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Built for Nathaniel Hall in 1790

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.

My grandparents

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.

Portslade House
From the private collection of Anthony G Flude

Comments about this page

  • Interesting article Anthony. So is the property still there, albeit in smaller grounds, or has it been demolished? Alan

    By Alan Hobden (21/05/2012)
  • Hi Alan, now that is a good question! I’m afraid I can’t answer that from this distance. I have lived in New Zealand for the last 50 years and talking about my and my grandparents past. If you live in Portslade or fancy a trip to the Old Village you may be able to enlighten me also. I was born in Windlesham Close and moved into one of the first semi detached houses to be built there in 1935. Reading others comments from the village pages, the old house was still there when they were young and attended at the Windlesham House School. One picture I have seen shows it in the background among the numerous new buildings. Interesting topic, others memories of the school in the 1935-40’s may help us both.

    By Anthony Flude (24/05/2012)
  • I believe that the house in question is what was the Boys school and now part of Portslade Community college. Still standing of course but unrecognizable from your original photos. It was known by older generations as Windlesham school until recent times.

    By Tony Clevett (26/05/2012)
  • The house is gone but the school is still a working school.

    By Keith Wedd (28/09/2012)
  • I am interested by the mention of Frederick Gosset and his wife and young family having rented Portslade House in the 1880s. My great-great grandfather was Frederick Gosset but, by the 1880s, his children were adults. Do you know any more about the family who rented the house? Thanks

    By Amanda Tudor-Williams (11/02/2013)
  • The house was already gone when I went to the school in 1970. The foundations were visible through the grass where we had our school cricket nets. The school did their own amateur archeological dig but nothing of interest was found. The remains of the footbridge were still there at the time. I have a couple of old photos and maps I could forward if you are interested.

    By David Tanner (12/02/2013)
  • Just to add a minor correction: the house was purchased in 1913, not by C.R. (Charles Robert) Malden, Windlesham House School’s founder (who had been dead for 58 years), but by Grace Scott-Malden, the “proprietress” of the school at the time. She was married to C.R. Malden’s grandson, Charles Scott Malden, who died at 38.

    By Tom Pearson-Chisman (03/06/2019)

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