HISTORY has obscured the roots of Kendal Lodge, but it seems to owe its origin to the estate of Berdfelds, recorded as lying in Theydon Garnon and owned by one John Parker in the early 16th century.

The first major family recorded as owning the estate were the Kendalls whose name is still linked to the house now standing in Hemnall Street, in Epping.

Michael Kendall, a constable who served on a number of juries, owned the estate until 1587 when he was kicked to death by his own horse.

The last recorded Kendall to live in the manor was Robert who was recorded as being incarcerated in Colchester jail "for suspicion of certain misdemeanours".

When Robert died, his will left the Kendall estate open to the highest bidder, and in the early 1640s Robert Jason is recorded as purchasing the property.

An absentee landlord, Jason acted as the High Sheriff of Hampshire and later Southampton, and Kendalls was presumably just another property to him.

In 1665 the estate was bought by Robert Jacob, a Theydon Garnon farmer, who in turn sold the land to Richard Kempton.

By the 18th century the property would fall into the hands of the Dimsdale family who would stay on the land for a number of generations.

A family of doctors, the most famous member of their family, Thomas Dimsdale, inherited the land in 1741.

A talented physician, Thomas devoted his time to perfecting the practice of inoculation against smallpox.

In 1768 he was summoned to inoculate the Russian Royal family and, in the course of his work, would successfully inoculate the Russian Empress Catherine the Great and her son the future emperor Paul I, among others.

The Dimsdale connection with Kendalls came to an end in 1753 when Thomas moved to Hertford to further his career and the land was sold to a farmer named Richard Collins.

Coming from a large farming family, Richard was a wealthy man who also owned the George pub in Epping High Street.

There is no record of Richard actually living at Kendalls and during the 1760s he sold the property to John Dickins, who transformed the Tudor farm house into the building we still largely see today, installing drainage, a kitchen and a garden wall which still stands in Hemnall Street.

After Dickins died, the house was sold to Clement Kirwan, a wealthy counting house manager whose fortune lay in sugar plantations in Antigua.

Clement passed the estate to his two sons George and John, who in turn sold the land to the Rev Charles Egerton who was 66 when he moved into the property in 1832, which was by now known as its current name, Kendal Lodge.

The Rev Egerton would pass the property on to his son Charles Chandler.

Previously appointed to the East India Company as an oculist serving in Bengal, Charles Chandler also served as professor of surgery at Calcutta Medical College Hospital, of which he was a founder member.

The fate of Kendal Lodge would change forever in the late 19th century. Firstly what was a Tudor farmhouse would be transformed into a Georgian gentleman's residence.

Secondly, and most crucially, the house's 50 acres of land would be put to auction and sold as 63 individual building plots By the time Kendal Lodge had passed into the hands of the Creed family in 1898, it been transformed into a solicitor's practice set in one-and-three quarter acres.

The Creed's time with the property ended in 1946, when George Creed died.

Although engaged for more than forty years, George had never married and upon his death the property was bought at auction by Robert James Newton for £7,000.

Robert would make extensive alterations to what was at the time a decrepit property.

After consolidating his business and building the golf course at High Beech, Robert would spend his final years at Kendal Lodge where he died in December 1980.

The house is now owned by his son Peter Newton whose booklet, The History of Kendal Lodge, this article is based on.