What: Georgian mansion, later nursing home
Where: Epsom, Surrey
Built: c. 1760
Last Known Condition: Derelict and badly fire
damaged. The interior floors collapsed some time in 2013.
Page Updated: September 2014
Standing near to the Christchurch Road, west of Epsom is Hollywood Lodge. This ruined mansion of sandy-hued imitation stone and rendered brick was originally called Horton Lodge and stood in landscaped grounds which included a walled garden, stables, ornamental ponds and an icehouse. It was
built in c.1760 on land from Horton Manor bequeathed by Charles Calvert, 5th Lord Baltimore to John and the Hon. Louisa Browning (the latter being his daughter).
Louisa was widowed in 1792 but continued to live at Horton Lodge until her death on 15th November 1821. She died intestate, having been declared insane and the estate was sold.
The last resident was Mr Henry Willis, a prominent Epsom businessman, philanthropist and county cricketer who inherited it from his father Henry Willis Sr c. 1878. After Willis' death in 1926, the house was bought by the Epsom Hospitals Authority to serve as an annexe to the Manor Hospital.
Hollywood Lodge (as it was re-named) later became a care home for the Elderly Mentally Ill under the NHS, but this closed in 2003. Plans to convert the mansion into apartments were shelved by an arson attack in February 2005; the fire destroyed the eastern half of the building's interior and unroofed the upper storey. It spent the next nine years slowly collapsing in on itself and it is now understood that new housing will built on the footprint with only the south and east façades being retained.
In late Summer 2011, Hollywood Lodge had all of its windows and doors bricked up with breeze blocks and the external fire escape removed. This coincided with the demolition works at neighbouring West Park. By Spring 2014 the upper floor had collapsed, filling the downstairs rooms with rubble.