Abinger Common, Surrey


Goddards was built by architect Edwin Lutyens and has a garden laid out by his friend and collaborator, Gertrude Jekyll. Goddards, with its bowling alley, is approached by deeply sunken lanes that are almost tunnels through the wooded landscape.

  • Dogs AllowedDogs Allowed
  • CotCot
  • Fire or StoveFire or Stove
  • Open SpaceOpen Space
  • Logs availableLogs available
  • Parking AvailableParking Available
  • BathBath
  • DishwasherDishwasher
  • MicrowaveMicrowave
  • ShowerShower
  • Washing MachineWashing Machine

Beds 4 Single, 1 Twin, 3 Double

4 nights from
£2328 equivalent to £48.50 per person, per night

A masterpiece of the Arts and Crafts movement

Goddards was built by Edwin Lutyens from 1898–1900 and enlarged by him in 1910. It is considered one of his most important early houses, designed in the traditional Surrey style and with a garden laid out in collaboration with the celebrated garden designer, Gertrude Jekyll. The commission was an unusual one. In the words of Lawrence Weaver, writing on Lutyens’ houses in 1913, it was built ‘as a Home of Rest to which ladies of small means might repair for holiday’. This was the idea of Frederick Mirrielees, a wealthy businessman who had married an heiress of the Union Castle shipping line. A central range with common rooms on both floors divided two cottages, the southern of which also contained a bowling alley. Here Lutyens played a game of skittles in 1901 with the three nurses and two old governesses then staying here. They all loved the house and ‘invariably weep when they leave it’.

The Lutyens Trust

In 1910 Mirrielees adapted the house for his son to live in. The upper common room was divided and the cottages were extended to provide large bedrooms over a dining-room and library: two diverging wings, which hold the courtyard garden in loose embrace. It was given to the Lutyens Trust in 1991 by Mr and Mrs M.W. Hall, its owners since 1953, and had changed very little since 1910. The Trust, having found its care too costly, has now leased it to us and it is once again a place to enjoy a break and play skittles. The Lutyens Trust retains the use of the Library. Goddards stands on a little green approached by deeply sunken lanes. Large estates and the National Trust look after the surrounding countryside, and within it you can find many masterpieces of the Arts & Craft movement.

Drone footage

Floor Plan


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Map & local info

Approached by almost tunnel-like lanes through the woodland surrounding Leigh Hill, Goddards stands on a little green in Abinger Common. This is a tranquil spot with its own grounds and plenty of space for energetic games, croquet or simply relaxing in the courtyard garden.

Watts Chapel and gallery is 30 minute drive from Goddards, and well worth a visit. Suitable for families with children, there are over 70 paintings by G.F Watts on display and much more for you to explore in this stunning building.

Recommended nearby pubs include The Volunteer and The Abinger Hatch in Sutton Abinger. In the summer months, The Abinger Hatch have BBQ's outside, where you can also enjoy a game of pétanque. The Wotton Hatch offers a taste of country life, and is a great place for bar snacks and drinks or a meal out. 

For beautiful walks, visit Nymans gardens set in romantic ruins and woodland. 

Newlands Corner is also a popular beauty spot, with outstanding views of rolling countryside it is perfect for a picnic.

Discover local walks for dogs with our friends at Walkiees.co.uk, the dog walks community.

For more ideas and information on things to see and do during your stay at Goddards, take a look at our Pinterest Page.

Please Note: The Landmark Trust does not take any responsibility and makes no warranties, representations or undertakings about the content of any website accessed by hypertext link. Links should not be taken as an endorsement of any kind. The Landmark Trust has no control over the availability of the linked pages.

