Courtesy of Anne Maltbys
history of Kersey, Kersey
Within Living Memory
was a medieval farmhouse with farm buildings, including maltings,
sheds and a large barn. In the 1920s, Bouttells was purchased
by the Rt Hon Harry Balfour, then carefully dismantled and moved
to Bures, where it was renamed Dunstead House. Bouttells
remaining outbuildings were remodelled in 1927 to create Ayres End.
This property stood
in the garden of "Ayres End", which was the home of the
famous author Ralph Hammond Innes.
Ralph lived most of his life in Kersey until he died during June
1998, aged 84.
The name of the property most probably
derived from a family in Kersey.
Benjamin BOUTELL was born
about 1798 in Kersey, Suffolk, England.
He was married to Elizabeth THOMPSON on 28 Oct 1823 in Ovington,
Norfolk, England. Children were: Benjamin BOUTTELL.
courtesy of Yvonne Martin, Kersey Village Recorder.
Press Cutting (right) possibly taken
from the EADT, date unknown
This is an advertisement by Savilles for the sale of Dunstead.
It refers to the original owner,
The clue to finding Mr Balfour in
Bures, was in the GPO Telephone Directory of 1925
He was listed as Telephone Number 15.
Location:- Sudbury Rd
It was also very interesting to find
out if any Boutelles lived in Bures, having a connection with the
relocation of the house from Kersey
Ancestry revealed that only one Boutell
lived in Bures and that was Charlotte, who lived along the Sudbury
Rd within walking distance of Dunsteads.
Further Ancestry research, revealed numerous Boutells in Wiston,
which is our adjacent parish towards Nayland
NAME: Charlotte Boutelle
BIRTH: abt 1868 - Wiston, Suffolk, England
RESIDENCE: 1881 - Bures St Mary, Suffolk, England
1881 Census Page
However Charlotte was living with her Grandfather, Edward Everitt
and his daughter Amelia
Why was she there in 1881 aged only 13 ?
Possibly because Edwards wife Martha had died and he required assistance
to run the house - it was quite usual in those days for girls
as young as Charlotte to be put to work as a servant or housemaid
So any connection between Charlotte and the Boutells house was not
Autobiography of Mr Balfour
RT Hon. Harry Robert Chichester Balfour was born on 31 October 1882
He was the son of John Blair Balfour, 1st Baron Kinross and Hon.
Marianne Eliza Moncreiff.
He married Dorothy Constance Chetwynd, daughter of Henry Goulburn
Willoughby Chetwynd and Eva Constance Elizabeth Fanny Berney, in
London on 20 October 1921.
Dorothy born 1895
He was educated at Cheltenham College, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire,
He graduated from Balliol College, Oxford University, Oxford, Oxfordshire,
England, in 1905 with a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
He graduated from Christ's College, Cambridge University, Cambridge,
Cambridgeshire, England, with a Master of Arts (M.A.)
He fought in the First World War, where he was wounded. He gained
the rank of Captain in the service of the 3rd Battalion, Royal Scots
He was Clerk of the House of Commons and Home Office.
Extracted from "The
Children of Hon. Harry Robert Chichester Balfour and Dorothy Constance
Three children were born to the couple.
Elizabeth b 1922 :- b Dec 22 1922, d Dec 22 1922 ( listed
as Sudbury, but this is also the BMD registration office)
Hillary Joan b 1924 :- b Bures
Anthony b 1925: -birthplace as yet unknown, but probably
Bures ( listed as Sudbury, but this is also the BMD registration
Unfortunately, I cannot find any
details of when the family moved away from Dunstead to a new location.
( see below)
Ancestry and searching the net, gives no information his next residence
Harry Balfour died on 11 December
1964 in Oxford aged 82.
Buried in Edinburgh
Constance Balfour died 1963 in Oxford,
Buried in Edinburgh
Harry Balfour married Dorothy Chetwynd in 1921 in London, as
his first child Elizabeth was born the following year they may well
have moved to Bures during 1921/1922
Child, Hillary Joan Balfour born in 1924 at Bures
This is a Grade 2 listed building
located along the B1508 Sudbury Road.
It is described as:-
A fine timber-framed house which originally stood in Kersey but
was carefully dismantled and in 1926 was removed to its present
site and re-assembled exactly as it was.
Built on an L shaped plan with wings extending to the north-east
and south-east. There is a cross wing at the south-east end. 2 storeys
The main block (the south-east wing)
was probably a late C15 hall house with a floor and fireplace inserted
in the C16.
Part of the south-west front of the main block is jettied on the
upper storey on exposed joists.
The house has mainly plaster infil but under the jetty on the south-west
front there is brick nogging.
The north-west end of the main block is also jettied on the upper
storey on exposed joists and with brick nogging on the ground storey.
The ground storey has been given extra height by raising it on a
The interior has good moulded ceiling beams and joists and three
original doorways with fine carved spandrels.
Dunsteads is located down a private drive
with no public access.
It cannot be seen from the roadway, so please respect its privacy.
Harry Balfour must have come across a George Balfour, another sitting
MP from 1918 - 1941
Harry was born in Kinross, whilst George
Balfour in his younger days worked in a Foundry at Dundee, only 35
George was later to become the founder of Balfour
Beatty, todays Construction Conglomerate
Were they related ?
Who were the occupants after Mr and
Mrs Balfour ?
(a) Harry Balfour and family most probably
vacated the property between 1935 and 1937:-
||Harry Balfour in 1935, listed as a
For what unknown ?
Harry Balfour listed in the 1935,
Kelly`s Trade Directory
another entry for 1935 show his occupation
as "Fruit Farmer"
No entry appears in the 1937 edition of the Directory
In 1939, Dunsteads was offered For Sale.
So did the Balfours vacate the property between 1935 and 1939 - unresolved.
Possibly purchased by Albert & May McCracken
Electoral Roll 1945 Registered inhabitants
May McCracken (wife)
Emma Cory (Emma and Edith possibly house domestics)
Owned by Lieut. Colonel John Todhunter and his wife Angela, who
purchased the property from the McCrackens
in the early 1950`s
John sadly passed away 1989 and the house was put on the market
with Savills of that year
Possibly not sold until 1990.
Angela Todhunter moved up to Argyll to live near her daughter and
Link to additional
Mr and Mrs P Kemble
and not forgetting Yvonne Martin who is researching the Kersey connection
Janet Brown daughter of Lt Col John Todhunter
Published 08/10/2016 ver 1
Acknowledgement to Historic England for the supply of the 1958 images of
Tithe map update ver2 09/10/2016
with 1945 Electoral Roll
Any corrections to this text will be gratefully received