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HISTORY

The house was built in 1898 by a local company and was purchased by Mr Henry Reynolds, then employed as a Veterinary Surgeon at Prince Kinsky's stables on his estates in Bohemia. Prince Kinsky was a member of the Russian royal family.

The Prince was killed in a riding accident in 1903 and Mr Reynolds returned to England moving with his family into The Lawn.

Being interested in horse racing meant that Horley was the ideal place to live as it is close to what was then Gatwick Racecourse.

In May 1904, Mr Reynolds suffered a fatal heart attack whilst driving his motor car leaving a widow, one son and four daughters. Mr Reynolds had also built two further detached houses in Massetts Road, called Wenona and Ravensknoll (one of these is now called “The Turrets”) both of which were rented out and provided an income for the family. The eldest of Henry’s daughters, Winifred, started offering private tuition in the front parlour of their house.

The private tuition soon expanded into a small school, called The Lawn, with three classrooms downstairs whilst the family lived upstairs and the maid lodged at the back. The first Cub pack in Horley was run from the house after school hours. Miss Reynolds continued to run the school until 1968 when she had to retire due to ill health. Following her retirement, she continued to live in the house with her companion, Mrs Richards who had also taught at the school. Inevitably, the house fell into disrepair and eventually, the turret above the entrance porch had to be removed. After Mrs Richards death, Miss Reynolds moved to a nursing home in 1988, at the age of 95. The Lawn was sold to Ken Stocks in that year, 1988, and the turret was rebuilt. The rest of the house was also renovated and restored to create an upmarket Guest House. Adrian and Carole Grinsted brought The Lawn Guest House in 1996 and substantially extended the bedroom capacity.

Mr Grinsted discovered at least a dozen former pupils who have called at The Lawn over the last few years, having attended the school before and after the Second World War.

In November 1996, whilst clearing a cupboard for the installation of a new bathroom, Adrian came across a set of glass photographic plates. When these were printed they showed groups of children from the school between 1920 and 1935. These are now framed and hang in the breakfast room.

The Suhail family bought The Lawn as a Guest House in June 2008. Quasim Suhail also came across a former pupil of The Lawn School who stayed here in September 2008, bringing back memories he said and that what is now the reception lounge is where he sat his exams!

Quasim was contacted by Francis Misitano, the third descendent of the Reynolds family, in December 2008 to arrange a visit back to The Lawn. Francis, who lives in Sicily, remembers that his first birthday was celebrated at The Lawn and wanted to come back to relive his youth and celebrate his 78th Birthday on 13th June 2009. On 12th June 2009 Francis and his sister Rita and family came to The Lawn and a get together was arranged with the Horley History Society and Kamila Pecher (from Oxford university researching on Prince Kinsky). It was a happy yet emotional day and a journalist was called to have the story in the newspaper; the article is framed and hangs in the reception lounge.

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