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Essential info
What you need to know about this building
  • Yes. You are welcome to bring up to two dogs. A charge of £20 per stay is made for each dog. Please contact booking enquiries if you have an assistance dog, for which there is no charge.
  • Driveway a short distance from the country lane
  • Gomshall – 2.5 miles
  • There are four parking spaces in the parking area closest to the house
  • There is gas central heating system and two open fires.
  • Logs may be purchased and delivered under a private arrangement. Further details will be provided with your booking confirmation.
  • To check up-to-date mobile network coverage in the area, visit signalchecker.co.uk. Due to the location and structure of many of our buildings, signal strength may differ to those indicated.
  • The kitchen is fully equipped with all plates, cutlery, fridge etc.
    There is also an electric cooker, two dishwashers, a separate freezer and a microwave 
  • There are four bathrooms, one with a free-standing shower and the other three with baths. There are also two additional wcs.
  • No.
  • There is a large enclosed garden.
    Between Easter and the end of October The Landmark Trust in conjunction with The Lutyens Trust will open the skittle alley, the dining room, and the garden to the general public on Wednesday afternoons only, between 2pm and 6pm.  This is a condition of our lease of Goddards.  The Lutyens Trust may also open the library at the same time. The Lutyens Trust has a right of way through the door on the south side of West Court.
  • No. At the moment, we have decided not to implement Wi-Fi in our buildings following a consultation with our customers. Many said that they would find it useful, but many also felt that it would somehow damage the experience of staying in a Landmark. As the responses were so split, and as we have so many other initiatives requiring funding, we have decided to put this on hold for the time being.
    Except at Llwyn Celyn Bunk House where a password is available in the property when you arrive.
Booking and Payment
  • If the weather is bad, please contact our booking office who will be able to tell you whether the Landmark is accessible. If the housekeeper can safely get to the building to prepare it then we consider that it is open and available for guests. However if we cannot undertake a changeover then we will do our utmost to transfer your stay to another Landmark, depending on what we have available. It may not be of a similar size or in the same part of the country as your original booking. If the building is accessible but the customer cannot travel due to poor weather in his/her local area then please be aware that Landmark will not provide a refund. However the customer may be able to claim on his/her own travel insurance. We recommend that all guests take out travel insurance when they first secure a booking.
  • We accept Maestro (if issued in the UK), Visa, MasterCard, direct transfer and sterling cheques drawn on a UK bank. Cheques should be made payable to the Landmark Trust except for Lundy stays and boat/helicopter tickets which should be payable to The Lundy Company Ltd. All payments must be in sterling.
  • The key arrangements will be included in the Further Infomation document which will be sent to you prior to your stay.
  • If your stay starts more than two months from the date you make the booking, you are required to pay a deposit of one third of the cost of your stay (or £100 per booking, if greater) at the time of booking. Camping on Lundy and The Bunk House at Llwyn Celyn must be paid for in full at the time of booking.
  • If you wish to cancel or change your booking, please contact our Booking Office on 01628 825925
  • At the moment we only accept payment in sterling.
  • Our housekeeper will leave the key in a suitable place, the details of which will be sent to you prior to your stay.
  • It depends. Some of our most popular Landmarks are booked up a long time in advance, but many can be booked at short notice. We will always have Landmarks free for the coming weekend so it’s always worth checking our availability list.
  • No, Landmarks are available to be booked for anyone.
  • No, all the information you need can be found on our website, although we’d like you to buy one anyway as it will be a pleasure to own!
Staying at a Landmark
  • Some of our Landmarks are suitable for people with disabilities or limited mobility. However, many Landmarks have steep or narrow staircases, uneven floors and thresholds, changes of level, low ceilings or beams, as well as indistinct colours on steps and in corridors. We recommend that you call Booking Enquiries on 01628 825925 if you would like to find out the suitability of a particular Landmark for anyone with a specific disability.  Further information on access when visiting Lundy can also be found here.
  • Yes, Landmarks are only available as self-catering accommodation. We do not offer bed and breakfast.
  • Landmark does not provide catering, but we can recommend Greycoat Lumleys who can arrange for expert and well-trained staff to cater for one evening or for your entire holiday. Their cooks and chefs are able to work with you to meet your specific requirements
  • You may bring up to two dogs to properties where dogs are allowed (please see specific property details for exemptions however dogs are not permitted on Lundy except assistance dogs). They must be kept off the furniture and under proper control. A charge of £20 per stay is made for each dog. Please contact booking enquiries if a registered assistance dog is supporting one of the guests, for which there is no charge.
  • Apart from two dogs (see above) no other pets are permitted.
  • Arrival is from 4pm and departure is by 10am.
  • We do not carry insurance for breakages. However we appreciate that accidents do sometimes happen. If you have a breakage during your stay, please let the housekeeper know and if appropriate we reserve the right to invoice you accordingly.
  • Yes, most of our Landmarks are perfect for children, with gardens to play in and secret places to discover. Our furniture is surprisingly robust and we positively encourage families to stay. However, some of our buildings may not be suitable for small children; for example, some of them have steep or uneven spiral staircases. We recommend that you call the Booking Enquiries team if you would like to find out the suitability of any of our Landmarks for young children.
  • Unfortunately, most of our Landmarks are not licensed for weddings. However, you may get married on Lundy.
  • All our larger Landmarks are perfect for gatherings of family or friends. You may invite an additional two guests to visit you during your stay, however they must not stay overnight. This is very important because our fire regulations specifically note the maximum number of people in any one building. In addition our properties are prepared, furnished and equipped for the number of people specified and greater numbers cause damage and excessive wear and tear to vulnerable buildings. Should this condition be ignored we shall make a retrospective charge per person per day (whether or not they stay overnight) for each guest over the permitted limit, the charge being pro-rated on the total cost of your booking.
  • We deliberately do not provide televisions and find that most people appreciate this.
  • One of the challenges of restoring unloved buildings is gaining access to them. We frequently have to negotiate rights with our neighbours and share tracks with them. In many cases tracks do not belong to us and we have no right to maintain them. Wherever possible we work with our neighbours to provide you with a good quality surface, but where this is a problem then you will be warned at the time of booking.
  • Yes, we have standard electricity sockets for UK appliances. If you are coming from outside the UK, you will need to bring your own adaptor plug(s). If you are visiting one of our European properties we have standard European electricity sockets. If you are visiting from the UK, you will need to bring your own adapter plug (s).
  • Landmark’s electrical systems have not been designed to provide continuous power from one socket over several hours.  If an ordinary socket is used to charge an electric vehicle, there is significant risk of an electrical fire and consequent danger to life.  Therefore, we are unable to allow electric vehicle charging from most of our Landmarks at present.

