The Entrance Lodge to Sandy Lodge March 2010
The entrance lodge to Sandy Lodge was originally called Swiss Cottage. Sir William Peel, son of the former Prime Minister Sir Robert Peel, lived at Sandye Place, then at Swiss Cottage. His brother Arthur Wellesley, 1st Viscount Peel, inherited the property living there from at least 1862 to at least 1869. He then built Sandy Lodge which was completed in 1870. Building News of 1869 says Henry Clutton submitted the lowest tender for it. Swiss Cottage then became, in effect Sandy Lodge lodge!
The entrance lodge was listed by the former Department of Environment in December 1979 as Grade II, of special interest. The department dated the property to the 1870s, however, as we have seen, Swiss Cottage was occupied by Sir William Peel, who died in 1858. It may be that the property was significantly altered at the same time that Sandy Lodge was built or the department's date may simply be a mistake.
Viscount Peel died in 1912 and was succeeded by his son William Robert Wellesley Peel, 2nd Viscount who became 1st Earl Peel in 1929. The Rating and Valuation Act 1925 specified that every building and piece of land in the country was to be assessed to determine its rateable value. Sandy, like most of the county, was assessed in 1927 and the valuer visiting the Entrance Lodge [DV1/C188/135-136] found the lodge in two occupations. The northern half was in the occupation of William Smith, an employee of the Pym family. His accommodation comprised a living room, kitchen and scullery with three bedrooms above. Water came from a well, there was a small garden and outside buildings were a coal house and an earth closet. The valuer commented: Very good lodge”.
The southern portion of the building was occupied by William Taylor, another Pym employee. He had a living room, kitchen and pantry downstairs with three bedrooms above. Outside lay a washhouse and an earth closet and a “good garden”. Water, again, came from a well.
A few years later, in 1934, three years before Earl Peel’s death, the Sandy Lodge estate was put up for sale in two parts and The Lodge itself was bought by the brick making tycoon Sir Malcolm Stewart, founder of Stewartby. He died in 1951 and was succeeded by his son Sir Ronald Stewart. The service received an interesting e-mail from Carole Perolls in 2014 who told us: "Roland and Sheila Perolls lived at The Entrance Lodge in the 1950's to at least 1985-86. I spent many a happy time there and my in-laws operated a tea shop there for a few years in thr 1980s before thet retired to the Isle of Wight when they sold the Entrance Lodge to the RSPB". The entrance lodge is now the RSPB shop.