Built in 1790
Portslade House, situated above the Portslade Old Village, was surrounded by large expansive gardens and first built in 1790 for Nathaniel Hall. He also owned large blocks of land in and around the Portslade Village which he leased and farmed. He and his family lived in the house until the 1860’s. After Nathaniel Hall died, the property passed into the hands of his wife and children who lived there for several years. From that time onwards, the house was rented to various tenants.
In the late 1880’s they rented the property to Frederick Gosset, a retired Colonel from the Bengal Army, who lived there with his wife and six young children. They employed a staff of eight servants, two gardeners and a groomsman. Among them was Agnes Russell, one of the maids and Walter Baldock, groomsman, who were both soon to become my grandparents. Walter Baldock and Agnes were married in 1891 and she was no longer allowed to keep her job at Portslade House. By 1929 the couple were living at 93 Old Shoreham Road, Portslade. With the arrival of the motor car, Walter’s position as groomsman became redundant when he was then employed as a gardener.
Became a school in 1913
In the year 1913, the Portslade House property was put up for sale. It was then purchased by C R Malden, a school headmaster from Brighton, who had set up his first private school at Ryde on the Isle of Wight. He disliked the name ‘Portslade’, associating it with the Gas Works and Canal in lower Portslade-by-Sea and instead chose a new name of Windlesham House. He expanded the buildings around the property to accommodate new students and staff and purchased a chapel which was taken to the school in 1937 and reassembled.
Housing development in 1935
The property covered two areas above the village, separated by a road [High Street] which was spanned by a footbridge and soon became known as Windlesham House School. In 1935 part of the grounds were sold for housing development and Windlesham Close and High Close came into existence. Housing developer and builder Ray Edmonds of Downsview Road began erecting the first few semi-detatched two storey houses along Windlesham Close.