Historic Tadworth mansion welcomes great-grandson of 19th Century owners
Visitors flocked to a historic mansion as part of the borough’s heritage open day earlier this month - including the great-grandson of its 19th Century owners.
Tadworth Court, now home to The Children’s Trust, a charity that provides care, therapy and education for children with multiple disabilities and acquired brain injuries, opened its doors to 120 visitors on September 9.
It was the first time the mansion, which was built in 1694 as a three-storey country house, was visited by Greg Bratza - the great-grandson of Lord and Lady Russell of Killowen who owned the house from 1885 to 1906.
Lord Russell was a distinguished advocate and lord chief justice until his death in 1900.
Accompanied by newsreader Nicholas Owen, vice-president of the trust, Mr Bratza learnt about the history of the building from Lord and Lady Russell, played by John and Doreen Buckoke, who have conducted the tours at the annual heritage open days for many years.
Mr Bratza took along his great grandfather’s large leather bound visitors’ book from the Russell tenure, which contained signatures of famous names, including Herbert Asquith, later Prime Minister; Arthur Sullivan, of Gilbert and Sullivan; and caricaturist Harry Furniss.
Mr Bratza said: "The visit was incredibly moving, knowing so much about the Russell history of Tadworth Court through letters and photographs, but visiting the building for first time was very special.
"I was so pleased that the trust, quite apart from their wonderful work with children with disabilities, found the time to care for the building and allow us to share its history with the help of Lord and Lady Russell’s stand-ins."