As well as the grand houses of the three large estates bordering the village, there are other notable large houses in the area. A few have remained as single-family homes, but many (due to the cost of maintenance) have been converted to multiple residential properties. During the conversions, it was often the case that the extensive grounds surrounding them were sold to builders, to provide land for the extra homes required under local planning guidelines.
This page provides a record of these houses and their histories. For details of the houses on the three large estates, please see the Mansions page.
Oaklands House is situated on the southern edge of Rowlands Castle and is accessed from Redhill Road via a residential development. It comprises a substantial house dating to the Victorian period with an attached garage block and outbuildings. It was originally Oaklands Farm, but details of the ownership are not known.
In 2015, planning permission was granted for subdivision of the house from a single, seven bedroomed dwelling to two, four-bedroom dwellings. In addition, the attached garage would be converted and extended to the north to form an additional two dwellings (one three-bedroom unit and one, two-bedroom unit).
In the heart of the village is Deerleap, an impressive brick-and-flint country house dating from the early 1700s, with additions in the 1740s and early 1800s.
In the 1880’s, Deerleap was the home of the O’Callaghan family who produced not one but two Admirals. Admiral George William Douglas O’Callaghan, born in 1811, entered the Royal Navy in 1825, made Admiral in 1877 and died in 1900. He was also a JP. His son, Admiral Michael Pelham O’Callaghan CB CVO was born in 1850 and entered the Royal Navy in 1864. He took the rank of Admiral in July 1912. Both Admirals took an active part in village life, as do the current owners.
The building of the principal Victorian residence “Deerleap” behind what is now Rowlands Home Hardware covered up any further remains of the castle. The flint wall bordering the property was built later, some think using flints from the castle. Behind Deerleap there is a flag pole on a grassy mound which marks the spot as an ancient monument, a Motte and Bailey castle, although being private land it is not accessible to visitors.
The wall, such a prominent site along the edge of The Green, was probably built 200 or so years ago. Robert Winnicott (now sadly deceased) had reported seeing bills for the part nearest the railway, dated over 150 years ago. It was so badly destroyed in October 1987 by falling trees, it required extensive rebuilding by ‘flinties’ of the area.
The house was rented at one time by the family from Stansted and the Admiral’s sister married G. Wilder of Stansted, so ties were close. The village Flower Show was held in the grounds for many years. Prior to that it had been held in Fieldcote, Links Lane. In 1937 the house and grounds were bought by Robert John Winnicott who intended to use the land to build houses, but with the outbreak of war the bottom fell out of the housing market and he shelved his plans. Since then the house has had several owners and remains one of the focal points of the village today.
Editorial: This article is taken from the booklet written by Mary Jane Lomer entitled ‘Round and About Rowlands Castle’ 2015, for which she retains the copyright.