Stepping Stones

Stepping Stones
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Undershaw - A hotel

By 1924 the building had been converted into a hotel and subsequently extended. These alterations detracted from the building’s original form and the building’s domestic scale. Further alterations were made internally so the building could fully function as a hotel.

The building itself is constructed in an Edwardian revival style, a design which is common in this area. Although Undershaw is a listed building, interestingly this is due to its links with its famous owner rather than its inherent architectural value.  The building was given grade 2 listing in 1977.  This listing has been further tested and questioned, but has remained. The rooms have predominately stayed the same in form and many of the original features have remained.

The hotel was known to many local people as a restaurant and remembered for its unique tree house.

Undershaw ceased trading as a hotel and restaurant in 2004 and was subsequently sold to a developer who was granted planning permission to extend and convert the house into 5 dwellings, vertically splitting the original building into two houses.

This decision was overturned in the High Court, however, on the basis that this was not the optimum use of a historic monument and this decision brought the building back into the public realm.

Unfortunately, during the period between the hotel closing down and the High Court decision, the building fell into disrepair and Waverley Borough Council instigated enforcement proceedings to require the developer to carry out temporary roof repairs to hold back the decay.


The building was left derelict with the Undershaw Preservation Trust fighting to find it a future.  The campaign gathered the interest of people worldwide and the interest of many locals who wished to see Undershaw become a part of the local community.

In 2014 Undershaw eventually found a new owner, David Forbes-Nixon, with the investment and vision to bring it back to life.  Work began quickly to save and restore Undershaw for the future.