Stoke Hill House was situated in the modern Bellfields Estate close to Slyfield Greet. It enjoyed magnificent views across farmland to Guildford prior to the building of the Bellfields Estate from 1944. Its owner, Francis Paynter was to have a big influence on the shaping of Guildford. As Rector of Stoke Church he built Christ Church (Waterden Road), Emanuel Stoughton and St Saviours in the Woodbridge Road.
Francis Paynter was rector during a time of great change. His family came from Cornwall but his grandfather left the west country to make his fortune in London. He bought the right to appoint the rector of Stoke to provide his son Samuel (Francis’s father) with a living. Samuel was rector from 1831 to 1858 and Francis was rector from 1862 to 1897.
In 1831 there were just 788 people in large parish of Stoke. In 1862 when Francis became rector there were 3,797 and by the time he retired in 1897 there were over 14000. So clearly there was a need for more churches to serve the parish.
Stoke Hill House Estate was purchased in 1944 and developed with houses and shops into Bellfields. The first council houses in Bellfields were in Paynter’s Close but the name was changed to Cypress Road as the estate was enlarged. In 2013 a small green on the corner of Manor Road and Grange Road was unofficially name Paynter’s Green.
Although the house was demolished and replace with flats in the 1960s, the coach house remains. It was Grade II listed in 1953 (see listing)
See also article on Fanny Paynter. For further informaton see Stoke next to Guildford – a short history by Lyn Clark (Phillimore, 1999). You can view Ordnance Survey maps at National Library of Scotland website