The Grove 1923Set on the edge of Carshalton Ponds, The Grove is hoping to be a hub for Sutton’s voluntary sector and together with Sutton Council, Volunteer Centre Suttonand Sutton Citizen’s Advice Bureau Sutton Centre for the Voluntary Sector is preparing a bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund to open the building to the public and voluntary organisations.

Now we need your help to piece together the story of The Grove. Do you have any information about The Grove or the people associated with it? Do you remember working there? Visiting or attending meetings? Did you or one of your relatives exhibit art at The Grove? Do you have photos or papers which feature The Grove?

If you think you can help us, please contact Jane Allen – jane.allen@sutton.gov.uk 

What we know
The Grove is a Victorian house set on the edge of the ponds in the centre of Carshalton. It is surrounded by the park which was once the gardens and grounds of the house. It is generally believed that the house was built at the very start of Queen Victoria’s reign, probably around 1840 although it may be older.

We do know that in 1856 the Reverend A.W.B. Cator took the lease. He was the rector of Carshalton and was to live at The Grove until his death in 1879. It would be Cator who created the Victorian garden around the house, parts of which are still visible today.

The next owner was Sir Samuel Barrow, a wealthy tanner who lived at The Grove until 1923, extending the building and altering the grounds. Sir Samuel was one of many business men who benefitted financially from the First World War but we believe he was also a benefactor, like Cator before him. This photo shows wounded soldiers being entertained at The Grove in 1917.

When Barrow left, the house was put up for auction but failed to reach the reserve price. Carshalton Urban District Council bought it the following year ‘to preserve it as an open space forever’. The mansion became offices and the grounds were opened as a public park. This photo shows The Grove in 1923 just before it was bought by the Council.

We know very little about the life of the building either as a Victorian and Edwardian family home or as council offices. We do know that the council converted one of the original sitting rooms into a council chamber, the panelling and a board listing the council leaders is still in the building today. We also know that The Grove was used for art and craft exhibitions.

Do you know anything more about the building? Get in touch!