Formosa Place

Above: Formosa Place. The building to the left, the servants quarters, is the last remaining part of the house.

Spedan had long held a desire to create a country club for Partners, hoping to provide as many amenities as possible and foster a sense of community. He had first attempted this at his property Grove Farm in Harrow but sadly Spedan was forced to sell up in 1920 due to the terrible financial position Peter Jones was in at the time. This was followed by a short lived club in Teddington again closed due to financial difficulties, but Spedan remained determined.

Early in 1927 a suitable property was found: one which would not only offer sports and leisure activities for day visitors but also residential accommodation for Partners who would not otherwise be able to afford a second residence in the country. Formosa Place and Mill House thus became the embryonic Odney Club.

The house was built in the 1780s by Admiral Sir George Young to reflect his naval interests. He designed it (himself) to look as much as possible like a three-deck ship-of-the-line of the period, complete with Stern Gallery, Hawseholes, Cockpit and Orlop and a companion ladder to the front door!  Sadly only the servants quarters remain of the original house; the unusually constructed building was in a state of disrepair when Spedan purchased it and after being briefly used for accommodation, the building was closed and demolished.

Comments about this page

  • Philip, I’m a Young descendent and have just finished writing a family history that goes into the history of Formosa Place. The house was rented out several times, and at one point was run as a hotel. If I can help you track down your great grandfather’s friend then do let me know more! Best, Lulah

    By lulah ellender (24/04/2023)
  • Hi Philip,

    Thank you for your comment, the Young family owned the property up until selling it to John Spedan Lewis, our founder. It is possible that the property was rented to others, but sadly this isn’t information we hold. It is fantastic to know that you have photographs of the building, as they are sadly fairly scarce.

    By imogen (23/02/2023)
  • I have photographs from 1898 or 1899 from my great grandfather of this building – it looks like it was owned or rented by a friend of his. I am interested in findiong out more of the history and ownershiop so I can possibly find out who his friend was as he features in many of their social photographs.

    By Philip Crosland (29/01/2023)

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