Map showing the location of local parishes

The area that now forms the Borough of Epsom & Ewell was in earlier times, made up of three separate Parishes :-
  • Cuddington whose original village, manor and church were swept away by Henry VIII for the creation of Nonsuch Palace;
  • Epsom;
  • Ewell

Over the centuries some parish records have been lost or destroyed and those that do exist do not always make clear were the boundaries are. A parish boundary could well have been a stream, a ditch or a hedge row etc. which, with modern housing developments, have long gone. Also the term parish can relate to a civil administrative area or to a church parish. The boundaries of the two types do not necessarily align and in any event are likely to have changed over the centuries. In more recent times some parishes may be split between two (or more)local authority areas for example the old Cuddington Parish is split between Epsom & Ewell, London Borough of Sutton, and the London Borough of Kingston upon Thames.

This article was researched and written by Peter Reed, 2006

Cuddington Parish

The following extract is taken from the article on Cuddington Parish in Victoria History of the Counties of England: The County of Surrey (Vol. 3) which was published in 1911
Codintone (xi cent.); Cudintone, Codington (xiii cent.); Codynton or Codyngton (xiv cent.).

Cuddington measures nearly 4 miles from north-west to south-east, and is scarcely a mile in breadth. It contains 1,859 acres, and extends over the usual variety of soils, the southern part being upon the chalk downs, the centre on the Woolwich and Thanet beds, the rest upon the London clay. There is no village of Cuddington; Henry VIII pulled down the church, the old manor-house, and the village, to make Nonsuch Palace. It appears possible from its position that the destroyed church and village were in this neighbourhood, and if this was the case they were placed in the usual situation, close to the foot of the chalk, either on the chalk itself or on the Thanet beds. There is no instance, on the northern side of the chalk-hills, where the parishes extend from the chalk on to the clay, of the old church and village being on the clay. It is unlikely that Cuddington was differently placed from the others, but no map older than the time of Henry VIII exists. The Manor Farm is on the chalk and the Thanet sand, and may show the neighbourhood of the old manor-house.

The South Western Railway line from Wimbledon to Leatherhead crosses the parish, with a station at Worcester Park, opened in 1859; and the London, Brighton, and South Coast Railway line to Epsom passes through it. This was first opened as the Croydon and Epsom Railway in 1848.

The early history, and the history of the enclosure, are summed up together in the story of Nonsuch Palace.

After the destruction of Nonsuch in 1671-2 the land in the parks was thrown into farms, of which more than one had evidently existed before outside the park pales. The place, however, existed in name only. There was no ecclesiastical parish; the land was taxed with Ewell, but separately rated, with its own overseers.

The present house, known as Nonsuch Park, is the property of Captain W. R. G. Farmer. It is not on the site of the palace, but is on the confines of the old Little Park, in which the palace stood. It was built for Mr. Samuel Farmer by Sir Jeffrey Wyattville, in supposed 16th-century style, early in the 19th century (1802-6).

In the last fifty years, as railways extended, houses have grown up near the site of Worcester Park and have received the name of Cuddington. Worcester Court is the residence of Mrs. Hanney, and Home-steads that of Mr. C. A. Harris, C.B., C.M.G. In 1894 a church was built at Worcester Park, which is now the parish church, though certainly upon a very different site from the original one. There is also a Primitive Methodist chapel.

In Cuddington is the Joint Isolation Hospital for the Sutton, Carshalton, Leatherhead, and Epsom District Councils.

Cuddington and Nonsuch Park were, according to Leland, the site of pits for obtaining fire-clay. Subsequently Nonsuch pottery and tiles were known, but they were in reality made in Ewell. There used to be gunpowder works on the Hogsmill Stream, called generally the Malden Mills or the Long Ditton Mills, but they were actually in Cuddington parish.

There are no schools peculiar to Cuddington. Cheam and Cuddington (National) School for Boys was built in 1826, and that for girls and infants in 1869. But they are the original Cheam schools.


Of the original church the exact site cannot be determined at the present day. It was, with the old manor-house, at the foot of the downs between the villages of Cheam and Ewell. It was swept away with the rest of the village in the reign of Henry VIII to make room for the palace and park of Nonsuch.

The present church of ST. MARY THE VIRGIN is an unfinished building dating from 1895, and situated at Worcester Park. It is in the style of the 13th century, and has flint-faced walls with bands of red brick and dressings of stone. It consists of an apsidal chancel, with organ chamber, south chancel-aisle, nave and aisles of three bays out of the five requisite to complete the building, the west end being closed by a temporary brick wall and west porch. The chancel has a wood-vaulted ceiling; its east walls are lined with marble; the reredos is of white marble and alabaster. Carved oak screens span the chancel arch. The nave has a clearstory of lancets and a panelled oak ceiling. The roofs are tiled. Over the nave roof is an oak fleche with a spirelet covered with lead. The pulpit is of carved stone; the font of stone with marble shafts. The churchyard is a triangular grass plot in which stands a tall elm and a few young trees. The communion plate is electro-plated, and consists of a cup, two patens, and a flagon.

ADVOWSON (The right to nominate a candidate to a church office e.g. the right to choose the vicar of a parish)
The church of Cuddington was granted in the early 12th century by Hugh de Laval to Bernard the Scribe in trust for the Prior and convent of Merton, by whom it was retained from that date until the Dissolution. By a charter dating between 1186 and 1198 the prior and convent granted to one, Master Hamo, a lease of the church for four years in consideration of 6 silver marks per annum. In 1284 Pope Martin IV, upon a petition from the prior and convent, pleading poverty, consented to their appropriating the church to their own uses, reserving, however, a suitable sustentation for a vicar, and sufficient for the payment of ecclesiastical dues and other burdens, this appropriation being confirmed by letters patent in 1309. The church was valued at £14 13s. 4d. in the Taxation of 1291. In 1311 an episcopal ordinance was issued for the endowment of a vicarage, and Low Thomas of Kingston, priest, was presented to the same.

In 1346 a suit took place between the king and the Prior of Merton, the king claiming the presentation to the vicarage by reason of the last vicar having resigned at a time when the temporalities of the monastery were in the king's hands during a vacancy of the priorship. The court adjudged the presentation to the king.

