Celebrating 275 Years
Mon 29 October 2018
2018 is a momentous year for leading South East property firm, RH & RW Clutton, as it not only marks our 275th year at the forefront of land agency and estate management, but also celebrates a two-year anniversary with estate agency Peter Hughes Country Property, and one-year collaboration with commercial firm Park & Bailey.
Far from hanging on the laurels of our long and successful past, the business continues to go from strength to strength as tradition and a lengthy lineage, along with a willingness to embrace modern technique and increasing technology, ensures our position as one of the South East’s leading independent property consultancies. Our services now offer Estate Management & Land Agency, Professional Services, Estate Agency and Commercial Property.
RH & RW Clutton is believed to be the oldest surviving firm of Land Agents in England. Our 275-year heritage began in 1743, with the first Clutton, William Clutton, taking over the business in 1765. A succession of William’s sons and grandsons kept the business going until one John Clutton left in 1851 to set up London based Cluttons. Meanwhile RH & RW Clutton, as it had now become, continued to grow in size and reputation with a number of long-standing Partners successfully taking the business through two World Wars, a number of recessions and into the new century. Husband and wife team, Senior Partner George Back and Managing Partner Victoria Back have been running the Firm since 2014 with the support of Partners Robert Windle, Oliver Harwood, James Tillard, Peter Hughes and Richard Grassly.
As part of our ethos to always be forward thinking and expansion minded, another celebration this year is the two-year anniversary of our merger with Petworth based estate agency, Peter Hughes Country Property, creating a third office in a prime high street location. Working alongside James Tillard, Head of Rural Agency, this expansion has seen activity in the residential side of the business increase significantly, despite a testing sales market. Key highlights include selling ‘off market’ a £1.7million Grade II listed house on the edge of Wisborough Green, which came with outbuildings, tennis court, swimming pool and 15 acres of land. RH & RW Clutton also introduced a client to and advised on the purchase of a £2.35million equestrian property with 37 acres just outside of Midhurst. Selling ‘off market’ has become one of RH & RW Clutton’s signature specialities in this difficult property market.
Residential Lettings has also flourished, with RH & RW Clutton noting a marked increase in the number of private landlords retaining them to let and manage their properties, including a five bedroom country house west of Petworth, for £4,750 per month. Property management is also an area where the firm has excelled.
A more recent expansion is a merger with Park & Bailey Commercial a year ago, bringing highly skilled commercial agent Philip Baker to the East Grinstead office and adding to our commercial presence in the core market areas of East Grinstead, East Surrey, West and East Sussex and West Kent. RH & RW Clutton has been particularly active in the retail market and completed lettings have included a shop unit to JoJo Maman Bébé in London Road, East Grinstead and independent baker, Flint Owl, in the high street. Investment sales have also provided a steady line of work with two multi-let retail High Street properties currently on the firm’s books. Activity in the office market has been more mixed but with much of the firm’s instruction base being lower-cost rural business space, there has been a steady stream of lettings particularly where building owners have invested in fibre broadband. Interest has been strong too for light industrial and storage units.
Combined with utilising the latest marketing methods and recruiting a highly astute and vastly experienced team, RH & RW Clutton is able to effortlessly blend traditional techniques with modern technology, strengthening our position year on year.
Senior Partner, George Back, commented; “These last few years have been very exciting for us, and we have seen some real successes as a result. Not only are we the oldest surviving independent chartered surveyors in the country but we have now extended our offering across three offices, to include diversification, farm grant applications, strategic estate reviews, forestry, residential sales and lettings, investment, lease advisory, financial and tax planning, renewable energy, building surveying and property management – 275 years on from where it all began. We are all very proud of our heritage and I am delighted that our clients are seeing the benefits of the additional expertise our recent endeavours have brought to the firm. I look forward to seeing what the future brings for RH & RW Clutton.”