The Old Vicarage

18 Church Street, Epsom

The Parsonage Of Epsom, By J Hassell 1824
The Parsonage Of Epsom, By J Hassell 1824
Image courtesy of Bourne Hall Museum

These premises were listed Grade II, in 1954: -
"Late C17. Two storeys, red brick with rubbed brick dressings, 1 - 3 - 1 sash windows, the centre three in slight projection. Flat stone quoins; band between storeys. Central C19 Tudor porch. Wood modillioned eaves cornice. Hipped old tile roof with three gabled dormers. Slate-hung tower at rear with ogival 'Tudor' roof. Interior. Original staircase with turned balusters and solid string. Drawing room with C18 marble or stone fireplace. Fittings and joinery mainly early C19."
Surrey Archaeological Collections, Vol. 51, 1950, contains a description of the property within Old houses in Epsom, Ewell and Cuddington by Cloudesley S. Willis, F.S.A. : -
"The Vicarage, 18 Church Street.
The Vicarage, facing east in Church Street, was built late in the 17th century. It is of red brick in two storeys with garret and cellar and has a bold tiled roof with dormer windows and a wooden cornice with modillions. The middle compartment of the front breaks forward and has stone quoins at the angles, and under the first-floor windows there is a brick string-course which, on the end compartments, is moulded. Considerable alterations have been made to the house from time to time; and in the 18th century sashes and much new joinery were supplied. The original staircase remains from the ground floor to the garret; it has a solid string, wide moulded handrail and turned balusters. The pleasant drawing-room at the back is fitted with a chimney-piece of marble or stone of reeded pattern with baskets of flowers at the angles, and a door with sunk panels and hollow mouldings. The front south room is plainly panelled in pine with a dado, and there is a reeded marble chimney-piece. On the first-floor landing the architraves of the doors are reeded with rosettes at the corners."
18 Church Street, Epsom 2013
18 Church Street, Epsom 2013
Image courtesy of Brian Bouchard © 2013

The old Vicarage, 18 Church Street, Epsom, with Richmond House to the left. On the right is the 'slate-hung tower at rear with ogival Tudor roof'.

The late Dr H L Lehmann could not trace the Vicarage in the 1680 survey of Epsom but it was mentioned as an abutment, as was 'Vicaridge Corner'. John Morehouse, BA, had become Vicar on 11 March 1669/1670, in succession to Robertus Yewell. Amongst the Marriage Licences issued by the Dean and Chapter of Westminster appears, for 9 November 1669, 'John Morehouse, of St Andrew's, Holborn, Clerk, Bachelor, about 25, & Ursula Francis, of St Margaret's, Westminster, Spinster, about 22 & at own dispose; alleged by Ann Morehouse, wife of Stephen Morehouse, of St Andrew, Holborn; at St Martin's in Fields'

In 1676, Rev Morehouse was granted dispensation as vicar of 'Epsum alias Ebbisham' to hold in plurality the vicarage of 'Yewell'.

Early allegations for Marriage Licences in Surrey were only sometimes made by one of the parties to the marriage. Often they were done by the Vicar of the parish, or by the Parish Clerk, or by a Yeoman, and sometimes by a woman, as, for example, Ursula Moorhouse, wife of John Moorhouse, Minister of Epsom in October 1678. Her name, 'of Ebisham', also appears in the Calendar of State Papers, Domestic series, of the reign of Charles II, Volume 25, concerning an examination under oath after she had said that she 'as long as she lived , she would pray for [the King] but, if he died tomorrow, she would not pray to him'.

This Vicar's burial, as Mr 'Henry' Morehouse, the late incumbent, is recorded to have taken place on 27 February 1697.

Rev Morehouse was not succeeded by Owen Ludgater until 31 May 1697. Mr Ludgater had only been ordained priest on 30 May 1697, formerly a Deacon from 22 September 1695. After 1698, he married a widow, Maria Clayton, who seems to have been a woman of property and is mentioned by Hans Lehmann at 12B8 & 11B7.

A wall tablet in St Martin's church recorded: -
Near this Place lieth the body of the REVD. MR OWEN LUDGATER Minister of this Parish who departed this life ye 16th day of September 1703 in the 31st year of his age.
He had been interred 21 September 1703 as 'The worthy vicar of this parish'. His relict, Maria otherwise Mary, survived until 1741.

Induction of the next Vicar, James Stokes, took place on 28 February 1703/4. It is not clear when he left the parish but the Church of England database records that he died 20 July 1705 as Rector of Up Waltham.

