Whiteleaf – Peters Lane and Westfields
List of properties with date or decade of construction and former names
The properties, shown in bold, are those for which we have information either on the property itself, the former residents or an old photo. To access this information, click on the house name below (note:- a link has not yet been set up for other properties), alternatively simply scroll down the page to see all entries.
In some cases there are links in this section to residents (a profile of whom is included in the Former Residents section), to access simply click on the name of the person if it is highlighted in bold. Click on a photo to enlarge it.
|Name of property||Photo||Built||Previous names|
|Brush Hill Cottage|
|The Wicket to 1967|
|Chestnut Cottage||Pax Cottage|
|De De Cottage||
|Hebron to 1924,
Pats Cottage to 1926
|St. Anne, Cobblers|
|Westerley, Chinnor View|
4.1.1 Peters Lane (Left up)
The original Four Hedges, located on a plot of land purchased in 1929, was built for Clare Leighton who was noted for her outstanding wood engraving and her partner the radical journalist Noel Brailsford. It is named after the surrounding four beech hedges. The original house was a classic 1930’s building, designed by Bernard Lubetkin’s firm despite disapproval by the local planners. Sadly the house was not in good condition and was demolished in 2013 and a very modern house now stands on the site.
De De Cottage was built in 1924 (originally with a thatched roof, which was removed in 1968) and for the first years it was known as Hebron and occupied by a Miss Staghall. In 1926 it became known as Pat’s Cottage and was occupied by a William Lancaster. He was born in England, but immigrated to Australia where he joined the Australian flying corps in 1916. He returned to England and joined the RAF after World War One. He appears to have started up the Red Rose Garage in Wendover in 1923. There is much more about this colourful character in the People Section.
In 1927 the property was sold to Florence Boggis, who changed the name to Dede Cottage and owned it as resident, until 1933. Percy Boggis was married to Florence who was one of a family of dancers. Florence danced as “De dio” (Dede) with her sisters dancing as “La Pie” and “Mlle Nero” whilst touring worldwide. As a theatrical manager and engineer, Percy was accredited (famously) with starting a new experience in theatre special lighting effects.
In 1933 it was sold to Lightfoot and then in 1937 to a Miss Barker who lived there for some 22 years. In 1959 it was owned by Aston & Full and then sold in 1966 to ? Routledge, who in turn sold it to Mrs. Dormer in 1968.
Private Road to left
The five properties along this short private road were all built on a 5acre plot sold 1923 by Francis Parrott to two builders, James Alan Stewart and John Stanley Whyte. It was not until 1959 that the access road became private and under the joint ownership of the owners of the five properties below.
Together with a few properties in the immediate area, Chalk Lodge was constructed circa 1922 using the indigenous chalk as an aggregate excavated when the site was levelled. External walls are two skins cast in situ, each about 100mm thick with a chalk rubble infill. Total wall thickness varies from 450 to 600mm. As a result the house is cool in summer and cosy in the winter.
Originally called The Wicket, the name was changed in 1967 by the then owner Tom Chalk, who also extended the property circa 1967 with two single storey flat roofed structures running either side of the original house to the full depth north to south, to include a kitchen, sun room, integral garage, now a bedroom and laundry cum boiler house. A fifth bedroom and en-suite bathroom were added in 1998.
Mrs Hordern, the aunt of Michael Hordern, who amongst many other roles, played Jeeves on the radio and was the voice of Paddington Bear, lived in Chalk Lodge from the mid 50s to mid 60s.
This house was built on part of a 5 acre, 1 rood and 13 perches plot of land which had been assembled from 6 different plots at the time of the 1839 Enclosure. The plot, basically arable land farmed by Thomas East, was sold by Oliver James Grace to John Denton in February 1906. John Denton then sold on the land to Herbert Philips of Whiteleaf House in February 1907 for £650.00 and thus it became part of the Whiteleaf Estate, which was sold off in parcels in 1919.
Francis Hayward Parrott bought the plot in December 1919 together with three cottages on the Upper Icknield Way. Francis Parrott then sold the plot to James Alan Stewart and John Stanley Whyte, both builders, in February 1923.
In November 1923 Messrs. Stuart and Whyte sold the land to Edward John Reynolds Barratt of “Chinnor View”, Whiteleaf for £135.00 (see plan opposite). Mr. Barratt sold the land “together with a dwelling now erected thereon” to Anne Loyse Thursfield in August 1930. The building must therefore have been built between 1923 and 1930.
Anne Thursfield’s husband Gerald was a mechanical engineer in his own right, however Anne, was a major soprano singer who sang in both German and French. Anne Thursfield made several recordings with HMV during her lifetime and sang soprano at the 1929 last night of the Proms. She also appeared at the Wigmore hall and other famous venues.
In April 1958 Mary Foster-Scruby sold the property to Group Captain Hugh Marcus Geoffrey Parker for £4,250.00 and in 1996 the Parkers sold the property to Mr. & Mrs. D. R. Symes.
