The Motor House at Woodcote Park accommodates the Royal Automobile Club’s heritage vehicles, including automobiles from the RAC patrol fleet and those stalwarts of the annual London to Brighton Veteran Car Run, the Mors and Simms. Designed by the Club’s founder, the Simms dates from 1900, while the more reliable 1901 Mors provides the perfect illustration of Edwardian engineering. Displays within the Motor House also illustrate the Club’s heritage and the historical innovations which have aided the development of the automobile through the ages.
Dating from 1770, the Motor House was built when Woodcote Park Estate was owned by George Nelson. This is evident in the support beam in the gabled roof, which displays the inscription Geo.Nelson, Esq: Dec.7th 1770. The longevity of the building belies the fact that George Nelson was only resident at the Woodcote Estate for seven years before selling it to Arthur Cuthbert in 1777.
Conceived as a barn and stable, the building was once part of a cluster of farm buildings including a granary, farm court and farm house. Made of red brick with a pitched pantile roof and rustic clad exterior, the Motor House originally featured an upper floor denoted by a band of deepened colour along the brick side walls, also containing square holes for structural beams.
Woodcote Park continues to grow as a venue for motoring activities, including our popular member drive-ins. It is, therefore, fitting that the building was refurbished as the Club’s Motor House in 2016. The development follows a tradition of repurposing barns and stables on country estates into Motor Houses, following the demise of horse-drawn vehicles.
In March 2017, the Motor House was announced as the winner of the Surrey Heritage Awards, which recognise best practice in historic building conservation and restoration.
Click play on the video below to take a look inside.
For more information or to book a tour, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.