Burr Hill Cottage

This attractive cottage in Burr Hill Lane is a low 2 bay double pile timber framed cottage. The roof over the rear pile is unusual in that it is doubled and runs at right angles to the main cottage. This may be to allow windows to be set high into the resulting gables (see notes below on weaving). The windows in the first floor of the front pile are also set high – in the roof.

Burr Hill Cottage from print 400 pixel.JPG (32431 bytes)There is an outside end chimney.

There is an early lean-to at the north end. The modern additions include the entry hall at the front, the long wing behind the chimney and a bread oven with a flue into the chimney.This cottage was originally thatched but is now tiled. It has been carefully restored so that the structural timbers remain and are visible.

The cottage was surveyed by the Domestic Buildings Research Group in 1975 (Report 744).

The following notes were compiled by Joy Mason:

This small cottage has in its long life served many purposes.

The rear section of the cottage was used for weaving and spinning. The ground floor has a hearth so would have been used for spinning wool which needs warmth for the lanolin in the fleece to lubricate. Weaving took place upstairs. Old maps show a pond in the corner of the plot which may have been used to soak flax grown locally before spinning.

It was once an ale house and frequented by highwaymen who prayed on coach travellers crossing the “wild wastes” of Chobham Common. It is said that information as to the coach arrivals was passed from The Travellers Rest at Longcross.

Latterly the cottage was a sweet shop selling home made sweets. It is now a private house.

A Ghost Story
The ancient hollow lane lying beside the cottage runs down to Chertsey Rd and is known as Waterperry. Several years ago the houses newly built on the Burr Hill Estate bought the old lane to enlarge their gardens. One day two of the owners of these houses came to see me and told me that one Sunday their children were playing in the garden when they ran indoors and said that some men were making a bonfire in the garden. The two fathers ran out and saw the smoke rising and a group of men round the fire but as they ran towards them the scene vanished with no sign of men or fire and no smell. I asked them what the men looked like and they replied ‘monks’. One can only assume that the ‘monks’ were on their way to take a service in Chobham church, so it must have been before 1275 when Chobham had its first vicar.