Hurst Lodge (formerly Hurst Court), Broadcommon Road, Hurst
Hurst Lodge, 2001.
Hurst Lodge, originally in the Wiltshire part of the village, was the home of the Barker and Fairfax families in the 17th century. The male line of the family expired and Hurst Lodge passed to Frances Fairfax, who married the 9th Earl of Buchan. In 1742 Hurst Lodge was purchased by Robert Palmer. The main branch of the Palmers subsequently moved to Holme Park in Sonning.
When the tithe map was produced in 1840, the Palmers still owned the house, then called Hurst Court, along with Kaysersbridge Farm (occupied by James Gale), Church Farm (occupied by Edwin Gosling), Mungles Farm (occupied by John Nash), and several cottages in Hurst. The Court was occupied by George Hunter Elliot.
By 1854 the house was called Hurst Lodge and was the home of Charles Halse Esq. In 1891 Major General George Beauchamp was living there when an argument developed between the staff. Things developed to such a degree that the coachman, William Lazell, attacked the assistant gardener, Herbert Baigent, with a potato fork. Herbert was struck on the head with such force that he died of his wounds. PC Simmons and Mr Howard the surgeon were called and William Lazell was arrested. He was found guilty of murder at the Magistrates Court in Wokingham and sentenced to death.
Hurst Lodge passed to the Goldring-Palmer family, and after the death of the last male member, the Lodge was sold to Philip Hubert Martineau. Mr Hubert Martineau was living there in 1911, but by 1924 it had become the residence of William Henry Gatty Saunt. By 1928 Hurst Lodge was the home of the Tomkinson family.
Topiary and Garden at Hurst Lodge, 2001
Originally built in the form of an L, the house has been extended over the years, a five-bay front with three-bay pediment being added in the 18th century. Hurst Lodge is a private house, but the delightful gardens are normally open at least twice a year helping to raise money for the Red Cross and other charities.
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