In 1428 the church was exempted from taxation on the ground that there were not at that time ten inhabitants in the parish having dwellings.

At the Dissolution the rectory and advowson were valued at a total of £10, from which the vicar received £8 in a money payment of 2s. and a cottage for his dwelling. At this time, or very shortly after, the rectory appears to have been held at farm by one William Cowper of Westminster and Cecilia his wife, who in 1539 resigned the remainder of their term in the same in consideration of other estates.

In 1586 the rectory and the church, which had been pulled down, and the advowson, with tithes of grain, hay, etc., which in 1571 had been leased to Roger Marshall for twenty-one years, were granted by Queen Elizabeth to Sir Christopher Hatton, who the next day conveyed the same to John, Lord Lumley, and from this date the descent of the rectory followed that of the manor.

Epsom Parish

The following extract is taken from the article on Epsom Parish in Victoria History of the Counties of England: The County of Surrey (Vol. 3) which was published in 1911

Evesham (xi cent.); Ebbesham (xiii cent.); Ebsham, Ebesham, and Ebbesham (xiv cent.); Ebbisham, Eppesham, and Ebsame (xvi cent.); Ebsham (xvii cent. and xviii cent.); Epsom (late xvii cent.).
Epsom is a town 16 miles north-east of Guildford, 7 miles south-by-east of Kingston, 15 miles from London. The parish measures 4 miles from north to south, and 2 miles from east to west, and contains 4,413 acres. It lies upon the chalk downs, the Woolwich and Thanet Beds, and the London Clay. The church is on the chalk, but the greater part of the old village is on a patch of gravel and sand of the Thanet Beds. The building of later days has had a tendency to spread up the chalk. A branch of the Hogsmill River flows from Epsom. Besides agriculture, brick-making and brewing are carried on; but the chief importance of Epsom since it ceased to be a small country village has been, first, that of a watering place; and, secondly, that of a horse-racing town. Epsom Common is still to a great extent open ground, lying on the clay, and adjoining Ashtead Common to the west of the town. Epsom Downs are a noble expanse of chalk country, comprising 944 acres of open land.

The road from London to Dorking passes through Epsom. This road was evidently passable for carriages when Epsom was a fashionable watering-place, in the latter part of the 17th century; but it was not passable, except with difficulty, beyond Epsom till 1755, when an Act was passed for carrying on the turnpike road from the watch-house in Epsom. In the same year the road from Epsom to Ewell, and thence into the Kingston road, was re-made.

The London, Brighton, and South Coast Railway came to Epsom by the Croydon and Epsom line in 1847. The Epsom Downs branch was opened in 1865. The London and South-Western Railway came to Epsom in 1859. The stations of the two companies are some distance apart, but the lines converge just before reaching the London and South-Western Railway Station, and continue together till Leatherhead, the Brighton extension to Horsham having obtained running powers over the South-Western Railway line.

Epsom is now a flourishing country town. It was constituted an urban district under the Public Health Act of 1848 on 19 March 1850. By the Local Government Act of 1894 it was put under a Local District Council of nine members, increased to twelve in 1903. It is essentially a town, supplied with gas by the Epsom and Ewell Gas Company, formed 1839; with electric light by a company in Church Street; with water from the chalk by works belonging to the Council. There is a cemetery in Ashley Road, first opened in 1871. The County Court was built in 1848; the Town Hall, in red brick and terra cotta, in 1883. The Technical Institute and Art School was opened in 1897. The sewage of the town is disposed of by an irrigation system on part of the Epsom Court farm lands, the purified effluent is discharged into the Hogsmill River. The District Council's Isolation Hospital is in the Hook Road. The Union Workhouse is near the Dorking Road. Horton Manor, lying west of the town, has been acquired by the London County Council for an asylum, and the Manor Asylum has been built for 2,100 patients. The Colony for Epileptics, in the same neighbourhood, lying partly in Ewell Parish, was opened in 1902, and can accommodate 366 patients in separate houses. A large suburb of cottages is growing up in the neighbourhood of the asylums. There is another outlying hamlet about Epsom Common.

The wide High Street is still a picturesque feature of the town. Up till 1848 a watch-house, with a sort of wooden steeple, stood in the middle of it, where the present clock tower stands. There was also a large pond, drained in 1854. In this street, as well as in South Street and Church Street, are many interesting old houses and inns. A fair is still held in the town on 25 July and the two following days.

Historically, Epsom was unimportant till the 17th century. Neolithic flakes and implements have been found, but few only, near Woodcote. Toland, in his letter descriptive of Epsom in 1711, speaks of Roman remains at Epsom Court Farm. The old track way (see under Mickleham) which came over the Downs headed for the western side of Epsom Race-course, but is not to be clearly traced beyond it. It is called the Portway in a rental of 1495-6. When the church was being enlarged in 1907 a dene hole was discovered in the churchyard. The depth was some 16 ft. to the bottom of the shaft, and chambers ran each way from the bottom of the shaft for 12 ft. or 13 ft. The shaft and most of the chambers had been filled in with loose soil, and a mediaeval grave had been dug to a great depth and reached the top of one of the chambers, whence the bones found there had been let through to the bottom. Nothing else was found but a little loose charcoal, and two or three small pieces of hand-made pottery.

