Surrey History

Sources for Epsom and Ewell History
Sources for Epsom
and Ewell History

In 1973 the Surrey Local History Council began publication of Surrey History, a journal containing articles of interest to researchers in the county. Until 2008 volumes were published in five successive parts, with running pagination, one part coming out each year, so that a volume would extend over five years; but since no. 8 (2009), it has been published in annual volumes. In 2002 the Council was reconstituted as the Surrey Local History Committee of Surrey Archaeological Society, who also publish the more substantial Surrey Archaeological Proceedings.

From 1977 Surrey History has been the medium in which the county archives (originally Surrey Record Office; Surrey History Centre since 1998) reported new acquisitions to their collections. Several of these relate to Epsom and Ewell, and I've noted those of most interest, especially where a photo or drawing is reproduced. Others can be found on their website.

Surrey History is issued to members of Surrey Archaeological Society, and back numbers can be bought from them at Castle Arch, Guildford, or from Surrey History Centre at 130 Goldsworth Road, Woking. Surrey Local History Committee organises an annual symposium on a local history theme each autumn and a half-day meeting on a special topic each spring. More details can be found on the Surrey Arch. Soc. site,

Jeremy Harte January 2013

A cover from Surrey History
A cover from Surrey History

Rowland G.M. Baker, 'Local history from fire insurance records', Surrey History 1 (1973-8) pp32-9.
Mentions, among general notes on the fire insurance records at the Guildhall Library, one for the Spread Eagle in Epsom (p39).

Stephen Turner, '"Three generations make a gentleman": the story of the Farmer family of Nonsuch Park', Surrey History 1 (1973-8) pp203-11.
The Farmers, from Cheshire, bought Nonsuch Park in 1799 and had the Mansion House rebuilt by Jeffry Wyatt. Four generations of fathers and sons brought the family from a trade background to the status of county gentlemen, holding office as High Sheriff, hunting with the Old Surrey, and inviting the peerage to shooting parties. Alice, the last of the line, married Colonel Francis Colborne in 1906 and after her death thirty years later the estate was sold to the local authority.

David Robinson, 'Surrey Record Office accessions of records, 1977', Surrey History 1 (1973-8) pp38-47.
The report includes the papers of the Epsom & Ewell Gas Company (p41).

Mervyn Blatch, 'Surrey churches, 1800-70', Surrey History 2 (1978-84) pp110-21.
Makes brief mention of St. Martin's in Epsom (p111) among other churches rebuilt in the 1820s.

David Robinson, 'New material for Surrey historians, 1981', Surrey History 2 (1978-84) pp170-81.
The report includes a photograph of a mud track off Cox Lane in Ewell, sold for building land (p179).

Maurice Exwood and Ian West, 'Mathematical tiles in Surrey', Surrey History 2 (1978-84) pp198-210.
Epsom and Ewell seem to have been a centre of production for these tiles (p201, 204), which were used c.1730 at Spring House (p202, 204-5) and West Hill House (p205, 210). A gazetteer of known sites with tiles lists places in Epsom (pp207-8) and Ewell (p208).

Vera Steward, 'Reminiscences of Reigate in the early years of this century', Surrey History 2 (1978-84) pp211-6.
Vagrants had a regular route from Redhill to Epsom Workhouse (p211). The Vanderbilt coach passed through Reigate on its way to the Derby (p2120).

David Robinson, 'New material for Surrey historians, 1982', Surrey History 2 (1978-84) pp222-7.
The report includes photographs of the Durdans with Lord Rosebery and royalty (p223) and a medieval charter from Ewell (p223).

Alex Sakula, 'The waters of Epsom Spa', Surrey History 2 (1978-84) pp228-38; originally published in J. of the Royal College of Physicians 16 (1982) pp124-8.
Epsom waters grew in popularity from the 1620s to the early 18th century, despite contests between Nehemiah Grew and Francis Moult for the patent rights for production of Epsom Salts. Following the developments by John Livingstone in c.1715 the Spa fell into decline.

Alan Crocker, 'Watermarks in Surrey hand-made paper', Surrey History 3 (1984-9) pp2-16.
Discusses and reproduces (pp5, 6-7, 12-13, 15) the watermarks used at the Ewell paper mills of William Jubb. Curteis & Sons, the papermakers of Carshalton, appear in the 1789 Land Tax return for Epsom (p14).