    We are working to provide Type 2 Electric Vehicle charge points at our properties where there is private parking.  Where this is available, please request this facility when booking the property to ensure the outlet is enabled on your arrival.  There is a small charge to cover the cost of electricity provided.  Please book this facility in advance.
  • No, we do not allow smoking in any Landmark.
  • Sometimes our kitchens and bathrooms have to be imaginatively fitted into the available space in buildings where before there were none, but they are all planned and equipped to a high and modern standard.
  • Yes, Landmarks are fully equipped with sheets and towels. All the beds are fully made up for your arrival. Except for the Llwyn Celyn Bunkhouse.
  • Yes, our kitchens are well equipped with cookers and fridges. There are freezers and dishwashers (in larger buildings) and, where space allows, microwaves as well as a wide and standard range of utensils. A full equipment list is available at time of booking.
  • Logs are provided at many of our Landmarks for an additional cost.
  • Mobile coverage varies. Some Landmarks have an excellent signal, but others have none at all. If you are concerned, you can check with the housekeeper before your arrival.
  • No. At the moment, we have decided not to implement Wi-Fi in our buildings following a consultation with our customers. Many said that they would find it useful, but many also felt that it would somehow damage the experience of staying in a Landmark. As the responses were so split, and as we have so many other initiatives requiring funding, we have decided to put this on hold for the time being.
    Except at Llwyn Celyn Bunk House where a password is available in the property when you arrive.
  • A welcome tray with tea and sugar awaits your arrival and you will find a pint of milk in the fridge. We also provide toilet rolls and a bar of soap per basin, but no other toiletries. Hairdryers are provided.

A holiday rest home for `ladies of small means'

Goddards was built by Edwin Lutyens for Frederick Mirrielees in 1898-1900. Designed in his Surrey traditional style, it shows his mastery of local materials - stone, brick, roughcast and oak - and it is considered one of his most important early houses. The influence of Gertrude Jekyll and her enthusiasm for the local vernacular architecture, which she shared with Lutyens, can be strongly felt at Goddards where she planted the courtyard garden. Lutyens's commission was to build a holiday rest home for 'ladies of small means,' which would become a private charity of Mirrielees.

