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News: 15 December 2017


Paradise found - and photographed for posterity

Jan van de Pol, the owner of a Grade II listed house in Horne, Surrey, talks to Images of England about his house and the pride he feels in being included on the website.

Paradise Cottage was built as a 'hall house' in the late 15th century and has a fine timber framed hall with a beautiful moulded dais beam, built from 200 year old oak trees cut from Horne forest.

I bought Paradise Cottage in 1975 when it was semi-derelict and had gone through unhappy times. When I saw the house I knew it was the right one. It took over five years to restore and had to be re-roofed, re-wired and damp proofed.

Paradise Cottage taken by Images of England volunteer, Bob Manekshaw. © Bob Manekshaw

I don't see the house as mine but think of myself rather as a 'tenant in time'. The building must be maintained and my wife and I are its custodians. I have built a new section onto the back of the house with an oak floor and panelling. As previous owners have, I've left something of myself behind with the house.

Jan van de Pol with his dog © English Heritage, photography Jayne Boldy

"I don't see the house as mine but I think of myself rather as a 'tenant in time'" Jan van de Pol

As Chairman of Horne Parish Council we decided to publish a small book giving the history of Horne and details of the parish's historic buildings. I wanted the book to be a point-in-time record of Horne as it looks at the end of the 20th century, which villagers could refer back to in years to come, just as Images of England is doing on a national scale. I think it's a wonderful idea to give people access to information and photographs of their local listed buildings via the internet.

A late 19th century photograph of Paradise Cottage showing Mrs King, a former occupant, at the garden gate.

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