Rye Road, Hawkhurst, Kent
This house is best associated with...
In 1846, Lambert's widow (Lydia) married Rear-Admiral Sir Richard Grant R.N. (1783-1859) and they continued to live at Fowler's until about 1853, when it was sold to James Gow (1808-1870), a Scottish railway director who later took the name of Gow-Steuart. In 1865, he commissioned the noted architect R. Norman Shaw (the architect of Cragside) to rebuild the front of the house and proceeded to divide his time between here and his townhouse, 42 Palace Gardens Terrace, Kensington. Having outlived his eldest son, on his death in 1870 it passed in trust to his second son, Herbert John Gow-Steuart (b.1854).
By 1881, Fowler's had been purchased by Sir Edmund Hardinge (1833-1924) 4th Bt., who was living here when he founded one of the first tennis clubs in the country. He had sold the estate by 1895 to Henry Spencer Ashbee when the house was reported to have contained 23-bedrooms. But rather than retire here with his wife, Ashbee retired here with his fifteen-year cousin, Louisa. Having travelled extensively, over the years he accrued thousands of books on pornography and erotica that must have filled every shelf in the house and are now in the collection of the British Library. Quite unashamed of his obsession, he met here with similar anti-heroes of the Victorian era such as Sir Richard Francis Burton (the scholar and explorer who translated the Kama Sutra into English), Richard Monckton Milnes, and the poet, Algernon Charles Swinburne.
In 1931, the man billed as the greatest art dealer of all time, Joseph Duveen, 1st Baron Duveen, purchased Fowler's and its 50-acres in preparation for his retirement. In 1937, he placed his townhouse in New York - Duveen House - on the market for $1 million and settled down to life in the English countryside surrounded by what must have been one of the finest collections of antiques in the country. Sadly his retirement did not last long and he died just two years later in 1939. His widow, Elsie, remained here but it was most likely the next incumbent who - in the 1950s - demolished half of the house before rendering it and painting it white as seen today. It still stands, although divided into apartments.
You May Also Like...
There is 1 member connected to this house, are you? Connect to record your link to this house. or just to show you love it! Connect to Fowler's Park →
Marie-christine livermore lives in Fowler's Park
Marie-christine livermore owns Fowler's Park