Epsom Town Centre




Post to the north Epsom


Ashley Avenue
This is now the southern part of the road which encircles the Ashley Centre and part of the A24. The road appears to have been a 1930s cul de sac running westward from Ashley Road between the police station and Ashley House
2 Epsom Gateway. Office block
Epsom Playhouse. This opened in 1984 and has a programme featuring professional and community productions. I5 includes the Myers Studio which used as a regular venue for professional productions, Jazz evenings, children's shows and community events.
Statue. Outside the entrance to The Playhouse is a statuette of John Gilpin as 'Spectre de la Rose' by Tom Merrifield
Petrofina House. Petrofina were an early office occupant of the Ashley Centre.
Bradley's Brewery. The brewery appears to have originated with James Chandler who with his son in 1824 to set up as brewers and maltsters. They were bankrupt by 1857 and William Bradley took over the brewery and rebuilt it in 1870 to brew ale and porter. The brewery was in South Street and Ashley Road parallel to what is now the south side of Ashley Avenue. . The brewery had a number of local public houses. They were taken over by Page and Overtons of Croydon in 1903.  The buildings became a factory used during the Second World War for parts but demolished in the 1980s for development of the town centre.
Ashley Works.  This appears to have been part of the defunct brewery buildings and at various times was used by a woodworker, dynamo and machine tool maker, an upholsterer and a pharmaceutical manufacturer.

Ashley Road
Ebbisham Hall and Myers Hall – which stood behind it.  In 1929 these halls were opened by the Epsom branch of the Brotherhood. This was an organisation for men in trade connected to the Congregational Church. There was a billiard room above Myers Hall and a stage in Ebbisham Hall. There was an impressive entrance in Ashley Road and its facade was incorporated into a store in the Ashley Centre
Ashley House.  The date of 1769 is shown on the rainwater head. Its name comes from Mary Ashley who lived there until 1849. It was apparently built by a London soap boiler called John Riley and was a private residence until the early 1920s when it was bought by a local builder who altered it and sold it as offices of the Rural District Council in 1926. In 1934 it became a Surrey County Council property used as a Registry Office and later Social Services. It has now been converted into flats.
Magistrates Court. In 1857 a courthouse was held in Ashley House and later a Courthouse, was built opposite the house. Opening in 1912, and extended in 1931. It suffered some damage in both World Wars. It was refurbished in 1992, Epsom was no longer a Petty Sessional Division after 1993, although the courthouse continued to be used, and was later used by Immigration Appeals Tribunals.  It has since been demolished and he site is now housing.
Epsom Methodist church. The church dates from 1914 moving from an earlier chapel. The church hall was built in the late 1950s and there were later additions. The Leyland Rooms were named for Dr Leyland. The church now has an active youth section with a new building, and also hosts a Chinese church with Chinese language services.
University of the Creative Arts. Several buildings of the Epsom campus are in Ashley Road.  The University is basically a coalition of a number of art schools in Kent and Surrey which have evolved from various institutions since the 19th. In the case of Epsom this appears to be the Epsom Technical College. The Epsom campus opened in 1973 and was then the Epsom School of Art and Design. It now hosts the university’s fashion, graphics, music marketing and business courses.
Police Station. Home Office approval was granted for the erection of a police station in Epsom which was occupied in 1853. This was on the corner of what was Ashley Avenue. In 1919 the police station was badly damaged during riot by Canadian soldiers and in July 1944 it was hit by a German V1 Flying Bomb thus a temporary station was set up at Worple Lodge until 1946.
Swail House. This is supported housing for blind and partially sighted people built by Action for Blind People.  It was Worple Lodge which was bought by the London Association for the blind and opened in 1952, with money left by Martha Smail.

Clayhill Green
This is registered common land.

Dorking Road
Turnpike Road to Brighton going via Dorking and Horsham
Abele Grove. House, built in the early 19th in about 6 acres of lawns and pleasure grounds, with a wooded grove, a dell and a kitchen garden. In 1908 it became a private nursing home for the aged or infirm. It also operated as a private mental institution... It then became a private residence until 1928, when became a convent and school for the Sisters of the Sacred Hearts, a French order. It was a private school with its own farm and orchard and closed in 1992. In 1997 it was converted into the Haywain pub. It is now a Premier inn
White House Farm and Murrays Meadows. This was pasture south of the railway and part of the Hookfield Estate. It lay behind The Elms and Abele Grove.

