Where is this?

I came across this photograph on the internet several years ago but the person who displayed it knew nothing about it, there being no annotation on the original image. It intrigues me and I would love to know where it is, who the man is on the right and why he has a group of firebacks leaning on what is, I assume, his garden wall.

There are a number of clues. The building that has the window with the leaded panes has a thatched roof, and appears to be timber-framed with an infill of flint nodules. That indicates that the property lies in one of the chalk upland areas, such as the North or South Downs, the Hampshire or Berkshire Downs or Salisbury Plain, or the Chilterns. Behind the thatched building there seem to be one or two brick chimneys, and on the left is a greenhouse which has been there long enough to have creeper growing over one end.

What of the man? Is he wearing a clerical collar? He looks as though he may be in his 70s but this photograph may well have been taken in the late 19th- or early-20th century, and people looked older for their years in those days than they do now.

With the exception of the fireback on the far left, they are mostly in good condition, with few signs of having been stood in fireplaces. For the most part they are of English design. The large one with the elaborate vase of flowers on the right, and its broken companion, date from the second half of the 17th century and copy the style of firebacks that were then beginning to be imported from the continent. They may well have been cast from patterns designed by craftsmen from across the Channel. The two to the left of the entrance to the garden are from Germany. The one with the figure in the chariot and the initials IL above is new to me but I have seen the one with the figure of Fortune before. It was probably made in about 1700 and designed by a craftsman whose initials were GK. The other two are both Wealden backs. The coat of arms is that of the Worshipful Company of Blacksmiths, one of the livery companies of the City of London, while the fireback with the gadrooned vase and the human figure emerging from among the tendrils spewing from its spout can be associated with several firebacks that may have been designed by someone whose initials were IM and who was working in the 1630s to 50s.

Was this display part of a larger collection, and why were they propped against the garden wall? Is that where they were placed normally? I suspect not as they seem to be in too good a condition to have been out in the open for long. Nor have they ended up in one of the big collections of firebacks, at Lewes or Hastings or at the V&A.

If anyone reading this can identify the location on this photograph, please contact the Editor.