Maurice Exwood and Ian West, 'Mathematical tile in Surrey: a supplementary note', Surrey History 3 (1984-9) pp76-7.
Adds Hollycroft in Epsom Road to the list of Ewell properties with mathematical tiles.

Paul W. Sowan, 'Mining and quarrying in Surrey: accidents and regulations before 1900', Surrey History 3 (1984-9) pp78-96.
Quotes report on the death of two labourers in 'a trumpery chalk pit near Epsom' in 1896 (p88-90).

Beryl Mackenzie, 'The Cree Nursery at Addlestone', Surrey History 3 (1984-9) pp165-75.
Quotes comparison of the Cree Nursery with that of Young at Epsom, 1830 (p173).

Richard Millward, 'The Civil War in North-East Surrey', Surrey History 3 (1984-9) pp195-202.
Mentions Robert Hilliard, the Royalist vicar of Ewell (p200), the quartering of Parliamentary troops on Epsom and Ewell as a punishment for malignancy (p201), and the acquisition of Nonsuch Park by Colonel Pride (p201).

David Robinson, 'New material for Surrey historians: accessions of records in Surrey Record Office, 1987', Surrey History 3 (1984-9) pp233-6.
The report includes the records of the Epsom Grand Stand Association (pp233-4).

David Robinson, 'Church and chapel in nineteenth-century Surbiton', Surrey History 4 (1989-93) pp80-101.
Notes the contribution of funds by the Revd. Charles Arch, curate of Ewell, to the building of Christ Church in Surbiton in 1862, on condition that he had the right of first presentation to the benefice.

Deborah Jenkins, 'Powerbrokers and figureheads: the Lieutenancy and the leadership of the county in eighteenth-century Surrey', Surrey History 4 (1989-93) pp102-13.
Mentions a petition for the pardon of Joseph Pierce, a fraudulent excise officer, signed by 38 Ewell people in 1734 (p108).

David Robinson, 'New material for Surrey historians: accessions of records in Surrey Record Office, 1989', Surrey History 4 (1989-93) pp119-28.
The report includes a letter of 1818 mentioning Epsom races (p122).

Glenys and Alan Crocker, 'Gunpowder mills of Surrey', Surrey History 4 (1989-93) pp134-58.
The county's gunpowder mills include those at Worcester Park, run by the Eveleyn family from the 1560s until 1606 (p139, 155) and re-established in the 1720s by William Taylor, eventually closing in 1865 (pp145, 146-8, 156). There were also mills at Ewell run by the Bridges family from the 1750s until 1875 (p145, 147-50, 155-6), and John Wheatley of Epsom was involved in projected mills at Abinger Hammer (p145). A table of recorded explosions at Surrey mills includes several at Ewell (p154) and Worcester Park (p155).

David Robinson, 'New material for Surrey historians: accessions of records at Surrey Record Office, 1990', Surrey History 4 (1989-93) pp177-92.
The report includes a plan of West Street School in 1860 (p191) and describes the transfer from Bourne Hall of the parish records of Ewell (pp181-2), along with the ledger books of Langlands the estate agent and other local companies, Epsom Liberal club, and the Epsom corps of the Surrey Rifle Volunteers (p182).

John Gent, 'Leisure and pleasure in Surrey', Surrey History 4 (1989-93) pp194-210.
Includes photographs of the Derby (pp196-7) and circus elephants in the horse pond at Ewell (p210).

Alan Crocker, 'The paper mills of Surrey: II', Surrey History 4 (1989-93) pp211-30.
The county's paper mills include one run by the Jubb family from the 1730s to 1795 at the Lower Mill in Ewell (pp 216-8); one of their watermarks is reproduced (p228).

David Robinson, 'New material for Surrey historians: accessions of records in Surrey Record Office, 1991', Surrey History 4 (1989-93) pp245-56.
The report includes a letter of the 1750s mentioning a public meeting at Epsom (p251).

David Robinson, 'Crime and punishment in Surrey', Surrey History 4 (1989-93) pp262-86.
Mentions cases of illegal gambling at Epsom presented before Quarter Sessions (p274).

