One of the smaller houses of interest in Normandy is ''Mariners'' which
lies off the Guildford Road just west of the crossroads with Glaziers Lane
and Hunts Hill Road.
- Mariners - Horne Family c1900
The house was built in about 1770, of brick with slate roofs in the
Georgian Classical Style. It has the typical finely provisioned sash windows
and originally had a pillared Palladian style porch to the main door facing
north. The builder is believed to have been John Westbrooke who was the
owner of the land at the time. There was probably an earlier dwelling on
the site evidenced by the remains of flint walling incorporated in an outhouse.
The holding, which was then called Wheybornes, was enclosed from the
waste of the Manor of Cleygate at some time prior to 1546 and consisted
of meadow and woodland covering about two acres. The first recorded holders
of the property were the Manory family who held other land of the Manor.
The ownership of Wheybornes descended through various holders until
Thomas Barrett acquired it in 1798 and added more land so that the holding
was increased to about five acres. In 1851 the property was sold to James
Horne. He named the house ''Mariners'' because he had served in the Royal
Navy. He was instrumental in introducing the Wesleyan form of worship to
Normandy. In 1853 he sold a piece of his holding bordering Glaziers Lane
to the Wesleyan Circuit and a small chapel was built. James Horne preached
there and was followed by his son Jabez. In about 1860 James Horne built
a pair of semi-detached cottages adjacent to the chapel and his sons James
and Joseph were installed with their families. The cottages still exist
as "The Croft" and No 5, Glaziers Lane.
In 1884 a portion of Normandy Common between the slaveholding and Guildford
Road was allotted to Mariners increasing its area to its greatest extent
of; almost seven acres. In about 1900 James' grandson, Jabeth (known as
John), who had been apprenticed to Mr Holland at the village stores, now
Normandy Motorcycles, started selling groceries from the front room of
Mariners House. His business having expanded, John built Normandy Village
Grocery Stores on the site now occupied by Session Music.
The Horne family held Mariners until 1905 when it was bought by Thomas
Elliott who renamed the property ''Normandy Common Farm''. He died in 1909
and is buried in Wyke churchyard. He was followed by his son William who
had served as a Corporal Major in the Second Lifeguards. For some reason
by 1910 the property was known as "Como Farm" and it is believed
that this was simply a shortening of the previous title in spite of colourful
legends that have been handed down.
In 1937 Como was sold to Miss Constance Hubback who bred dogs and she
retained the name "Como". She left in 1957 and Miss Isabel Toulin
acquired the property. She used it as a summer retreat and also allowed
the local hunt to meet there. She decided to return the name of the house
to "Mariners" which it has borne ever since.
In 1961 she sold the paddock between the house and Guildford Road which
had been used by Miss Hubback as a dog exercise ground. Soon after, the
row of houses called "Mariners Drive" was built on the site.
Miss Toulin died in 1978, the Mariners property was put up for auction
and was acquired by the present owner.
- Mariners - Development of the area holding c1973