Saturday 31 January 2015

(156) Applewhaite of Pickenham Hall

The Applewhaites were sugar plantation owners in Barbados from the early 17th century, and their distinctive name is thickly scattered through the island's historical records. Their main estate in the 19th century was Walkers Plantation, which is perhaps identifiable with the area known today as Applewhaite, where there are some ruins of a former plantation house and sugar mill. Edward Archer Applewhaite (1770-1804), who had trained in London as a barrister, died young leaving a large family, for whom his father, Thomas Applewhaite (d. 1815), initially provided. From the 1820s onwards, however, most of his children moved to England. His youngest son, Edward Archer Applewhaite (1799-1889), was in England by 1820 but continued to derive a healthy income from his share of the family plantations in Barbados, where he owned 223 slaves in 1834. After his marriage he lived first at Lindley Hall, Higham-on-the-Hill (Leics), but in 1844 he bought the 5,000 acre Pickenham Hall estate in Norfolk, where the house had recently been remodelled in an up-to-date neo-classical style by W.J. Donthorn. His eldest son, Edward Thornhill Applewhaite (1822-71) lived at Great Yarmouth (Norfolk) but died before his father, and in 1889, for reasons which are not clear, the estate passed not to Edward's children but to his brother, Charles Mundy Applewhaite (1834-97). By this time the Barbadian estates had mostly been sold, and it seems likely that the family were running short of money, as Pickenham Hall seems to have been in poor repair. After Charles died, his widow (who quickly remarried) sold the estate to her father, who in turn sold it a few years later to the banker, G.W. Taylor, who greatly remodelled the house. The Applewhaites owned Pickenham in all for fifty five years and two generations, so they meet the qualification for inclusion in this blog, but their real story lies in Barbados and the real story of Pickenham Hall belongs with the Chutes in the 18th and early 19th centuries and with the 20th century owners.

Pickenham Hall, South Pickenham, Norfolk
There was a late 17th century house on the site which was reputedly begun by Anthony Fisher (d. 1679) and completed by Sir Edward Atkyns (c.1630-98) in the 1690s. Atkyns, who had been Chief Baron of the Exchequer under King James II, refused to take an oath of allegiance to King William III and retired to his estates here in 1689. Nothing is known of the architect or appearance of this house.

W.J. Donthorn's design for remodelling Pickenham Hall, 1829. Image: RIBA Collections

Donthorn's plan of his alterations to the ground floor: areas of grey tint are the existing house, brown tint his changes.
Image: RIBA Collections

The 17th century house was rebuilt in the Palladian style in the mid 18th century (probably about 1773, the date of the Home Farm) and remodelled again by W.J. Donthorn in 1829 for W.L. Wiggett-Chute. Pickenham was the first large Classical country house designed by Donthorn to actually be built, and he created a striking neo-Classical cube with an Ionic portico, the wall surface tightly defined by pilasters and friezes. In spirit, the design is closer to the works of Sir Robert Smirke than those of Donthorn's more eclectic former preceptor, Sir Jeffry Wyatville. On the garden front, the canted bays of the 1770s house were retained, giving this elevation a softer and more domestic character than the entrance front. Donthorn's designs are in the Royal Institute of British Architects' Drawings Collection; his plans show that most of the external walls of the earlier house were preserved under a coating of Roman cement.

Pickenham Hall: the Donthorn house from the sale particulars of 1843.

The present house is the result of a further extension and remodelling in 1902-05 by Robert Weir Schultz for the banker, G.W. Taylor, at a cost of more than £20,000.  He found the Donthorn house too small for his needs and in poor condition. His instructions to Schultz were 'to save as much of the house as was reasonably possible, and to incorporate it into a larger house to be built of red brick with white cornice and good chimneys'. In practice, Schultz kept only the external walls of the main block and one entire room, the library on the ground floor behind the left-hand bay window. To this building he added flanking blocks and a service wing, which provided two additional reception rooms and more specialised service accommodation. The whole house was encased in the client's preferred red brick.

Pickenham Hall: plan of the Schultz house. The shaded area represents the main block of the Donthorn house.

