History of The Lawn
The house was built in 1898 by a local company and was purchased by Mr Henry Reynolds, then employed as a Veterinary Surgeon at Prince Kinsky's stables on his estates in Bohemia. Prince Kinsky was a member of the Russian royal family.
The Prince was killed in a riding accident in 1903 and Mr Reynolds returned to England moving with his family into The Lawn.
Being interested in horse racing meant that Horley was the ideal place to live as it is close to what was then Gatwick Racecourse.
In May 1904, Mr Reynolds suffered a fatal heart attack whilst driving his motor car leaving a widow, one son and four daughters. It is believed Mr Reynolds had two detached houses built in Massetts Road, called Wenona and Ravensknoll (one of these is now called “The Turret”) both of which were rented out and provided an income for the family. The eldest of Henry’s daughters, Winifred, started offering private tuition in the front parlour of their house.
The private tuition soon expanded into a small school, and was called The Lawn. It is believed it was named the lawn as the children did their physical education classes on the lawn which perhaps caught on.
The Lawn Schoool had three classrooms downstairs and one upstairs and whilst the family lived upstairs and the maid lodged at the back. The first Cub pack in Horley was run from the house after school hours. Miss Reynolds continued to run the school until 1968 when she had to retire due to ill health.
Following her retirement, she continued to live in the house with her companion, Mrs Richards who had also taught at the school. Inevitably, the house fell into disrepair and eventually, the turret above the entrance porch had to be removed. After Mrs Richards death, Miss Reynolds moved to a nursing home in 1988, at the age of 95. The Lawn was sold to Ken Stocks in that year.
In 1988, Ken Stocks converted the attic to add 2 further bedrooms and at the same time turned the house into a Bed and Breakfast and the turret was also rebuilt. The rest of the house was also renovated and restored.
Adrian and Carole Grinsted brought The Lawn Guest House in 1996 and substantially extended the bedroom capacity by building an extension at the back of the house and adding en suite bathrooms to all guest rooms including the guest rooms in the original house.
Mr Grinsted discovered at least a dozen former pupils who have called at The Lawn over the last few years, having attended the school before and after the Second World War.
In November 1996, whilst clearing a cupboard for the installation of a new bathroom, Adrian came across a set of glass photographic plates. When these were printed they showed groups of children from the school between 1920 and 1935.
The Suhail family bought The Lawn as a Guest House in June 2008. Quasim Suhail also came across a former pupil of The Lawn School who stayed here in September 2008, bringing back memories he said and that what is now the reception lounge is where he sat his exams!
In summer 2018 a lady stayed as a guest who remembers Room 1 as one of the classrooms, said that the teachers used to say that the windows are to let light in and not to look out of and so the class had to have their backs to the windows!