‘Barn of c.1600 on supposed site of hunting lodge of King John.’
It used to be part of the Jarvis Estate, but in folklore it had become known as ‘King John’s Hunting Lodge’ by its dominant position on the ridge up Thundersley Park Road, straddling the border between South Benfleet and Thundersley parishes.
There is a reference in the authoritative History of the King’s Works: ‘Edward II ‘built a peel at the manor of Thundersley’ in 1315 (‘Peel’ may just mean enclosure in this context).’ That, however, may well refer to a former property down Kingston Way, Thundersley.
When Tom Merry made drawings of local sites of note in 1902 he captioned a drawing of that supposed Hunting Lodge ‘Ruins of Old Jarvis Hall, Thundersley’. He may have described it correctly, for it has now been suggested by a specialist contact from the Museum of London (MOLA) that it was the original Jarvis Hall with a large carbuncle or tithe barn added subsequently. The present Jarvis Hall dates to circa 1400 with later alterations and additions.
It would seem that Jarvis Hall was bought by city banker and local land and property speculator Robert Varty in September 1890. He divided the property in 1896 when he sold the barn section to Theodore Attwell. (Rhoda Road and Catherine Road were named after Varty’s wife and daughter.) Estate Agent T. Attwell of Benfleet offered Jarvis Hall barn for sale in April 1908.
The modern house on the site was built from those ancient bricks and the present owners have allowed me to transcribe a deed that covers those early transactions. AGES Archaeological and Historical Association have recently completed two digs in the grounds, but alas with few actual discoveries.
A Transcript of the Deeds:
Dated 7th January 1915
Professor H. Jackson
To E. Scott Esq.
Land at Thundersley
This Indenture made the seventh day of January one thousand nine hundred and fifteen Between Herbert Jackson of Kings College, Strand, in the County of Middlesex, Professor of Chemistry (hereinafter called the Vendor) of the one part and Elijah Scott of Blenheim House, Thundersley Park Road, Thundersley in the County of Essex, Gentleman (hereinafter called the Purchaser) of the other part. Whereas by an Indenture dated the twenty seventh day of August one thousand eight hundred and ninety six [27 August 1896] and made between Robert Varty of the one part and Theodore Attwell of the other part the hereditaments and premises hereinafter described were conveyed to the said Theodore Attwell for an estate of inheritance in fee simple in possession free from incumbrances but subject to certain restrictions as to fencing, building user roads, footpaths and rights of way and timber or trees in hedges or boundaries mentioned in the first schedule to the said Indenture.
And whereas by an Indenture dated the eleventh day of February one thousand eight hundred and ninety seven [11 February 1897] and made between the said Theodore Attwell and Jane Elizabeth Attwell his wife of the one part and Thomas Hay and Samuel Percy Jackson of the other part. All the hereditaments and premises comprised in the above recited Indenture of Conveyance were together with other hereditaments conveyed to the said Thomas Hay and Samuel Percy Jackson by way of mortgage for securing a sum of Three-hundred pounds and interest. And whereas by an Indenture dated the eighth day of June one thousand eight hundred and ninety nine [8 June 1899] and made between the said Thomas Hay and Samuel Percy Jackson of the one part and the said Thomas Hay and Herbert Jackson of the other part the said Mortgage debt and the securities for the same were duly transferred to the Thomas Hay and Herbert Jackson subject to the equity of redemption then subsisting in the said premises. And whereas the said Thomas Hay died on the twenty sixth day of March one thousand nine hundred and eleven [26 March 1911]. And whereas the Vendor in exercise of the power of sale conferred on him by the said Indenture of Mortgage and Transfer has agreed with the Purchaser for the sale to him of the hereditaments and premises comprised in the said Indenture of the twenty seventh day of August one thousand eight hundred and ninety six [27 August 1896] for the sum of one hundred and twenty five pounds. Now this Indenture witnesseth that in pursuance of the said Agreement and in consideration of the sum of One hundred and twenty five pounds paid to the Vendor by the Purchaser the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged the Vendor as Mortgagee in exercise of the power vested in him by the hereinbefore recited Indenture of Mortgage and Transfer and the statute in that behalf and of every other power enabling him in that behalf doth hereby grant and convey unto the Purchaser All that piece or parcel of land in the Parishes of South Benfleet and Thundersley in the County of Essex being part of the Thundersley Park Estate and shewn on the Plan drawn on these presents and coloured pink Together with all buildings thereon and together with a right of way with or without horses and carriages over the land reserved for roads thereon in the plan of the said Estate To hold unto and to the use of the Purchaser his heirs and assigns subject to a proportion of tithe and to the restrictions hereinbefore referred to but free from all right or equity of redemption and from all claims and demands under the hereinbefore recited Indenture of Mortgage. And the Vendor hereby acknowledges the right of the purchaser to production of the hereinbefore recited Indentures of Mortgage and Transfer the possession of which is retained by the Vendor and to delivery of copies thereof.
And it is hereby declared that the transaction hereby effected does not form part of a larger transaction or of a series of transactions in respect of which the amount or value or the aggregate amount or value of the consideration exceeds Five hundred pounds. In witness whereof the said parties to these presents have hereunto set their hands and seals the day and year first above written.
Signed sealed and delivered
By the above named Herbert
Jackson in the presence of Herbert Jackson
49 Lansdown Road, W.