The Roundabout on Redhill Common

The Roundabout was an isolated group of buildings on the common opposite the present golf clubhouse in Pendleton Road and about 50 yards from the eighteenth green. In 1901 Mr E.C.P.Hull wrote to the Mayor asking that £1,000 of the money paid by the Railway Company for the appropriation of the land for the new railway line that bypassed Redhill station be put towards the purchase of the cottages. The intention was to close down each of the twelve cottages as they became vacant (three were already empty) and to do away with the site altogether. They were presumably seen as an offence to the attractiveness of the local area, situated as they were on common land.
The cottages were to be sold at auction and although the Council was sympathetic to the idea was unable to bid for the property because it would need to know in advance what the final price at the bidding would be, something that was not possible.
To overcome this problem a consortium of local men, Messrs Hull, Machin, Tozer, Marcus, Waterlow and Sewill, volunteered to purchase it themselves and offer it to the Council at a then known price.By September of 1903 this had been done but unfortunately their offer to sell to the Council for £1,200 was refused. Mr Sewill and Mr Hull wrote to the Council saying that if the offer were not accepted the site would be sold publicly. The Council re-thought the matter and subsequently accepted, but not unanimously, two councillors voting against the scheme.
Nevertheless, in spite of the purchase and eventual acquisition of the site by the Council the Roundabout remained as it was for a further half century before it was finally demolished. A view of the walk to the lakes and some of the houses of the Roundabout are shown below.
Email received October 2005 from Paul Jackson of Brisbane, Australia: -
Thank you for the photos about the Roundabout as this was the residence of my great great grandparents in 1881 Census. Levi and Julia Balchin lived there as well as Julia's parents (John & Ellen Knight) prior to their migration to Australian aboard the ship Balaclava in 1883. I was told the cottages no longer existed but was delighted to see pictures of them. 
Paul Jackson, Brisbane, Australia
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