Epsom Well, to the discovery of which the place owed its later fame, is on Epsom Common, some distance from the village. It is in the London Clay. Water charged with sulphate of magnesia is not uncommonly found in this soil, as at Jessop's Well, on Stoke D'Abernon Common, which is probably as powerful as the Epsom spring. The situation of Epsom, however, on the edge of the downs, made it a pleasant resort, and so gave greater fame to its waters. The current story is that the well was discovered in 1618 by one Henry Wicker, who observed that cattle would not drink of it. Dudley North, third Lord North, asserts in his Forest of Varieties, published in 1645, that he first made the Tunbridge Wells and Epsom waters known to the world at large. Aubrey drank the water in 1654. After the Restoration the Epsom Wells became a fashionable resort, Epsom being nearer to London than Tunbridge Wells. Nonsuch, so long as it remained standing, was a royal house in the near neighbourhood, and it was an easy ride from Hampton Court. Charles II, James II, as Duke of York, and Prince George of Denmark, all visited Epsom. Pepys, of course, went there; he paid his first visit in 1663, when the town was so full that he had to seek a lodging in Ashtead. In 1667, he writes, on 14 July, 'to Epsom by eight o'clock to the Well, where much Company. And to the town, to the King's Head; and hear that my lord Buckhurst and Nelly' (Nell Gwynne) 'are lodged at the next house, and Sir Charles Sedley with them; and keep a merry house.' In 1663 he had remarked on the large number of citizens 'that I could not have thought to have seen there; that they ever had it in their heads or purses to go down thither.' The New Inn in High Street dates from about this period. It is now called Waterloo House, and is occupied by shops. It is now mainly an 18th-century two-story building of red brick with plastered quoins, and a low gable in the middle of the front; in the roof are attics lighted by good dormer windows. There is a good gable end over the original entrance, which led into a narrow courtyard in the centre, whence there is an exit at the opposite end. On the first floor, approached by a fine staircase with carved balusters, was the Assembly or Ball Room, now cut up by partitions. In 1690 Mr. Parkhurst, lord of the manor, built an Assembly Room at the Wells, erected other buildings, and planted avenues of elms and limes, which were mostly cut down for timber in the early 19th century. The popularity and fashion of Epsom at this time is sufficiently attested, not merely by the names of visitors, but by the announcement in the Gazette, 19 June 1684, that a daily post would go to and from Epsom and Tunbridge Wells respectively and London during the season for drinking the waters, that is, during May, June, and July. This was the earliest daily post outside London.

In 1711, Toland, the famous deistical writer, gives a very flowery description of the beauties of Epsom in a letter to 'Eudoxa.' But by this date Epsom had come to rely upon its general attractions for pleasure seekers, rather than upon its medicinal waters. A quack doctor named Levingston sank a rival well, of no particular quality, near the town in 1706, built an Assembly Room and shops near it, and in 1715 got a lease of the old well and closed it till his death in 1727. Queen Anne visited Epsom during this period, but the place decayed as a fashionable resort. The neighbouring gentry, however, used to visit the old well when it was reopened, after 1727. Clearly it continued to be a very different kind of place from any other country town in Surrey. In 1725 Bishop Willis, in his Visitation questions, asked for the names of resident gentry in every parish, and for Epsom, Lord Yarmouth, Lord Guilford, Lord Baltimore, Sir John Ward, eight gentlemen, and eight well-to-do widows are returned, whilst nothing like the same number are returned for any other parish; eight for Kew is the nearest to it. The invention of sea-bathing, about 1753, was finally fatal to Epsom as a watering-place. The Old Well House, however, was not pulled down till 1804, when a private house was built on the spot, a successor to which still occupies the ground. A part of the old brickwork seems to survive in one of the greenhouses in the garden.

Among the recreations of Epsom in its glory were gambling, cudgel-playing, foot-races, cock-fighting, and catching a pig by the tail, besides horse-racing. Robert Norden's map, of the 17th century, marks 'the Race,' extending in a straight line from Banstead Downs on to Epsom Downs. In 1648 a horse-race on Banstead Downs, evidently a usual occurrence, was made the prelude to Lord Holland's rising against the Parliament. The races were one of the regular diversions of the company at the Wells, and they used to witness two or three heats in the morning, return to dinner in the middle of the day, and come up to the Downs for more heats in the afternoon. These were run in 1730 either on the old straight course, or on what Toland in 1711 calls the 'new orbicular course.' In those days the runners started above Langley Bottom behind the Warren, and, going outside the Bushes, ran by way of Tattenham Corner to the winning-chair. The original Derby course was the last mile and a half of this track, the starting-post being out of sight of the grand stand. The Derby and the Oaks races were founded in 1780 and 1779 respectively, and were called after the Earl of Derby and his seat at Banstead.

In 1846 Mr. Henry Dorling, the clerk of the course, made, on the advice of Lord George Bentinck, a course for the Derby, the whole of which lies on the eastern side of the Warren and in full view of the stands. This, which is now known as the old course, was used until 1871. For the present Derby course, first used in 1872, the horses start on slightly higher ground at the high-level starting-post, and run into the old course at the mile-post. The first half-mile and the last five furlongs of this track are in the manor of Epsom; that part of it above the Bushes, from the City and Suburban starting-post to the old five-furlong start, lying on Walton Downs within the manor of Walton, is owned by the Epsom Grand Stand Association.

The antiquities and history of the race-meetings have been sufficiently treated already. The popularity of the races survived the popularity of the watering place. Dr. Burton speaks enthusiastically of the crowds of spectators, even from London, and, as he is writing in Greek, is irresistibly reminded of the Olympic Games. Greater crowds than ever used to attend now flock to Epsom races, for the population within reach is larger, and the means of access by railway much facilitated. But probably the almost national importance of the Derby reached its height in the last generation. It was while Lord Palmerston and Lord Derby were political leaders that the House of Commons regularly adjourned for the Derby day. The fashion outlived Lord Palmerston, but it ceased under Mr. Gladstone's rule, and not even in joke can London now be said to be empty on the Derby day.

As a result of the races, rather than that of the old watering-place life, Epsom is an extension of London into Surrey. The county is now permeated by Londoners, but up to about thirty years ago the speech of the country was different north and south of a line drawn about Epsom. An exact demarcation, of course, could not be made. Epsom Common Fields, which were on the slopes of the chalk in front of the present Medical College, between it and the town, were among the last to survive in Surrey. They were inclosed by an Award of 4 September 1869, under an Act of 1865. A certain amount of inclosure on the lower part of the downs and on Epsom Common has been made, probably from the watering-place era onwards, by private purchase and arrangements.

Woodcote House is the residence of the Rev. E. W. Northey, J.P.; Woodcote Grove, of Mr. A. W. Aston, J.P.; Hookfield, of Mr. B. Braithwaite, J.P.; The Wells, of Mrs. Jamieson. This last is a new house on the site of the old well-house. Pit Place is the seat of Mr. W. E. Bagshaw. The lions at the entrance and some interior work are said to be from Nonsuch. It was the scene of the well-known story of Lord Lyttelton's apparition.

