Survey of London Monograph 13, Swakeleys, Ickenham. Originally published by Guild & School of Handicraft, London, 1933.
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The main work of the London Survey Committee, namely the recording of old London, parish by parish, is rendered possible only by the generous co-operation of the London County Council, which bears the whole cost of publication, and contributes its full share in the material of the records. From time to time, however, our slender funds permit of the issue of extra volumes, monographs on buildings of note, and in this department of our work we allow ourselves some licence in interpreting the area of "Greater London," which used to form part of the style and title of the Committee. Many years before the beautiful house known as Swakeleys was threatened with destruction in the welter of a newly–developed building estate, the Committee had projected a volume devoted to its record, and its danger stimulated their efforts. This record is now complete and it is a pleasure to be able to thank the many friends who have assisted the Committee to carry out their purpose.
But first we must record the indebtedness which London and Middlesex owes to Mr. Humphrey Talbot for his timely action in buying the house and removing for ever the menace which threatened it, and we must pay our tribute to the memory of the Honble. Mervyn Herbert, whose scheme for its use by the Foreign Office Sports Association has so happily given it an admirable function, and a guardianship. It is the Committee's belief that the monuments of the past, which were built to endure, are worthy of preservation for the practical uses of to-day, and that such use can be found in every case with a little patience and thought. Swakeleys has been fortunate in having champions who could translate their aspirations into a tangible and useful enterprise.
We are indebted to the Foreign Office Sports Association, and to Mr. Talbot, who has remained a tenant of the first floor of the house, for the very full facilities which they have granted our members for making drawings and taking photographs. Mr. Talbot has also kindly placed at our disposal all the information which he has collected with reference to the house. Considerable help in tracing the descent of the manor has been given by Mr. Frank Marcham, who has kindly furnished extracts from a large number of original documents. Mr. Alan G. Burr has contributed extracts from the parish registers, and Mr. Thomas F. Ford, one of our members, who assisted in the restoration of the Swakeleys mortuary chapel at Ickenham Church, has provided momoranda, rubbings of inscriptions and photographs of the chapel itself. Help has also been received from the rector, the Rev. D. W. W. Carmichael, and Mr. A. G. Burr. Our enquiries have been courteously answered by the English Place-Name Society, and the Society of Genealogists (Mrs. Kathleen Bell), Messrs. A. O. Bevan and J. E. Bowers of Nantwich, and Mr. George H. Viner, as well as by Mr. L. Hickman Barnes, Clerk to the Grocers' Company. Miss Marjorie B. Honeybourne has also given much assistance in consulting documents in the Public Record Office. The contribution under Mrs. Esdaile's name (Appendix C) forms a most welcome addition to our volume, and we have to thank Mr. Edward Hudson for permission to reproduce the painting of the Viner family, which appeared in Country Life.
The drawings and photographs provided by our own members are enumerated in the list of illustrations, and these have been augmented by contributions from Messrs. A. H. Down, A. E. Gurney, A. F. Lodge, Edward Pady, and Geoffrey D. Hartan, to whom the Committee's thanks are due. I should like also to acknowledge the assistance I have received in the preparation of the text. Miss Jeffries Davis has read the proofs besides contributing the important appendix (B) on Charles I and his attitude towards Sir Edmund Wright. Mr. W. McB. Marcham has furnished a number of items in the history of the manor, together with the document printed in Appendix A. Both he and Mr. A. R. Martin have read the proofs and provided additional material. Others who have kindly examined the proofs and sent useful suggestions are Mr. W. W. Braines, Mr. Oswald Barron, and the Rev. E. E. Dorling, who has again been good enough to provide the heraldic illustrations.
WALTER H. GODFREY.