In February 1923 Francis Hayward Parrott sold the plot of land on which Holly House now stands to James Alan Stewart and John Stanley Whyte. The last named sold the plot to Harriet Ann Martin in January 1924 and the house, originally called St. Anne was built shortly after in 1924.
The chain of possession is not known, but in November 1951 it was owned by Dr. George Richard Elwin who sold it by auction (for the detailed sales particulars click here).
Built around 1922 and constructed from poured chalk rubble and cement – shuttering marks and ties are still visible – with railway sleepers as lintels. Builder was John Stanley Whyte who built seven houses in Whiteleaf using this construction method. Two more land parcels were purchased in 1925 and 1972 making total plot about 2.5 acres. The property was extended substantially in the 1950’s.
There is a lot of stone and brick in the plot purchased in 1972 plot which it was suggested might have been from the wall and base of a Victorian greenhouse from the old kitchen garden. The current owners moved in 1996.
There have only been 4 owners of this house. The original owners had to allow access to the well for the other houses in the private lane, although the location of the well remains a mystery.
Sir George Huckle, Chairman of Shell Petroleum from 1948-ish to 1973-ish.
The developers of the vegetable garden of Whiteleaf house to build Whiteleaf Way and its houses apparently gave Sir George Huckle the strip of land bordering his property (the 1972 bit above) as a sweetener, as he was objecting to the development. It is said that Pollards also had a piece of land at the same time.
4.1.2. Peters Lane (Right up)
This was the home of the Carwithen family who moved to Whiteleaf from Haddenham. It is thought that the original Underhill was further down Peters Lane and that the present Underhill was built in the 1960s for Mr. & Mrs. Carwithen.
The mother of the family, Dulcie gave piano lessons all her life. Born in 1922, Doreen Carwithen learnt to play the piano at the age of 4 years. At the age of 16 years, she was composing and writing music and entered the Royal Academy studying under William Alwyn and later married him, as his second wife. Doreen wrote scores for over 30 films including “Boys in Brown” in 1950, “Mantrap” in 1952, and also wrote the score for “Elizabeth is Queen” (the official film of the Coronation).
Brambledown was built by John Stanley Whyte using a building technique of ” breeze-block” type construction made from local chalk plus cement. The weather boarding of local elm, sometimes a great temptation for local bee swarms, not such a pleasant experience in the middle of “summer heat”.
The house was designed by Gerald Davidson (Who also designed Pipers Loft in Thorns Lane) and commissioned by a Mr. Chapman, who moved there with his wife and 2 daughters, one of them marrying a Swede from Stockholm.
Mr. Chapman developed ms and sold the property in 1928 to Eric Fitch Daglish who was a renowned wood engraver of birds and dogs and a close friend of the painter Paul Nash (a mention of this can be found (page 142) in Ronald Blythes “first friends” published by Viking 1997). He was famous illustrator and writer of bird-books, i.e Birds of the British Isles 1948. According to a resident, Daglish extended the house to contain 2 staircases so they could have a maid. Maybe this was not such a good idea, as apparently he ran away with the maid. They married and had a daughter, who lives locally and is a sculptor.
In 1934/5 the house became the home of Ernest J. H. Mackay, an archaeologist, who worked on numerous archaeological sites in Egypt, Palestine and India, before his move to this area. He appears to have died in 1943 whilst acting as an air raid warden in London.
In 1932 this house became the home of Ernest Rhys who had previously lived in Princes Risborough for a year. Ernest was a writer and was the founder of the “Everyman” library. Grace Rhys, his wife was also a writer, who died whilst on a lecture tour with her husband in Washington in America in 1929.
4.1.3 Westfields (Left down)
As mentioned in the History Section the land on which Westfields is situated was, at one time part of Glebe land owned by the Ecclesiastical Commission for England, the Lord Bishop of Oxford and the Reverend George Blanire Brown. The Glebe land comprised about 142 acres and was known as Rectory Farm and included a farmhouse and outbuildings, occupied in 1918 by Job Wooster. On 5th December of that year, the land was sold to Cornelius Stevens, a butcher from Prestwood, who from time to time sold off parcels for housing -see map above.
In each of the conveyances/title deeds there are a number of covenants including the following about the road; “The proposed road should be twelve feet wide with a space of six feet six inches wide for path on each side there of.”
The road was known in 1946 as “Westfields”, then in 1948 it is shown on various sales particulars as “Brush Hill Road”. It reverts back to Westfields in 1952 and then back to “Westfield” in 1961.
The precise date of construction is not known, but this property was the first constructed in Westfields and appears as on a photo dated 1924. It was occupied by a John Hitchcock who lived there from 1928 to 1935.
