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The parish of Worplesdon dates from Roman times – Bronze Age urns discovered on Whitmoor Common are in the Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford.

In the Domesday Book the area is called ‘Werpesdune’.

Ordnance Survey Map (XXIII) of 1870 shows property built on this land as ‘Goose Rye Farm’ and it seems likely that the present house – in the style of Edward Lutyens – dates from the early 1900s.

Certainly, by 1909 we find that Laurence Edward Halsey (1871 – 1945) is living at ‘Gooserye’ (Kelly’s Directory 1909).

Some years later he is knighted and in 1935, still living at Gooserye, becomes the High Sheriff of Surrey.

Gooserye was originally a larger property - and included the house now known as ‘The Paddocks’- formerly the coach house and staff quarters for Gooserye.

The portfolio also included the house at the top of Gooserye Road called ‘Upper Jordan’ which adjoins the Gooserye field. ‘Upper Jordan’ was possibly built for another member of the Halsey family.

In 1945 Sir Laurence died, and a year later Gooserye is sold at Auction.

An advertisement in the Times of April 29th 1946 describes Goose Rye as ‘A Freehold residential property in ideal rural surroundings and within easy reach of London.  A finely appointed house of distinctive character’.  


Meanwhile, in 1938 William Percy Agace purchases the fledgling Surrey estate agency ‘Mann & Co’ which grows to become a multi-million pound company.

Possibly Mr Agace purchased Gooserye – certainly in 1951 we can see from the Land Registry records that he owned and sold the adjacent Gosling Cottage.

It was also during this time that the ownership of Gooserye and Pond Cottage were separated.

Mr Agace died in the 1960s.

The Greek singer Nana Mouskouri is amongst those believed to have then lived at the property before it was purchased by its current owner in 1983.

Two years later he bought Pond House – and since that time the two properties have been used as a single residence.

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