High Street
1 The Cinema Royal. The building had previously been Chuter Brothers builder’s merchants. Mr H. Farmer of Redhill drew up conversion plans. It opened in either late-1910 operated by the Thompson family. There were special performances during the First World War in support of local hospitals. It was refurbished in 1929 when sound was and it had a free car park. It closed in 1938. The land had been compulsory purchased to widen so it was demolished, but because the Second World War the widening never happened and the site remained empty. That side of the road was later redeveloped with shops.
22 Charter Inn.   Charrington House it opened 1938 closed 1970. On maps this is shown as a single building but 22 is now part of the terrace. Above the door is a fan shape with the 1955 on it. Thus the pub must have been rebuilt with the terrace of shops. It is now an ‘interiors’ shop.
100 this early 18th building has a 19th metal standard alongside. This was a corn, hay, straw, coal, oil and garden supplies store. Now an insurance business
112c late 17th shop. Now a hair and beauty business.
114-116 The Odeon Cinema was built for and operated by the Oscar Deutsch chain. It opened in 1937 when the local Council insisted on the facade was of narrow bricks and stone dressings by 1961. The foyer was used for various exhibitions and publicity displays. Audiences were dwindling and from 1961 Bingo replaced the matinee film but this was not a success, and became part of the Rank Organisation following the merger of Odeon and Gaumont British in 1941. The Odeon closed in 1971 and within a month the building had been sold to a property developer and was demolished, a Sainsbury supermarket was built on the site but Sainbury’s have now moved and it is a TKMAXX
The George. This was built at the same time as the cinema but replaced a much older pub of the same name. It was demolished with the cinema,
126-134 Albion terrace. This was built in 1706 by Dr. Livingstone an apothecary, who established his New Well in South Street.
134 The Albion. Probably currently closed. Has been an Irish pub recently.  It is thought that a second medicinal well was discovered around 1699 on land behind this pub.   This is where the magistrates met in Petty Sessions.  Had originally been a coffee house.
137-139 this is late 17th Bramshott House.  Apparently Samuel Pepys said that Nell Gwynne and Lord Buckhurst were here. It is now Cafe Nero
147-153 Assembly Rooms. This was built in 1692 and was initially called the New Tavern. It incorporated an existing bowling green and became a venue for activities such as bear baiting and cock-fighting. Tt was built as two ranges with a central carriage road between them.  In the rear section were two long rooms – an assembly room and a dancing room. The front section had a coffee room, a tavern and a billiard room.  It later became known as ‘Waterloo House’ and housed Bailey’s drapers shop, along with others. In the 18th plays were staged here, by the 19th the building was divided into shops, and a farriers. It was used by a series of stores and then from 1966 the National Counties Building Society, a company founded in 1896 as the Post Office Building Society with offices in London and its primary aim of providing postal workers with loan and financial services moved here.  It later became a Weatherspoon’s pub.
King's Shade Walk and entrance to the Ashley centre. This is on the site of the King's Head Hotel which fronted the High Street. It is mentioned by by Pepys in 1667 but had been trading under this name since 1663. In the late 1770s it was used for vestry meetings, and in the 1830s the original courtyard was enclosed to form a large assembly room in which county balls, dinners, concerts and fetes were held.  There was also a corn exchange along there and a livery stable at the rear. It had been rebuilt, in 1838 with a projecting entrance and an assembly room. It was demolished in 1957.
Kings Shades. This was another pub which stood next to the Kings Head.
90 Spread Eagle Hotel. This is now a clothes shop. The pub dated from around 1710 and by the mid-19th was a hotel with billiard room, assembly rooms and so on. Spread Vestry meetings were held here in the 18th and it was used by coach services to London too. It continued trading as a public house until about 1990 when the deterioration of its interior led to its closure. The main building was taken over as a shop in 1994. Part of the site has been developed as Spread Eagle Walk Shopping Centre.
91 Metrobank was the White Hart Hotel which closed in the 1980.   Later it became a shop and then a Building Society
Horse trough. This 19th trough once stood at the junction with Church Street. It has a trough for dogs at ground level and a higher one for horses and a tap for people. There is an inscription "Presented by the Metropolitan Drinking Fountain and Cattle Trough Association”. It is sometimes planted with flowers now.
Market Clock tower. This was built in 1848 with toilets at its base. Built is on the site of an older, clock, which included the lock-up while outside were the stocks, still reportedly in occasional use not so long before that time. Originally the tower housed the town's horse-drawn fire engine but in the early 20th it was surrounded by railings and held street lamps.
Pond. This was to the west of the tower and was filled in during 1854

