to 17 The Quarter
The first conveyance in the land registry for the property known as 14 – 17 The Quarter is recorded on 30 March 1905 as the vendors being Algernon Augustine de Lille Strickland and Alfred Hoare and the purchasers being  William Hoare  and Walter Thomas Tipples.
A search was concluded for 14, 15, 16, 17 The Quarter on 24 September 1942 at the request of :
 1) Walter Thomas Tipples of Hartridge Manor, Cranbrook, Kent (a farmer).
2) William Tipples of Benover, Yalding, Kent (a farmer).
3) Annie Tipple of Hartridge Manor, Cranbrook, Kent (a widow).
It is assumed that these Tipples are the children of  Walter Thomas Tipple who bought the property in 1905 and that the search was required to enable completion of probate.

On 29 September 1942, William Tipples sells to Leslie Frank Cutbush.

24 May 1959 records letters of administration for the estate of Leslie Frank Cutbush granted out of the principle probate registry to Maggie Wraight Cutbush and Leslie Stuart Banks Cutbush. 

On 27 August 1960, Maggie Wraight Cutbush formerly of Chittenden Farm but now of Firs Farm Bungalow, Chapel Lane, Staplehurst (a widow) and Leslie Stuart Banks Cutbush formerly of Firs Farm Cottage, Sissinghurst, Kent but now of Fir Farm Bungalow, Staplehurst sells to Frederick James Woolley (a motor mechanic) and Irene Beatrice Wooley of 62 Kimberley Avenue, Severn Kings, Essex the 4 cottages for £1800.

The conveyance states all this 4 messuages or cottages with the gardens and premises having frontage of 145 foot. Said cottages known as Numbers 14, 15, 16, and 17 The Quarter, Staplehurst.

The contract specified vacant procession at 16 and 17 The Quarter. It is also stated in the search that the 4 cottages are not listed. 

Mr and Mrs Woolley now own the 4 cottages plus the land up to and adjoining Fuller House. 

Then Mr and Mrs Woolley (still resident at 62 Kimberley Avenue, Seven Kings, Essex) sold 14 – 16 the Quarter to Roy Harry Saunders of the same address on 27 August 1960 for £1125. The conveyance states two messuages or cottages with the gardens in Staplehurst on west side of the High Road leading from Staplehurst to Cranbrook and known as numbers 14 and 16 The Quarter, Staplehurst together with 5 neighbouring pieces of Land show on the plan edged in green. Together with full and free right of way for all purposes over the paths shown marked in yellow on the plan. (Said right of way shall be on foot only except the passage marked for vehicular access). 

Two searches were completed on 18 August 1960 showing no subsisting entries for 14, 15, 16, 17 The Quarter and land adjoining Fuller House. The searches were completed for :
1) Betty June Cutbush  (who sold land to the Woolleys) and Roy Harry Saunders of 62 Kimberly Avenue, Seven Kings, Essex. This is the same address as the Woolley’s and Roy Saunders goes on to buy 16 The Quarter from the Woolleys. What is the relationship between Saunders and Woolley?
2) The second search was carried out for: Maggie Wraigh Cutbush; Leslie Stuart Banks Cutbush; Frederick James Woolley;  and Irene Beatrice Woolley.
This search would have been related to the probate of Leslie Frank Cutbush and the subsequent sale to the Woolleys.

 A search was carried out, with no entries found, on 28 February 1974. It had been requested by Mr. and Mrs. Wooley. It is marked ‘bankruptcy only’. 

These right of ways were later altered on 15 November 1984 when Winifred Rose Saunders of 16 The Quarter released unto Frederick James Woolley and Irene Beatrice Woolley now of 17 The Quarter, Staplehurst the rights of way in exchange for the Woolleys’ granting Mrs. Saunders the right of way at all times on foot and with hand propelled vehicles over and along the passageway just south of 17 The Quarter.

