Stop 12: Deerleap House-Information

As shown above, behind this high flint wall lies a property called Deerleap. It is a brick and flint country house dating from the early 1700s with additions in the 1740s and early 1800s.

The flint wall, which you are looking at, borders the property and was built later than the house, probably 200 years or so ago, possibly using flints from the castle. It was badly damaged in October 1987 by falling trees and  it required extensive repairs by local ‘Flinties’.

In the 1880s, Deerleap was the home of the O’Callaghan family who produced not one but two Admirals. Admiral George William Douglas O’Callaghan was born in 1811. He entered the Royal Navy in 1825, was made Admiral in 1877 and died in 1900. He was also a Justice of the Peace. His son, Admiral Michael Pelham O’Callaghan CB CVO, was born in 1850 and entered the Royal Navy in 1864. He took the rank of Admiral in July 1912. Both admirals took an active part in village life.

The house was rented at one time by the family from Stansted and the Admiral’s sister married G. Wilder of Stansted, so the ties were close.

The Village Flower Show was held in the grounds for many years. Prior to that, it had been held in ‘Fieldcoat’, Bowes Hill. In 1937, the house and grounds were bought by Robert John Winnicott, who intended to use the land to build houses, but with the outbreak of the war, the bottom fell out of the housing market and he shelved his plans. Since then the house has had several owners and remains one of the focal points of the village today.

This account borrows heavily from a booklet written by Mary Jane Lomer entitled “Round and About Rowlands Castle” 2015 for which she retains the copyright.

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