The Roman Catholic Church (St. Joseph's), Heathcote Road, was built in 1857. The Congregational church, in Church Street, has taken the place of a Presbyterian chapel, where a congregation met, it is said, from James's Indulgence in 1688, and certainly in 1725. No trace is found of it after 1772. In 1815 the old chapel, which had been closed, was bought and fitted up for a Congregational church. In 1825 it was rebuilt. It was again rebuilt in 1904, in red brick with stone dressings, in a quasi-Decorated style. It has chancel, nave, aisles, and tower with a small spire. The first stone was laid by Mr. Evan Spicer. There are also chapels of the Wesleyans and Baptists, and a Baptist congregation meets in the Gymnasium Hall.

Epsom College, incorporated by Act of Parliament in 1855, and by a new Act in 1895, is a first-class public school, with fifty foundation scholarships open to the orphans of medical men, and taking the sons of medical men at a slight reduction. There are five leaving scholarships to the universities, and ten to the hospitals. The buildings are of red brick and Caen stone in 16th-century style, fitted with chapel, laboratories, gymnasium, swimming-bath, and all the accessories of a school. They occupy a fine site on the downs east of the town.

A National School was built in 1828, but a school had been carried on certainly since before 1725.

The present elementary schools are Hook Road (boys), built in 1840 as a mixed school in place of the one above, enlarged in 1886 and 1896; Ladbrooke Road (girls), built in 1871, recently enlarged; West Hill (infants), built in 1844, enlarged in 1872; Hawthorne Place (infants), built in 1893; Hawthorne Place (junior), built in 1904, a temporary iron building. The schools are under a committee of trustees of charities and elected managers. They are endowed, by the original bequest of Mr. John Brayne in 1693, with land in Fetcham, for teaching poor children to read and write, and binding them as apprentices; by bequest of Mr. David White (see also Ewell) in 1725, with a freehold estate; by bequest of Mrs. Elizabeth Northey, in 1764, with £100 for books; by Mr. Thyar Pitt, with £225; by Mrs. J. Elmslie, with £105 by gift, 1851, and one-fourteenth part of £1,236 15s. 1d. by will in 1858, both sums to the infants' school.


The church of ST. MARTIN has a nave with aisles and a north-west tower; the church has lately been considerably enlarged eastward, the new work consisting of an addition to the nave, a chancel and north chapel, a south organ chamber, and aisles. The only old part of the present building is the tower, which dates from the 15th century, but has been recased and much modernized. The present nave and aisles were built in 1824, when the old church was pulled down; a print of about this date shows it to have had a nave with a north aisle, and a north-west tower. The chancel was evidently of the 13th century, and had a lancet window midway in its north wall, but all the other windows shown in the chancel and aisle are wide ugly single lights fitted with iron casements. The aisle had been raised to contain a gallery and a second tier of windows added. The nave of 1824 has arcades of four bays with plastered piers and arches; the aisles are lighted by two-light pointed windows, and are filled with wooden galleries, shortly to be removed. The walling of the nave and aisles is of flint and stone, and that of the new portion is of rubble with stone and brick dressings, the chancel and nave having alternate bays of cross and barrel vaulting; the new work is soon to be extended to the present nave and aisles. The jambs of the openings into the tower from the nave and north aisle are moulded and the arches are blocked. The tower is of flint and stone, and has cemented angle buttresses and a north-west octagonal stair turret; an old oak door opens into the turret, the steps of which are inscribed with various names and 18th-century dates, and a stone records the recutting of the steps in 1737. The bell-chamber is lighted by plain pointed windows of two lights, and surmounted by a plain parapet, from which rises a very slender wooden spire covered with oak shingles.

Under the tower is a 15th-century font; it is octagonal with quatrefoiled sides to the bowl and a hollowed under-edge on which are carved heads, a shield, a fish, etc. There is also a fine chest of carved mahogany; on the lid are carved-in the middle-Adam and Eve in the garden, and in the two side panels David and Goliath; on the front are other figures in late 16th-century dress.

On the floor on the north side is a small brass with an inscription to William Marston, or Merston, 1511, and there are wall monuments to Richard Evelyn of Wootton, 1669; Robert Coke of Nonsuch, grandson of Lord Chief Justice Coke, 1681; Robert Coke, 1653; Richard Evelyn, 1691; and others.

There are eight bells: the treble is by Samuel Knight, 1737; the second by R. Phelps, 1714; the third by Thomas Janaway, 1781; the fourth has no date, and is inscribed: 'Although I am but small I will be heard above them all'; the fifth is dated 1737; the sixth by R. Phelps, 1714; the seventh by Thomas Swain, 1760; and the tenor by Richard Phelps, 1733.

The plate is all modern, consisting of a chalice and paten of 1904 given by the parishioners, and a chalice and paten given by Lord Rosebery in 1907, besides six Sheffield plate almsdishes and two cups and an almsdish about a hundred years old.

The first book of the registers contains baptisms and marriages from 1695 to 1749 and burials to 1750; the second repeats the baptisms from 1695 to 1749 and the marriages from 1695 to 1719; the third has baptisms and burials from 1750 to 1773 and marriages 1750 to 1754; the fourth, baptisms 1773 to 1812; fifth, burials 1773 to 1812; the sixth, marriages 1754 to 1783; and the seventh continues them to 1812.

The greater part of the churchyard, which surrounds the building, lies to the north of it. The west entrance is towards the road, and is approached by a flight of stone steps and a flagged landing. There are several large trees about it.

CHRIST CHURCH, originally built as a chapel of ease to the parish church in 1843, is now the church of a separate parish. It was rebuilt in 1876. It is a small building of flint and stone situated on the edge of Epsom Common, and consists of a small chancel with a north transept and south organ chamber, nave of four bays with north and south aisles and a clearstory, and a south-west tower and porch. At the west end is a passage-way containing the font. There are eight bells by Mears & Stainbank, 1890.

ST. JOHN'S, chapel of ease to St. Martin's, is a small building of red brick and stone, off East Street, erected in 1884.

ST. BARNABAS, Hook Road, is a chapel of ease to Christ Church.

