The pond and chapel at Stamford Green, Epsom

Extract from the 1843 Epsom Tithe Map - click image to enlarge
Extract from the 1843 Epsom Tithe Map - click image to enlarge

A Roman road is thought to have linked the villa and tile-works on Ashtead Common to the site of Epsom Court Farm where Toland, in his letter descriptive of Epsom from 1711, mentioned Roman remains. This would have extended from Woodcock Corner on the parish boundary, proceeding south of the present B280 Chessington Road and Christchurch Road to Clayhill Green. Then, as a letter in The Times of 31 August 1925 reported, 'at the back of West Hill House, Epsom, there was a piece of Roman road showing ... [which] might only have gone to Ebba's Hame, the Court Farm, Epsom'. Seller's map of 1690 indicates a secondary route to Ewell which passed Ashtead's Woodfield before continuing north of Ebsham Wells and then on by Ebsham Court generally following a line suggested by Reginald White on his map in Ancient Epsom (1928). This way would have crossed a stream which still issues from The Cricketers' pond but has been contained in a culvert below Christchurch Road. At some time in history, however, a ford here would have been lined with imported stones (likely to have been flints) to improve the going over clay and so the location became known as Stamford as a corruption of the Old English stan [stone] ford.

The surrounding area called 'Le Clay' seems to have become established as an 'assarted' [from the French essarter meaning to remove or grub out woodland, usually on common land] hamlet in the Middle Ages [SHHER_147749]. As Jeremy Harte observed in the introduction to Epsom, a pictorial history, this settlement continued to exist after the Black Death in 1348.

Stamford Pond and Public Houses

Postcard view of Stamford Pond
Postcard view of Stamford Pond
Image courtesy of Bourne Hall Museum

Extract from a large scale OS Map - click image to enlarge
Extract from a large scale OS Map - click image to enlarge

Although some sources refer to the body of water at Stamford Green as a mill pond there is no evidence to support that claim. On the contrary, it lacks a substantial fall of water to supply a mill race. Apparently man made and almost circular (plot 956) on the 1843 Tithe Map, above, it is fed by a stream which exits over a spillway. In common with the Great and Stew Ponds, established on the western edge of Epsom Common, this appears to have been created to keep fish, probably carp, as food for the Lord of the Manor, perhaps the sub-manor of Horton. In the 19th century it was leased out with the other manorial ponds [SHCOL_4441/26].

Exit from spillway through embankment of Stamford Pond
Exit from spillway through embankment of Stamford Pond

As may be seen, comparing the two maps, an area of land to the south-east has been built up by sedimentation through which the inflow continues as a stream.

Stamford Pond with 2-8 Parklawn Avenue beyond - the chapel site
Stamford Pond with 2-8 Parklawn Avenue beyond - the chapel site
Image courtesy of Brian Bouchard © 2012

In flow culvert
In flow culvert
Image courtesy of Brian Bouchard © 2012

Outfall drainage ditch
Outfall drainage ditch
Image courtesy of Brian Bouchard © 2012

Stream extending from culvert to pond
Stream extending from culvert to pond
Image courtesy of Brian Bouchard © 2012

Spillway
Spillway
Image courtesy of Brian Bouchard © 2012

The sign of Batts & Balls

This, earlier, public house had been opened by Mrs Eleanor Deacon, a widow, in her rented cottage on the north-eastern side of Stamford pond in the mid 18th century [Lehmann 11C7]. Eleanor was buried at St Martins on 26 July 1760 and trading had ceased here before 5 January 1761. These premises would have been on plots 416/7 for the 1843 Tithe Map.

The Cricketers

In Some particulars relating to the history of Epsom (1825), Henry Pownall reports 'adjoining Stamford Pond, is Stamford Cottage, a pleasant seat, the residence of J. Richardson, Esq'. Mr Richardson seems to have been a partner in Messrs Richardson, Fisher & Lake, Solicitors, of Bury Street St. James. In 1836 Stamford Cottage was purchased by Edward Gregory and Edward Croft Fish for £235. That acquisition would appear to mark the establishment of The Cricketers since the 1843 Tithe map terrier, plot 957, has Earley Tickner, known to have been a publican, as Mr Gregory's tenant.

By 1861 Thomas Whittington had become the innkeeper.

When the Inn's licence came up for renewal in 1874, objections were raised by a local veterinary surgeon, George Evans Donaldson, a neighbour. As reported in The Epsom Journal, he wrote that the premises caused 'the greatest nuisance imaginable. I cannot come out of my house without being annoyed. The path that comes up to my house they have a right of way over: their customers come out of a night and use my path and expose themselves, and, when I speak, they laugh at me'. The publican, identifiable from the 1871 census, was Thomas Griffith. Application for renewal was denied and, sadly, a daughter Eleanor Grace Griffith died, aged 11 weeks, a fortnight later. The vet suffered from failing eyesight and retired from his profession before his death was registered at Epsom in the September Quarter 1875. Evidently the licence came to be reinstated because Mr Griffith was again enumerated at The Cricketers for 1881.