Heighes Woodford had been Rector of Eveltham, 1690/1, and became Prebendary of Chichester Cathedral on 26 July1700, a post he retained until 31 March 1725. He was also appointed Vicar of Epsom on 20 November 1704 and stayed in charge of our parish until 1725. As Mr Woodforde, Minister of this parish, he was buried at St Martin's on 9 January 1725. His wife was Mary, only daughter of Captain Thomas Lamport, of Alton, Hants, who appears to have survived him by eighteen years, was buried St Martin's on 24 January 1743.

In 1755 the vicarage was held by free deed by the Rev John Price , vicar of Ebbisham and 'his successors for ever' - a messuage, a coach-house, stables and other outhouses, and garden 1 acre. Mr Price had succeeded Heighes Woodford on 11 June 1725 and remained until 5 December 1782. He died as Rector of Beddington, 8 January 1783.

Samuel Glasse's appointment followed in 1782 and lasted until 3 December 1784.

Next came Jonathan Boucher from 1 January 1785 to 1804.

In 1786 Boucher wrote to make a proposal of marriage to Miss Mary Elizabeth Foreman a lady of about his own age (48) who had devoted herself to looking after two sick and elderly maiden aunts recently deceased. She accepted the offer and, in anticipation of their union, Jonathan rented from Northey a large house on Woodcote Green [Woodcote House] for £100 p.a., purchased a coach and four horses, hired seven servants etc to set up an establishment in a "dear but genteel neighbourhood". Sadly, she, his second wife, survived only until 17 September1788. Following her demise, Boucher had spent months away in Cumberland adding to his real estate at Blencogo but seems to have returned in December 1788 to a 'melancholy and uncomfortable the Vicarage - extremely inconvenient and quite too small especially for the books, whilst impossible to be enlarged and improved at any reasonable expense'. He decided to purchase 'a good house with about 5 acres of land on Clay-Hill' although distant from the church and with an unsatisfactory water supply: alterations to provide rooms for a library were not completed until July 1789. Consequently, when Edwards conducted a survey for his Companion from London to Brighthelmston the vicarage house was occupied by 'Miss Boucher', the Vicar's daughter.

On 22 March 1799 The Times carried an advertisement: -
"Sale by Auction: - Desirable freehold estate, pleasantly situated at Clay Hill, Epsom, a delightful sporting part of the county of Surrey, consisting of a remarkably convenient House with proper domestic offices, coach house and stabling for 6 horses, pleasure ground and well-cultivated garden, orchard and small paddock, in the whole about 5 acres; the property and residence of Mr. Jonathan Boucher removing to the North of England. The House contains a handsome and well-proportioned drawing room, an excellent library, dining and breakfast parlours, 5 best bedchambers and suitable apartments for servants. More land to be had adjoining the house if required; and half the purchase money to remain on mortgage".
Boucher appears to have retired subsequently to Carlisle where he resided until his death on 27 April 1804.

Fleetwood Parkhurst was instituted 16 July 1804. The Rev Fleetwood Parkhurst, also Curate of Perin near Penzance, remained Vicar until 1839, then died on 29 October 1844.He passed away not at the family seat, Ripple Hall, near Tewkesbury, Worcs., but according to his boyhood friend at Rugby School, Walter Savage Landor, in the street at Bristol. Landor wrote in a letter: - 'Little as poor Parkhurst is to be respected, I am shocked and grieved at his death. A happier one, however, there could not be. I shall often think of our early friendship and our happier days.' Fleetwood Parkhurst's death in fact came to be registered at Cheltenham for the December Quarter of 1844 and it is most likely that he expired at the home of his brother in law Anthony Rosenhagen on The Promenade, Cheltenham.[Will proved 5 July 1845 -PROB 11/2021/297].

The Evening Standard reported, 7 February 1828 - 'Mr. Benjamin Bradney Bocket goes a-wooing': -
"At Hatton Police Court a fashionably dressed young man named Benjamin Bradney Bocket was charged with taking and carrying away the daughter of William Bramwell, Esq., Tavistock Street. Mr. Bramwell had forbidden Bocket his house. The young lady protested that Bocket had won her heart, and should have her hand. Her mother, into whose good graces Bocket had crept by displays of evangelical Godliness, supported her. On January 26th Bocket and a man named Johnson entered Mr. Bramwell's house. Friends in the house urged Fanny not to go. Bocket said. 'Fanny do not return to your father; he will do you bodily harm. Come with me. Should, he attempt to interrupt our flight I will blow his brains out.' Accused was remanded on bail."
Benjamin Bradney Bockett, who had married Fanny Skinner Bramwell in 1829, was inducted to the Vicarage of Epsom, Surrey, ( Patroness, Mrs Sarah Pugh, formerly of Abele Grove , Fanny's aunt) on 5 September 1839. His residence was mentioned that year as 'an antique edifice, almost hidden from view by some fine trees'. The family appears there in Censuses for 1841 to 1871, his tenure of the Vicarage lasting for more than 40 years, and the Tudor styled Victorian porch would have added in that time. He is also likely to have been responsible for the addition of outhouses dated to the middle of the 19th century. These were constructed partly in brick, the rest weatherboard, with pantile roofing and ornate gable ends.