ADVOWSON (The right to nominate a candidate to a church office e.g. the right to choose the vicar of a parish)

Two churches on the abbey estate are mentioned in Domesday, but all trace of one has disappeared; there was a Stamford Chapel in Epsom, near or on the lord's waste, close to where Christ Church, Epsom, now stands, belonging to Chertsey Abbey, which may have been the second church. Licence to appropriate was granted to the convent by a bull of Clement III, 1187-91, and a vicarage was ordained before 1291. A further endowment was carried into effect in 1313 when John Rutherwyk the then abbot was inducted. In 1537, when Henry VIII acquired Epsom Manor from the convent of Chertsey, the rectory and the advowson of the church were included, and he granted them with the manor to Sir Nicholas Carew, from which time they have always been included in the grants and sales of the manor till 1770, when the manor went to Sir Joseph Mawbey, and the great tithes and advowson to John Parkhurst. They descended to the Rev. Fleetwood Parkhurst, vicar of Epsom, 1804-39. The advowson has since belonged to the Rev. Wilfred Speer and Captain Speer, and now belongs to Mr. H. Speer.

In 1453 John Merston received a grant for founding a chantry in Epsom Church, to be called 'Merston's Chantry,' and for purchasing lands to the value of 20 marks for the use of it. There is no record of the chantry at the time of the suppression under Edward VI.


Smith's Charity is distributed as in other Surrey parishes. In 1691 Mrs. Elizabeth Evelyn left a rent-charge of £10 a year for clothing six poor women.

Since 1692 the rent of a piece of land called Church Haw has been received by the churchwardens, now by the local authority, for the use of the poor. In 1703 Mr. John Levingston, the quack doctor mentioned above, built almshouses for twelve poor widows in East Street on a piece of land granted by the parish. The almshouses were rebuilt about 1863. They are further supported by the Church Haw rent, by that of 'Workhouse Field,' the site of the old parish workhouse, and by the bequests of Samuel Caul (£500) in 1782, Mr. Langley Brackenbury (£300) in 1814, Mr. Story (£100), 1834, Mrs. Margaret Knipe (£300), 1834, the last to be devoted to this purpose after providing for the upkeep of vaults and monuments in the church.
In 1728 Mrs. Mary Dundas left copyhold premises in Epsom for providing coals. In 1790 Mrs. Elizabeth Culling left £150, part of which was to be set aside to accumulate, for the church, vicar, sexton, churchwardens, and the surplus for apprenticing children and for bread.

In 1803 Mrs. Mary Rowe left £188 18s. 11d. for bread and meat and firing. In 1835 Sir James Alexander left £200 for clothing for five men and five women, who had to appear in church.

In 1884 Baron De Teissier left £90 for six poor communicants. Mittendorf House was presented to the National Incorporated Society for Waifs and Strays (Dr. Barnardo's Homes) by Miss Mittendorf.

Epsom and Ewell Cottage Hospital was built in 1889 by public subscription.

Ewell Parish

The following extract is taken from the article on Ewell Parish in Victoria History of the Counties of England: The County of Surrey (Vol. 3) which was published in 1911

Etwelle (xi cent.); Awell (xii cent.); Ewell (Testa de Nevill).

Ewell is a village a mile north-east of Epsom and 5 miles south-east of Kingston. The parish is nearly 4 miles from north to south, and almost a mile wide, and contains 2,427 acres. This is the compact parish of Ewell, excluding the detached liberty of Kingswood, which is treated separately. The parish lies in the ordinary position of the neighbourhood as regards soils. The southern part is on the chalk downs; the old village was on the extremity of the chalk, on a tongue of that soil extending into the Thanet Sand, and the parish crosses the Thanet and Woolwich Beds, reaching on to the London Clay. There is a strong spring, one of the principal sources of the Hogsmill River, which rises in the village and has good trout; other springs feed the same stream. There are extensive brick, tile, and pottery works, called the Nonsuch Works, and two flour mills worked by water and steam. There were formerly also gunpowder mills, which have now ceased to exist.

The roads from Kingston to Epsom and from London to Epsom meet in Ewell. The Wimbledon and Leatherhead branch of the London and South-Western Railway and the Portsmouth line of the London, Brighton, and South Coast Railway, opened respectively in 1859 and 1847, both pass through the parish, the stations being about a mile apart.

Ewell was a market town when Speed's map was made (early 17th century) and when Aubrey wrote. In 1618 Henry Lloyd, lord of the manor, was granted licence to hold a market in Ewell. A curious entry exists in the parish registers for 1654 of banns published in Ewell Market, preparatory to a marriage before a justice of the peace, Mr. Marsh of Dorking. The market was held on Thursdays. It seems to have died a natural death early in the 19th century, the small market-house which stood at the intersection of Church Street and High Street having been removed at a slightly earlier date. The old watch-house, however, is still to be seen, facing the place where the market-house stood. Fairs are said to have been held on 12 May and 29 October in a field near the Green Man Inn. The village of Ewell still retains some of the picturesque appearance of an old market town.

Pits have been found in Ewell containing Roman pottery, bones, and a few other remains, which have been taken to the British Museum. Ewell lay possibly on the Roman road from Sussex to the Thames, diverted at Epsom from the British track way, though it is matter of inference rather than proof.

It was probably once a place of some importance, as it gave its name to one of the old Surrey deaneries, but in Domesday there is no church named. Leatherhead Church, however, we are told was annexed to the king's manor of Ewell. Shelwood Manor in Leigh was also part of Ewell Manor.

Richard Corbet, Bishop of Oxford from 1628 to 1632, and of Norwich from 1632 to 1635, was born at Ewell in 1582. He was the son of a gardener, but became a Queen's scholar at Westminster, and then a student of Christ Church. As a bishop he is said to have had 'an admirable grave and reverend aspect,' but it is told of him that after he was a Doctor of Divinity he disguised himself as a ballad singer in Abingdon market. He was certainly a wit, and to some extent a poet; his Iter Boreale and Journey into France show the former, the Fairies' Farewell the latter character.

