Longmead House was built in the middle of the Victorian era just as the railway was extended to the nearby Caterham Valley in 1856. The house is one of the principal residences of Caterham-on-the-Hill and was originally set in some six acres of land boasting several tennis courts, an orchard, a cowshed, a piggery, a productive kitchen garden and even cucumber and melon houses. Listed in the 1881 Census as Drayford House and subsequently Knaresdale, Longmead took up its present name just after the First World War and has become a local landmark as much for its prominent geographical position as for its distinct and well-maintained architectural styling. Whilst some of the land was sold off for new properties, Longmead retains much of its cherished Victorian styling and features, as well as its exterior Italianate detailing and original landscaping including the striking, towering pine tree which frames Longmead’s facade.
Longmead House Residential Care Home
Longmead first opened as a care home in the 1960s following a significant adaptation and remodeling programme which was sympathetic to the house’s original interior period features.
The house and care home was acquired by its current proprietor and manager Ena McAleese in 1987 who immediately undertook an extensive modernization and upgrade programme. This included the creation of six modern rooms on the upper floor, the addition of modern, high-specification care-friendly bathrooms and other modern facilities including the installation of a lift. All resident rooms, communal spaces and the interior and exterior fixtures and fittings are subject to a continual programme of decoration, refurbishment and improvement.
In 1990 the McAleese family purchased the adjacent two-story house ‘Littlemead’ thus ensuring a constant on-site presence of a highly experienced, senior, elderly-care professional within the Longmead grounds.
Caterham-on-the-Hill is a welcoming and affluent North Surrey commuter town set on the ridge of the North Downs some fifteen miles south of the centre of London. It is within easy reach of the M25 and M23 motorways, major towns such as Croydon and Guildford, and only a 20-30 minute drive from Gatwick Airport. Caterham-on-the-Hill, and nearby Caterham Valley, are served by a wide range of shops, services and amenities and are celebrated for their restaurants and pubs. Many Longmead residents regularly make the short 200m walk to Caterham-on-the-Hill and frequently share lunch out with their families in our many local recommended restaurants. The town has a rich history going back to Norman times and was, until the 1990s, the home to a barracks for British Army footguard regiments, in which Terry Waite and David Sterling (founder of the SAS) both trained, and a mile north of the town is the famous Battle of Britain Royal Air Force air station known today as Kenley Aerodrome.