Peper Harow Godalming Surrey England GU8 6B#
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History : A Potted History Settlement Names Heroes and Traitors List if Owners The Midleton Era The Final Days Domesday Book
View of House from North.

A Potted History.

The Saxon term 'hearge' denoted a holy place and it is probable the site was associated with a shrine to a pagan deity.

(Pippa or Pipard) was a family name, recorded amongst those who fought the Norman's at the Battle of Hastings in 1066.

In 1128 the Bishop of Winchester provided a grant to establish a Cistercian order nearby at Waverly Abbey and ancient bridges built by the monks at Eashing and Somerset still survive. The tiny church of St. Nicholas was established at Peper Harow around this time and services are still held every Sunday.

The estate has had 40 recorded owners since the 11th Century, many of whom were famous knights or influential noblemen with a colourful history. In 1712 the Brodrick family, who later took the title of Midleton, acquired Peper Harow and remained there for over 200 years. They were responsible for much of the development of the estate as it is today, including construction of Peper Harow House by Sir William Chambers in 1765.

Sir Lancelot 'Capability' Brown landscaped the park in 1762-3 and many fine trees from the original plantings remain as a symbol of the estate's horticultural heritage.

After Earl Midleton's death in 1942 the estate was broken up into several farms, and property in the outlying villages of Shackleford and Eashing was sold at auction in 1944. During the Second World War, Peper Harow House was requisitioned for the Canadian Army headquarters and several fortified gun emplacements are still in evidence along the river banks.

In the post-War years, Peper Harow became an Approved School and then, in the 1970's, a renowned therapeutic centre for the care of troubled youngsters.

Today Peper Harow is a private residential estate not open to the public, and residents request that their privacy is respected.

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The Name as it has changed over the centuries.

Pipere-herge 1086 Doomsday Book
Piperhearge 11th Century
Piperinges 13th Century
Pyperhaghe 14th Century
Pepper Harrow 1575 and 1768 documents
Peperharo 1610

Situated on lightly wooded ground sloping southward to the River Wey in the border area of Surrey and Hampshire in south-east England, Peper Harow is a beautiful and tranquil place.

Sheltered to the north, the site commands distant views towards the South Downs and affords a natural security which lent itself to early human habitation.

Settled since Saxon times and first recorded in the Doomsday Book, Peper Harow has a rich and diverse history spanning the centuries and enjoys an outstanding architectural heritage.

Today Peper Harow is a Conservation Area in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

It is a private residential estate, home to over 30 families, and is not open to the public.

We are happy to share this special place with visitors to our website and trust you find it of interest.

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List of Owners

From To Name of Recorded Owner
1042 1066 Alward
1042 1066 Walter Fitzother
1066 1085 Osbert of Peper Harow
1085 1150 Ralph de Broc
1150 1195 Walter de Windsor
1195 1270 William de Branche
1270 1313 Henry Stockton or Stoughton
1313 1330 Henry de Stanton
1330 1333 Hervie de Stanton
1333 1354 Andrew Branche
1354 1361 Thomas Brache
1361 1369 Stephen Branche
1369 1400 Sir Bernard Brocus I and II
1400 1456 William Brocus I
1456 1484 William Brocus II
1484 1492 John Brocus
1492 1506 William Brocus IV
1503 1571 Sir Ralph Pecksall (Peckshall) I and II
1571 ------ Edward Brocus
1585 ------ Bernard Brocus III
1585 1594 Pecksall Brocus
1594 1609 Henry Smith
1609 1633 Sir Walter Covert
1633 1655 Lady Jane (his widow)
1655 1679 Denzill Holles (later Lord Holles)
1679 1689 Francis Holles
1689 1693 Denzill Holles
1693 1699 John Holles (Earl of Clare)
1699 1712 Philip Froude (Frowde)
1712 1728 Alan Brodrick 1st Viscount Midleton
1728 1745 Alan Brodrick 2nd Viscount Midleton
1745 1775 George Brodrick 3rd Viscount Midleton
1775 1836 George Brodrick 4th Viscount Midleton
1836 1848 George Alan Brodrick 5th Viscount Mildleton
1848 1863 Charles Brodrick 6th Viscount Midleton
1863 1870 William John Brodrick 7th Viscount Midleton
1870 1907 William Brodrick 8th Viscount Midleton
1907 1942 William St John Fremantle Brodrick 1st Earl of Midleton
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Heroes and Traitors

The estate has had a colourful history and has been owned by many notable figures. Under Edward the Confessor, the estate of Peper Harow was held by Alward and was assessed at about 600 acres.

Peper Harow lay at the distant edge of Windsor Forest and early owners were knights of Windsor Castle.

The Doomsday survey of 1086 contains the record of 'Pipere-herege' as an estate of 300 acres, held by Walter Fitz Other, Castellan of Windsor, and under him again by one Gerard.