Hookfield
Housing surrounding the site of Hookfield House. In the 16th part of the area appears to have been named after someone called Hook.
Hookfield House. This was a late 17th house demolished in 1858. It was I a large park with a conservatory. It replaced an earlier house and was itself replaced with a white brick house. This was sold in 1919 and was bought by a building company who developed the area in 1937. The house became the Hookfield Park Hotel but in the late 1950s it was pulled down for houses in what is now, Lindsay Close.
1 this was the lodge to Hookfield House

Ladbroke Road
Epsom Church of England Girls’ School. This girls’ school opened as an extension of the school in Hook Road in 1871.  The site is now housing.

Rosebery Park
This park, Epsom's largest open space, was built on a site called Reading’s Mead. It was donated to the Borough by Lord Rosebery in 1913.  An original bandstand has now gone. There is a pond remaining from the original design, plus a fountain presented by Epsom Protection Society.
Public air raid shelters for the Second World War for 1,440 people were built there.

Rosebank
The road is named after a house which once stood in South Street next to Acorn 3 pub
St Joseph's Catholic Primary School

St Elizabeth Drive
2 An ice-house survives behind the house in woodland. In the grounds, of what was The Elms.  One of the earliest examples in the country, it is accessible from St. Margaret's Drive. Ice house, probably built around 1700. Brick, set in an earth mound at end of what was a long a canal.

Saint Margaret’s Drive
This road, at the back of what was Abele Grove, along with other estate roads is built around a large open space called Abele Green.
St.Joseph’s Church. In the 19th Benedictines at Cheam, were responsible for Epsom Catholics. In 1859 a church was set up in a cottage near the railway and then land bought in Heathcote Road, The church was opened but there, were problems and eventually a new site was located and dedicated in 1996. The new church opened in 1991.

South Street
Once called New Inn Lane. Behind the shops at the north west end were rows of cottages – Controversy Cottages and The Folly.
Epsom Cycle Works. Said to be at the junction with the High Street in the early 20th. It was run by Tom Hersey
New Wells site. This was accessed via an alleyway alongside the Albion Pub, which now goes to a garage. New Wells was built in 1690 by a John Livingstone who also built shops, bowling greens, gaming houses and a dance floor there. As well as the coffeehouse which became The Albion?
37 Theatre Court. This was once the site used by Epsom Coaches and Buses. The company was founded by Herbert R Richmond in 1920 with one Model T Ford charabanc.  In 1934 they moved here and left in 1971. The site is now new build flats
30 Acorn3. This pub was recently called Symond’s Well.  It was previously called The Magpie but the name was changed in 1996. It is near where Dr. Livingstone an apothecary, established the New Well together with a bowling green and other leisure activities. The name ‘Symonds’ refer to an earlier owner.
Land between No 30 and 32. A ‘disused well’ is shown here on maps up until the 1960s although there is apparently no sign of it now. A private well appears to have been sunk on land owned by Mr. Symonds in the late 17th. This is said to have been on land near the Magpie public house but the exact location is uncertain.
53 The Shrubbery early 18th house which was on the site which is now the Ashley Avenue junction
55 Oracle House.  This is on the site of Randalls Mineral Water Factory. They originated with the production of bottled mineral waters and fruit juices in 1837 and in 1884 they moved to Epsom, eventually to 18 South Street. From 1935 they were at 55 South Street. In the Second World War; the premises were used by the Fairey Aviation Company for the manufacture of aircraft components. Randalls closed in the early 1980s when the Ashley Centre shopping mall was built.
Path up to Mount Hill House – the area of the house is now retirement housing called ‘Saddlers Court’.
Mount Hill Gardens. A small, quiet garden park on the site of gardens of Mount Hill House. The park was opened to the public in 1965.
Sweetbriar Lane. This old footpath runs along the south end of Rosebery Park
77 Queen's Head. A pub of this name was on the site in 1746, but the present building is a rebuild.  The inn-sign was Queen Adelaide, facing Epsom. It appears to have closed in 2011 and is now housing.
Woodcote Hall. This was called The Poplars in the 1880s
and it is on the corner of South Street and Woodcote Road. It was rebuilt in the mid-18th and was converted to flats in about 1930.

