Cobham Conservation and Heritage Trust

Cobham History

Skilton's Yard

In 1988 there was a public outcry at a proposal to demolish Skilton's Yard opposite Cobham Mill and replace it with residential units. Ken Major, a leading national expert on watermills and industrial buildings said that he believed it to be one of perhaps only half a dozen such sites in the country.

AtSkiltons Yard sketch the end of the 18th century a local carpenter with the splendid name of Uriah Collyer owned the yard and adjoining house, now called Millwater Cottage. However Collyer was more than a carpenter. He also built houses and he may have built some of the little cottages that used to line River Hill before it was widened in the 1960s.

Collyer is first recorded at this site in the Land Tax returns of 1788. He was tenant until 1792 when he purchased the property and probably rebuilt Millwater Cottage. The earliest I have been able to trace a house on this site is in a deed dated 21st November 1753 which is now in the Surrey History Centre at Woking.

Uriah Collyer died in 1800 but his widow lived on until 1836. They are both buried in St. Andrew's churchyard. They appear to have had at least three children one of whom, Cornelius, retained the property until his death in the 1860s. The house and yard were then sold to George Wood a builder and Timber Merchant. By 1891 the house and yard were the property of Harry James, and many older Cobham residents will remember this as James's Yard rather than Skilton's. Harry's son Stan took over the business and also ran an undertaker's business from here.

Skiltons Yard c2007The yard has therefore been in continuous use as a small industrial unit for over two hundred years. Most of the present buildings date from the middle of the nineteenth century, although part of a stable is believed to be at least a hundred years older. Skilton's Yard may not be the most attractive of buildings but it has character and a sense of place.

It is an important site both in the history of Cobham and nationally. It fits comfortably into its position opposite Cobham Mill and relates both physically and historically to the mill and the miller's barns at the rear and side of The Old Mill House. We hope this unique site survives for future generations.

Article by David Taylor

25 Sep
Cobham Heritage Open Meeting
25 Sep 2019 8:00 pm
28 Sep
Cobham Farmers Market
28 Sep 2019 9:30 pm - 10:00 pm

Fresh produce farmers market held in Hollyhedge Road, Cobham, Surrey, KT11 3DG (4th Saturday of each month)

6 Oct
Cobham Heritage Litter Pick - Stoke D'Abernon
06 Oct 2019 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Please join us on Sunday 6th October at 2pm meeting at the corner of Stoke Road and Station Road in Stoke D’Abernon.

Please bring gloves and we will supply high-viz jackets and litter pickers.

Become a Volunteer with Cobham Heritage

The Cobham Conservation and Heritage Trust is a local charity which relies on vounteers to help run the Trust, promote local history and conservation issues and organise fund raising events such as our annual Cobham Heritage Day. If you think you might like to join us, visit our Volunteer Vacancies page to find out which roles you might like to get involved with. We always try to make it fun.


Some of Your Comments

" I have been in touch with both volunteers and they certainly enjoyed their day in spite of the weather. They made some useful contacts as well. I am pleased that your turnout wasn’t affected too much by the weather." - Pets as Therapy - Heritage Day Stallholder"

Queens Award for Voluntary Service

Riverhill Greenflag Award

Green Flag Award

Open Spaces Award

Open Spaces Award