|A Hogsmill & Cheam Walk
[Hogsmill & its mills] [Ewell Court House] [Fitznells] [Garbrand/Bourne Hall] [The Malt House] [Glyn House] [St Mary's Church] [other Ewell buildings] [Nonsuch Palace] [Nonsuch Mansion] [Cheam Park] [Whitehall] [Lumley Chapel] [Resources]
The HOGSMILL RIVER rises in springs at Ewell and joins the Thames at Kingston. The walking route which follows it is 12km (7½ miles).
This is mentioned in the Domesday Book where is is valued at 5 shillings. The mill built in the 18thc was run by Hall & Davidson and then the Hendersons. Originally 3 pairs of stones could run indefinately but as higher water usage reduced the water table the capacity diminished. By 1953 only one pair could be used with a break at mid-day to allow the mill pond to refill. At the end only 4 horse power was available and the mill last worked in May 1953. It was rebuilt in a sympathetic style as offices in the 1980s. The mill pond and water channels which provided a control system for the mill remain and form an attractive feature of the area.
This was built in the 18thc and was last owned by the Henderson family. In 1929 it was leased to Turnell & Wainwright for the manufacture of garden furniture but it suffered a fire in 1938. The site has been redeveloped with modern offices but the buildings which survived have been incorporated.
These operated from 1754 and in the mid 19thc employed 156 men. Opened by Alexander Bridges & Jonathan Ede they passed to the Bridges family in 1861 and were leased to John Carr Sharpe until the Explosives Act of 1875 stopped production.
This was originally Avenue House, home to the Sharpe family who ran nearby gunpowder mills. It was enlarged in 1880 by J Alick Thomas for John Henry Bridges. It now houses a library and classroom facilities with a modern health centre adjacent. Between these is an artificial grotto, built as a fernery that would have been part of a conservatory.
Buildings on the site were purchased from Merton Priory in the 1230s by Gilbert of Ewell. The estate passed to Robert Fitz-Neil a name associated with the house until the 1930s. The oldest part is a two storey solar constructed around 1540 which includes a surviving window. An adjoining medieval hall was demolished to be replaced with a triple gabled front in the early 17th century creating an extra 8 rooms. An additional farmhouse wing was added in the mid 19th century and retains its plaster cornices and fireplace. In 1927 Fitznell's Farm was bought for development serving as a clothing store during WWII and a music school afterwards. It was purchased by a property company in 1988 who refurbished it and added other buildings to provide accommodation for a doctor's surgery.
This was built c1770 for a London vintner called Rowden. It was named Garbrand Hall in 1796 when it was acquired by Thomas Barritt who added extensions including conservatories. A castellated dairy building, designed by the 17 year old Henry Kitchen, which came to be known as the Turrets was added in 1810 along with the Dog Gate, topped with a heraldic talbot. It was used as a girl's school 1925-1953 at which time it was called Bourne Hall. It was demolished in 1962 and replaced with the present building designed by A G Sheppard Fidler and opened in 1969. Its 'flying saucer' appearance includes a 43m diameter dome.
MALT HOUSE/ST MICHAEL'S CHURCH
The original wooden building was recorded from the middle of the 17th century and later became the George public house. It was purchased by the Stone family in 1820 when it was rebuilt in brick and enlarged operating as a malt house and later a corn chandlers. In 1922 Margaret Glyn bought it to house her collection of musical instruments and hold soirees. In the 1950s it was sold to become a Spiritualist Church which in now in the care of a trust. [website] Above the entrance is the Glyn coat of arms and set into the path is a millstone.
|GLYN HOUSE was rebuilt as the rectory by Rev George Glyn (4th Baronet) in 1836-9 replacing a house of 1705. He married twice, had 8 children and employed several servants. The house was extended in 1870 and has a large garden with a gate leading to the church. Glyn served as vicar for 50 years and instigated the rebuilding of the church (see below). The building is now used by the junior department of Ewell Castle School.|
When George Glyn became vicar in 1831 the church was at a low ebb with only half the people of the village attending Sunday service. The old building had been patched up and although a survey in 1842 declared it safe bell-ringing was stopped because of the danger from vibrations. Glyn offered a piece of land for a new church in return for the stopping of a right of way past his house and began a building fund.
The new church by Henry Clutton was consecrated in 1848. Features of interest include a 15thc font & rood screen, charitable bequest & past vicars boards, memorial windows & monuments and a Willis organ. The clock (dated 1799) and bells were transferred from the old church. The bells were restored along with other parts of the church in the 1970s following a fire.
|The old tower is the only remaining medieval building in Ewell, dating from the 15th century. It is built of flints with larger ones for the first stage and blocks of Reigate Stone on corners and features. The belfry chamber is lit by four small windows, two square-headed and two round. In the 18th century changes were made and a school located beneath the ringing chamber. The five bells were recast as six in 1767 at the Whitechapel Bell Foundry. In the 1780s the village blacksmith made a weathervane and the parapet was rebuilt in brick. The tower was retained as a mortuary chapel when the new church was built. There are a number of interesting gravestones in the churchyard.|
The SPRING HOTEL was formerly a farmhouse but when the London road was re-routed in 1834 it became a coaching inn.
SPRING HOUSE of the mid 18thc was faced with mathematical tiles which interlock and when pointed look like bricks. They were added to timber-framed buildings to improve weather resistance and ape more fashionable brick. There are other examples in Church Street.
