Sanderstead Court - Owners


In 1346 Justice Peter Atte Wood (Atte Wode) and his wife Laurencia purchased land there (Lewis 1894, p. 338). Some time in the 15th century they moved to Sanderstead and began improving the property. (Atwood 1928).

The Atwood family were benefactors to the Sanderstead Parish Church which was adjacent to their home, and John Atwood (Atwodde) and his wife, Denys, have a brass plaque in the church dated 1525. John’s grand son, Nicholas Wood-Atwood, who died in 1586, is identified as “of Sandersted Corte who served quene Elizabeth sens the second yearr of her rayne” on his brass in the church (Stephanson 1919). Several secondary sources cite the story that Queen Elizabeth I spent the night at Sanderstead Court while Nicholas Wood was the owner.

Nicholas Wood lost a portion of Sanderstead Court to Sir John Gresham, Lord Mayor of London. The Atwoods regained control of Sanderstead Court, and Nicholas Wood's son, Harman Atwood, Jr., transformed Sanderstead into a more significant country house when he made renovations in 1675. Harman Atwood left Sanderstead Court to his sister Dame Olivia Atwood. Olivia also died and the house passed through a succession of distant Atwood relations until it passed out of the family line entirely in 1759. Later owners included members of the Wigsell family.

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