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The history of the Street End Estate, Lower Eythorne Part 2: Barnewell to Shedden

By 1862 the estate was in the possession of Mrs Mary Clark Barnewell who is listed at gentry in Melville’s directory for Eythorne 1858. The Barnewell family are an Anglo -Norman/Irish dynasty of landowners and politicians.
On 25th January 1862, it was announced that that the property was up for let, which begs the question whether Mrs Barnewell owned it, and wished to continue to do so, or whether she had also let it from persons unknown.
Thus : “Street End House, With Garden, Pleasure Grounds, Meadow Land and the right of sporting over upwards of 1000 acres of land. To be let for a term of years or from year to year this desirable property known as Street End House in the village of Eythorne, now and for many years past in the possession of Mrs M.C. Barnewell is situate near the village of Eythorne in the County of Kent within 7 miles of Dover and 11 of Canterbury with which towns there is a railway communication with Shepherdswell Station being within a mile of Eythorne”.
“The House of modern elevation stands in grounds of Park-Like character and comprises good dining, drawing and morning rooms and a suitable number of bed rooms with convenient domestic offices. The pleasure grounds are laid out with great taste and are very ornamental and comprise a conservatory and green house. The kitchen gardens are well stocked with thriving and productive fruit trees and the meadow land (about 8 acres) is in good order. An addition of 13 acres of meadow land could be had if required. There is stabling for four horses, with coach house, cowlodges and other outbuildings. The exclusive right of sporting over upwards of 1000 acres of land in the parishes of Eythorne and Shepherdswell in the immediate neighbourhood of Fredville, Dane Court and Waldershare Parks, the well preserved estates of John Pemberton Plumptre esq
(Conservative member of parliament for East Kent 1832, resigned 1852, buried Nonington), E.R. Rice esq (MP for Dover 1847-1857) and the Earl of Guilford will be included in the letting. Possession may be had in April.”
Then in April of the same year, the contents of the house were put up for auction, by which it can be assumed that the house itself had been let or sold. The list of items gives a good idea of the status of Street End as a residence at this time. “To be sold by Auction by Mr Hicks on the premises, Tuesday and Wednesday April 8th and 9th 1862 the whole of the valuable household furniture, costly wedgewood dinner and other services, dessert ditto, rich cut glass, handsome four wheel carriage and numerous other effects. The bedrooms comprise polished mahogany french, four post and jappaned bedsteads with canopy and pole tops; damask, chintz and dimity furniture, superior horse hair, wool and other mattresses; capital feather beds bolsters, pillows, witney blankets, quilts and counterpanes mahogany winged and single wardrobes, circular and straight front chest of drawers, mahogany kneehole, enclosed and japanned wash tables, toilet ditto, handsome tray and box dressing glasses, splendid polished mahogany Cheval glass, plate 31 inch by 21 inch, side commodes, chair, bed and mattress, iron crib bedstead and mattress, carpets and druggeta, window curtains, patent mahogany boot jack, towel horses, chamber ware, linen baskets; bedroom easy and other chair. In the Drawing and Dining rooms, Hall etc superior pollard oak and mahogany tables, set of telescope dining ditto, pair of console; occasional, sofa, card, Pembroke, work stand and other tables; mahogany lounge and other chairs in variety rosewood, and other couches, sofas; library table with secretary and cylinder fall, pedestal and other sideboards, chiffoniers, mahogany dinner waggons, superior mahogany Davenport, umbrella stand; tapestry, Brussels and stairs carpets; hearth rugs, handsome rosewood dressing ease and writing desk; damask, chintz and other window curtains, with brass pole, cornices, rings and fittings; two rich gilt chimney glass, pair of gilt corner stands, nests of book shelves, table covers, teas chests, Canterbury, table and other lamps; eight day dial and mantel clocks; floor cloth, India matting, cast-steel and other fenders, fire irons, copper and jappaned coal scoops, wire guards, foot stools, leg rest; engravings and coloured prints in gilt and maple frames etc etc, china, glass etc. Handsome wedgewood dinner service, nearly 200 pieces, dessert ditto, rich cut glass in decanters, dishes, rummers, hock, claret, champagne other wine glasses, wine coolers, butter covers and stands. Miscellaneous articles e.g. Brine tubs, mortar and pestle, the new croquet game; foils, masks and gloves; open carriage for a horse or pair of horses, harness etc etc”
It is not known who the house was leased or sold to in 1862. The house was up for let again 20th Aug 1867. “This desirable mansion contains every accommodation for a Gentleman’s Establishment, together with capital stabling, coach houses, gardeners cottage, walled garden” etc.
It was certainly occupied in 1869, as a croquet party was held there on 15th June , which was spoilt by the weather but was “compensated for by a merry dance and splendid supper”. References to Street End House in the context of hunt meetings continue to at least 1876 and there is an 1873 reference to it being used as a “summer residence” but the family (who stayed at 4 Waterloo Crescent Dover over the winter) is unknown.

