Although the main settlement of Knaphill is now centred on Anchor Hill and the High Street, this area did not really develop until the mid 19th Century through the prosperity of the local brickworks. The remnants of the much smaller and older settlement are notably at Lower Knaphill where Anchor Hill joins Barrs Lane.
During the early 19th Century this area was known as Whitfield. The area has a strong character with several statutory listed buildings from the 16th and 17th Centuries together with a number of 18th Century properties on the ‘Local List’, all situated in a tight knit group. It comprises of Anchor Hill from the Royal Oak public house through to Littlewick Road eastwards up to ‘Whitfield Court Barn’, together with a small section of Robin Hood Road up to ‘Nuthurst’. The area is visually important as it marks the entrance into the centre of Knaphill.
Whitfield Court in Littlewick Road is Grade II listed and is still a prominent feature in Knaphill today which dates from the 16th Century although it was partially rebuilt with extensions in the 18th and 19th Centuries. It is a prominent brick building with a timber framed core and consists of three bays with a large lobby entrance. It was also once the subject of a detailed book by local author Philip Arnold. Its barn is also Grade II listed and goes back to the 18th century.
Barely visible to the casual passer-by these days is Bluegates also in Littlewick Road, a 16th Century timber framed private residence with late 19th Century additions. Its interior consists of a visible timber framing with substantial ceiling joists and a renovated brick fireplace with wooden lintel. Once part of a much larger expanse of land, Bluegates field is now known as Waterers Park. Bluegates was Grade II listed in October 1973.
Also in Littlewick Road near the junction with Barrs Lane, is Inwoods, which dates back to the 16th Century with an 18th Century restoration to its left hand gable at the front. It is timber framed with a brick infill and has three bays with cross wings at either end with a lobby entrance. Inwoods has two storeys with an attic in the left gable.
Nuthurst in Robin Hood Road is a late mid 18thCentury former farmhouse with Flemish bond brick with first-floor tile hanging to rear, gabled old plain tile roofs, brick stacks, including symmetrical end stacks to front and lateral stacks to rear service wings. The building was Grade II listed in December 1969 and is most noted for its connection with the alleged murder of its lodger Hilary Rougier in 1926
Brookwood Farm House in Robin Hood Road at its junction with Locksley Drive was listed in September 1975 whilst “still in a dilapidated state”. The farm house dates back to the 16th Century with extensions recorded as being made in the 19th Century.
The Barley Mow Inn which closed down in 1921 still exists as a private dwelling now called Barley Mow House, at the junction of Barley Mow Lane and Chobham Road. The old pub dated back to the 17th Century and is now a Grade II listed building. Its landlord in 1785 was one Thomas Blackman. It is said that the house was once a royal hunting lodge that was part of Windsor Great Forest. A fireplace in the house bears the coat of arms of Charles I and is the only other known example to exist outside Windsor Castle itself.
The ghost of a headless man, thought to be a soldier killed in a drunken brawl outside the pub is said to walk in the road with his head tucked under his arm. His head was cut off apparently to prevent his identity from being known. The ghost of a woman dressed in brown has also been seen and it is said that she quickly disappears when approached. Neither of these sightings is recent though.
Across the road from the former Barley Mow pub is Stillwell Cottage in Chobham Road which dates back to the 16th/17th Century and is timber framed with brick cladding below and plain tiled above with a plain tiled roof. Its ground floor windows feature cambered heads. Still quite easy to view from the road, it has a door to right to lobby entrance and an under pent roof porch on wooden supports.
Longcroft Cottage in Barrs Lane dates back to the 18th Century and is a timber framed building that has brick cladding. It has a tiled roof with end chimney stacks. It is two storeys with a ‘cat slide’ type extension that was added to the rear during the mid 20th Century.
Some other buildings in Knaphill are listed as ‘buildings of architectural significance’ and these include: Nursery House in Barrs Lane, Holy Trinity Church in Chobham Road and The Royal Oak at the foot of Anchor Hill. Other buildings are listed as ‘buildings of townscape merit’ and these include Brookwood Farm Cottage in Bagshot Road, Lipscombe Farm in Chobham Road, The Anchor public house in Lower Guildford Road, Haven House in Limecroft Road, Daphne Cottage and The Robin Hood public house in Robin Hood Road. Also included are No’s 31-105, Seymour Court in Raglan Road, Wellington Terrace in Victoria Road (formerly Barrack Road) and No’s 67,69,71,73, 75 and 93 in the High Street.
Taken from Knaphill (All in One Place) © Mal Foster