Welland House, Business and Training Centre Welland House, Business and Training Centre

Welland House History

Welland House is one of the oldest houses in Spalding, the house was built in 1663 by Martin Johnson - the second son of the founder of the Spalding branch of the Johnson family of Ayscoughfee Hall and who were related to Ben Johnson the well - known poet! Martin was born in 1620 and was master of the Grammar School before becoming minister of Spalding. The Grundy map of 1732 shows that Welland House belonged to the Reverend Walter Johnson and the property had a tree lined-Long Vista leading from the house to Halmer Gate. Sometime during the 1700's the Green family, who were relations of the Johnson family occupied the house.

By 1872 the house was in the possession of Mr H.T.R Buckworth. The Buckworths were Lords of the Manor of Spalding. At this time the Long Vista had disappeared and one plan shows it as having  8.5 perch along the riverside and the house, premises, gardens and paddock consisted of one acre two roads and thirty five perch, making a total area of land of one acre, three roads and three and a half perch. In the nineteenth century,  whilst owned by Mr H.T.R Buckworth, the Rev. J.C. Jones the Baptist minister who ran a private boarding school in the premises, occupied the house. A coal merchant, Mr William Newton, then lived in it. 

In Mr Buckworth's time, there was  a wooden granary by their privately owned wharf. Alderman Sir John Gleed moved in 1912 and within 24 hours the granary had fallen into the river. John Gleed ran a wine shop in Red Lion Street and he was a Justice of the Peace, he was also Chairman of Holland County Council for 24 years and this work earned him his knighthood. Within the grounds of Welland house an air raid shelter was built especially for him. Two Spalding secondary schools are named after him. Following his death in 1946 and that of Lady Gleed the house was owned by their daughter, Mrs Kathleen Harvey whose husband Charles, a local solicitor had been killed in the First World War. She lived there with her daughter, Joy. For many years the garden and park were used for both Scout and Guide galas and especially the Brownie Revels.

The outbuildings lost their roof one night during the Second World War when a German plane bombed Birch's Mill, now the pet food store and Gym. Mrs Harvey built a new house on the garden immediately behind Welland House in 1953, taking with her half the garden.  At this time there was no car park as there is today, but a lawn and beautiful borders.  A rustic pole fence divided the two gardens, and at the Brownie Revels one of the favourite activities was climbing over the fence and back again over the style put there for the purpose.  

It was in 1953 that Arnold Smith bought Welland House as his family home and for his Chartered Accountancy business premises.  The home was on the north side and the offices in the south side.  In 1966 Arnold Smith gave his eldest son David the kitchen garden for a wedding present and on that land the bungalow was built. This gift of land included their driveway and it is by the side of this driveway that the air raid shelter still stands.

With the growth of Arnold Smith and Co through a merger with Hodgson Harris in the early 1970's a new era dawned as the whole house became business premises.  Until 2008 the name of the firm has changed, but has always remained a Chartered Accountants Office.

Welland house remained in the Smith family until January 2009 when it was purchased and re-opened as serviced offices for use of the Spalding business community.

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