Fitz Other's grandson, Walter de Windsor, left no male heir and the estate was divided between his daughters, Christian married to Duncan de Lascelles, and Gunnora, the wife of Ralph de Hesdeng. This was the reign of King John.

In the time of Henry the Third it was held by William Branche, with whose wife Joan it remained until her re-marriage with Peter de Bosted, in the seventh year of the reign of Edward 1st. The estate appears to have been mortgaged, for it was recovered from the son of the above-named, Sir Nicholas Branche, by Henry de Gueldeford by a writ of Novel Disseisin.

From 1369-1400 the estate was held by Sir Bernard Brocus who was lord in forty-third of Edward the Third. As Chamberlain to King Richard II's first consort, Queen Anne of Bohemia, he fought in the later Crusades and distinguished himself by cutting off the King of Morocco's head. He was also Master of the Buckhounds, an office hereditary in his family. Sir Bernard died in 1396 and his tomb lies in Westminster Abbey.

His son, also Bernard, succeeded him. However he engaged in a conspiracy against Henry IV with the Dukes of Exeter and Surrey and the Earls of Salisbury and Gloucester. He was arrested at Cirencester and beheaded for treason on Tower Hill in January 1400. The estate was then fortfeited by the crown until his son, William Brocus, was able to regain ownership and Peper Harow remaned in his family for several generations.

The Civil War 1642-9 saw the country diveded. Support for Charles 1st (the cavaliers) was centered mainly in the north and west, and the Parlimentarian cause (the Roundheads) in the south and east. The crisis had been brought to a head on 4 January 1642 when Charles, having failed to persuade the House of Lords to impeach five Members of Parliment for treason, went with 300 armed men to the House of Commons to arrest then himself. The five, one of whom wa Denzill Holles, escaped and Charles 1st withdrew from Whitehall, and entered it again only for his trial. Denzill Holles, later Lord Holles, married the widow of Sir Walter Covert and therefore Peper Harow came to him in 1655.

Eventually passing to Francis, Lord Holles, the manor and the estate of Peper Harow was sold in 1699 under private Act passed three years earlier to provide for the payment of Holles' debts. The new owner was Philip Froude or Frowde, Queen Ann's Deputy Postmaster General.

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The Midleton Era 1712 - 1944

Midleton family crest on house facing East.

In 1712 the estate was acquired by Alan Brodrick. An eminent lawyer, he filled the chair as Speaker of the House of Commons in Ireland and was created 1st Viscount Midleton of the Kingdom of Ireland in 1717.

The Lords Midleton were to remain at Peper Harow for 230 years.

Alan Brodrick, 2nd Viscount, was one of the Commissioners of Customs and M.P. for Midhurst. He married, in 1729, Mary youngest daughter of Algernon, Earl of Essex, by whom he left, at his decease in 1747, an only son.

George Brodrick, 3rd Viscount Midleton, married, on 1st May 1752, Albinia, eldest daughter of Hon. Thomas Townshend.

He played a particularly significant role, commissioning Capability Brown to landscape the site and Sir William Chambers to build the stables and coach yard in 1763, and then in 1765, a fine house to replace the original mansion.

On the chancel wall of St Nicholas Church is a memorial to Sir Thomas Brodrick, Vice Admiral of the Red in the 18th Century when the navy was divided into three squadrons, the Red, White and Blue. As a lieutenant he commanded the storming party when Admiral Vernon took Portobello. Later he sat on the court martial of Admiral Byng who was sentanced to death after his failure at Minorca.

George Brodrick, 4th Viscount, was created a Peer of the United Kingdom as Baron Brodrick, of Peper Harow, May 28th 1798. He married first, in December 1776, Frances, daughter of Sir Thomas Pelham, first Earl of Chichester, and secondly, on June 13th 1797, Maria, daughter of Richard Benyon, Esq. of Gildea Hall in Essex. They had five daughters and one son,

George Alan Brodrick, 5th Viscount, born June 10th 1806, married May 4th 1833, Ellen daughter of Mr Griffith, and dying without issue, November 1st 1848, was succeeded by his cousin.

Charles Brodrick, 6th Viscount, born September 14th 1791, who married, May 5th 1825, Emma, third daughter of Thomas, twenty-second Lord Despencer, and having no son, but only daughters, was succeeded by his next brother,

The Rev.William John Brodrick, 7th Viscount, Dean of Exeter, and Chaplin to the Queen. Born July 8th 1798, he married first, March 6th 1824, Elizabeth Anne, eldest daughter of Robert, sixth Earl of Cardigan, but had no issue. He married secondly, March 31st 1829, his first cousin, Harriet, daughter of his uncle George, 4th Viscount, and had with other children,

William Brodrick, 8th Viscount, J.P. and D.L. for Surrey, Lord High Steward of Kingston-on Thames, and some time M.P. for Mid-Surrey, born January 6th 1830. He was twice married.
He married, October 25th 1853, Augusta Mary, third daughter of the Right Hon. Thomas Francis, first Lord Cottesloe, he had five children: George, later 2nd Earl, Muriel (Tweedmouth), Sybil, Aileen (Meade) and Moyra (Lloyd).
His second wife, Madeleine (1876-1966) had two sons, Francis (killed in action 1942) and Michael (killed in action 1943). She lived at Borough Farm, Witley after the 1939-45 War.