Extract From 1843 Tithe Plot 595
Extract From 1843 Tithe Plot 595

18 Church Street, Epsom 2013
18 Church Street, Epsom 2013
Image courtesy of Brian Bouchard © 2013

Outbuildings at the old Vicarage added in the 19th century, as described above. Beyond to the right may be seen part of Cedars Cottage, formerly the location of The Cedars' coach-house and stables

C. J. Swete, in his Handbook of Epsom, published 1860, remarked:- "The Vicarage stands opposite the Grove; it is a very comfortable brick house with grounds in the rear. It was erected from designs of J. M. Brooks1, Esq., for the present Vicar the Rev. Benjamin Bradney Bockett. He is resident here. Adjoining the grounds of the Vicarage is the Vicarage Sunday and Day School, which has been built by the exertions of the Vicar and his friends. Here upwards of 80 children are educated in the Scriptural principles of our Holy religion. This School is in union with that admirable institution the Home and Colonial School Society, and is regularly inspected by the Agents of the Society. There are two very fine yew trees fronting the house of the Vicar, which has several portions of the old building still remaining, the materials of which were drawn from the old Palace of Nonsuch."
Extract 1866 OS Map showing
Extract 1866 OS Map showing
The Vicarage, Church Street

18 Church Street, Epsom 2013
18 Church Street, Epsom 2013
Image courtesy of Brian Bouchard © 2013

The southern end of the old Vicarage much altered - with bricked-up window-spaces possibly as a result of the Window Tax introduced in 1696 and not repealed until 1851 .

Mrs Sarah Pugh not only sponsored the Rev Benjamin Bradney Bockett's induction to the Vicarage of Epsom in 1839 but three years later contributed money to the fund used to establish a new chapel of ease on Stamford Green When Mrs Pugh died on 19 May 1867 at Vale Royal, Tunbridge Wells she left a personal estate of about £70,000. After substantial charitable legacies, the main beneficiaries under her will were the Bockett's children who subsequently adopted the surname Bockett- Pugh. An example is provided by an announcement which appeared in The Times,1 May 1868: -
"Whereas by deed poll dated the 23rd day of April 1868 enrolled in Chancery under the hand and seal of me Henry Pugh Bockett of Hyde End House, Shinfield, Reading in the county of Berks., after reciting that by her will Mrs Sarah Pugh declared it to be her wish that I should assume the surname of Pugh, or Skinner Pugh, in the place of or in addition to my surname of Bockett, it was witnessed that, in compliance with her said wish, I did thereby assume and will henceforth use the surname of Pugh in addition to my heretofore surname of Bockett, and I shall in future sign and use the names Henry Pugh Bockett Pugh."
[Henry had been Rev Benjamin Bradney Bockett's second son, born 2 August 1838. He body was returned to Epsom for burial in the Cemetery on 9 August 1894, aged 56.]

The Rev Bradney Bockett retired in 1883 to Bradney House, Burghfield, (which he may have inherited in 1878, following the death of his sisters, the Misses Julia Rebecca and Harriet Sophia Bockett, [Link to]) near his childhood home in Reading but he later renamed the house Burghfield Bridge Lodge. He died in 1898 having attained the age of 91 and was buried at St. Mary's Church, Burghfield. [Link to]. Further anecdotes about him may be found in James Andrews' Reminiscences of Epsom, 1903.

In the 1900 Rate Book, the property is shown as being owned by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners and occupied by Rev. J Samuel, who gained preferment to the parish in 1883. In 1892, as JS, he was advertising in The Times to let the Vicarage for 8-10 weeks in July of that year. The accommodation is described as 3 reception rooms, 8 bedrooms, and bathroom (h & c water). The house stood in one and a half acres with Tennis lawns etc., coach-houses and stables. The Rev John Samuel's burial, aged 56, from the Vicarage [in plot A304A] at Epsom Cemetery is recorded to have taken place on 24 March 1904. His relict, Mrs Susan Chaffey Samuel did not join him until 29 August 1932, at the age of 92.

Rev. Waldegrave Dent Bainbridge-Bell, M.A. came from Thames Ditton to Epsom in 1904. He was involved in a project to enlarge St Martins, writing a letter to The Times which was published 28 May 1906. In this he explained that 'In view of a largely increasing population, numbering now about 8,000 people, and an application for accommodation which the churchwardens cannot meet, it has been decided to re-build our inadequate and inconvenient parish church, which is disfigured by unsightly galleries. A very beautiful design by Messrs Nicholson and Corlette has been accepted by our committee, a water colour drawing of which is now hanging on the walls of the Royal Academy Exhibition. Towards the estimated cost of £15,000, more than £5,200 has been subscribed, the contributors including the Bishop of the diocese, andmost of the principal residents... Subscriptions to the church fund will be gladly received...' During 1908 the chancel was demolished for a new choir and transepts to be erected but the intended re-building plan was never completed.

