Owners of The Dell


by Mr John Webb, March 2001.

All documents referred to are in the Thurrock Libraries and Museum [Rate Book] collections.

February 1870

Wallace entered into negotiations for land at Grays with James Theobald, of Hyde Abbey, Winchester.

23 February 1871

Theobald leased 4 acres and 2 perches of land to Wallace for 99 years from 29 September 1870 for £28 per annum (Copy of Abstract of Title).

25 March 1872

Wallace moved into The Dell.

15 June 1876

The Dell for sale by auction (Sale particulars. [See originals - page 1 , page 2 , page 3 ]). Wallace moves out in July 1876.

Apparently purchased by William Winch Hughes (also of The Knoll, Darlington), founder and proprietor of the Victoria Wine Company. Mr Hughes died on 21 August 1888 (by a fall from his trap which overturned as he neared home); property passed to widow together with ownership of the Victoria Wine Co.. Mrs Hughes married Mr William Russell in 1894. Mr Russell died in January 1901. Mrs Russell died 9 September 1911, aged 75 (Report of funeral in Grays and Tilbury Gazette, 16 September 1911).

24 July 1912

The Dell for sale by auction (?attempted sale by exors. contested by Frank Wood?) (Sale particulars. See originals - page 1 , page 2, page 3 , page 4 , page 5 , page 6 , page 7)

14 December 1912

Exors. of Mrs Russell's will assented to the bequest of the leasehold of The Dell to Mr Frank Wood (Manager of the Victoria Wine Co.) (Copy of Assent).

The information for the period from December 1912 until the purchase by Mr A. M. Wylie in late 1917 is taken from the Grays Urban District Council Rate Books in the Turrock Museum, some of which are missing.

October 1914

The Dell - Owner W. Wright, Occupant A. Schiff, Area of grounds 2 acres, Rateable Value £68.

A W. Wright appears as owner & occupier of a house and grounds of 2 acres in Dell Road with a Rateable Value of £26. (The house later appears as 'Dell House' and then as 'Rook Hall'.)

Wallace leased about 4 acres so this suggests that Mr Wright (a local farmer) bought The Dell, divided the land and built himself a house. The name of the occupant A. Schiff suggests a German origin and Richard Wylie (see below) recalls his father saying that, when he moved into the house, it contained furniture belonging to a German; (interned during the war?).

October 1916

The Dell - Owner W. Wright, Occupant none, noted as 'wholly void'.

April 1917

The Dell - Owner W. Wright, Occupant none, noted as 'wholly void'.


The Dell purchased by Mr Arthur Mill Wylie (Veterinary Surgeon). Known as 'Wylie's'.


Mr Richard Wylie (son of A. M. Wylie) sold The Dell to The Convent of La Sainte Union (Used as part of School?).


The Sisters moved from the original Convent, now part of the School, into The Dell (known as 'LSU Convent').

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith