Warden Manor

History Directory     Search Directory     Warden    Cliff Erosion     4th October 2003

Because of the cliff erosion little remains of Warden Point. Over the year churches, the Post Office and many homes have fallen in the sea. Warden Manor is probably the most significant building still standing.

During the 1914-18 war the Manor it was used as a small hospital.

In the 1930s the Manor was bought by Cecil Jackson-Cole,  He let Toc H have Warden Manor to give holidays to elderly peopleand others. Before and after the war Warden Manor was a popular venue for Toc H members.

It was ably run by Vic Martin and later by Mr. Jackson-Cole's brother John Cole. There several interesting features during this time in that all the rooms were given names such as The Orient Express, The little Orient, which were equipped like train sleeper cabins, The Ship which had a lot of maritime features, the Tackle Room, and " The Ark" a section over the refectory ( originally the stables ) which had rooms named Elephant, Zebra, Camel, Lion.

Cecil Jackson-Cole was a Quaker gentleman who owned Andrews furniture businesses in London. Notably at Highbury Corner, St. John St. Islington and west London, Hammersmith. He was also the founder of an Estate Agency Business with extensive ramifications in Oxford, the West country and parts of London. He was a philanthropist and had a hand in creating Oxfam. He was also the founder of Help the Aged, Voluntary and Christian Services and other charities.

Toc H is a charitable organisation which had its roots in WW1 when Talbot House was founded as a rest and recreation house for weary troops. (See Toc H website on the internet for full story.)

Vic Martin

Whenever Warden Manor or Toc H is mentioned the name Vic Martin soon follows.

He had a passion for model railways and an extensive collection.

More than that he made an impact on anyone who visited the Manor. 

The Holiday periods were divided into weeks and for each week a Theme was invented. One of the Themes was ancient witchcraft and an artistic holidaymaker painted a large black witch on a broomstick on the end wall of the refectory, and it was on that occasion that as part of the theme the rhyme was voiced by members of the holiday staff, and painted on the wall:-

Here we serve Warden Hags,
Casting spells in paper bags,
Curses on you witches all
Who made poor Vic drive through the wall......

Possibly around that time Vic Martin had had an accident with his car. The picture and verse remained a landmark until the 1980s.

The Manor was used during the second world war as a convalescent home for army officers.

After the war a private individual bought the property and sold part of it (including the small chapel) to the monks who over the years have added to it and now it is fairly large with about fifty monks and nuns living there. It is called The Monastery of the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary.

However for a time it continued to act as a Toc H centre and visitors still talk of the happy times they spent there.

Toc H chapel at Warden Bay

In the grounds there was apond, heavily contaminated by the burst Manor septic tank nearby, and a building known as The Cowshed, also a Chapel where prayers were offered each evening when it was opened to those so inclined.I was told that during the war the Army occupied the Manor and at the enddisposed ofa lot of old ammunition in the pond. Atsome time a piece of ordnance in the pond blew up and damaged the structure oflittle Chapel next to it.

Top of Page