The WATCH HOUSE, built at the end of the 18thc, served as a lock-up and fire station. Ewell has never had a police station. The fire engine now in the museum was last used in 1867 after which it was replaced with a larger one housed in the High Street. The front wall is constructed of rubble from other buildings, the sides are timber-framed and weatherboarded and the roof tiled. In the 19th century it was re-fronted in stucco with the words 'Watch House' and 'Engine House' but in 1963 was returned to its former appearance. It may at one time have extended further back and had an upper storey.
EWELL CASTLE designed by the young Henry Kitchen was built in 1810-4 and was the largest house in Ewell with grounds of 45 acres. It became a boy's school in 1926.
Henry VIII began building Nonsuch in 1538 to celebrate the birth of his son Edward. Along with the Little Park of 671 acres (the present park) there was a larger Great Park (now Stoneleigh and Worcester Park). However the site chosen was that occupied by Cuddington village which with its church and manor house had to be destroyed! The costly palace was richly decorated with stucco and carved slate in the Rennaissance style but Henry died in 1547 before it was completed. The building was bought by Henry Fitzalan, Earl of Arundel in 1556 who finished the work along with the gardens. His son-in-law Lord Lumley, who inherited in 1580, gave it back to Elizabeth I in lieu of debts in 1592 although he continued to live there as before. It remained in royal ownership until confiscated after the Civil War in 1649, although it was later returned to Henrietta Maria. The exchequer used the building during the period of the plague and fire in 1665-6. Charles II gave the palace to his mistress Barbara Villiers, Countess of Castlemaine, who sold it for its building materials to pay off gambling debts in 1682-3. The site is marked by 3 granite pillars in the park indicating the south front, inner gatehouse and outer gatehouse. The plinth on which the banqueting house of the 1540s was built remains. This building would have been used for refreshments and watching the hunting in the park.
The house was built in 1731-43 by Joseph Thompson and bought by Samuel Farmer in 1799. He employed Jeffry Wyatt to rebuild it in a Tudor Gothic style in 1802-6. Farmer was succeeded by his grandson in 1838 under whom the gardens became famous. In 1937 it was sold to a group of local authorities who still manage it. It has a chalk & flint chequerboard garden wall which may be of Tudor origin. The service wing is opened by the Friends of Nonsuch on some afternoons (details below).
The house in Cheam Park was built in 1820 for London tea merchant Archdale Palmer. This was acquired by the borough in 1936 on the death of the last owner occupier but demolished in 1945 after a flying bomb landed in the park. The lodge with its pedimented porch remains. The cottages in Park Lane (pictured) formed part of the Cheam House estate.
This attractive timber-framed house was originally a wattle and daub yeoman farmer's house of about 1500 built with local oak and elm. However the 18th century external weatherboarding conceals a building with several centuries of additions. In the 16thc chimneys were added along with a porch with a room above and a staircase tower to replace an earlier ladderway. The Killick family leased and then owned Whitehall from the mid 18thc until 1963 when it was purchased by the borough. A kitchen and bathroom wing was added by them in the 19thc. Rooms are furnished in various period styles linked to the history of the house and there are displays on Nonsuch Palace, Cheam Pottery and Cheam School. The attractive garden contains a medieval well (about 65' feet deep) which served an earlier building on the site belonging to Cheam Manor, owned by the Archbishop of Canterbury.
This is the oldest building in the borough with late Saxon or early Norman fragments. The Archbishop of Canterbury acquired the Manor of Cheam in 1018 and the church, dedicated to St Dunstan, was probably founded soon after. In the 1580s Lord Lumley converted the building into a memorial chapel for himself and his two wives. He had the ceiling rebuilt in 1592 and commissioned the tombs which still remain along with other memorials and brasses. Lumley's fine collection of books were purchased by James I and became the foundation of the Royal Library (now part of the British Library). The chapel was retained when the church was demolished in 1864 following the building of a larger church to the north. Care of the building was passed to the Churches Conservation Trust in 2002.
The walk takes in part of the LONDON LOOP sections 8 (Grafton Road - Bourne Hall) and 7 (Bourne Hall - Nonsuch). [website]
'THE HOGSMILL - A guided tour of the open space' has been produced by Epsom & Ewell Borough Council. This free illustrated leaflet with map covering the section included in this walk is available at the library in Bourne Hall. Tel 01372 741191. website
THE EWELL TRAIL - Plaques on 24 buildings of interest plus 6 storyboards. Information leaflet with map from Bourne Hall. Takes 1 hour with extension taking an extra 1.5 hours.
BOURNE HALL MUSEUM (admission free) is open Mon - Sat 10-5 & Sun 9-1 but closed Christmas and Bank holidays. Shop sells local history publications etc. Tel 020 8394 1734.
THE EPSOM & EWELL LOCAL & FAMILY HISTORY CENTRE is housed in the Library section of Bourne Hall. Books and resource materials are available and the centre is staffed by volunteers at certain times. Tel 020 8394 0951. [website].
A guide book to St Mary's Ewell is on sale in the church.
The Georgian service wing of NONSUCH MANSION is opened by the Friends organisation for tours on the 2nd & 4th Sundays 2-5pm from April - October or by arrangement for groups. Tel 01372 724302. Toilets and refreshments are available there at other times.
WHITEHALL is owned by the London Borough of Sutton. It is open to the public Wed - Fri & Sun 2-5pm and Sat 10-5. Tours for groups can be arranged. There is a Friends organisation and their cafe serves drinks and home made cakes. 'A short guide to the house' and a 'Cheam Heritage Walk' are available in the shop along with other items. Tel 020 8643 1236. website
A key for the LUMLEY CHAPEL can be borrowed for a refundable deposit from the parish office (weekday mornings) or Whitehall (opening hours). The church of St Dunstans is well worth a visit (by arrangement). [website]
© london-footprints.co.uk 2007
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