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General - Rowfant House - Crawley (Jan 2020)


its.jep

28DL Member
28DL Member
Rowfant House was a residential house on the outskirts of Crawley.

If anyone knows any history to this place it would be great!

Current Situation:

The house is currently for sale and is not trashed at all, with currently no seen points of entry. There are lights in the building that are on all the time to detract from the fact that the building is left abandoned. On the North side of the plot there are 2 log cabins which are thought to be occupied however this is not definite. People do walk through the grounds as there is a public footpath that runs through. When I have been there taking pictures before, people don't tend to turn up here. As well as the house, there are a few garages and containers around the plot, as well as a small lake to the west side. To the far north past the log cabins, there is an abandoned greenhouse and big brick wall, however nothing of too much interest.

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These are all quick recce photos from my phone from when I first went there, photos below are from a Canon 5D Mk ii from when I have been on shoots there. If anyone is into car photography aswell, this is a decent spot.

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Thanks for taking the time to read and look through this.
 

Yorrick

A fellow of infinite jest
Regular User
More of a lead or rumour than a report as you didn't get in but decent photos and well done for getting out there and having a look. Look forward to more from you.
If anyone knows any history to this place it would be great!
Here you go -

Until recently the house was used as a venue for conferences, weddings and other events and ran a care home within the estate, which has now sadly closed and is up for sale.
Rich in history, it has been host to many important figures in the past. Built in the 15th Century, Rowfant House is an Elizabethan manor house, originally built from locally sourced Horsham stone.

As you walk into the grand entrance hall, there is a panel of three original portraits belonging to Henry VIII, his father Henry VII and his daughter Elizabeth I, providing a slice of Tudor history.
From 1848 -1962 the Rowfant Estate was owned by the colourful Locker-Lampson family. Frederick Locker Lampson had five children from two marriages, and he made his home in Sussex.

He was a bibliophile, poet and had a passion for book collecting. Chronic illness prevented him from living an active life, but his love of books enabled him to accumulate a library within the house.

He promoted the style of ‘cabinet book collecting’ and catalogued his own collection of rare books, first editions, prints and manuscripts in a volume named after Rowfant.
Frederick’s son, Commander Oliver Stillingfeet Locker-Lampson also had a literary-driven career in journalism before being elected to the House of Commons as a Conservative Unionist in 1910.
In 1914 Oliver received a commission in the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve during World War One, and he served on the Western Front and in Russia, commanding the Russian armoured car squadrons.

During his escapades in the Great War, Oliver became entangled in Russian politics, and there are stories to suggest that he was asked to participate in the assassination of Rasputin.
Becoming close to the Tsar of Russia, he agreed to help smuggle him to safety in the West after abdication; however he swore to Oliver that he would not leave his wife and children and as a result of this, they died.

After the war, Oliver fought against fascism in both Britain and Europe, serving with the Home Guard in the Second World War and was awarded the Distinguished Service Order.
He was one of the few Conservative politicians to support Churchill during the 1930s and they developed a personal and trustworthy friendship.

While Oliver was in service, the Ministry of Defence requisitioned Rowfant House and Churchill spent many hours there.
After the war, the Latvian Lutheran Church in London started to lease the empty Rowfant House from the Locker-Lampson family.

Britain recruited Latvian people as European volunteer workers before this, Latvian people had fled their country before its occupation by the Soviet Union and were living in Germany
as displaced persons.

Volunteers revamped the property, it was then used for living in and community events. In 1962 the Latvian Church bought the property from the Locker-Lampson family and Rowfant House Ltd was set up.
 

Calamity Jane

i see beauty in the unloved, places & things
Regular User
I agreed with the above. Well done, nicely shot. I hope someone does get inside, Id love to see this place
 

jvck02

28DL Member
28DL Member
Just went here to do some car photography as suggested above, charged at by a police dog as it’s now used for Met Police dog training. Angry man said they are aware of people coming here after being listed on this website, as some people from here have gone further than urban exploring and tried breaking and entering. He wanted me to let everyone here know not to come back unless they want to get friendly with the dog. Do not recommend anymore
 

derelictth92

Has a weak spot for staircases
28DL Full Member
Just went here to do some car photography as suggested above, charged at by a police dog as it’s now used for Met Police dog training. Angry man said they are aware of people coming here after being listed on this website, as some people from here have gone further than urban exploring and tried breaking and entering. He wanted me to let everyone here know not to come back unless they want to get friendly with the dog. Do not recommend anymore

Awww I love dogs
 

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