History

The following article, written by Julia Kennard and published in the Sutton Guardian, gives us an insight into the history of Sutton Lodge.

“The oldest building in the parish of Sutton is set to get a makeover.”

And the renovations have sparked a closer look into the house's chequered history of orgies, kings, drunks and gamblers.

When the Prince of Wales arrived at Sutton Lodge in Brighton Road, enjoying the countryside was usually the last thing on his mind.

The house - which was built by brewer John Wells in 1762 - was the perfect hideaway for the future George IV to have trysts with his mistresses.

Sutton's borough archivist Kath Shawcross revealed the house was built on the site of a cottage, known as Little Hell because rowdy Epsom Derbygoers would buy their beer there on the way to the races.

The cottage - which possibly dates to 1754 - was eventually razed to the ground and a house was built by Mr Wells.

In 1786 it passed to the Reverend Matthew Thomas of Ewell and in 1838 Henry Froggart of Brixton sold it for £700 to John Overton of Cheam whose farm became the largest in Sutton.

In the late 19th century it became a favourite haunt of Kings, particularly George III and George IV.

A cutting from the Sutton Baptist Church Magazine in 1954 also shows a more respectable side. The story is written by a Mrs Ione Coard who lived at Sutton Lodge as a young girl circa 1894.

“I remember now our arriving at this piece of country - yes it was very countrified.

We two little girls sat at the back of Mr Pim's cart and, as we jogged along from Streatham to Mitcham down country lanes, we at last came to Sutton on the Brighton Road, with fields on both sides and cattle grazing.

Our house had fields at the back and sides, as far as the eye could reach - and farther.

The lodge, which is now run by a charity as an old persons' day centre dependent on volunteers and donations, will have renovations including the replacement of rotten timbers and the stabilisation of the south flank wall.”