Elvington House
Some time before the end of the 19th century, the estate/hamlet of Street End ceased to be called by that name. It is still called Street End on the Ordnance Survey map of 1871 -1890 (Figure 3) but on the map of 1897-1900 (Figure 4) it is marked as Elvington House. Although its possible that the change of name from Street End to Elvington House coincided with an expansion and other changes to the buildings and estate, it would seems from the description of Street End in the sale by Mrs Barnewall in 1862 (and comparing it with a description in a later 1923 auction), that the major building work had taken place whilst the house was still known as Street End and sometime between 1830-1840 and 1862 . Certainly there are relatively only small differences in the estate buildings and outline in going from Street End on the 1871-1890 map to Elvington House on the 1897-1900 map, compared with greater changes between the outline of Street End on the 1830-1840 map and the Ordnance Survey map of 18971-1890.
Its not clear either why the name Elvington was chosen over that of Street End. The change however, seems to have occurred when the Rice family took over the estate. There has been some suggestion that the name Elvington derives from a name of a neighbouring manor. Hasted states that the proper name for Elmton is Elmington but that doesn’t explain why the name for a pre-existing manor at Elmton (the earliest historical documents always refer to it as Elmton) was then used for an entirely different estate albeit one close by but may have something to do with the Rice family’s extensive land interests.

Rice family
Its not certain from when the Rice family first occupied what is now being referred to as Elvington House. We know that Edward Bridges Rice was living there in 1884. Admiral Sir Edward Bridges Rice, KCB, DL (30 October 1819 – 30 October 1902) was a Royal Navy officer who went on to be Commander-in-Chief, The Nore.
On the death of his mother, Elizabeth Rice, in 1884, Edward Bridges Rice “entered into possession of Dane Court” but he did not take up residence there for several years. He lived at Elvington Court, “interesting himself in transforming Dane Court from a charming, friendly, old-fashioned white-washed home into a modernized red-brick building, removing all creepers from the walls and tidying everything up with Naval precision. Fortunately the interior of the house remained untouched”. Dane Court was the family estate in Tilmanstone.
In December 1885, Elvington House was given as his place of residence when his son, Henry Rice, came of age. Festivities took place at Dane Court Park Estate on Tuesday 15th December. At 4 o’clock the whole of the tenants and employees, with their wives, and the principal tradesmen of Eythorne and Elvington, and other friends, to the number about 150 were invited to “a most sumptuous dinner” which was served in a large room at the Home farm.
In November 1889 , Admiral Sir E. B. Rice and Lady Rice, along with all their furniture, left Elvington House to take up residence in Dane Court.

Julian Sturgis
Resident at Elvington House between around 1891 and 1898 was Mr Julian R. Sturgis and family. Julian Russell Sturgis (21 October 1848 – 13 April 1904) was a British-American novelist, poet, librettist and lyricist. Educated at Eton and Balliol College, Oxford, Sturgis distinguished himself in Eton’s sporting activities and rowed for Balliol for three years. He then played association football as an amateur, from 1872 to 1876, and was the first foreigner to play in, and the first to win, an FA Cup Final. He was granted British nationality in 1877. Sturgis qualified as a barrister, but he embarked on a writing career in 1874, producing novels, poetry, plays and libretti. He wrote the words for four operas, and is, perhaps, best remembered as the librettist for Sullivan’s 1891 opera Ivanhoe, based on the 1819 novel by Sir Walter Scott.
Julian had married Mary Maud de la Poer Beresford in November 1883 and they had three sons. He played an active role in the Eythorne community. For example, he was President of Waldershare cricket club (Captain, the Earl of Guilford), active with the East Kent Foxhounds and used Eythorne House for hunt meets, he was noted in supporting the Rector (Rev Prebendary A. L. Palmes 1891, Rector from 1872-1894 in 1891) and was nominated to be churchwarden 1893. A dance was thrown at Elvington House by Mr and Mrs Sturgis for their servants and their families, as well as local residents, in January 1891.
The house was up for let in March 1893, perhaps as a result of Julian Sturgis travelling abroad, something he did extensively and from the description maybe only part of it was to let or perhaps it refers to the bailiff’s house on the estate. The Notice says “To let, Elvington House, immediate possession, situate on high ground and in a healthy position, 8 bedrooms and dressing room, two sitting rooms, large garden.
The house was noted as being up for sale by auction in June 1896 and gives us further information on the quality of the internal fittings . “Elvington House, this compact and very charming residential property of 75 acres composing first rate family residence, delightfully situated in the centre of the property, approached by a long drive lying high on a southern incline in the midst of beautifully timbered park lands and matured grounds over which it commands beautiful views to the pretty broken country surrounding. Very well built in the Elizabethan style, it is partly covered with creepers and of good appearance. Old teak has been lavishly employed on the panelling and fitments of the interior which contains four handsome reception and some 17 bed and dressing rooms. The estate is practically all in grass, nicely planted and timbered and very complete in every respect. There is good stabling and gardens, large bailiff’s house, cottage and farmery” 19/6/1896
In June 1898 it was announced that “Mr Julian Sturgis, the author of The Comedy of a Country House and several other works, who has resided for some years in Eythorne is leaving the Parish. Elvington House, his prettily situated seat there, has been taken temporarily by the Rev Sir J. R. Emilius Laurie, Bart (Baronet) the well known evangelical and author, late vicar of St John’s Paddington”.
Sir John Robert Laurie Emilius Bayley, 3rd Baronet (16 May 1823 – 4 December 1917), later Sir Emilius Laurie, was an English clergyman, baronet and amateur cricketer. He was generally known by his middle-name Emilius and changed his surname to Laurie in 1887. He married Marianne Rice, the daughter of Edward Royd Rice (who represented Dover in the House of commons from 1847-1857, was a first class cricketer, and resident of Dane Court, Tilmanstone for over 60 years ), in 1855. Hence he would have been very familiar with the local area and families. His uncle was John Minet Fector another family known to Eythorne,
In April 1904 the “death of Mr Julian Sturgis, former well known resident at Eythorne, who passed away in London after an illness of some duration” was announced.

Vince Croud

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