Amongst the modern houses is Ewell Castle, built by Mr. Thomas Calverley in 1814 in an imitation castellated style. It is now vacant. The grounds, which extend into Cuddington parish, cover part of the former Nonsuch Park, and include the site of the Banqueting House, which stood apart from the palace of Nonsuch, and the remains of the pool called Diana's Bath. Ewell Court is the seat of Mr. J. H. Bridges, J.P.; Tayle's Hill of Major E. F. Coates, M.P.; Rectory House of Sir Gervas Powell Glyn, bart.; Purberry Shot of Mr. W. M. Walters.

The enclosure of common fields (707 acres) and of waste (495 acres) was carried out in 1801. The common fields lay east of the village.

There is a Congregational chapel in the village, with a school and lecture hall adjoining, built in 1864. Archbishop Sheldon's Returns in 1669 show that there was a Nonconformist congregation of fifty, ministered to by Mr. Batho, the ex-rector of Ewell. Bishop Willis's Visitation of 1725 mentions 'about 50 Presbyterians,' an unusual instance in rural Surrey of the continuance of a large body of Nonconformity between those dates.

The village is supplied with gas by the Epsom and Ewell Gas Company, and with water by the Sutton Water Company.

The Chelsea and Kensington Workhouse Schools are in the parish.

In 1811 a National School was established on the strength of Mr. White's and Mr. Brumfield's benefactions. Mr. Calverley gave a further benefaction, which became available in 1860. The schools at present existing were built in 1861, one for boys and girls, and the other for infants. The former was enlarged in 1893. They still continue Church of England Schools.

Kingswood Liberty is a completely detached part of Ewell parish, bounded on the west and north by Banstead, on the east by Chipstead and Gatton, on the south by Reigate. It measures less than 3 miles from north to south, and is under a mile broad, of a fairly regular form. It contains 1,821 acres. It lies upon the chalk hills, but the chalk is here in general crowned with a deposit of brick-earth and of clay with flints.

Kingswood is traversed by the old Brighton road which came up Reigate Hill and went to Sutton. It has now a railway station on the Tattenham Corner branch of the South Eastern and Chatham Railway, opened as far as Kingswood in 1899. The neighbourhood which used to be singularly sequestered and rural is fast becoming residential, especially since the opening of the railway. But the majority of the new houses are in the part of Banstead included in the ecclesiastical parish of Kingswood, not in the old portion of Ewell.

In 1838 an ecclesiastical district was formed from Kingswood with a portion of Banstead, and a new church, St. Andrew's, was built in 1848 by the late Mr. Thomas Alcock. The old church is used as a parish room. The church is endowed with a glebe of 31 acres. There is also a Methodist chapel, built by the late Mr. H. Fowker.

Kingswood Warren, built about 1850 by Mr. H. Alcock, M.P., is the fine seat of Mr. Henry C. O. Bonsor, J.P.

Lower Kingswood School was built in 1893 and enlarged in 1903. Tadworth and Kingswood School (in Banstead parish) was built in 1875. Both are County Council Schools.


The old parish church of ST. MARY THE VIRGIN, has been pulled down, all except the tower, which is of 15th-century date, and is built of flint with stone dressings in three stages. The west doorway is original, and has moulded jambs and a two-centred arch, but is restored with plaster. The window over it, also old, has three cinquefoiled lights with tracery under a two-centred arch. On the east side there are remains of the nave walls, which are now used as buttresses and to form the sides of a porch. There is also part of the west wall of the south aisle.

The middle stage has single cinquefoiled lights on the north-west and south sides, but a good deal of the stone has been plastered over. The top stage has two-light windows of similar character in each face. The stair turret is on the south-west, and the top of the tower has a much-repaired parapet and angle pinnacles.

The two-centred tower arch is of typical 15th-century character, the moulded jambs having attached shafts with octagonal moulded bases and capitals.

Inside the tower is an early 17th-century pulpit, with ornamental arched and square panels, but spoilt by being grained and varnished. Amongst other slabs on the floor is one to Margaret Craydon, 1690.

There is an old print in the vestry of the new church which shows the original building to have been a small, plain structure. There was a 15th-century south window with a flat head to the chancel, and there was a south porch.

The new church of ST. MARY is built not far to the north of the old one, and dates from 1848. It is in 14th-century style, and consists of a chancel with a south vestry, nave of five bays, north aisle which is extended eastwards, and has a north organ-chamber and quire-vestry, and at the west end of the aisle is a tower; there is also a south aisle with a south porch, and a new porch lately built at the west end of the nave.

The material throughout is grey stone with ashlar dressings and the roofs are tiled. There are several fittings inside which came from the old church. The altar is a Jacobean wood table, dated 1612, and has large carved legs, and the chancel-screen is of late 15th-century date with cinquefoiled, ogee-headed lights, and a moulded cornice with leaf cresting. The solid panelling at the base has been pulled out, and modern pierced work substituted.

The font is also 15th-century work from the old church. It is octagonal, each side of the bowl having quatrefoiled panels inclosing square leaf ornaments, and there are similar ornaments on the moulded base of the bowl, while the stem has narrow, trefoiled panels on each side.

In the chancel are several mural monuments from the old church, the most important being a large one to Sir William Lewen, who died in 1721. On the same tablet his nephew Charles and his wife Susannah are commemorated. Below is a recumbent figure of Sir William.

At the west end of the south aisle are several old brasses on stone slabs, placed on the walls. The first on the south wall has the following inscription in black letter: 'Pray for me lady Jane Iwarby sutyme wife of Sr Joh[n'] Iwarby of Ewell Knyght dought[er] of Joh[n'] Agmondesh[am] s[ome]tyme of ledered in Surrey sqer which Jane dyed the viii day of May in ye yere of oure lord mlvcxix of home Jhu have m[']ci.' Above is her figure kneeling in prayer, with a kennel head-dress and a heraldic mantle with the arms of Agmondesham. On one side of her is a scroll bearing the words 'lady helpe me and you'; the scroll on the opposite side is missing. Above are two shields, the first bearing the arms: Quarterly (1) Argent a cheveron azure between three boars' heads sable with five cinquefoils or upon the cheveron (Agmondesham); (2) Party with a lion countercoloured; (3) A cheveron with three millrind crosses thereon; (4) A cheveron between three martlets with five cinquefoils on the cheveron.

