Visit to Goddards at Abinger Common in Surrey

Applications are now invited for our private visit to Goddards at Abinger Common in Surrey on Sunday 11th June 2023. The visit will be an opportunity to explore Voysey's influence on Edwin Lutyens.


Goddards was built by Lutyens between 1898 and 1900 and enlarged by him in 1910. It is considered to be one of his most important early houses, designed in the traditional Surrey style and with a garden laid out in collaboration with the celebrated garden designer, Gertrude Jekyll. It was built for Sir Frederick James Mirrielees (1851-1914), chairman of the Union-Castle Steamship Company. Designed in Lutyens' Surrey traditional style, it shows his mastery of local materials – stone, brick, roughcast and oak. The influence of Jekyll and her enthusiasm for the local vernacular architecture, which she shared with Lutyens, can be strongly felt at Goddards, where she laid out the courtyard garden.

At this time Voysey was working on several major projects including Broad Leys, Moor Crag and Winsford Cottage Hospital.

Lutyens' commission was to build a holiday rest home for 'ladies of small means', which would become a private charity of Mirrielees. In 1910 Lutyens converted the building to become a Mirrielees family residence, and Voysey was asked to design a replacement rest home at Holmbury St Mary, about two miles from Abinger Common. In the event, this project, Pasture Wood, was not executed, but Voysey converted a barn for the purpose on the same site.

We are visiting Goddards by the kind invitation of the owners, the Lutyens Trust. The house is leased to our associate member, the Landmark Trust. Further information and downloadable history guides can be found on the Landmark Trust website.

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  • 13.00: Optional buffet lunch.
  • 14.00: arrival time for those not eating with us, and welcome from The Lutyens Trust and The CFA Voysey Society, followed by an in-depth tour of the house and gardens (approx. 90 mins in two concurrent groups, led by The Lutyens Trust).
  • 15.45: tea/coffee and cake in the Library. We are hoping to offer some kind of study and discussion time on Lutyens and Voysey, possibly with a few slides. This will be followed by free time and optional bowling (the house has its own indoor bowling alley). There will also be a second-hand book sale and a small gift shop on site.
  • 17.00: close.

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We can accept only a maximum of 30 people for this event. Attendance will be strictly limited to members only unless we have room to accommodate guests. The charge for members will be £25 with lunch or £10 without lunch. If we are able to accommodate guests the charge will be £27 or £12.

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The full address of Goddards is Abinger Lane, Abinger Common, Surrey. The postcode is RH5 6JH. Detailed travel instructions will be provided to those making successful bookings for this event.

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How to apply

This event is now fully booked.

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“[Voysey's work brought] to younger men, of whom I was one, the promise of a more exhilarating sphere of invention.” – Edwin Lutyens


Photograph of Goddards, made available under the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication.

Lutyens photograph

Photograph of Edwin Lutyens by Elliott & Fry reproduced by courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery (NPG x90384) in accordance with this Creative Commons licence.

Page last amended 5th June 2023