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The Street, Shalford
A significant landmark Queen Anne style six bedroomed family home with a rich history and opulent style. The fabulous accommodation is arranged over three floors and set within glorious gardens and grounds of 2.3 acres.
Debnershe is an attractive Grade II listed, Queen Anne style home believed to have been built in the early-mid 18th century. Its impressive red brick façade under a clay tiled roof is well known as one of the iconic village houses within Shalford which is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and lies approximately one mile outside main town Guildford.
The river Tillingbourne that flows through the gardens of Debnershe with the Chantries Woods behind setting a beautiful backdrop of this impressive home.
Its simple yet elegant elevations are punctuated with tall sash windows that afford its spacious, well-proportioned rooms with plenty of light. Internally it exudes the period features characteristic of its age; high ceilings, deep cornices, decorative architraves, floor to ceiling panelled rooms and oak floors.
The house is approached from Shalford Street through electric gates into a lit gravel driveway that leads round to the large circular parking area, double garage and outbuildings. The spectacular gardens are an impressive feature of the property to provide peaceful parkland grounds, as well as an expansive flat lawn, and a variety of different courtyards, pergolas, a bridge and summer house from which to fully enjoy this fine home.
The History of Debnershe
Debnershes curious name originally belonged to a field on the other side of the Tillingbourne and was given to the house in the early nineteenth century.
There was a house here long before the present one was built. Its predecessor was called Broadgates which was bought from George Duncumbe in 1608 along with an adjoining property and three fields on the far side of the Tillingbourne. Mr Duncumbe was a lawyer who had made a fortune from property transactions and lending money for mortgages.
In 1646 the house was passed down to his second son George. Neighbours of the Duncumbes in Shalford were the Austens, whose new Parsonage House was built behind the church in 1608. The Duncumbes were of equal social status and would hardly have wanted an inferior house. Whilst no pictures of Broadgates survive but it seems that the Duncumbes redeveloped it during the seventeen century into a property to match their social position. Before his death in 1674 George Duncumbe was finally able to acquire a neighbours house and land at the corner of East Shalford Lane which lay next to the gardens of Broadgates. Broadgates and the Duncumbes may have all but disappeared, but the wall of this garden bisected by the Tillingbourne still exists on East Shalford Lane.
From 1786 to 1796 Captain William Hollamby of the Royal Navy was the tenant of the great house and land now Debnershe in Shalford Street. He arrived a Shalford hero after sailing with Captain Cook on his epic third voyage around the Pacific, and there afterwards surviving battles and shipwreck in the Indian Ocean. William and Hannah Hollamby celebrated his return with a new daughter, Elizabeth born in Shalford in 1786. Hollambys arrival in Shalford followed the publication in 1784 of an illustrated account of Captain Cooks third expedition. This was eagerly ready by all literate classes from royalty down to gentry. A South Seas fever swept the country and Hollambys new neighbours no doubt eagerly sought the company of someone who has been part of the epic voyage.
After George Duncumbes window Charity died in 1677 their grandsons Stint and then his brother George lived at the house. George was almost certainly responsible for replacing Broadgates with the house we see now. George with his wife Martha, are commemorated in the north aisle of the St Mary the Virgin Church with lies opposite Debnershe.
It then passed via the entail to John Duncumbe. With the remaining Duncumbe lands in Shalford, all 95 acres it was eventually sold to Robert Austen of Shalford Park in 1754. This little pocket of ancient Shalford has largely escaped twentieth century development and together with Debnershe it is a reminder of the Duncumbe familys contribution to the village scene.
Sources Scenes of Shalford Past by Margaret Dierden
The rent of the great house in Shalford,
£35 per year was expensive for a commander who like other officers had no private wealth of his own. The outbreak of the French Revolutionary wars in 1793 meant a return to the navy where he died in the West Indies, probably of the yellow fever raging there, on 16 March 1795. Hannah Hollamby returned to London in 1796.