The site was a plot of seven acres near Pasture Wood, Abinger Common, where the Mirrielees family were living. He was the kind of client that Lutyens liked best - he was a rich businessman who was prepared to invest in building and he respected good craftsmanship.

The original plan, Lutyens's first to be symmetrical, comprised a common room with two wings of bedrooms on each side, but no bathrooms or heating as it was intended for summer use only. Much thought went into the ladies' entertainment on wet days in the country and with this in mind the skittle alley on the ground floor and a gallery in the attic area, in which to play games, were built.

The house served its purpose well and following a visit, Lutyens wrote 'Went down to Goddards and went over the place. It seems very successful and the inmates love it and invariably weep when they leave it, which is comforting. Mirrielees seems very happy with it too. ... We all played a game of skittles in my alley! I like using the things I make.' Six visitors were the most that the house could comfortably hold then and, as described in a Country Life article of 1904, they included 'nurses from hospitals, ladies of small means who could not otherwise afford a holiday, East End workers exhausted by care for others' who for two or three weeks had 'a bright social life there, readings, games and, perhaps best of all, a lovely garden.'

In 1910 Mirrielees, now Sir Frederick, commissioned Lutyens to alter Goddards and turn it into a family house for his son, Donald, and his American wife. It seems however that they used the house only at weekends. Lutyens extended both wings to make a dining room and a library, the common room became the drawing room and two master bedrooms were provided on the first floor, together with bathrooms, central heating and electric light. At the same time he lowered the sills in the common room to strengthen its relationship to the garden. The `ladies of small means' were moved to a converted barn at Pasture Wood.

Sir Frederick died in 1914 and his widow sold Goddards in 1927 to the Gibbs family, who in turn sold it to the Halls in 1953. Goddards was given to the Lutyens Trust in 1991 by Mr and Mrs M. W. Hall, in memory of their architect son, Lee Heath Hall. However, running the house without an endowment or experience proved too expensive and difficult for the small Trust and in 1995 they handed it to the Landmark Trust on a long lease, keeping the Library as their headquarters.

For a short history of Goddards please click here.

To read the full history album for Goddards please click here.

To download the children's Explorer pack for Goddards please click here.


Defined by hedges, terraces and walls

There are three main elements of Goddards; the house itself, the garden courts and the pasture beyond. Each is defined by hedges, terraces and walls, all connected by axial routes. Throughout, Lutyens drew on the vernacular traditions of Surrey and applied the principles of the Arts and Crafts movement. The main, west front encloses the garden court.

The two storey bedroom wings flank the single storey common room, with its sweeping low roof of Horsham stone slabs and clay tiles. The fine, mullioned windows are twice as large on the south facing side as on the opposite. Materials here are predominantly stone, brick and tile. The roughcast east facade, the entrance, is composed of two gables between twin brick chimneys and the main entrance is off-centre to the left, breaking the near-symmetry of the elevation. Surrey is famous for its brick chimneys and those at Goddards are distinctive and powerful.

Detailing throughout Goddards is meticulously considered and crafted, as in all Lutyens houses. Distinctive materials and textures are used to effect, apparent in particular in the handling of the fireplaces of the sitting room, common room and library, the two main bedrooms upstairs and door furniture.

External restoration work undertaken by The Landmark Trust on taking over Goddards included major repair of three of the tall chimneys, rebuilding the middle on the north side, repair to the roughcast and stonework and replacement of guttering.

Internally Landmark reversed the changes that had been made to the house in the 50s and 60s and returned the plan to that of 1910. Upstairs partitions were removed and rooms reinstated and re-ordered to provide improved accommodation and the whole house was re-wired.

The restoration of the garden, which is being funded by the Rufford Foundation, is intended to reinstate the 'architectural' role of the hedges as originally intended, later planting alterations are being simplified and beds are being replanted with the grey, silver and scented plants that were listed in Gertrude Jekyll's plan for Munstead Wood.

Availability & booking

Select a changeover day to start your booking...

What's a changeover day? and Why can't I select other dates?Explain MoreQuestion

A changeover day is a particular day of the week when holidays start and end at our properties. These tend to be on a Friday or a Monday but can sometimes vary. All stays run from one changeover day until another changeover day.