George Lane, Hayes
Grade II listed building
Street House is a listed Georgian building that sits at the junction of George Lane and Hayes Street. Its grounds originally stretched from The Walnut Tree in the south to beyond Hayes Wood Avenue in the east.
The ownership of a house on the land can be traced back to early Tudor times when it belonged to the Aleyn family. More details are available from the 18th century when the present house was built. It was described as a ‘genteel residence’ when occupied by Mr and Mrs Margetson in the late 1770s. It was owned by the Cleaver family.
The national listing in 1955 confirms that the house is Georgian and provides the following details.
Red brick. Tiled roof. The north front facing the street has 2 storeys and attic. 5 windows. 3 hipped dormers. Windows with segmental head linings and glazing bars intact. Doorway with flat hood on brackets, rectangular fanlight and door of 6 fielded panels. The east front has a stuccoed bay of 3 windows and an addition of 2 windows in painted brick behind. The west front has 3 windows, 2 dormers and a doorway with flat hood and 6 fielded panels.
In the early 19th century it was briefly used as a ‘school for young gentlemen’ and then occupied by a number of tenants until purchased by George Warde Norman of Bromley Common in 1841. At the time John Nicholls was living there with his four children and one servant and paying a rent of £25 a year. George Warde Norman let the property in 1852 to his brother-in-law Captain Thomas Sparke Thompson who had married his sister Henrietta. She died in 1866 and Rear-Admiral Thompson, as he had become by his retirement, died in 1873. His two daughters Emma and Henrietta remained at Street House until the 1880s.
By 1910, when the house was occupied by William Russell, a stockbroker, it was described as ‘a very old rambling ivy clad house’, brick built and partly slated and in need of modernising. It had a large ventilated cellar, 5 bedrooms, a bath and WC on the first floor and 4 small attic rooms.
Belgian refugees were housed in Street House in the First World War. The house was still owned by the Norman family in the Second World War and was occupied by the family of Major General Charles Wake Norman. His son, Canon Bill Norman, has recalled his memories of living as a young boy at Street House during the war. His bedroom was at the top of the house and he disliked being woken up when air raids were on to make his way sleepily to the Morrison shelter on the ground floor. The gardens were used for allotments.
Major General Charles Wake Norman inherited the property on the death of his father Archibald Cameron Norman in 1947 and stayed until 1950 when he moved to West Farleigh.
The Rookery Estates
The Rookery Estates was formed to manage the Norman lands and in the 1960s two houses, Nos.41-43, were built in the grounds facing Hayes Street. An earlier proposal to site a petrol station there was rejected. In 1971 a successful planning application was made to convert Street House into flats. Today, most of the gardens of Street House have been sold and developed but the house is still managed by Rookery Estates Ltd. It is divided into three flats and part of the ground floor is used as a dental surgery.