Laying of the St Martin's foundations stone photo
This photograph was taken in 1904 to commemorate the laying of the St Martin's foundations stone
(L to R) W. Bainbridge-Bell and his wife, The Duchess of Albany (seated), the Bishop of Winchester's wife,
with Mrs Florence Northey, standing next to the Bishop
Image courtesy of Bourne Hall Museum

Ethel Frances, Rev Bainbridge-Bell's wife [marriage reg,. Dorking 9/1891], died on 25 January 1910, of heart failure aged 42, and the Vicar married secondly Mrs Edward [Helen E] Campbell at St. Peter's Church, in October 1911 [reg. St George Hanover Square 12/1911].

On 27 May 1916, the Vicar dedicated a sanctuary lamp, presented to the Parish Church by Mrs. Elderton and family in memory of Lieut. Fothergill Rex Elderton, killed in action at Loos. During the first World War, he became a temporary Chaplin to The Forces, 4th Class, 29 August 1916, serving with 61st Divisional Artillery at Pozieres in December 1916. He resigned his commission 31 August 1917 but remained a Honorary Chaplain from 1918 to 1924 and became a driving force in the establishment of local War Memorials.

At the end of 1923, having had an accident riding his motorcycle in the High Street, the Rev Bainbridge-Bell entered hospital for an operation on his knee. On 7 January 1924 he is reported to have 'died quietly in his sleep', aged 61, at The Cottage Hospital. A tablet was placed on a wall in St Martins: -

Vicar of Epsom 1904-1924.
'A faithful priest' 1 Samuel 11. 35.
'With us to build an house unto our God Esra IV. 3.

The Rev Clive Robertson Pattison Muir, Rector of St Chrysostom's, Victoria Park, Manchester had been appointed to the Vicarage of Epsom by the end of February 1924. He subsequently became a Canon of Guildford Cathedral.

An Epsom newspaper in 1928 wrote
"Things were not always so happy between the diocese and the church of Epsom as they were now. There were still people in Epsom who remembered a predecessor of his, Mr. Bockett, who was there about 50 years ago. He, the Vicar, did not know in the least what happened between Mr. Bockett and the Diocese of Winchester, but things became extremely strained, so much so that the Bishop wrote to Mr. Bockett to say that unless he mended his ways he would be suspended. Mr. Bockett replied: 'My dear Lord Bishop, I am hanged if I am suspended.' He, the Vicar, could not help feeling that on that occasion Mr. Bockett got the better of the then Lord Bishop of Winchester."
The Rev C R Pattison Muir's death aged 81 is registered in Surrey SW for the June Quarter 1956 - a memorial tablet was placed in St Martin's church: -

Canon of Guildford Vicar of this Parish & Rural Dean 1924-1938
Felices Deum Amant.
The next Vicar became Rev Hugh C Warner who was made an honorary canon of Gulidford Cathedral during 1948. In Epsom Heritage on this website it is said of the house: -
"No. 18, of the late 17th century with a 19th century porch, was the Vicarage until post WW1. There is a 19th century extension beside it with an interesting tile-hung tower, containing pleasant two-storey accommodation and a single-storey coach house."
Throughout the 2nd World war, however, it is known to have been occupied by the incumbent Canon Hugh C Warner with his family. Canon Warner resigned his living in order to become education secretary of the Church of England Moral Welfare Council in 1950. After a long illness, he died in London, aged 51, on 1 July 1956 [reg. St Pancras 9/1955]. His memorial may also be found in the parish church: -

In thankful memory of
Canon of Guildford,Vicar of Epsom 1938 - 50.
Their works do follow them

Before 1951, 18 Church Street had become the Maymaur Nursing Home.

Latterly the building has been occupied by Messrs Bowles & Co Solicitors, LLP, a firm which established itself in Epsom, Surrey during 1956.

18 Church Street, Epsom 2013
18 Church Street, Epsom 2013
Image courtesy of Brian Bouchard © 2013

Image from 1971
Image from From 1971

Brian Bouchard
February 2013
1 Possibly James Brooks (1825 -1901) who had moved to London in 1847 and became a pupil of the architect Lewis Stride, subsequently entering the Royal Academy Schools in 1849. He set up his own architectural practice in 1851 and, by the 1860s, had established himself as one of the leading exponents of the High Victorian Gothic Revival.

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