Schultz's additions are in the Arts & Crafts spirit but with a mix of neo-Jacobean and neo-Georgian features. The west front has a main entrance with a rusticated door surround and pilasters supporting a semicircular broken pediment with sculptured figures by Laurence Turner. The east front has big shaped gables over the projecting bay windows (preserved from the 1770s house), and further sculpture in carved brick by Turner over the garden doors. The south front has a two-bay loggia with semicircular arches of brick and tile, supporting a balcony the balustrade of which is an open grid of diagonal brickwork. The loggia is flanked by bay windows with shaped gables above. All the windows are casements, not sashes as one might expect. The Edwardian rebuilding extended to the stables, which are also neo-Georgian. 

Pickenham Hall, from an early 20th century postcard.

The house stands in a parkland setting in the picturesque valley of the River Wissey. A small park of about 75 acres existed by 1797 around the Palladian house, but the present landscape seems to date from c.1830, when the park was expanded to about 125 acres and shelter belts were planted almost continuously around the boundaries. At the same time, the River Wissey was dammed to form a narrow lake. Within this setting, R.W. Schultz created an Arts & Crafts garden around the new house. The entrance forecourt is gravelled and bounded by a ha-ha to give uninterrupted views out into the west park.  A stone and brick terrace runs around the south and east sides of the house, with steps down to the lawns below, and immediately below the eastern terrace a path, backed by yew hedges and herbaceous borders, leads to a covered loggia with a brick rear wall and open trellis work above, which was once flanked by carved panels - reproductions of the Parthenon frieze from Donthorn's mansion.  Down a flight of steps to the east is a Chinese garden with a tea house, lantern and wooden bridge across the River Wissey to a riverside walk on the opposite bank, and to the south of the Chinese garden is a formal sunken garden surrounded by yew hedges with a gazebo.  The gardens fell into neglect during the Second World War, when the house was occupied by the Red Cross, but were restored by Mrs Guy Moreton in the late 20th century. Today the house stands at the centre of the 5,800 acre estate of Malaysian business tycoon, Tan Sri Apavoo Packiri Arumugam.

Descent: William Methwold (fl. 1496)... William Methwold (d. 1586); to son, William Methwold (fl. late 16th cent.); sold c.1600 to Thomas Bradbury; sold to Sir Henry Hobart (d. 1638); sold after his death to William Methwold (fl. 1650) of Kensington (Middx); sold? 1670 to Sir Thomas Player, kt. (d. 1686); sold to Anthony Fisher (d. 1679); to son, Anthony Fisher (fl. c.1680-90); sold to Sir Edward Atkyns (c.1630-98), kt.; to son, Rich Atkyns, who sold 1700 to Thomas Chute (c.1660-1701); to son Thomas Lennard Chute (d. 1723); to brother, Devereux Chute (c.1691-1724); to nephew, Thomas Lobb (later Chute) (d. 1791); to son, William John Chute (1757-1824); to brother, Rev. Thomas Vere Chute (d. 1827); to kinsman, William Lyde Wiggett (later Wiggett-Chute) (1800-79); sold 1844 to Edward Archer Applewhaite (1800-89); to son, Charles Mundy Applewhaite (1834-97); to widow, Mary Florence Applewhaite (later Blake), who sold 1899 to Joseph Trueman Mills, who sold 1902 to G.W. Taylor; sold 1918 to speculators; sold 1924 to John Smith Moreton (1858-1948); to son, Guy Moreton (b. 1904), who sold 1986 to Richard Daniels; sold 1993 to a corporate owner; sold again before 1999 to Tan Sri Apavoo Packiri Arumugam.

