Stonehill Road


Stonehill Road was constructed from Sheen Lane to Palewell Common and the earliest house to which it led was Fern Bank, later Enmore built in 1867 by Herbert Reeves overlooking the Common. Later three houses were built along Stonehill Road: Stonehill for Sir William White, Hinxton House and The Grange. The last two were designed by Ingress Bell in 1877 and were both illustrated in the Building News. Hinxton House was built for R. W. Willis, son of Dr Robert Willis of Barnes, and took its name from Hinxton, near Cambridge. The house was stated to be built of a fine red brick of excellent colour and quality.

Next door in the same year Henry Vernet, a Swiss banker who married one of Dr Willis's daughters, was building The Grange, a large house built of grey stock brick and Doulting stone. The Building News described it thus:

It stands upon an elevated site on the borders of Richmond Park and overlooking the beautiful Roehampton Valley, The grounds are of considerable extent and the stabling occupies an outlying portion, having a separate road of approach [ie Vicarage Road].

For both The Grange and Hinxton House, Thomas Earp executed the carving and Heaton, Butler & Bayne the stained glass, both being well- known names of the period. In a tribute paid to Ingress Bell on his death, The Grange was specifically mentioned as one of his important country houses. As a boy I knew the house well, as one of my closest friends lived there. In retrospect I see it as an exceptionally well- designed house, fit to stand comparison with any house of that period no matter how distinguished the architect.

Adjoining The Grange but with an entrance in Vicarage Road, Hillfield at first called The Maisonette was built for F. W. Catt in 1875. The architect was R. H. Burden and his drawing of the north elevation overlooking the Palewell estate appeared in The Architect in that year.