The other shield has Agmondesham impaling the second coat.
The next brass has the black letter inscription: 'Hic jacet Margeria Treglistan nup['] consors Johannis | Treghistan que quidem Margeria obiit xxiii die | Octobris Anno Domini movoxxio cujus anime propicietur deus Amen.' Above is a figure of a lady wearing a long, loose head-dress and gown with fur cuffs.

On the west wall is the following brass black-letter inscription: 'Of your charite pray for the soule of Edmond dows gentilma oon of the clerke of the signett with Kyng harry the vii whiche decessed the xiiii day of May the yere of our lord god mlccccc and x on whose soule Jhu have mercy Amen.'

On the return wall of the north side of the aisle is a large stone slab on which are several brasses. Near the centre is an inscription in black letter as follows: 'Here lyeth the lady dorothe Taylare widow and Edmonde | Horde her seconde sonne the which Edmond deceassed the 29 day of October Ao 1575, and she beinge ye dawghter of Thomas Roberde of Wylesdon in Mydellsexe Esquyre late the wyffe of Syr Lawrence Taylare of doddington in ye countye of Huntington Knyght and before wyffe unto Allen Horde of ye myddle Temple esquire and bencher ther, ye yeres of her age was lxx and deceased ye xit of Maye Ao 1577.' Above is her figure with her five sons and five daughters, with their names above them: Thomas, Edmond, Alyn, William, and John, and Ketheren, Elizabeth, Mary, Dorothe, and Ursula. All the children are named Horde. Near the top of the slab are two shields, both bearing the same arms: three pheons, and in chief a greyhound collared (Roberts). Near the bottom of the slab are the figures of a man and his wife. Beside the man are three boys, with their names, Arthur, Alyn, and Edmond, and the initial 'h' after each; and by the woman is an indent of three girls, with part of the name-plate over. When complete the three names were Dorothe, Elizabeth, and Anne. Between the man and the woman is a shield: Quarterly (1 and 4) Argent on a chief or a raven sable; (2) Gules a cheveron between three leopards' heads or with three molets sable on the cheveron (Perrell); (3) Azure a lion with a forked tail or (Stapylton); over all a fleur de lis for difference.A brass, now lost, of which a rubbing is preserved in the collection of the Society of Antiquaries, was inscribed: 'Hic jacet Johes Tabard et Johanna ux['] ei['] qo aiabz p[ro]piciet['] de['] am[e'].'

There is a ring of eight bells in the tower, the treble and second being by Mears & Stainbank, 1890. The third and fifth are dated 1767, and, together with the fourth, which is probably of the same date, are by Lester and Pack. The sixth is by T. Mears, 1767, and the seventh and eighth are re-casts from old ones, by Mears and Stainbank, 1890. All the old bells came from the tower of the old church.

The oldest piece of plate is a standing paten of 1764. All the rest, consisting of two chalices, two patens, three standing patens, a flagon, and a spoon, date from 1844.

There are four books of registers, the first containing baptisms, marriages, and burials, from 1604 to 1641. There is one baptism of 1597 and one of 1600, and between 1604 and 1608 there is a gap. There are also a few Kingswood marriages and baptisms for 1638. The second book contains baptisms and burials from 1669 to 1723, and marriages from 1697 to 1723. The third book has all three entries from 1723, the marriages to 1754, and the other entries to 1812. The marriages are continued on printed forms in the fourth book from 1754 to 1812.

The parish church of ST. ANDREW, KINGSWOOD, is a building of flint and stone, built in 1848-52, in the 14th-century style, by Mr. Thomas Alcock. It is cruciform in plan, having a chancel, transepts, nave, and central tower. The nave is of less length than the chancel. The central tower has a tall octagonal spire of stone. The building stands to the east of the Banstead and Reigate road. It is endowed with a glebe of 31 acres.

At Lower Kingswood is a small mission church, dedicated in honour of ST. SOPHIA OR THE WISDOM OF GOD, built in 1891 by Mr. H. C. Bonsor of the Warren and Dr. Edwin Freshfield. Its material outside is red brick with stone dressings. It has a small chancel, with a round apsidal east end and small vestries on either side, and a nave with narrow aisles divided from the nave on each side by an arcade of two large and two small round-headed bays of Ham Hill stone; the middle shaft is of darkgreen marble, the others of stone; all three are circular.

The lower part of the apse, to about a height of 10 ft., is lined with marble of various tints, mostly dove-coloured; the upper part is treated with mosaic, having a rose-tree pattern on dark-blue ground; the semi-dome is lined with gold mosaic, in which is a cross in red outline between the letters IC XC NI KA. The east wall on either side of the apse is also treated in a similar manner. The floor is paved with various-coloured marbles, and which are continued down the centre passage of the nave. At the west end, beside the three entrances and lobbies, is a small baptistery also lined with marble, in which is a font of yellow marble of a cylindrical shape, with slightly wavy sides of five lobes.

The furniture of the chancel is of a dark-brown wood, inlaid with lozenges of mother-of-pearl. In the church are nine Byzantine capitals, etc., brought to England by Dr. Freshfield, of which a short description has been written by Mrs. Freshfield. The two largest are capitals closely resembling those of the Corinthian order; they were brought from Ayasolook, the north quarter of ancient Ephesus, in which stood the Temple of Diana of the Ephesians; they formed part of a church screen, and were erected by the Emperor Constantine. The third capital, a smaller one, belonged to a second church, of the 6th century. Two other small capitals came from the monastery of St. John of the Stadium, near the Seven Towers at Constantinople, erected about the time of the Emperor Theodosius; the capitals date from between the 5th and 8th centuries. The sixth capital is from the platform on which the imperial palace of Blachernae stood, in the west quarter of Constantinople. The seventh capital is a small one from Bogdan Serai, Constantinople, and dates from the period of the Comneni. The eighth is a beautiful little capital from near the site of the church of the Blachernae, and was probably part of an internal ornament. The ninth stone is a piece of ornament from the great triple church of the Pantocrator at Constantinople, the mausoleum of the family of the Comneni, dating probably from the 11th century. A small cross over it was from another church built by the Comnenus family; it was in the church now called the Eski Imaret Djami.

The bell belonging to the church hangs in a detached wooden turret in the churchyard.

