Sandfords is the Georgian house on the Green next to Stratton Chase Drive. It gained its name from Henry Sanford who owned and occupied it from 1838 to 1862 and probably made some of the alterations. It is claimed to have been built in 1708 but no evidence is apparent for this. However the history of a building on this site can be traced back through documentary evidence to 1736 when it was owned by Henry Bartlett.


The building

The building is currently known as 'Sandfords' with a 'd' although some times called 'Sandford House'. Up to 1895 it does not have a name. In 1895 it was called 'Town Villa' but quickly became 'Sanford' (no 'd') by 1899 and then the modern Sandfords by 1907.

It was listed as an 18th century historic building Grade II in 1990 under number 1125015.

The plan of the building is first shown on the 1876 25 inch OS map when it is a square block without the rear extension or the more recent extension to add two extra windows towards the south west.

There is no large scale plan again until the 1910 valuation map when the asymmetrical shape is shown and the extensive north side extension has been added. Town Farm has been demolished and front extended to the new south west side up to the line of the old farm buildings which have been reused. These are clearly visible with obvious ancient bricks.

Sandfords old wall

There were a number of small changes in the 20th century and then in 2007 there was an application for major changes. These are documented in planning applications CH/2007/1591/FA and CH/2007/1592/HB which are online at the Chiltern District Council planning portal website. This includes a full description of the house by the Historic Buildings Officer. It also contains a set of plans in which the outline of a much earlier cottage can be discerned within the current building.

As will be shown below, the property shown on the 1876 map, that is the core Georgian Structure was probably built well before 1838 since the previous building was defined in a Deed of 1838 as "a long time since taken down". It however seems unlikely to be built as early as 1708 on stylistic grounds. The Bartletts who made a number of property purchases and speculations lived there until 1783. On a balance of probabilities it seems most likely that the new house was built by Henry Bartlett some time in the mid 18th century unless physical confirmation of the 1708 date can be found in an appropriate part of the structure.


2013 Advertised For Sale at £ 2.5M.

2006 Advertised For Sale at £ 1.25M. Owner R 'Dick' Butterworth.

1955 Sold. (Advertised in The Times on 25/11/1954.)

1952 Resident H R Langridge (Amersham and district Directory).

1935 Resident H R Langridge (Kelly's Directory).

1928 Resident Eric Jeffcock (Kelly's Directory).

25 Sep. 1924. Owner H Falkner, occupier I Hunnybun. Amersham RDC Valuation supplementary list 31. (H Falkner was a builder and developer.)

1922 Henry Pocock died 31 Nov. 1921 and his executors sold his whole estate. The sale is reported in The Times 2 Aug. 1922. Sandfords is sold with 19 acres.

1920 Resident Henry Pocock (Kelly's Directory).

1915 & 1911 & 1907 Resident Henry Pocock (Kelly's Directory).

1903 & 1899 Resident Miss Healy (Kelly's Directory).

1898 7 Apr. Gurneys sell the Stratton Chase estate including Hill and Town Farms and Sandfords to Henry Pocock. (Detailed in 1910 IR Valuation ref. 141.) Sandfords is subsequently leased to Henrietta Healy.

Elizabeth Gurney, daughter of J Gurney the elder died Dec 1895.

1895 Resident Miss Gurney, Town Villa (Kelly's Directory).

1891 Resident Jonathan Keen (Kelly's Directory).

James Gurney the elder died Nov 1878. He left his land to his sons James and William but a life interest in Sandfords to his unmarried daughter Elizabeth. (Indenture of mortgage 18 July 1878. Box of Gurney deeds held at Frost Partnership Beaconsfield.)

1871 April. National census. Shown as "Mechanics Institute".

1864 30 Jun. Sale by John Garrett Morten of London to James Gurney farmer of Chalfont St Giles of Lot 1 of sale of the estate of his deceased father William Morton(sic) of Town and Hill Farms and Mill. Consideration £ 10,500. (Box of Gurney deeds held at Frost Partnership Beaconsfield.) Lot 2 is Sandfords but there is no deed of sale. However it must have passed to James Gurney at the same time or shortly thereafter as they held the 1862 deed and mortgaged the property in 1878. ( Box of Gurney deeds held at Frost Partnership Beaconsfield.)

1862 23 Sept. Indenture of sale. Henry Sanford of Chalfont St Giles to John Garrett Morten of London. Consideration £ 500. ( Box of Gurney deeds held at Frost Partnership Beaconsfield.) This deed contained within it the following wording.

