Ridley's Court (former stables to Worth Park)


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:
Ridley's Court (former stables to Worth Park), Milton Mount Avenue


Ordnance survey map of Ridley's Court (former stables to Worth Park)
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Statutory Address:
Ridley's Court (former stables to Worth Park), Milton Mount Avenue

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

West Sussex
Crawley (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
TQ 29697 37960

Reasons for Designation

Ridley's Court is designated Grade II for the following principal reasons: * It is a good quality large Classical style purpose-built stable block to Worth Park dated 1882, substantially intact and with a readable plan form. * Since the demolition of the main house in 1968 this is the major surviving estate building, apart from the garden structures by the firm of James Pulham and Son, and was contemporary and built in the same style as the main house.


This list entry was subject to a Minor Enhancement on 29/04/2019

1008/0/10020 MILTON MOUNT AVENUE Ridley's Court (former stables to Worth Park)


II Former stables, later divided into flats with garages on ground floor, in Classical style. It is dated 1882 and was built as the stables to Worth Park for Sir Francis Abraham Montefiore. The Montefiores were a family of Jewish financiers, connected to the Rothschilds for several generations, and leading figures in the Anglo-Jewish community.

MATERIALS: Red brick in Flemish bond with stone dressings and slate roof. The windows, originally wooden mullioned and transomed casements have mainly been replaced in uPVC within the original openings.

PLAN: This was sited to the south east of the mansion and comprised a stable courtyard of two storey ranges on three sides, comprising stabling and coachhouses on the ground floor and accommodation over, and an ornamental three-storey tower (formerly a clock tower) with carriage arch below facing west towards the mansion.

EXTERIOR: The west range has a central, three-storey square tower with stone parapet of pierced intersecting circles and corner piers with urn finials and end quoins. This was originally a clock tower: a photograph from the Country Life article of 1899 shows there was originally a steep slate roof with clock faces and ogee dome with weathervane above the tower; but a photograph from the 1920s shows that this was no longer present. There are two oculi on each face above the second floor windows. The remaining windows are in pedimented surrounds, mainly triangular but the first floor window has a curved pediment. There is a stone round-headed carriage arch with keystone, impost blocks, shields to the spandrels and curbing stones to the inner sides. Attached to the north west is a lower octagonal turret with quoins, diagonally placed stone bands and arrowslit window, and above a lead-covered, ogee-shaped dome with finial. There are one-storey pavilions to north and south and connecting brick walls to the side wings. The side wings have gable ends with a datestone of 1882, urn finials, a pedimented window to the first floor and two cambered arched windows to the ground floor. The north side of the north wing retains some original wooden windows, an oculus and a ground floor entrance with C20 door. Its courtyard face has four gabled semi-dormers and a further window to the first floor, and the ground floor has two large cambered openings and some residential doors. The courtyard face of the south wing has identical windows to the first floor, but the ground floor has large cambered openings with C20 garage doors. The courtyard face of the east wing has a projecting central gable with finials and first floor round-headed opening, later reduced. On each side is a semi-dormer flanked by small casements. The ground floor has two original openings with C20 doors, a window surround with C20 multi-pane window and three wide flat-arched openings with C20 shutter-fronted garage doors.

INTERIOR: It is reported that the tower staircase survives, also one original fireplace and two corner mangers to the former stabling.

HISTORY: The area occupied by Worth Park and its gardens, to which Ridley's Court was the stables, was originally part of the forest of Worth, stretching from Slaugham to Worth, part of the Warenne lands since the Norman Conquest. It was used for hunting and Norden's 1595 map does not show any buildings erected in the park.

A large building is shown within the park palisades in Morden's 1695 map of Sussex, by which time the land was owned by the Shirley family of Wiston. The 1840 Tithe map refers to a property called "Worth Park House and pleasure grounds".

In 1850, Joseph Mayer Montefiore, nephew of the Jewish philanthropist Sir Moses Montefiore, purchased Worth Park estate. Three years afterwards the original house was destroyed by fire and a grand red brick mansion with ten reception rooms, ten bedrooms and a stable quadrangle to house eighteen carriages was built. This house is shown on the 1879 Ordnance Survey map and on this map no building is shown in the position of the later stables.

Joseph Mayer Montefiore died in 1880 and his son, Sir Frances Abraham Montefiore, rebuilt and extended the house between 1884 and 1887, and at the same time employed the firm of James Pulham and son to construct the gardens. A new stable block was built, dated 1882 on the side wings. The gardens were described and photographed in a 1899 "Country Life" article, which includes a photograph of the stable block.

In 1915 the Worth Park estate was broken up and sold. The house and gardens were purchased in 1920 by a boarding school which renamed the property after the name of their previous school premises, Milton Mount near Gravesend.

By 1963 Milton Mount College had sold the house and grounds. The house was demolished in 1968 and a block of flats built on its footprint. The gardens became a public park and the former stables had its name changed to Ridley's Court with residential accommodation on the upper floor. Alterations to the building in the C20 include the removal of the clock and superstructure in the west range tower (by the 1920s), the installation of garage shutter doors, and the installation of some modern windows and ground floor entrance doors.

REASONS FOR DESIGNATION Ridley's Court is designated Grade II for the following principal reasons: * It is a good quality large classical style purpose-built stable wing to Worth Park dated 1882, substantially intact and with a readable plan form. * Since the demolition of Worth Park mansion in 1968 this is the major surviving estate building, apart from the garden structures by the firm of James Pulham and Son, and was contemporary and in the same style as the main house. * It forms part of a group with some of the most significant and intact contemporary garden structures to the former Worth Park, of which three are listed.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
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Books and journals
Saltzman, L F , The Victoria History of the County of Sussex, (1940), 192-200
'Country Life' in 30th September, (1899), 400-404
The Jewish Encyclopedia, 1901-1906, accessed from http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/
The London Gazette, February 8, 1870, accessed from http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/issues/23585/pages/725/page.pdf


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

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