During 1891 Peter Miles, junior, had been the publican.

The Epsom Rate Book for 1900 shows, on the Common, The Cricketers Inn owned by Edward William Brown with Geo. Sayers as his tenant. Brown's name appears in Street Directories from 1901 to 1918.

John Francis Joseph Macartney, Licensed Victualler, 47, from The Cricketers, Epsom Common, was buried at Epsom Cemetery on 9 February 1939.

Stamford Chapel

Again, in Some particulars relating to the history of Epsom (1825), Henry Pownall remarked: -
"In the 31st Henry VI., 1453, John Merston had a patent for founding a chantry in the church of Ebbesham, to be called Merston's chantry, and for purchasing lands to the value of twenty marks for the use of the same. We can obtain no accurate information, relative to the circumstances under which the above patent was granted, but we think it very probable that the chantry in Epsom church, was erected in consequence of the decay or suppression of the church or chapel on Stamford Green, in this manor, and which was, perhaps, the second church mentioned in Doomsday".
The Domesday Book distinguishes between Land of the Church of Chertsey in the Copthorne Hundred and Land of the King in the Copthorne Hundred. The former has two churches and the latter Ewell manor to which is attached the church of Leatherhead with 40 acres of land. A currently preferred view is that one of Chertsey Abbey's churches served the parish of Ewell and the other Epsom.

Certainly a place of worship had become established at Le Clay, probably as a chapel of ease, before, in 1495, Alice Hyde was reported to have occupied a cottage 'newly built upon the waste land of the Lord [Abbot] at Stamforde Chappell' [Chertsey Cartulary XII, 326]. The latter fell into disuse some time after Henry VIII's dissolution of the monasteries - Chertsey Abbey itself was closed and its monks dispersed in 1537. There is, however, a reference in Epsom Rentals, 1549, - 'John Roger holds by right of Jane his wife by copy given 7th October, 37 Henry VIII [1546], one cottage lying between Stanford Chapell and Abelle Grove in the Comon of Ebbesham containing by estimation 10 virgates of land in length...'

Later secular use of the chapel building appears to be reflected in Dr H L Lehmann's The residential copyholds of Epsom at 11A - C7. On 18 October 1675, Thomas Grove mortgaged his customary messuage called Chappell Hall with the barn and garden thereto belonging, near Stamford Hill. By the 1680 survey of the Manor, the mortgagee, George Lane of Epsom, was in possession of 'one messuage called Chappell Hall, one outhouse, one garden and one orchard, lying at Stamford Hill... abutting on the common on the west part. Lane sold the tenement called Chappell Hall with another tenement, formerly a barn, on the south side of the Hall, with its yard and appurtenances, to Jane Rogers, widow, on 6 November 1685. Jane Rogers sold the two properties, Chappell Hall and the adjoining messuage, to Amicia Woodman who married John Wrench about 1692. Mr & Mrs Woodman sold the two houses on to John Spurlyn, junior, 17 October 1716. At the demise of Spurlyn (possibly buried at St Martin's as 'Spurling', 20 July 1730) the real estate descended to his three infant daughters, Elizabeth, Mary & Ann, under the guardianship of their mother, Elizabeth Spurlyn. The three sisters, of whom two had married, sold the two messuages to John Welles of Epsom on 24 October 1752. By his Will dated 28 December 1752, proved 21 February 1753 [PROB 11/800/174], John Welles, Gentleman of Epsom, devised the properties to his cousin Jonathan Bond.

In the 1755 survey, Jonathan Bond is recorded as holding one messuage in two tenements, one barn, one orchard, called Chappell Hall, one quarter acre. Jonathan Bond, gentleman, of Bare Lane, Christchurch, Southwark, Surrey, sold these premises to Charles Allen of Greenwich. The latter's Will was proved 22 March 1763 [PROB 11/885/18] and the copyhold enfranchised, 23 March 1763. As a freehold, no further reference is made to it by the late Hans Lehmann.

Surrey History Centre, SHCOL_4441/23, catalogues the lease, by John Ivatt Briscoe, of a parcel of land with cottage near Stamford Pond, numbered 419 on the Epsom tithe map, 1 Aug 1857, with notice of assignment of lease, 3 Nov 1869.This appears to have been a freehold and may be inferred originally to have been the barn south of Chapel Hall. That would place the former chapel itself on Tithe plot 418. It would seem that the buildings were demolished for the construction of semi-detached houses numbered 6/8 Parklawn Avenue.

Brian Bouchard
November 2012




 Art
 Family History
 Health
 Map
 Nature
 People
 Places
 Society
 Sources
 Technology
 Trade
 Transport
 War Memorials

 Contact
 Sitemap
 What's New
 Home

Email:


Donate to The History Centre
HV Usill
HV Usill
Jimmy Page
Jimmy Page
Page Family
Page Family
TH Snow
TH Snow
JA Larby
JA Larby
J Harrison
J Harrison
Foundlings
Foundlings
Nonsuch Mansion
Nonsuch Mansion
New Stables
New Stables