Thames Tributary – The Rye - Ashtead
The Rye continues to flow south west towards the River Mole.
A pleasant area of scrub, fields and woodland to the east of Epsom, with considerable Roman remains.
Post to the north The Forest
Post to the west Malden Rushett
Post to the east Ashstead
Post to the south Lower Ashstead
Ashstead Common is an extension of Epsom Common. During the Second World War, areas of the Common were cleared as agricultural land. This is a heavy clay soil and was not really viable arable land and farming there soon ceased,
Ashtead Common National Nature Reserve, managed by the City of London Corporation.
The Rye was straightened during the Second World War to drain the surrounding land for agriculture. The spoil was left on the banks. The stream continues to follow this straight channelled course but in 2005 the Corporation, began to remodel the stream. This has led to a reinstatement of the meanders to create a natural setting and a wetland habitat.
Roman villa. excavated in 1925-8. It appears to have had 13 rooms, one circular, with central heating and a bath house. It dated from the 3rd . It might have been the manager’s house for the brick and tile works, or could be later.
Roman brick and tile works – a number of tiles have been found here, some unfinished, and it is thus supposed to have been the site of a tile factory. It was two miles from Roman Stane Street and connected to it by a road.
Brick making - spoil heaps found are thought to be from a 17th brick works which produced the bricks for the walls of Ashtead Park.
Pylons. This is part of the 1931 secondary 33kV transmission system of the Central Electricity Board from Epsom via Leatherhead, Dorking and Reigate back to Epsom. The original installation comprised steel-cored aluminium conductors supported on lattice steel towers.
Archaeology Data Service. Web site
Surrey County Council. Web site