Applewhaite family of Pickenham Hall

Applewhaite, Edward Archer (1770-1804) of Barbados. Second son of Thomas Applewhaite (d. 1815) of Barbados, born 1770. Educated at Middle Temple (admitted 1786; called to bar, 1790); barrister-at-law, practising in Barbados. He married, 4 August 1791 at St Michael, Barbados, Mary (d. c.1822), daughter of Philip Lytcott of Barbados and had issue:
(1) Mary Ellen alias Eleanor Applewhaite (1794-1873), born 30 August 1794 and baptised 19 September 1795; married John Chase Eversley (1786-1853) and had issue one son and three daughters; moved to England and settled in Bath; died in London, 15 June 1873; will proved 7 August 1873 (effects under £14,000);
(2) twin?, Thomas Applewhaite (1795-1808), baptised 27 November 1795; died young and was buried 29 May 1808;
(3) twin?, Mary Mercy Applewhaite (1795-1846), born 16 August 1795; married, 15 October 1811, Reynold Alleyne Ellcock and had issue; died in London, 23 May 1846 and was buried at Kensal Green, 28 May 1846; grant of administration with will annexed, 30 March 1847 (effects under £4,000);
(4) Philip Lytcott Applewhaite (1796-c.1841), baptised 28 December 1796 at Christ Church, Barbados; educated at Inner Temple (admitted 1813) and Queens College, Oxford (matriculated 1814); married 1st, 13 March 1817, Susan Todd (d. 1826) and had issue two sons and three daughters; married 2nd, 24 July 1827 at St Michael, Barbados, Ann Crichlow, and had issue two sons; will proved 24 November 1841;
(5) Edward Archer Applewhaite (1799-1889) (q.v.);
(6) Sarah Applewhaite (b. 1798), born 19 January 1798; married, 20 January 1817, John Bovell;
(7) Frances Applewhaite (b. 1800), born 17 July 1800; living in 1820;
(8) Anne Applewhaite (1801-90), born 10 October 1801; married, 7 September 1820, William Maynard Pinder (1792-1869) and had issue three sons and five daughters; moved to England about 1827 and settled at Weston-super-Mare; died 16 December 1890; will proved 13 February 1891 (estate £1,756);
(9) Louisa Applewhaite (1802-86), born 26 November 1802; married, 2 November 1820, Edmund John Eversley and had issue; moved to England and settled in Bath; died in Bath, 6 May 1886; will proved 8 June 1886 (effects £428).
He died in 1804 and his will was proved 10 September 1804. His widow died in about 1822; her will was proved 18 March 1822.

Applewhaite, Edward Archer (1799-1889) of Pickenham Hall. Younger son of Edward Archer Applewhaite (1770-1804) of Barbados, and his wife Mary, daughter of Philip Lytcott of Barbados, born 19 April and baptised at Christ Church, Barbados, 16 May 1799. In 1834 he was owner of 223 slaves on Walkers Plantation, Barbados. JP and DL for Norfolk. He married, 20 April 1820 at St Marylebone (Middx), Judith Frewen (1800-75), daughter of Samson Tickle Wood, and had issue, with other children who were stillborn or died in infancy:
(1) Edward Thornhill Applewhaite (1822-71) (q.v.);
(2) Thomas Wood Applewhaite (b. 1823), born 2 April 1823 and baptised 22 April 1823 at Higham-on-the-Hill (Leics) and 13 July 1824 at St Marylebone (Middx);
(3) Sarah Kerwan Applewhaite (1824-1912), born 26 June and baptised 13 July 1824; married 1st, 17 February 1857, Capt. Edward Rawlings Hannam (1827-75) and 2nd, 2 April 1879, Edward Samuel Evans Hartopp (1820-94); died without issue, 21 November 1912; will proved 7 January 1913 (estate £6,282);
(4) Lt. Augustus William Applewhaite (1826-54), baptised 2 March 1826 at Higham-on-the-Hill (Leics); adjutant to 23rd Royal Welsh Fusiliers; died on board the 'Andes', 22 September 1854, from wounds received at Battle of Alma;
(5) Harriet Constantia Applewhaite (1829-95), born October and baptised 10 November 1829; married, 17 July 1860, Ludovic Levison (1830-94), vice-consul to Denmark and consul for Chile, and had issue two sons and two daughters; died April 1895;
(6) Col. Charles Mundy Applewhaite (1834-97) (q.v.);
(7) Julia Marion Applewhaite (1835-81), baptised 5 May 1835 at Higham-on-the-Hill; married, 12 January 1864, Thomas Jourdain Hay (1826-1901) and had issue one son and one daughter; buried 5 November 1881;
(8) Earnest Gaskin Bassett Applewhaite (1837-82), born 13 February and baptised 15 March 1837; married, 20 April 1869, Ada Mary (1849-78), daughter of Frederick Grimmer and had issue one son; buried 24 October 1882;
(9) Hanson Henry Applewhaite (1838-1927), born 16 May and baptised 14 June 1838; Captain in Radnorshire Militia; married, 1898, Lilian Helen Tuck Fletcher (1871-1946) and had issue two sons; died 16 December 1927; will proved 25 February 1928 (estate £7,386).
After his marriage he lived at Lindley Hall, Higham-on-the-Hill (Leics). He purchased the Pickenham Hall estate in 1842. 
He died 8 November was buried at South Pickenham, 13 November 1889; his will was proved 17 February 1890 (effects £13,279). His wife died 29 November and was buried 4 December 1875.

