Nostalgia by Michael Eagleton

The enforced “lockdown” has given me chance to put over 3000 CDs and vinyl LPs in alphabetical order but also to sort through my various filing cabinets of local pictures and pamphlets, and I have found a few things not seen for many years.

These included a nice little 6” X 4” history of Danesfield House, just four duplicated typewritten pages. A bit of a coincidence since Danesfield’s Scott-Murray family received a mention in this column a few weeks ago, in connection with local Roman Catholic churchgoing.

Rather than copy the little folder out again I have reproduced the four pages exactly above, along with the blue sketch on the front cover.

Above these I have placed an old colourised print of the house in the era of the Scott-Murrays and a photograph of the beautiful present-day building that replaced it. This is one of several that I took a few years ago when attending a Heritage Day event.

I would guess that these pages were compiled not long after the last date noted – 1973, but later, when the S.C.S vacated the house, it came up for sale in the hands of Howard, Son & Gooch who were at 9, Spittal Street, and their prospectus is also reproduced above.

It was purchased by the Carnation Milk Organisation and for some years was the prestigious site of their headquarters, before becoming today’s luxury hotel.

I also found a duplicated and considerably older two-page guide to the various rooms in the house which indicates, since it opens by welcoming visitors, that, in the years before the R.A.F. took possession, tours of house and grounds were available. I can provide a copy of this if anyone is interested.

I have printed before in this column several aerial photographs from the 1960s showing the vast extent of the various R.A.F. units that surrounded the main Danesfield House including accommodation for (I understand) nearly 200 personnel.

As regards the “Grey Lady”, she is obviously one of this area’s lesser known apparitions, but there is also supposed to be another “Grey Lady” who has allegedly been seen at Seymour Court House.

Possibly someone might like to compile a “Ghosts of Marlow” booklet sometime, but it won’t be myself as I have yet to be convinced that such things exist!

Contact Michael on or 01628 486571