The chapel of ease of ALL SAINTS is situated about three-quarters of a mile west of the parish church. It is a small, unfinished building of red brick and stone, erected at the expense of Mr. J. H. Bridges of Ewell Court and the Rev. John Thornton, vicar of Ewell, in 1894, and of the style of the end of the 13th century. It consists of a nave of four bays, north aisle, north porch, and a temporary sanctuary and south organ-chamber; provision is made for a future south aisle. The roofs are tiled, and at the west end is an oak-shingled bell-turret with an octagonal spirelet. The font is of various marbles; the other furniture is more or less temporary. The churchyard is small, and has a wooden fence on the north side towards the road.

ADVOWSON (The right to nominate a candidate to a church office e.g. the right to choose the vicar of a parish)

The church was apparently not situated on the royal domain at Ewell, but on the property of the Abbot of Chertsey there. A bull of Pope Clement III, which was confirmed by letters patent of John, Bishop of Winchester dated 1 April 1292, licensed the abbot and convent to retain in their own hands the parish church of Ewell, to reserve the benefice to their own use, and to appoint vicars to the church. In the reign of Richard I we have mention of a suit concerning the building of a wall on some land which the Prior of Merton, lord of Ewell Manor, claimed against William the vicar of Ewell.

In 1380 the abbot and convent received confirmation for the appropriation in mortmain of the church which was of their own advowson. In 1415 they gave the advowson to the king, reserving to themselves an annual pension of 20s., to be paid by future rectors. The following year Henry V granted the church to the Prior and convent of Newark, who continued to pay the pension to the Abbey of Chertsey until its dissolution. In 1458 the endowment of a vicarage took place under the direction of Bishop Wayneflete, and was ratified by the Prior and convent of Newark as rectors of Ewell.

After the Dissolution the advowson remained with the Crown until 1702, when Queen Anne granted it to the Earl of Northampton in exchange for the advowson of the rectory of Shorncutt, co. Wilts, the Crown reserving one turn. In 1703 it was purchased by Barton Holliday, and passed with his other estates to the Glyn family.

Lady Dorothy Brownlow, of Belton, co. Lincs., gave a sum of money to be disposed of by Henry Compton, Bishop of London, for the benefit of this vicarage; with part he bought the tithes of the liberty of Kingswood, with the remainder a small farm in Malden, the rents of which were appropriated to the same use. In 1843 the Malden Farm was exchanged for a house and land adjoining Ewell Church for the use of the vicar.

After the suppression of Newark Henry VIII granted to his new monastery of Bisham the 'tithes of the church of Ewell, one of the possessions of the late Abbey of Chertsey.' But on the almost immediate suppression of that house also they reverted to the Crown. In 1558 Queen Mary granted the rectory to John Bishop of Winchester, but he was deprived in 1559 and died in January 1560, and it reverted to the Crown. In 1560 Elizabeth granted the rectory and church to Thomas Reve and George Evelyn and their heirs, to be held in chief by the service of a fortieth part of a knight's fee. These were probably trustees, for soon after Nicholas Saunders was seised of the rectory, from whom Sir William Gardiner purchased it, and left it by will, proved 1622, to his son, who was holding it in 1628. A descendant of his of the same name sold it to Barton Holliday in 1691, who conveyed it to Sir Richard Bulkeley, bart.

A few years after Sir W. Lewen bought it, and in 1722 devised it to his nephew George, whose daughter and sole heir married, in 1736, Sir Richard Glyn of London, and with her it passed to the Glyn family, with whom it still remains.

When the rectory was granted to Thomas Reve and George Evelyn in 1560, the sum of £11 was reserved out of the profits, to be annually paid to the vicar. The vicarage fell very low after that time, for we have the humble petition of the inhabitants and parishioners of Ewell for the 'relief of the most miserable state of their poor vicarage'-the vicar was Richard Williamson, who held the living from April 1584 to April 1589.

There was a chapel in the far-removed hamlet of Kingswood, which had existed long before the middle of the 15th century; for when the vicarage of Ewell was endowed in 1458, it is mentioned as of long standing. It was then stipulated that the vicar should not be obliged to minister to the hamlet of Kingswood or to celebrate Mass in the chapel there; that when any of the Sacraments of the Church were to be administered to the people of that place, the rectors (Prior and convent of Newark) should provide a priest for the purpose; and in case of the death of any inhabitant of Kingswood and his removal to Ewell for burial, the vicar should meet the body at Provost's Cross, on the south side of Ewell, which had been the custom from ancient time. The subsequent history of this chapel remains obscure.


Smith's Charity is distributed as in other Surrey parishes. Mr. Thomas Dickenson's rent-charge of £2 2s. for the poor, presented as existing in 1725, was left in 1631. Mr. Mason, in 1733, gave £3 a year from South Sea Stock for the poor.

Two fields, Chamber Mead and Parish Close, were rented for the benefit of the poor from an unknown date.

In 1725 Mr. David White left money for educating poor children. There was no school at Ewell, and the bequest led to protracted Chancery suits, with no benefit to the parish till 1816, when Mr. Bromfield's bequest had also became available for a school.

Mr. Bromfield, by will of 1773, left £350 for the vicar of Ewell, or, if he did not preach on Sundays at evensong, for the poor not receiving parish relief, and five shares in the Sun Fire Office for six poor widows and the education of ten poor children.

Mrs. Hellena Tindall, in 1798, left £1,758 19s. 6d. Three per Cent. Stock for widows and poor not receiving parish relief.

Bromfield's charity is, according to a scheme sanctioned by the Charity Commissioners, 3 January 1905, divided between a payment made to the vicar, educational purposes, and poor relief. Under the second head prizes and exhibitions for the higher education of scholars are given, and a balance is held over to provide against possible demands under the Act of 1902. White's bequest is now held in reserve for the same contingency. Chamber Mead was sold in 1883, and the price invested in consols, the income being applied in relief of the poor rate. Parish Close, awarded to the parish under the Enclosure Act of 1801, was exchanged in 1885 for a field at Beggar's Hill, which is let in allotments, the rent, £8, being also used for the relief of the poor rate. The total of the charities amounts to over £300 a year, given in bread, clothing, and school scholarships and prizes.