The Old Rectory

by janet on 15 January 2012 · 12 comments

The Old Rectory

The Old Rectory, now a private house, was built around 1632 for Rector Dr John Gorsuch (1600-48). It is an early example of a brick house, described in 1638 as having: ‘below, one parlour, a hall, a kitchen, a milk house, a brew house, a store house, two cellars; above, in the first and second storeys, nine chambers well boarded.

The east front was built early in the 18th century. A library wing was built around 1781 for Dr Benjamin Heath, who also landscaped the pleasure gardens.

The Old Rectory in 2004. Photo by John Soanes

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Donna Martin December 3, 2020 at 9:14 pm

I am a direct descendant of the Rev. Dr. John Gorsuch through his son, grandson, and great-
grandson, all named Charles. John was, I believe, my eighth great-grandfather. Does anyone have
photos of the Gorsuch memorial and the tomb? I am unlikely to to able to travel ‘cross the pond to
visit in person, so any additional photos of our ancestral home and parish would be so appreciated !


Christine C Doverspike July 27, 2020 at 9:03 pm

Rev. John Gorsuch was my 6th Great Grandfather and Rector of Walkern Parish. I became interested in finding out where the Gorsuch name originated while going through my Mothers papers after her death. Thanks to your website I now I have a picture of the Rectory to include with the history of the Gorsuch family going back to my 12th Great Grandfather I am putting together for my family. I plan on visiting England and seeing the Rectory and other places connected to my Gorsuch ancestors when the Coronavirus ( (COVID-19) is over and I can travel from the U.S. to England.


samantha Evangelista June 7, 2018 at 4:21 pm

My 4th great grandfather Jonas Cock is listed as living at rectory house(maybe this one) in the 1841 census he was a labourer I have a long line of ancestors from Walkern! any information gratefully recieved!


Wendy Lee September 30, 2017 at 8:00 pm

My father was a butler hear in the 1950s we went to schooling the village then to Newmarket I have forgotten the family name was it woodhouse! Brooks is the family name


Wendy Lee September 30, 2017 at 7:58 pm

My father was a butler hear in the 1950s we went to schooling the village then to Newmarket I have forgotten the family name was it woodhouse!


susan shaffer February 19, 2016 at 9:42 am

I am descended from the Heath family. Benjamin Heath who extended the house never married nor had children. My great great grandmother was born at the rectory when her parents returned from Italy.


Robert Allan Gorsuch August 3, 2015 at 12:03 am

Dr. John Gorsuch was my ancester and we will visit Walkern in September. Is there a chance we can visit his church and rectory?


Katherine Greenwood November 20, 2017 at 7:24 pm

I am descended from John and Anne Gorsuch through their son Charles. I visited Walken in March of 2015 but did not make arrangements in advance to get into the church. Did you arrange to get in?


Deborah Jones January 6, 2019 at 8:17 pm


About 20 years ago, my husband and visited the church on a Sunday morning just after the morning service. The congregants were having tea and biscuits (cookies), and were very welcoming. I was taken on a tour of the church interior and saw the Gorsuch memorial on one of the side walls. We, also, saw the tomb of a knight in the church. It was quite an experience.
BTW: I’m the descendant of Charles Gorsuch, son of John Gorsuch and his wife Anne Lovelace.



Jacky Pinn March 13, 2015 at 10:00 am

My grandparents, Margaret and Alf Barker, worked for Mr and Mrs Squarey who owned The Rectory back in the 1940’s – 1950’s. (Not exactly sure of the dates) They lived in the little cottage at the top of lane. As a child I remember very happy holidays there. There was at that time a woman called Grace Devaney employed there she was the cow girl and kept charts of milk yields on the wall in The Recory. Mr and Mrs Squarey moved to Dorset (where I live now) my grandparents moved to Wembley with my Mother when the Squarey’s left Walkern.


Tom McCall March 19, 2014 at 4:53 pm

William J Webb (born Walkern 1874) is shown on the 1901 census as living in Rotherhithe, London and on the 1911 census in Bermondsey, London.


Denise March 7, 2014 at 3:58 pm

I have just discovered that my great gransfather, William Webb, worked at the Old Rectory as Butler. Would he have lived on the premises I wonder, or somewhere nearby? His son, my grandfather, William James Webb, was baptised at St Mary’s in 1874, I would be interested in any information. Denise


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