HISTORY FROM PARISHIONERS

Mynthurst of the Parish of Leigh
This has been reproduced from an article by Gavin Pearce in the Leigh Post, the Parish Magazine

In 1856 James William Freshfield MP FRS FRGS FGS (1775-1864) lived at Moor Place, Betchworth, and decided to build a family mansion at Mynthurst, Leigh.  He had been the senior Partner of Freshfields, the famous solicitors for the Bank of England.  A note on his will can be seen by clicking here.

The estate of Mynthurst comprised almost a third of the Parish of Leigh.  A total of 1064 acres stretched from Mynthurst to the Seven Stars, to the Recreation Ground, and then south along the Leigh/Newdigate parish boundary to Shellwood Cross.

In 1828 Freshfield's son had married Mary Anne Dawes, the daughter of the solicitor of Rothschilds banking.  Could her name have a connection with Dawes Green at the heart of Leigh, and, until a some years ago, the name of our telephone exchange?
 
  James Freshfield married Mary Anne Dawes in 1828.  (portraits by George Richmond)

In 1892 Henry Ray Freshfield's son Douglas, together with the patriarch's grandsons, William Dawes Freshfield and Edwin Freshfield, sold the entire property to Ernest Charrington for 170.

There is a memorial plaque in St Bartholomew's Church to James William Freshfield, and William Dawes Freshfield is still listed in the Parish Magazine as a benefactor. 

  A plaque in memory of James William Freshfield in St Bartholomew's Church, Leigh.
Click on photo to enlarge

By 1931 the Mynthurst estate had grown to 1887 acres, when it was sold by Sir Henry Bell.  The history of the estate after that date is well documented, but any further information would be most welcome, since word of mouth history has it stated that the estate employed around four hundred people, almost half the population of Leigh.

The Mansion, now divided into three apartments, still has a huge painted glass window in the main hall.

 
The painted window in the Mansion with two panels for each month of the year, one showing the sign of the zodiac and the other a Victorian scene appropriate for the month.  


Pictures taken from the sale folder of 1931

Click on photo to enlarge



Mynthurst Mansion


Main hall



Dining room

 



Mynthurst from back



Pleasure Grounds



North Lodge

 

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