Main Image

Post office/Goddards Cottage

Gazetteer No. G0082

Date 1899

Address Abinger Lane Dorking, Surrey RH5 6JH England


GV II House, formerly partly in use as a post office and later a gardener’s cottage. The central two bays are an early C17 lobby entrance house, extended at each end, refronted and upper floor ceilings heightened in the late C18 or early C19, refenestrated in the C20.

MATERIALS: Central two bays timberframed, infilled or underbuilt in brick and extended in brick with some stone rubble with galleting and tiled end gables. Gabled tiled roof with central brick chimneystack and additional chimneystack to rear slope. Wooden casements with leaded lights.

PLAN: Originally a two bay lobby entrance house of two storeys, extended by one bay at each end and with a small C19 outbuilding to the rear. Irregular fenestration and two irregularly-spaced front doorways.

EXTERIOR: The north-east side has timber framing visible on the first floor of the penultimate bay to the south with midrail and studs. The remainder is of brick apart from the ground floor right hand two bays which is of stone rubble. The first floor has a two-light casement on the first floor and a ground floor three-light and two-light casement with leaded lights. The penultimate bay to the right has a cambered headed doorcase and a C20 gabled tiled porch supported on rustic poles. The left end bay has a wide doorcase with four flush panels. The south-eastern end has a tiled gable and first floor C18 tripartite wooden window surround with C20 casement and two casements to the ground floor. The north-west end has a gable hung mainly with diamond-shaped tiles with stepped edges and two two-light casements to the ground floor, the right hand one with a cambered head. The rear or south-west elevation is mainly of Flemish bond brickwork, apart from the ground floor of the penultimate bay to the south, which has stone rubble with galleting. There are two casements to the first floor, one tripartite casement to the ground floor and a C19 lean-to outbuilding with pantiled roof.

INTERIOR: A tiled lobby leads to the north-west into a small room with timber corner beam and midrails to the north-west and north-east walls. The adjoining room is a pantry with a tiled floor, under which exists a well exists, and the timber-framed wall between the pantry and kitchen appears to have been at one time the end wall of the property. The kitchen has a cambered fireplace opening with a C19 shelf, an C18 two-panelled door into the pantry and a boxed-in spine beam. The next room to the south-west has a spine beam with one inch chamfers and floor joists with chamfers and lambs tongue stops. There is a late C19 fireplace with tiled surround and a ledged plank door leads to a straight flight staircase. Both doorcases in this room have early C19 reeded surrounds and square paterae. The end south room has traces of a midrail and two studs in its north wall. The south west wall is of stone rubble with studs visible. There is an un-chamfered central beam and square floor joists which appear to have had a trapdoor or staircase at one time. There is a stone flag floor and C19 four-panelled doors. The staircase has a section of C19 balustrading with stick balusters on the upper floor. The north-west bedroom has a late C19 fireplace with wooden surround, tiles and metal firegrate but no pre-C19 features visible. The middle bedroom has a visible tiebeam with the ceiling heightened, five wall studs and a mid-C19 wooden fireplace with duck’s nest grate. The adjoining bedroom has an exposed tiebeam painted white that relates to the tiebeam in the previous room. The wall plate is visible on the first floor. The south end bedroom has an exposed tie beam but no other timber framing exposed. The roof structure has a number of pegged rafters visible and purlins, although secondary rafters have been added for strengthening with nailed collars.

HISTORY: This building is shown with its current footprint on the 1871 OS map as a post office. In 1899 Sir Edwin Lutyens built Goddard’s to the north-west as a “Home of Rest for Ladies of Small Means” for Sir Frederick Mirrielees. In 1910 Lutyens extended and altered Goddard’s as a private dwelling for Mrs D Mirrielees. By the 1914 OS map the cottage is no longer a post office and housed the gardener to Goddards who maintained the Gertrude Jekyll garden. Goddards Cottage is currently owned by the Lutyens Trust but leased to the Landmark Trust.

SUMMARY OF IMPORTANCE: * An early C17 timber-framed lobby entrance house later extended at each end and the first floor ceilings heightened but with a readable plan form. * It preserves much original fabric in a range of local vernacular building materials. * Decorative detail includes C18 and early C19 fireplaces and doors and some later C19 fireplaces. * Group value with a number of adjoining listed buildings, including Goddards (Grade II*) by Sir Edwin Lutyens.

(Historic England, list entry 1392106)


Historic England. Goddards Cottage. [Online] Available at:

Also Cited In

Nairn, I., Pevsner, N. (1971) Surrey (Pevsner Architectural Guides: Buildings of England). 2nd edn. Yale University Press.

Listing Grade


Listing Reference



Sir Frederick Mirrielees, Bt