Whittaker's Cottages

In 1987 two pairs of semi detached cottages were scheduled for demolition so that new maisonettes could be built on the site at the end of Woodfield by the iron railway footbridge. Originally built in the 1860s they were of historical value, and one pair of cottages was saved and moved to the Weald and Downland Living Museum in West Sussex where "Whittaker's Cottages" can now be seen.

They were called Whittaker's Cottages because they were owned by Whittaker, though he never lived there. He lived in the area now occupied by the Birch Court and Woodfield Lane maisonettes on the north side of the railway. When he lived there it was before the railway was constructed and the coming of the line bisected his property. The cottages to the south remained for rent by agricultural labourers, and Whittaker lived north of the railway in a property on what is now the maisonettes. After his death the area housed Cheney's Tea Rooms which had a playground and helter skelter. These survived until the Second World War saw their demise. For the full history of the cottages see https://www.wealddown.co.uk/buildings/whittakers-cottages/

Whittaker's Cottages were moved to the Weald and Downland Living Museum in 1987 and re-erected in 1997. After 20 years in situ they are now in need of repair and refurbishment. The Residents' Association has received the following email from the Fundraising and Membership Co-ordinator:-

I hope you do not mind this unsolicted email - I am contacting you from the Weald & Downland Museum. As you are probably aware we have Whittaker’s Cottages, from Ashtead in our collection. The timber-framed cottages dates back to the 1860’s. They were dismantled on their original site in 1987 and re-erected at the Museum in 1997. Over 20 years on, the cottages are in need of some tender loving care. As part of ongoing conservation works we were hoping to engage communities such as yourselves with the restoration work and progress of the project and would be happy to invite you along to the Museum or come out to you to talk about our fundraising campaign and plan of action for the building. Perhaps in the summer or later on in the year?

Here is a link to our fundraising plans for the next 2 years https://www.wealddown.co.uk/goldenfuture/. The repair work to the Cottages from Ashtead falls into our 50 Fund pillar and anything you can do to help us raise awareness for this would be fantastic also.

I do hope you don’t mind me reaching out to you.

Happy new year to you and yours.

All the best,

Katie Jardine
Fundraising & Membership Co-ordinator
Weald & Downland Living Museum

With the new Local Plan, unless public opinion can sway the Council otherwise, Ashtead will see a great many more houses being built in the area, and the Green Belt eroded leading to urban sprawl. It is good that a part of Ashtead's heritage is preserved in the museum and residents might want to donate a sum to ensure it is maintained. The web site to visit is https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/WDLM50Fund?utm_term=678p39M4M.