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Architect, surveyor, photographer (1847-1917)

John Wornham Penfold, born at Courts Hill (now ‘Penfolds’) in Haslemere in 1828, spent much of his working life as an architect and surveyor in London. His most significant project was to oversee a vast construction project in Cripplegate following a destructive fire in 1889. Penfold was a founder members of The Institution of Surveyors.

From 1859 with the opening of Haslemere Station, visits to his family home grew frequent and he became involved with local projects including the rebuilding of Saint Bartholemew’s Church, The Workman’s Club and the building of the Cottage Hospital on Shepherds Hill. Penfold was a keen photographer and Haslemere Museum has a collection of glass plate negatives, many of local scenes.

Penfold was also the designer of the green hexagonal post-boxes. These achieved some fame on the cartoon Danger Mouse, whose side-kick was named after JW Penfold, and whose hideout was a post-box on Baker Street – though not a genuine Penfold design!

Image copyright of Haslemere Museum