Applewhaite, Edward Thornhill (1822-71). Eldest son of Edward Archer Applewhaite (1800-89) of Pickenham Hall and his wife Judith Frewen, daughter of Samson Tickle Wood, born 16 February 1822 and baptised 17 February 1822 at Higham-on-the-Hill (Leics) and 13 July 1824 at St Marylebone. He married 1st, 22 April 1858, Eleanor (d. 1860), daughter of Philip Lytcott Hinds of Byfleet (Surrey) and 2nd, 25 February 1862 at St Thomas church, St Marylebone (Middx), Jane (1831-90), only daughter of Thomas Hay and had issue:
(2.1) Edward Hay Hinds Applewhaite (1862-1950), born 7 December 1862; emigrated to Canada in 1890 and became a fruit grower in Nelson, British Columbia; married Evelyn Nicholson Turney (1875-1943) and had issue two sons and one daughter; died 25 October 1950;
(2.2) Harry Hanham Applewhaite (1864-1938), born 20 March 1864; served as Captain in 1st Battn, Norfolk Regiment; married, 6 December 1887 (sep. by 1901), Emily Jane St. Thomas Easton (1860-1936) and had issue one son and two daughters; emigrated to Canada, 1909; died 29 November 1938 in Nelson, British Columbia;
(2.3) Rev. Frederick Arthur Applewhaite (1866-1925), born Jan-Mar 1866; educated at Exeter College, Oxford (matriculated 1884; BA 1888; MA 1903); ordained deacon, 1889 and priest, 1892; curate of Moordown (Hants), 1889-92 and St Saviour, Dartmouth (Devon), 1892-94; vicar of Aston Cantlow (Worcs), 1894; rector of Chaddesley Corbett (Worcs); married, 13 July 1893 at Dartmouth, Minnie Augusta (b. c.1868), daughter of Walter Greenfield of Worthing (Sussex); died 26 November 1925; will proved 13 January 1926 (estate £492);
(2.4) Mabel Blanche Eleanor Applewhaite (1867-1960), born Apr-Jun 1867; married Apr-Jun 1891 (sep. 1896) Samuel Henry Augustus Buxton (b. 1864), land agent, son of Dr. Thomas Buxton of Fazeley (Staffs), and had issue two sons; emigrated to Vancouver, British Columbia (Canada) with her husband but separated informally from him and returned to England before 1896, where she tried making a living on the stage and was later in business; sued her husband for restitution of conjugal rights, 1904 but was living apart from him in 1911; died 29 August 1960 aged 93; will proved 29 November 1960 (estate £5,291);
(2.5) Cora Eveline Applewhaite (1868-1961), born Oct-Dec 1868; married 23 August 1892 Max Richard von Tyszka and had issue; died Jan-Mar 1961, aged 92; buried at Weare (Somerset).
After his marriage he lived successively in London, Brighton and Great Yarmouth. After his death, his widow lived at Fairfield, Peterchurch (Herefs).
He died in the lifetime of his father, 16 May 1871. His first wife died 15 June 1860, following a stillbirth. His widow died 28 November 1890; her will was proved 23 February 1891 (effects £10,554).

Applewhaite, Col. Charles Mundy (1834-97) of Pickenham Hall. Third son of Edward Archer Applewhaite (1800-89) of Pickenham Hall and his wife Judith Frewen, daughter of Samson Tickle Wood, born 27 June 1834. JP for Norfolk; Served in East Norfolk Militia (Major, 1875; Colonel commanding 4th Battn). He married, 30 April 1889, Mary Florence, youngest daughter of Joseph Trueman Mills of Clermont (Norfolk) and Highfield (Leics) and had issue:
(1) Charles Trueman Applewhaite (b. 1891), born 8 January 1891; married, 27 July 1912 at St John, Notting Hill (Middx), Elizabeth (1888-1953), daughter of Prof. Thomas William Drinkwater, and had issue two daughters; served in WW1 as Lieutenant in West Riding Regiment and later in Norfolk Regiment; date of death not found.
He was one of the trustees of the Pickenham estate after his father's death in 1889 and occupied the house until his death. After his death his widow married his co-trustee, the family solicitor Henry Blake, and they sold the estate in 1899 to her father.
He died 15 February 1897. His widow married 2nd, 12 July 1898, Henry Blake of Bramerton Hall (Norfolk), solicitor; her date of death has not been traced.