John Royds, 'Wandering and begging: examinations of Irish people in eighteenth-century Surrey', Surrey History 5 (1994-8) pp157-67.
Irish people charged with vagrancy, under the terms of the early eighteenth-century statutes, included Andrew Scholly, who was passing through Epsom in 1758 (p157, 162) and Margery Bayhant, recorded in Ewell in 1786 (p166).

David Robinson, 'From the origins of Parliament to the Reform Act: Surrey MPs and elections', Surrey History 5 (1994-8) pp212-40.
In 1340 John atte Churchgate of Epsom attended a national council of merchants (p212). Later county members of parliament included Thomas Cawarden of Nonsuch in the 1550s (p219), William Saunders of Ewell also in the 1550s (p219), and Joseph Mawbey the lord of the Manor of Epsom in the 1770s (p233, 237). There were Acts of Parliament for roads through Epsom and Ewell in 1755 (p227).

David Robinson, Michael Page and Mary Mackey, 'New material for Surrey historians: accessions of records in Surrey Record office, 1996', Surrey History 5 (1994-8) pp250-6.
The report includes a photograph of the 1950s Civil Defence training area at Epsom (p254).

David Robinson, 'Surrey elections and MPs from the Reform Act to the present day', Surrey History 5 (1994-8) pp258-96.
County members of parliament included John Ivatt Briscoe, Lord of the Manor of Epsom (p273). In 1885 a mid-Surrey or Epsom constituency was created (p277). George Cubitt won this seat in the same year, followed by Thomas Bucknill of Hylands House, William Keswick and Henry Keswick, (pp279-80). In 1918 the boundaries of the Epsom constituency were revised (p284). James Chter Ede of Epsom won the seat at a Mitcham by-election in 1923 (p288).

Charles Abdy, 'A brief history of Cuddington', Surrey History 5 (1994-8) pp297-310. Reprinted from A Brief History of Cuddington (Nonsuch Antiquarian Soc, Occasional Paper 27, 1995).
The village of Cuddington is recorded in Domesday; the church was built c.1100 but it appears from the manorial court rolls that the settlement was depopulated after 1349 and in 1538 it was demolished to make way for Nonsuch Palace. The most famous inhabitant was Walter de Merton, rector 1238-77. The Codington family were lords of the manor; Richard, the last of the line, received the manor of Ixworth in exchange. Later, parish affairs were administered by Ewell or by the Surrey JPs, and the manor passed with Ewell. The name of Cuddington was revived for the church at Worcester Park, and Cuddington Hospital was built in 1897 as an isolation hospital.

David Robinson and Michael Page, 'Surrey History Service: new material, new facilities', Surrey History 6 (1999-2003) pp52-61.
The report includes a reproduction of the architect's drawings for the chapel at West Park Hospital (p53); descriptions of an album kept by men of the University & Public Schools Battalion, 1914-15, with photos (pp56, 58); and description of a diary from the First Aid Post at Alexandra Rec kept by Hilda Andrews, 1940 (p56).

Michael Page and Isabel Sullivan, 'Accession of records to Surrey History Centre in 2000', Surrey History 6 (1999-2003) pp183-91.
The report includes a description of the fairground archive compiled by Philip Bradley of Epsom (p184).

Joyce Banks, 'Some notes on early Methodism in Surrey', Surrey History 6 (1999-2003) pp194-205.
The Episcopal Visitation of 1788 records the Bugby Chapel at Epsom (p198).

John Pink, 'Violent, unnatural or suspicious deaths in Kingston upon Thames and thereabouts: coroners' inquests 1700-1750', Surrey History 6 (1999-2003) pp224-46.
William Packer of Ewell died while imprisoned for debt at Kingston in 1739 (p240).

Max Everest-Phillips, 'William Everest of Epsom: alleged corruption and the "modernisation" of Surrey local politics in the 1830s and 1840s', Surrey History 6 (1999-2003) pp258-71.
In 1835 William Hasted of Epsom made a public apology to William Everest, the Vestry Clerk, for accusations of corruption. Everest, living at The Cedars, was a solicitor, involved in property development. He teamed up with William Dorling, also a member of the Vestry and printer of the apology, to modernise local government. Hasted was a coach-builder living in modest circumstances at West Hill. Their collision epitomises the increased professionalism of local affairs between the Napoleonic wars and the 1840s.

Dennis Turner, 'Local history in breadth and depth', Surrey History 7 (2004-8) pp14-25.
Briefly reviews the study of Ewell's medieval topography between 1912 and 2004 (p18).

