The History of West Ewell - Plough Road to Ruxley Lane

We are grateful to the family of the late Derek Phillips for their permission to use much of the text and images from the website that was set up and run by him. Derek was very interested in local history and his community and a short biography can be viewed on the introductory page.

Heatherside Road
This photo of Heatherside Rd dates from around 1910 and
shows the houses to the north of Church Road
(shown by the gap in the verge in the right)
Image courtesy of Bourne Hall Museum

Heatherside Road and Chesterfield Road were laid out in the late 1800's, some of the houses in Chesterfield Road date from 1890. Although many of the houses were built later. The land had previously been farmed as Marsh farm, also known as Park Farm. The farm house still survives in Heatherside Road.

All Saints Church c1910
All Saints Church c1910
Image Credit: Mrs Challis

All Saints Church was built in 1894 as a daughter church to St. Mary's in Ewell village. The land was donated by John Henry Bridges from the Ewell Court Estate. A lack of funds prevented the building from having all the features originally intended, but the community greatly benefited from the construction of the Community Centre in 1976 which replaced an old army hut that had been erected in the 1920's for temporary use as a church hall. In 1952 All Saints became the parish church of West Ewell. This information is taken from "The Corridor of Openness", a history of All Saints West Ewell published by Brian A Randell in 1977

Lansdowne Road: looking south. c.1952
Lansdowne Road: looking south. c.1952
Image Credit: George Cook Abbott

Lansdowne Road was a newer road which was started in the 30's. Number 25 was the first house, built by a builder called Dracey. A newt pond next to the house was filled in and a private tennis court built over it. This house was followed by the bungalows and houses down to Poole Road. In 1934 there were 37 homes in Lansdowne Road, all had names - but no numbers. The land at the Chessington Rd end, behind "Lansdowne House" and the garages, was used by the Parish Church to hold fetes. After the war houses were built here. These were council houses built for the mental hospital workers (nowadays we would call them "Key worker affordable housing") Chesterfield and Heatherside Roads also had six council houses built for hospital workers.

West Ewell Evangelical Church opening ceremony April 1952
West Ewell Evangelical Church opening ceremony April 1952
Image Credit: Sheila Calcutt

In 1952 West Ewell Evangelical Church was built on the tennis court next to no 25. This Christian fellowship grew from a Sunday school held in local homes in 1939 to an adult fellowship meeting in Danetree Road School starting in 1943.

A small hut at the rear was replaced by a hall in 1967 and the main worship area was rebuilt in 1990. The front remains much as is was when opened.

Although a lot of houses were built by large companies, some plots, such as the ones on Chessington Road, were bought by individuals who built their own homes. Some were ex-service men from the Great War. The houses were built in the evenings and weekends with the owners often living in tents or a shed or commuting by bike until the roof was on. Materials were usually second hand, often surplus from the L.C.C. hospitals and parts of old army huts. The drainage was usually into a cesspool until the sewers were laid in the 30's. The road surfaces were hard surface gravel originally
Danetree Cottage. Built around 1929-1930
Danetree Cottage. Built around 1929-1930
Image Credit: The Late Mr Haycock

Danetree Rd was begun on the site of Danetree Cottage. Danetree Road houses cost £695 The School was built in 1939.

After the war Shawford Road, Gadesden Road and Cherry Way were developed with pre-fabricated homes ("Pre-fabs), these were shipped in large crates from Canada and were constructed on site. Often they were more comfortable inside than the surrounding houses. They had a designed life of ten years but were apparently used elsewhere after being used in West Ewell, as holiday homes on the coast. This is the only photo I can find that shows a prefab in West Ewell. The young lady illustrated emailed me the following memories.

Gadesten Road Prefab
Gadesten Road Prefab
Image Credit: Val Taylor

"The photo was taken in 1957, and my mother would have taken it with her box brownie camera. It shows me in the front garden of our prefab which was number 43 Gadesden Road. It shows the front porch just behind me on the left and the ranching at the side which I used to climb to get onto the flat roof. I did on one occasion jump off the roof. I only did that once as it was farther down than I thought. You can see part of the window of the front lounge cum dining room. In the background is the house next door and you can see part of that roof and the windows of the front bedroom."

"There a kitchen and bathroom and a second bedroom where my sister and I slept. The garden was big as gardens go today and I remember there was a corrugated shed in the garden which was also quite big, with a coal bunker beside it. I think most prefabs had a similar shed so I suppose they were there when we moved in about late 1945 or 1946. At the end of the garden was a gate which gave access to a passageway along the back gardens and further down out on to the road. At the back of us off this passage way there were other prefabs and behind them were the fields where we used to play."

A family in front of a Rd Prefab
A family in front of a Gadesten Rd Prefab
This photo of the prefabs was sent to me by a visitor to this web site. Thanks

Text written by the late Derek Phillips

Boring legal stuff relating to this page

As explained earlier the text and images for this page came from the website run by the late Derek Phillips. To preserve his work and allow ready access to it, it was decided to merge his local history pages into the Epsom and Ewell History Explorer website. Of necessity some minor changes to the text were necessary and the layout has been changed to fit in with the house style of Epsom and Ewell History Explorer but in essence the web page is Derek's.

The family of the Late Derek Phillips makes every effort to ensure that the information on this web page is accurate. However, they cannot accept responsibility for any loss or inconvenience caused by reliance on inaccurate material contained in this site. Links to other sites are provided for your convenience, the Phillips family cannot give endorsement of them. They cannot be responsible for any information contained on other websites.

All material on this site (including text and images) is copyright. Every effort is being made to ensure that all sources are credited. Where no credit is given then it should be assumed that the copyright in any particular item resides with the Phillips family or that the Phillips family should be contacted to ascertain who owns the copyright before text or photographs are reproduced elsewhere. Educational use is permitted provided that no changes are made to the material and Derek Phillips is acknowledged as the source.

Commercial usage is prohibited unless formal written permission is obtained beforehand.

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