Burke's Landed Gentry, 1898, p. 25; F. Blomefield, An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk, 1807, vol. 6, pp. 70-76; R. O'Donnell, "W.J. Donthorn (1799-1859), Architectural History, 1978, p. 83; D. Ottewill, "Robert Weir Schultz", Architectural History,  1979, pp 88-115; Genealogies of Barbados families, excerpted from Carribeana and the Journal of the Barbados Museum and Historical Society, 1983, pp. 108-24; G. Winkley, The country houses of Norfolk, 1986, p. 116; Sir N. Pevsner & B. Wilson, The buildings of England: Norfolk - North-West and South, 2nd edn., 1999, p.665; D. Clarke, The country houses of Norfolk, part 1: The Major Houses, 2006, pp. 63-64;

Location of archives
No significant archive is known to survive.

Coat of arms
No coat of arms is recorded for this family. However an Applewhaite family of Suffolk used the following coat of arms in the 17th century and were probably related: Gules, on a fesse argent three pineapples slipped vert; in chief a sword barwise pointed to the sinister side argent hilted or.

This account was last updated 21st February 2015


  1. Sir, 'Genealogies of Barbados Families', from the Journal of the Barbados Museum and Historical Society, provides the following, which might illuminate matters somewhat.

    "Will of EDWARD ARCHER APPLEWHAITE late of South Pickenham Hall, Norfolk, who died 8 Novr. 1889. Will dated Feby. 14, 1889, proved at Norwich February 17, 1890 by Charles Mundy A., son of decd., and Henry Blake executors.
    Appoints Son Charles Mundy A. and Henry Blake exors.
    Recites marriage settlement April 19, 1820 between himself of the first part, Judith Frewin Wood, an infant, spr. 2nd pt., Cumberbatch Sober 3rd pt., Samson Senhouse Esq. Rev. Samson Wood Sober and Francis Onslow Trent 4th pt. declaring trust of £10,000. There are 3 children of the marriage between his late wife and himself, namely, C.M.A., Henry Hanson A. Sarah Hartopp wife of Edward Samuel Evans Hartopp all of full age. Appoints £4,000 part of trust funds to sd. C.M.A. and residue to H.H.A.
    Mansion called Pickenham Hall to be in trust to pay an annuity of £60 to H.H.A. and £200 to S.H. and to the use of C.M.A. in fee simple.
    Plantation Walkers in Barbados and interest in Mount Gay plantation to which he is entitled under deed of arrangement dated Decr. 30, 1854, between his late wife of 1st pt., Thomas Thornhill 2nd pt., Harry Spencer Waddington 3rd pt., and Windham Berkeley Portman 4th pt., to his trustees upon trust for sale and to fall into residue. Legacies of £2,000 to grandson Edward A., eldest son of late son Edward Thornhill A. £1,000 to each of other children of sd. son, namely Harry, Frederick, Mabel, Cora A., £1,000 to grandson Cecil Hay, son of late dau. Julia Hay, £1,000 to grandson Churchill A., only son of late Ernest Bassett Gaskin A. (sd.) E. A. Applewhaite. Wits: Robert Buchanan Marriott, Surgeon, John Raymer.

    Will of CHARLES MUNDY APPLEWHAITE of Pickenham Hall, Norfolk, dated Febry. 14, 1890.
    Appoint my wife Mary Florence A. Hanson Henry A., and Henry Blake exors. Devise Pickenham Hall and estate subject to annuities to wife for life and then to children equally. If no children, then to be held in trust for Hanson Henry A. My plantation in Barbados Mount Gay or share therein to my bro. H.H.A.
    Sd. Chas. M. Applewhaite. Proved 13 June, 1898."

  2. (5) Harriet Constantia Applewhaite (1829-95), born October and baptised 10 November 1829; married, 17 July 1860, Ludovic Levison (1830-94), vice-consul to Denmark and consul for Chile, and had issue two sons and two daughters; died April 1895; nowadays there are descendents of Charles Levison Applewhaite in Spain (Bilbao, Madrid)

  3. Charles Trueman Applewhaite b 1891, son of Charles Munday Applewhaite and Mary Florence Mills died in Donegal Ireland in 1969.


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