Alan Thomas, 'The Horton Hospital, Epsom - asylum to housing estate', Surrey History 7 (2004-8) pp26-46.
The Horton Cluster of mental hospitals was built between 1899 and 1924. Horton Asylum, opened in 1902 was provided with services including a boiler house, electricity generator, chapel, and industrial buildings. In 1915 and again in 1939 it was converted to a war hospital. The Mott Clinic pioneered malarial treatment of general paralysis of the insane in 1924. The industrial buildings survived after they were no longer needed and were converted to a leisure club on the closure of the hospital.

Gordon Knowles, 'Surrey and the motor', Surrey History 7 (2004-8) pp131-43.
People at Ewell protested against the proposed bypass in 1929 (p133). A London-to-Brighton toll road was proposed in 1928; it would have run across Epsom Common (p134).

Alan Thomas, 'Lord Rosebery and his hobby', Surrey History 7 (2004-8) pp175-81.
When Rosebery moved to the Durdans in 1878, he had buildings constructed for breeding and training race-horses. The largest of these is the Riding School, designed by George Devey in 1881; there are also stables and loose boxes. Later the premises were used by No. 2 Army Field Workshop of the Canadian Army, whose left graffiti in the brickwork.

Ken Smith, 'A brief look at brewing in Surrey', Surrey History 7 (2004-8) pp201-5.
Pagdens brewery in Epsom was bought up by Mellersh & Neale in 1931 (p203). William George & Son, also of Epsom, was bought up by Page & Overton in 1903 (p205).

Peter Tarplee, 'Some public utilities in Surrey: electricity and gas', Surrey History 7 (2004-8) pp263-72.
Provides details of Epsom's power station, 1902-49 (p265, 267), and the Epsom and Ewell gas supply, established in 1839 (p269-70).

Margaret Griffiths et al., 'Accessions of records in Surrey History centre in 2007', Surrey History 7 (2004-8) pp273-84.
The report includes description of an 1821 annual report from the Good Samaritan Itinerant Society, which preached in spiritually destitute villages including Ewell (p281); spiritual readings delivered by deathless beings at St. Michael's Church in Ewell, 1953-62 (p282); and the pamphlet recording the bewitchment of Elizabeth Burgess at Ewell in 1681 (p282-3).

Michael Page, 'Surrey History Centre: accessions of records in 2008', Surrey History 8 (2009) pp46-62.
The report includes details of early pamphlets acquired from Bourne Hall Library, among them the 1648 Letter of a Great Victory recounting the Civil War conflict between Ewell and Kingston; Poor-Robin's scurrilous News from Epsom: Or, the Revengeful Lady, 1679; and the publication, in 1768, of the 1650 Parliamentary survey of Nonsuch Palace (pp59-60).

Alan Crocker, Mary Day and Peggy Bedwell, 'The will and probate inventory of William Jubb, 1697-1739, papermaker of Ewell', Surrey History 9 (2010) pp1-11.
William Jubb made paper from 1732 at the Lower Mill, a property which he left to his son William. His house survives and the use and contents of its rooms can be reconstructed from the inventory. Lists of buildings, stock in trade, utensils and debts give an insight into the papermaking business. The mills continued until 1795, using a variety of watermarks.

Michael Page, 'Accessions of records in Surrey History Centre, 2009', Surrey History 9 (2010) pp46-62.
The report includes a full discussion of the Glyn family papers, recording property ownership and parish matters in Ewell from 1736 to the 1920s, with reproductions of a photo of the family and a watercolour of their house (pp47-50). There is also a description of the maternity registers for Epsom Hospital, 1941-92 (p53).

Charles Abdy, 'Henry VIII, Oatlands and Nonsuch Palace', Surrey History 10 (2011) pp1-10.
The Honour of Hampton Court, created in 1539-40, extended from Weybridge to Epsom; Oatlands and Nonsuch were to serve it as hunting lodges. After Henry's death in 1547, Nonsuch was developed further under Mary, Arundel, Lumley and Elizabeth.

Michael Page, 'Accession of records in Surrey History Centre, 2010', Surrey History 10 (2011) pp37-55.
The report includes a description of the independent postal service set up in Epsom during the postmen's strike of 1971.