Explore Headley - Crabtree House

Owned by Thomas Baker, and occupied by John Lickfold when he moved into the village in 1827.  The latter gave an eye-witness account of the 1830 riot to Mr Laverty some 40 years later, and was the father of Walter, who farmed Headley Mill Farm as a tenant.  Walter’s sons, Fred and Jack, ran a cycle shop at what is now the Mill Office, and then moved to Arford, and finally to the Garage in Crabtree Lane latterly known as Tonard’s (now demolished and redeveloped in 2005 as Rectory View).

In 1833 the shop was sold to Thomas Chalcraft, who left it to his wife Mary in 1860, and on her death it passed to their son, Thomas Chalcraft, and James Eames.  Thomas left to work as a carpenter in Battersea, and James Eames moved to Kingsley.  In 1865 it was sold by auction in the Holly Bush to William Suter, senior, a paper-maker.  He let the shop to William Rogers of Farnham, who finally bought it from him in 1895.  Formerly Headley Stores, it is still thought of by old residents as Rogers’ Shop.
Mr Rogers lived in the house next door (now The Bakehouse) which he called The Laburnums, and he had six children ranging in age from nine to twenty.  In the 1891 census he is recorded as a master baker and grocer.  He used to publish a threepenny booklet full of local information, called the Headley and Kingsley Almanac and Directory, which also advertised all his wares: boots and shoes, animal feeds and Spratts dog food, paraffin and all kinds of oil lamp supplies, garden seeds, hardware and ironmongery, and an off-licence selling the products of three local breweries.
The store prospered for many years, and his two remaining children, Len and Beattie, ran it until she died.  Then it began to go downhill, but Len carried on alone, living in one room in cold and discomfort.  Finally, in 1957, being persuaded to sell though much against his will, he took out his ancient gun and killed himself.  He left his fortune (£42,000) to the one niece who had shown some concern for him, but he had not signed his Will, nor had it witnessed, so it was shared among all his next-of-kin, most of whom lived in Australia, with the result that no-one received very much. 
The new proprietor, Biddy Bargrave-Deane, built up a flourishing business, noted over a wide area for its delicatessen, and she was followed by an equally successful couple, John and Joan Lewis.  But after a series of owners it eventually failed, closed as a shop in 1986 and became a wholesale store and offices.

Now waiting for a further re-development it is not in use (2020).


The link here to a Frith photograph shows the shop in full flow  - about 1955