William St John Fremantle Brodrick, 9th Viscount and 1st Earl of Midleton, (created 1920), born December 14th 1856 died 1942.
Lord Midleton was in the Cabinet in early Edwardian days, at the India Office, Foreign Office, etc., and was Minister for Ireland. Lord Midleton was known on the Estate as "Lordie" - but not to his face! His Bailiff was old Mr. Hancock (Jim's father) who served in the Warwickshire Yeomanry in Edwardian years.
He was the last of the Midleton family to be associated with Peper Harow.

The 2nd. Lord Midleton (George) (1888-1979) was known as "Naughty George". He rebelled against his father. He served in the 1914-18 war and was awarded the MC. He lived in Jersey for many years, where he married, divorced and remarried, but with no issue. With his death the Earldom became extinct.

The present, 12th Viscount is Keeper of Clocks in the Bury St. Edmunds Clock Museum. He was at school with Christopher Bell (Dolphin House) at St. Edmund's, Canterbury.

The Lloyd family
Lady Moyra Lloyd (1897-1979) widow of General Sir Henry Charles Lloyd DSO, MC etc. ex. Coldstream Guards. They lived latterly in Geldestone Hall and Mettingham Place, both in Bungay. His "Reminiscences from the Front 1914-18" are riveting. He fought with great distinction in France.
They had two offspring, Lavinia, who married Sir Henry Gore-Browne (1918-99) who was a Government Chief Stockbroker, and is buried at Peper Harow;
and Sir Julian Lloyd b.1926, who lives at Burnham Market in Norfolk. He was the Queen's Agent at Sandringham for 25 years until his retirement. He stayed often at Peper Harow in the 1930's.

Current Day - Extract from Debretts Handbook
Midleton, Countess of; Irene Lilian (Rene Ray) daughter of late Alfred Creese, of Ewell, Surrey; born 22nd September, 1917; married 1975, as his third wife, Second Earl Midleton (died 1979 when the earldom became extinct and the viscountcy passed to a kinsman); Style: the Right Hon. the Countess of Midleton; Martello Lodge, St. Brelade’s Bay, Jersey

(recent research from
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The Final Days

On 2nd February 1920 William St. John Fremantle was created 1st Earl of Midleton and among those he entertained at Peper Harow were Lord Curzon, Balfour and Churchill.

After the Earl's death in 1942, his two sons were killed within days of one another in 1943 during the Italian campaign, and the estate finally passed out of the hands of the Midleton Family.

The Canadian Army requisitioned the estate for their headquarters in the latter years of the War and many thousands of Canadian troops were billeted in the surrounding areas of south-west Surrey.

An auction was held in 1944 which dispersed the assets of the estate. Somerset Farm and Oxenford Grange were sold to their tenant farmers and many cottages and plots in neighbouring villages of Shackleford and Eashing were purchased by local residents.

In the post-War years, Peper Harow House and its estate buildings came under the ownership of a charitable trust which cared for young people with troubled backgrounds. This work became world-renowned and proved highly successful in the long-term residential care of these children.

Today the estate is primarily residential with some crop and livestock farming continuing at Home Farm.

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The Domesday Book

The Domesday book, so called because it was the first recorded land census and the King could then tax all citizens in his Kingdom.

The entry for Peper Harow, then called Pipereherge, records :

Walter himself holds PEPER HAROW, and Gerald [holds] of him. Alweard held it of King Edward.
It was then assessed at 15 hides; now 3 hides. There is land for 3 ploughs. In Demesne are 2 ploughs, and a mill rendering 15s, and 7 acres of meadow. There are 4 villans and 3 cottars with 1 plough. TRE, and afterwards, it was worth 30s; now 100s. Walter himself holds 1 man of the soke of Kingston upon Thames, to whom a committed the charge of the king's wild mares, but we know not on what terms. This man holds 2 hides, but he has no right to the land itself. It was assessed at 2 hides; now at nothing. There is 1 plough in demesne, with 3 slaves, and 1 fishery rendering 125 eels, and 1 acre of meadow. It is and was always worth 30s. WALTER de Douai holds 2 hides of the king, as he says. But the men of the hundred say that they have never seen the writ or the king's commissinor who had...

End of transalation.
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