Mr Johnson married Frances Lawson in 1856 and they had 8 children. Only two of the children married and one grandchild was born. For 30 years from 1867 – 1898, he was the Vicar’s warden and for the last 10 years of his life he was a semi invalid.
The large Redwood trees that can still be seen in the grounds today were purportedly brought back as seeds by Mr Johnson from a visit to Canada. Each of his children were given a seed to plant and you can see today the fruits of this planting.
There is a three light stained glass window in the sanctuary of the church in Hildenborough which was bequeathed by Mr and Mrs Johnson in memory of their eldest daughter, Frances Ann, who died in 1897 aged 39 years. She had been an active worker in the Sunday school and in the management of the clothing and coal club. The Johnson family lived there until it was sold to Dr. Fraser in 1927.
Mountains became a doctor’s house and surgery in the 1950s. While Dr Beaufort Fraser lived in Mountains, he saw his private patients in the sitting room and “panel” patients in the servants’ quarters. You can still see the bell panel in the hall corridor showing the surgery.
Their rise to fashion was assured by their use in such prestigious buildings as the Victoria and Albert Museum, and by the 1890s they had become an essential feature in the most ordinary Victorian terraced houses from Dover to Aberdeen. As well as adding prestige and colour to a Victorian hall, they were also remarkably practical. Although it’s improbable that the average Victorian builder gave much thought to the lifespan of such a feature, it is a fact that most domestic interior tiled floors have survived 100 years of family wear and tear. With a little care, they will probably be good for another 100 years. There is also a magnificent pine listed dresser in the Clarke Somers Room which was originally housed in the kitchen.
In the 1970s the owner was obsessed with Hillman Imps and donkeys! The remains of this obsession, namely the donkeys, are still evident today and can be found to the left of the house where there is a quiet leafy glade accommodating the donkey graveyard and their head stones, not forgetting the stables (which is now Stables Nursery).
After a short period in the 1990s as a health and fitness centre it became bankrupt and stood empty until a group of parents from Fosse Bank School bought the house in 2003.
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