Sale of Land from Fuller House
As previously mention, on the 25 September 1951, Hilda Coombs sold to Betty June Roberta Cutbush, the land to the west Fuller House and to the north of Fuller House.
Now, (18 June 1959) Betty Cutbush sells the field to the west of (behind) Fuller House, known as Field Number 356 on the OS Map, to George William Breach of Woodland Farm, Cowden, Kent for £1350. The land consisted of 3.838 acres or thereabouts.
Later, on 14 July 1960, Betty Cutbush, previously of Chittenden Farm but now of 2 Cholmley Gardens, London N.W.6 sells to Frederick James Woolley and his wife Irene Beatrice Woolley (both of 62 Kimberly Avenue, Seven Kings, Essex), the land north of Fullers House (but excluding the 33 foot section previously bought by Nicholas Herbert 21 December 1951) for £450.
The conveyance states that part of field 355 with frontage on main road.
This property includes the right of way agreed with Nicholas Herbert, the right of way to Fuller House, and the 33 foot parcel bought by Nicholas Herbert. The outbuildings include a timber and tile barn, which is partially owned by Fuller House, plus another outbuilding west of the right of way. There are no houses or cottages on the property.
At the time of the sale, it was stated that the land had been used for agricultural purposes, so far as used at all, since 1 July 1948. It notes that an application to erect a bungalow on the property had been refused.
A search document dated June 1960 replies ‘Yes’ to the question ‘ has the minister approved a development plan which includes the property’. Also stated the property was not defined as within a Green Belt Area.

Shepherds House
The property to the north of  Fuller House was registered to Peter John Francis and his wife Marion Yvonne Francis on the 22 August 1985 and is now know as Shepherds House. The title number held at the land registry is K593242.
When Peter bought the property, the old barn, which had been partly owned by Fuller House, was gone (reported to have blown down). There was still in existence a shed at the back of the property, which was mainly of corrugated tin. Peter removed this building.
Peter had the current house built and it was completed by November 1985 when they moved in.
The right of ways over Peter’s property leading to Fullers House originally put in place by Nicholas Thomas Herbert in 1951 were still in existence. There was also a right of way to the field behind Peter’s house.
A lengthy and complex process was begun to have these rights of ways extinguished.

Transfer and Release and Extinguishment of Right of Way
On the 19 April 1988, the right of way across Peter Francis property to Fullers Cottage and Fuller House was released and extinguished. The parties involved were :
1) Peter John Francis and Marion Yvonne Francis of Shepherds House
2) David Richard Wass and Delphine Mary Wass of Fullers Cottage
3) Christopher Robert Jolly and Deborah Ann Jolly of Fuller House

In exchange for releasing the right of way, Peter Francis transferred a small parcel of land know as K618591, which jutted into Fullers Cottage property (which is where the southern part of the old barn had been) to Mr. And Mrs. Wass of Fullers Cottage. Mr. Francis also undertook the design and labour required to build a new road access to Fullers Cottage, while Mr. Wass provided the materials.
In addition, Mr. Francis designed and helped construct a new garage and road access to the Fuller House property for Mr. and Mrs. Jolly.
The end result was that all three properties now had proper road access and clear boundaries to their properties.
The 3 properties are now registered as :

  • K593242 – Shepherd House
  • K323381 – Fullers Cottage
  • K106803 – Fuller House

In addition, Mr Francis agreed with Mr. A. V. Breach of Chittenden Farm to have the right of way across Shepherds House property to the field behind (356 on OS Map) extinguished for a once off payment.

Development in the Quarter
On the 25 April 1984, the developers T. F. Baker Limited of Cherry Tree yard, Chart Sutton, Maidstone bought the parcel of land laying between Shepherds House and 17 The Quarter. Convenents restricted usage to private dwellings and the protection of the hedge boundary with 17 The Quarter. Building of the 2 new houses began in the summer of 1985.
These two houses completed the development in The Quarter.
Fullers House, which once stretched from Chittenden Farm to Pinnock Lane, is now two attached houses residing on about half an acre of land. It still retains it’s Elizabethan exterior, albeit with mock Tudor windows. In the last 400 years, it has been a visible presence in the village and is still a much loved home.