The Old House, Ewell


The following article is based on original research by Jamie Paxton and by members of the Epsom and Ewell History and Archaeological Society) (Opens in a new window).


The front view of the Old House
The front view of the Old House
photographed on October 1969 by LR James.
Image courtesy of Surrey Libraries and is held in the
Epsom & Ewell Local And Family History Centre Collection

The Old House, at the junction of Epsom Road and Mongers Lane, stands on the copyhold plot shown as number 402 on the Ewell Enclosure Map. The 1803 Enclosure Award shows the plot was owned by Henry Kitchen but on his death his executors sold it to William Neale who sold one acre two roods and twenty six perches of land in Woe Furlong (Ewell Fields) to William Turner, a carpenter, on 18 Sep 1805 (Surrey History Centre ref: 2103/4/). Turner built and owned the house sometime between 1805 and 1809.

Extract from the 1911 Ordnance Survey Map
Extract from the 1911 Ordnance Survey Map

In 1809 William Monger and George Turner were recorded as the occupiers, and were running a mixed sex boarding school called the Ewell Academy, when William Turner (presumably a relative of George Turner) sold the land to Joseph Harrison of Banstead, a builder, who bought it in the name of his daughter Eleanor Posthuma on 12 Jul 1809 (Surrey History Centre ref: 2103/4/ and 2103/8/15). There is some confusion over ownership in this period as the Quarter Sessions for 1818 shows that William Monger was a tenant of Joseph Harrison! Possibly Harrison thought by putting the property in her name he had set up a trust for his daughter and was acting as a trustee. Around 1820 Eleanor married the Revd. James Ivory Holmes of Exeter, Devon and in 1824 the land and building were sold to William Monger.

The rear courtyard of the Old House
The rear courtyard of the Old House
photographed on October 1969 by LR James.
Image courtesy of Surrey Libraries and is held in the
Epsom & Ewell Local And Family History Centre Collection

Originally the house was a two storey gault brick building with a porch door between two sash windows on the ground floor and three sash windows on the first floor, with the roof tiled in slate. At some stage the house was extended on the left with a matching two storey extension and on the right (rear) is a red brick extension. At the rear the house with extensions formed a mostly white weather boarded courtyard.

The rear verander of the Old House
The rear verander of the Old House
photographed on October 1969 by LR James.
Image courtesy of Surrey Libraries and is held in the
Epsom & Ewell Local And Family History Centre Collection

George Turner died aged 56 in 1821 and William Monger in 1825 but his widow Mary (Monger) and 19 year old son William Richard Monger carried on teaching at the Ewell Academy, or Mongers Academy. One report says that it was known as Mongers Academy for the sons of Dissenters but we have to prove this as the modern term for Dissenters is Non-Conformists (to the teachings of the Church of England) and can include Roman Catholics. This is particularly interesting as the Mongers family generally had very close ties with St Mary's Church in Ewell - some being organists and one a sextantess.]

In the 1841 Census the Old House was home to Mary Monger then aged 60, 2 grandchildren, 2 teachers, 4 servants and 32 male pupils aged 9 to 15. By 1851 the Census shows it was occupied by William Richard Monger (aged 44), his second wife Caroline, 2 children, a nephew, 3 servants and 54 male pupils aged 7 to 16. When William Richard died in 1859, aged 52, the Academy closed but his son William Robert continued to live in the property till he died in 1888 aged 58. William Robert's widow and three children then moved to the newly built Park Hill Cottage off Epsom Road and the Old House let.

Subsequently there were numerous occupiers including:
  • 1891 Authur Chase (Census)
  • 1899 Herbert Secretan (Andrew's)
  • 1905 Percy Bristow (Kelly's)
  • 1909 Alfred Cope (Kelly's also Valuation Officers Field Book which shows property was let for 3 years from 1909 at £124pa and the occupier was responsible for Land Tax of £2.4s.4d. pa.)
  • 1915 Alfred Cope Jnr. (Kelly's)
  • 1934 David Geddes (Kelly's)
  • 1956 James Niven (Kelly's)

Currently the Old House is an old people's home run by the Abbeyfield Society and some of the land has been sold off for housing.

This article was written by Peter Reed 2008

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