It was owned in 1939 by a Claude Cowper, a general practitioner in Leighton Buzzard, who was the husband of Mary Bourne Cowper nee Collard. Mary Cowper was the mother of Kevin Crossley-Holland, the poet and classic, multiple award winning children’s author. Claude Cowper gave the house to Crossley-Holland’s parents as a wedding gift and the family moved there in 1939. The family moved around during the war and only returned to Whiteleaf after the war had ended in 1945. The family moved to London in 1958.
In 1966 the then owners of Trefloyne sold off a part of their garden to the Pritchards who it is believed had the property built as a bungalow. The Pritchards sold in 1970 to John and Angela Gardener, who paid £9,725. The house was originally called Roxwood and sometime during the Gardener’s ownership they changed the property name to Rosewood.
The current owners purchased the property in 2004, and in 2009 extended the upstairs to create a chalet style bungalow.
The plot on which Woodlands now stands was sold by agreement dated 1st July 1925 between Cornelius Stevens, Newitt & Rees Ltd and David Cuthbert Way. It is not known when the house was built. It was sold by auction on 3rd November 1948 (for the sales particulars click here). It is thought that the purchaser was a Mrs. E. Clegg as she offered the house for sale again in December 1949.
The title to Kop End originates from 3 conveyances dated 24th June 1925, 10th December 1925 and 22nd February 1927. It is not known when the property was built, but it was originally known as Homeland and was sold by auction in December 1948 (for sales particulars click here).
The then purchaser (unknown) changed the name to Cop End and then sold the property in June 1952, when the road was called Westfields.
4.1.4 Westfields (Right down)
Brush Hill Cottage
On 31st December 1923 Hewitt P. Rees Ltd in the High Street Princes Risborough negotiated the sale to Eva Gladys Redway of Princes Risborough, wife of Warwick Richard Redway, a plot of land for the sum of £30. The plot later called Milkmaids Rest, was let to Margaret Minna Green, who subsequently purchased the plot, but it is not known exactly when. The plot remained vacant and was purchased in December 1947 by William Russel (the then owner of Windwhistle).
On 23rd September 1952 Edwin Russel combined the two plots to make a single plot and called the whole Windwhistle. This “double plot” was sold on 13thMarch 1964 to Egon Domischewsky, who applied for planning permission to build a house, it is presumed on the “Milkmaids Rest” side of the plot.
On 28th June 1966 Egon Domischewsky died and probate was awarded to J.M. Pratt, (solicitor) and to R. Porter (accountant). The plot was then divided back into two (but not equal) parts. It is not known when Orchard End was built, but it must be after 1966.
As mentioned above under Orchard Cross, in December 1923 Street Princes Risborough Eva Gladys Redway of Princes Risborough purchased a plot of land for the sum of £30. The plot later called Milkmaids Rest, was let to Margaret Minna Green, who on 27th June 1924 purchased an adjacent plot, of width 43ft (or thereabouts) through Gosling and Redway for £50. Then in or about 1925 Margaret Green had a house built on the said adjacent plot, which became known as Windwhistle.
Margaret Green lived in the house for about a year and in 1927 let it to a Miss Poulton, who stayed there for about 3 years. She was succeeded as tenant by Edwin William Russel, who stayed until April 1940. Margaret Green returned to England in July 1939 and lived in Windwhistle until 1947 at which time she decided to sell it to the former tenant, William Edwin Russel.
William Russel bought Windwhistle in July 1947 and on 23rd December of that year he also bought from Margaret Green the plot known as Milkmaids Rest, which was still without a building. On 23rd September 1952 Edwin Russel combined the two plots to make a single plot and called the whole Windwhistle. This “double plot” was sold on 13th March 1964 to Egon Domischewsky, who applied for planning permission to build a house, it is presumed on the “Milkmaids Rest” side of the plot.
On 28th June 1966 Egon Domischewsky died and probate was awarded to J.M. Pratt, (solicitor) and to R. Porter (accountant). The plot was then divided back into two (but not equal) parts. On 14th October 1966 Windwhistle was sold by Pratt and Porter to Timothy Richard Stowell.
On 25th March 1975 Timothy Stowell sold Windwhistle to Barry John and Patricia Jane Aldridge, who sold it in July 1977 to Michael James Owens. He then sold it in October 1984 to Geoffrey Bernard and Jean Dorothy Tymms, who sold it to the current owners in March 1988.
On the21st November 1923 three parcels of land were sold off by Cornelius Stevens to a Winifred Kathleen Teagle of Prestwood for £120. These lots 13,14, and 15 (Old Court, Badgers and Oakdene) came with a covenant for the “right of way and passage at all times and for all purposes in common with all others similarly entitled over so much of said proposed road as was necessary to give access to the said pieces of land from the said High Road”.
Lot 14 was sold on 8 August 1923 for £180 to Alice Harford of St Cuthbert’s, Bushey but there is no mention of a dwelling. It was not until 12 May 1942 that it was sold to a William Henry Hensler of “Capri” (current name unknown) in Westfields for £150, who then sold it to on the 26th December 1946, to a builder Sidney James Collins for £300 who commenced the original building of Badgers.