John Harvey, who left the parish in 2012, has sent details of some of the things that he had found out about Nursted Lodge whilst living there for 25 years.
He explains that it was the original gate house for Nursted House which had been built around 1690 as the country seat of the Hugonin family – generals in the British Army for much of the 18th century. The Lodge itself was built in 1880.
A Mrs Gladys Saunders had visited the Lodge in 2011 on a sentimental journey with her close family. She had been born in 1920 and lived in the Lodge from 1928 to 1931 with her Aunt and Uncle Hale. She could remember:
- Her uncle dashing out to open the gates when he heard the whistle from an approaching carriage and receiving a tap on the head with the whip if he was tardy
- Four gardeners working on the flint drive to Nursted House
- Drawing water with a kitchen pump from a well in the garden and collecting drinking water in pails from the stream at the bottom of the hill
- A cast iron cooking range and an outside toilet with log store containing a metal bath on a wall hook.
Mrs Saunders believes that the photograph of the lodge shows her with her sister Irene, six years her senior, who stayed at the lodge for only one week. That would date the photo at about 1928.
Mr Harvey also recalls finding, whilst flooring the loft, a small child’s shoe and the bowl of a clay pipe, both circa 1880. He understands that these might have been good luck customs at that time. He also recalls finding pieces of broken crockery in the garden where refuse had been dumped in the days before it was collected for disposal.
Leaving Nursted had been a wrench for the Harvey family but they treasure many memories of the Lodge and say that it will live forever in their hearts and that of their children.