Goddards

Abinger Common, Surrey

Overview

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
  • Outside Dining FurnitureOutside Dining Furniture
  • MicrowaveMicrowave
  • ShowerShower
  • Washing MachineWashing Machine
  • Explorer PacksExplorer Packs
  • Waitrose DeliveryWaitrose Delivery

Beds 4 Single, 1 Twin, 3 Double

Sleeps
12
4 nights from
£1695 equivalent to £35.31 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.

‘Marvel at the work of Edwin Lutyens when you stay at this architecturally stunning house...’

The Times

‘We felt like royalty eating in the common room. What a gem and so close to London.’

‘ It felt so decadent wondering around a stately home in my nightwear!’

From the logbook

Floor Plan

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. Clandon Park is a National Trust house nearby and is a fantastic day out. You can get a 50% discount on entry to Watts Chapel and free entry to Clandon Park with a National Art Pass, which enables its members to enjoy free entry to over 240 museums, galleries and historic houses throughout the UK as well as 50% off entry to major exhibitions.

The pass is presented by one of Landmark's partners, the Art Fund, the national fundraising charity for art, which has been supporting museums and galleries for over 110 years by helping them to buy and display great works of art for everyone to enjoy. Income raised through the National Art Pass goes straight back into their charitable programme. Find more about it at artfund.org/national-art-pass.

Reccommended nearby pubs include The Volunteer and The Abinger Hatch in Sutton Abingder. In the summer months, The Abinger Hatch have BBQ's outside, where you can also enjoy a game of petanque. 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.

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.

Goddards
Abinger Common, Surrey
Clear directions
FAQs

    What you need to know about this building

  • Does the property allow dogs?

    Yes
  • How is the property accessed?

    Driveway a short distance from the country lane
  • What is the nearest railway station and how far away is it?

    Gomshall – 2.5 miles
  • Is there car parking specifically for Landmark guests?

    There are four parking spaces in the parking area closest to the house
  • What type of heating does the property have?

    There is an oil fired central heating system and two open fires.
  • How can I get fuel for the open fire or stove?

    Logs may be purchased and delivered under a private arrangement. Further details will be provided with your booking confirmation.
  • What are the kitchen facilities?

    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 
  • What are the bathroom facilities?

    There are four bathrooms, one with a free-standing shower and the other three with baths. There are also two additional wcs.
  • Does this Landmark have steep, narrow or spiral stairs?

    No.
  • Is there a garden or outside space?

    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 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.

    Booking and Payment

  • What happens if I can’t get to the Landmark due to bad weather?

    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.
  • How can I pay?

    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.
  • How do I create an account?

    If you have not used the Landmark online booking facility before and you wish to register in advance, you can set up an on-line account by following the instructions below:

    Go to the Landmark home page and click on Gift shop (located at the top of the home page in red).

    Select a gift (e.g. Landmark Handbook or Anniversary Mug) and complete the ‘Amount required’ box. There is no need to complete the purchase but this step is necessary in order to bring up the registration page.

    Click ‘Next Step’ at the bottom of the page.

    This will bring you to the ‘Your details’ page.

    Please complete all the fields (name, address, contact details and create an account). Click on the green ‘Create Account’ button once you have finished.

    At the top of the page headed ‘Your details’ there will be a grey box saying ‘Signed in’ and underneath this it will say ‘you are currently signed in as ….

    Here you will also have the option to ‘Sign out’. Please do so and that is your registration completed.

    Please return to the Landmark home page.

    To check your registration or update your account details at any time please ‘Sign in’ using the icon in the top right-hand corner of the home page.

    If you experience any problems in registering or setting up your on-line account please contact webmaster@landmarktrust.org.uk.
  • How do I pick up the key?

    There are various arrangements for picking up keys. To arrange to get into the Landmark, please contact the housekeeper at least two days before your stay
  • Can I pay a deposit?

    If your stay starts more than three 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 must be paid for in full at the time of booking.
  • How can I cancel or change my booking?

    If you wish to cancel or change your booking, please contact our Booking Office on 01628 825925
  • Do you accept payment in other currencies?

    At the moment we only accept payment in sterling.
  • What if I arrive late?

    Please let the housekeeper know if you are going to arrive late and s/he will leave a key for you in a suitable place.
  • How far in advance do I need to book?

    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.
  • Do you have to be a member to book a Landmark?

    No, Landmarks are available to be booked for anyone.
  • Do I need a Handbook to be able to book?

    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

  • Are Landmarks accessible for people with disabilities or limited mobility?

    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.
  • Are Landmarks only available as self-catering accommodation?

    Yes, Landmarks are only available as self-catering accommodation. We do not offer bed and breakfast.
  • Do you provide catering?

    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
  • Do you allow dogs?

    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.
  • Can I bring a pet?

    Apart from two dogs (see above) no other pets are permitted.
  • Am I insured if I break something?

    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.
  • Are Landmarks suitable for children?

    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.
  • Can I get married in a Landmark?

    Unfortunately, most of our Landmarks are not licensed for weddings. However, you may get married on Lundy.
  • Can I hold a big party in a Landmark?

    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.
  • Are there televisions in the buildings?

    We deliberately do not provide televisions and find that most people appreciate this.
  • Why are your access tracks sometimes difficult?

    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.
  • Will there be sockets for my electrical appliances?

    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 visting from the UK, you will need to bring your own adapter plug (s).

    Facilities

  • Are the kitchens and bathrooms restored to a modern standard?

    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.
  • Is linen provided?

    Yes, Landmarks are fully equipped with sheets and towels. All the beds are fully made up for your arrival.
  • Are the kitchens fully equipped?

    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.
  • Do you provide logs for the open fire/stove?

    Logs are provided at many of our Landmarks for an additional cost.
  • Will there be a mobile signal in the Landmark I book?

    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.
  • Is there Wi-Fi in your buildings?

    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.
  • What should I bring with me? Are there toilet rolls, soap, shampoo, milk, teabags, coffee, hairdryer?

    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. We do not provide hairdryers.
History

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.

Restoration

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.


More work remains to be funded

At Goddards, the ha-ha, a change in level forming an invisible barrier for livestock, is formed of a single-skin retaining wall of local Bargate stone. The ha-ha had been crumbling and bowing for some time and in places had collapsed entirely. Your support of The Landmark Fund meant sufficient funding was raised to enable Landmark’s skilled team, with the help of volunteers, to carry out the first two phases of a three-phase plan to take down the crumbling wall, cut back the earth bank and rebuild the wall using salvaged stone.

Unfortunately, as the ha-ha is so extensive, we have yet to raise the funds for, and carry out the third-phase of work, and there are still areas of crumbling wall in urgent need of attention.

 

Find out more about the Landmark Fund
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.