"He the said Henry Sanford in exercise of the power contained in an indenture dated the 29th of December 1838 and expressed to be (sic) made between James Bridges of Frederick Place Harford Road Kingsland Middlesex gentleman of the first part and the said Henry Sanford of the second part and William Stone of Chalfont St Giles chair maker of the third part and of every what any other powers enabling him in this behalf. Does hereby direct and appoint and by virtue of his estate and interest doth hereby Grant and confirm unto the said John Garrett Morten his heirs etc all that messuage tenements with the gardens and appurtenances where in the said James Bridges formerly dwelt and where in the said Henry Sanford and one John Miller now dwell situate in the town of Chalfont St Giles on the site of another messuage or tenements there where in Joseph Bartlett and Henry Bartlett formerly dwelt but which was some time since taken down. And also all that piece or parcel of meadow ground lying and being in the parish of Chalfont St Giles and containing by estimation one rood and 36 perches heretofore part of a certain mead or parcel of meadow ground called Stevens mead formerly in the occupation of John Osborne or his assigns as the same was formerly set out and divided from the other part of the said mead and is now occupied with the said messuage or tenement intended to be hereby granted and released which said piece or parcel of ground abutted east on land formerly belonging to the Reverend William Jones, Clerk heretofore belonging to the house called the Stone House (some time since taken down) south on the garden belonging to the said messuage or tenements intended to be here by granted and released west and north on land the property of the said John Garrett Morten and north east on the residue of the said mead called Stevens mead".

1847 Resident Henry Sanford, Grocer (Kelly's Directory).

1838 29 Dec. Henry Sanford purchases house and garden from James Bridges. (See deed of 1862 above)

1830 26 Jun. Land tax record. This shows James Bridges owning and occupying a property which by inference is Sandfords. He also appears at a similarly uniquely valued property in the 1826 and 1822 records.

1810 Which is the next record available and shows a Mrs Jane Wilson owning the identically valued land but with no James Bridges listed. From researching the Bartlett family we know that much of their property ended up with a Jane Wilson. She died in 1811 and all her property was sold shortly after. Hence its acquisition by James Bridges.

From 1805 back to 1784 Mrs Wilson appears as the owner with Benjamin Buckmaster as a continuing occupant.

1783. Henry Bartlett, who died in this same year, is now the owner and one of the occupiers along with Benjamin Buckmaster.

Unfortunately there are no more earlier records except an isolated Land tax of 1736 where "Mr Henry Bartlett or Mrs Elizabeth Bartlett" are listed as owning property but the extent cannot be determined. The deed of 1838 referred to "a messuage or tenements there where in Joseph Bartlett and Henry Bartlett formerly dwelt but which was some time since taken down". Henry's father was Joseph Bartlett who died in 1731.

1708. The reputed date of the building of the house. Since the current house is built upon the remains of an earlier house we cannot tell to which this date refers without information on the source of the date.

Henry Sanford

Henry Sanford appears first in the tithe apportionment for Chalfont St Giles in 1838 as the owner and occupier of the house that now bears his name.

In 1851 he appears again, with his wife Elizabeth, in the National Census taken that year living in the property which now bears his name. He is described as aged 67, a grocer, but his birthplace is given as "not known". His wife Elizabeth is aged 59 and was born in Wycombe. However in the 1861 census he quotes his birthplace as Lewknor in Oxfordshire.

Looking at all other occurrences of the name Sanford (excluding Sandford) within Buckinghamshire in the 1851 census there are only nine households with one or more Sanford in residence. Four of these are in Aylesbury, one in Walton Street and three in Cambridge Street. It is very significant that, of these four, two are shopkeepers, one is a general broker and the other a greengrocer. With only nine households across the whole of Buckinghamshire it does imply that the family comes from some other county and Berkshire and Gloucester seem to have the largest concentrations.

From the Chalfont St Giles Parish Registers we know that Henry Sanford was buried on 25th March 1868 when his age is given as 88 and at the time of his death he was living in Watford. He is buried in Chalfont St Giles and his grave is on the north side of the church. The National Probate Index gives additional information. He was living at 8 Portman Terrace, Watford New Town when he died on 18 March 1868, and is described as "Gentleman". He left a Will and an estate of just under £ 2,500. His sole executor was Robert Philips of Amersham, Innkeeper. Elisabeth Sanford pre-deceased him and was also buried in Chalfont St Giles on 15th August 1862, aged 70.

From the ages given in the parish register Henry Sanford would have been born in 1780 and his wife in 1792. We can try to trace his birth or baptism and their marriage. The only Henry Sanford shown born between 1780 and 1784 is a Henry Sanford born "about 1780" in Nynehead, Somerset. There is however a marriage of a Henry Sanford and an Elizabeth Stone on 26th September 1814 at Spitalfields Christchurch, Stepney, London. If this is their marriage he would have been 34 and she would have been 22. If they had children then by 1851 those children would be no older than 37 and George Sanford in Aylesbury, who is a general broker aged 32 could conceivably be a child of Henry Sanford. We can also search in the 1881 census for any Sanford aged between 57 and 67. Only two appear in 1881 across all of the southeastern counties. Thomas Sanford who was a grocer aged 59 and living in Worth in Sussex and George Hanwell Sanford who is a broker aged 64 and living in Aylesbury.

This brief note is from a quick review of easily available records. Much more about his life could no doubt be discovered from more intensive research.

REFERENCES. Unless otherwise specified, all references given above refer to catalogue references at the Centre for Buckinghamshire Studies at Aylesbury. (County Record Office)

This print is a section of the Chalfont History website.

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John Dodd ©2012