South Lodge, Dagnams.

This lodge house was sited on the west side of of what is now Petersfield Avenue at the junction of the A12. It was demolished in the early 1970s. There is still a Yew tree standing on the ground that was once the garden, shown here to the right of the house. There was a similar house, the North Lodge at the opposite end of the Dagnams Estate in the then Wrightsbridge Rd, now known as Lower Noak Close. That one was occupied until 1964 and demolished in 1965 when the very last residents of Dagnam Park left.     Del Smith

Photo below apx 1968 and the one below that the 50s and below that maybe late 40s.

Don Tait reports that "Being pushed along in the small pram by her mum is Linda Curson, they were photographed on their way home after visiting the stores at Harold Court which was on the opposite side of the A12"

The Lodge House would have housed many of the Neaves' employees over about 200 years. One of them was William Matthews. He served the family for more than 50 years, when he died the Neaves sent a beautiful wreath ! Don Tait has researched the history of William and his family. The cutting is from the Chelmsford Chronicle - Friday 26 November 1920.

1911 he is at South Lodge with his son in law Arthur Ellingworth, daughter Minnie and grandson Eric employed as a coachman (Domestic) aged 67.

1901 he is at South Lodge with his daughter Minnie Matthews employed as a coachman (Domestic) aged 61.

1891 he is at South Lodge with his daughter Minnie Matthews employed as a General Labourer aged 51.

1881 he is at North Lodge with his wife, Rachael, step-sons George & William Turner and daughter Minnie Matthews employed as lodge keeper aged 40.

1871 he is living in a cottage in Noak Hill with his wife Rachael and step children Eliza, George, Alice and William Turner employed as an agricultural Labourer aged 30.

Arthur William Ellingworth married Minnie Matthews (daughter of William Matthews) in 1908 and at the time of re-enlisting into the army in 1915 he was employed as a chauffeur to the Neave family at Dagnam Park. On the 1911 census Arthur W. Ellingworth was recorded as residing at Dagnams Lodge (south) along with his wife, Minnie, son Eric and father in law William Matthews. Arthur William Ellingworth died 5th May 1918 and is buried in St Thomas’ Chapel of Ease with a Commonwealth War Grave headstone which is the only one of that type in the churchyard. After his death Minnie received a war gratuity of £5.10s which was paid out on 19th July 1919.


The council housing maintenance for Harold Hill was carried out mainly from the Dewsbury Rd depot. There were subsidiary depots in Petersfield Avenue and Dorking Rd. but by 1970 they were mainly unmanned and used by staff for their toilets, a bit of storage and mainly for rubbish disposal. In the Dewsbury Rd. depot Bill Young was the foreman's clerk, Eddie Edwards was the foreman and Ted Blake "Blakey" was the top man. They all worked there for many years. Bill was the man who locked up the north lodge for the very last time, but he never threw away the key, he kept it, and he still has it. He sent me the photo below in 2015. Such unimagined fame, well done Bill.

Del Smith

The Engraving and text below were taken from The Essex Countryside magazine, I know no more than that.

(It's interesting in that it shows the elaborate gates to the chase)

The work of James Pollard (1792-1867) holds unique position as a leading English painter of sporting occasions and specially of coaching scenes. His original paintings fetch very high prices at auction today, but these provided engravers and printers with many lively subjects of sporting events, and those of his famous Royal mail coaches are of special interest to collectors.
His family came to London from Newcastle-on-Tyne and his father set up a printing business called Robert Pollard & Son. He brought up his family in the area and James who was the youngest son of six children was born at Islington Spa. Thomas Bewick, the famous wood-engraver was a Newcastle friend of the family and fired Robert Pollard's interest in engraving; also, when young James began to draw and paint, his father asked Bewick to look at the boy's work. This was a great encouragement to the lad and he began to assist his father in the business with engraving. He started serious painting however in 1813, and by 1816 he had taken to etching in which he began to earn a living. By 1820 he decided to concentrate on his paintings using mostly oils in which he became so interested that in the 1830s he ceased to paint any more in colours.                     

The London-Norwich mail coach at the gates of Dagenham. (sic) Signed J. Pollard. Photograph by courtesy of Oscar & Peter Johnson Ltd., Lowndes Lodge GalleryLondon, SW1.