Station Approach
The road is now wall to wall modern flats plus a Tesco, a Travelodge and some other shops.
Epsom Station. This opened in 1859 and now lies between Ashstead and East Ewell, West Ewell or Cheam Stations.  In 1859 a minimal station was opened on this site by a small independent company, the Epsom & Leatherhead Railway as a single-line track to Leatherhead. Originally this had a wooden building and a canopy of sorts. Changes were made to improve facilities for race days. Later that year the London & South Western Railway came to Epsom with a line from Waterloo, via Raynes Park, following a plan initiated by the Wimbledon & Dorking Railway. A bridge, called Volunteer Bridge, was also built across East Street. This was built by the London and Croydon Railway who already had an Epsom Station in the Upper High Street (in the square to the east) and the new line connected the two stations.  It meant that trains from London Bridge and West Croydon could run through to Leatherhead.  Later connections went to Dorking, Horsham, Effingham and Guildford.  In the late 1920s these lines were converted to third rail electrification. In 1928 a new art deco station was built here which could handle the trains of both the original rail companies. There were two island platforms with glass canopies. Subway and ticket offices were on the south side of the embankment and one side of the subway was fenced off for parcels and luggage.  The station has now been rebuilt again.   The main ticket office and station frontage have been completely demolished and rebuilt to include shops and a hotel. It was completed in 2013.
Goods. This was closed in 1928 except for two sidings used for horse-boxes for race horses arriving by rail. These were removed in 1986
Signal Box. This was on a gantry straddling the lines at the south end of the station and dated from 1929. It was taken out of use on 29 July 1990 and demolished in 1993.

Station Way
This is an alleyway between 86-88 High Street. It was changed in 1929 when the station was rebuilt. It originally ran directly from the High Street to the station.

The Parade
Epsom Town Hall. Built 1933 designed by Hubert Fairweather, and William Pite
1 Comrades Club CIU registered club. Thus is currently being rebuilt as part of hotel scheme.

Waterloo Road
Before the 1920s the road also covered the roadway now known as Station Approach.
BRM coachworks. This is basically a vehicle repair business dating from the 1970s
32 Electrical substation – this is a railway structure
Railway bridges.  There are three bridges here bringing lines into and out of Epsom Station to destinations to the east
Fire Station. In the late 19th the Epsom Fire Station was in Waterloo Road, backing onto the railway embankment at what is now the east end of Station Approach. The horses were stabled elsewhere and had to be fetched before the engine could proceed to a fire. They moved to a new station in 1911.
30 Printbarn Ltd. Estate Management in printers workshop rear of No.30
Epsom Square. This was previously the Ebbisham Centre. Originally built in the 1990s it site was reconfigured in 2017 into a ‘welcoming cafĂ© culture location’. The site was previously ‘Boots Car Park’ where there were also public toilets.
Library. Epsom Library moved into temporary accommodation in a house Waterloo Road in 1947. It stayed there for fifty years, until the redevelopment of the Ebbisham Centre.  It was replaced by a pre-fabricated building, in The Parade in 1998. The new Epsom Library opened in 2001 as part of The Ebbisham Centre. Part of the complex is on the site of the old Epsom Library in Waterloo Road but it is accessed from the High Street.
16 The White House. Listed 18th house used as offices.
Foresters’ Hall. This was originally a Wesleyan Methodist chapel built in 1863. The Epsom Court of the Foresters was founded in 1860, and known as Court Wellington after a pub where the first meetings were held. Afterwards they moved to what became known as Foresters Hall. This large building, stood until the 1960s.
5 William Page’s Waterloo Cycle Works in Waterloo Road, which had been founded in 1907, and which became an engine works. On the frontage are terracotta roundels, a terracotta frieze and a central oriel window.

West Hill
Was previously Clay Hill
Fair Green. This is registered common land.
14 Sycamore Centre. Pupil Referral Unit. It was originally Orchard School. This was a private primary school described as a "Froebel Kindergarten”. This closed in the early 1960s. from 1970 it was the Clayhill Centre for remedial Education – described as leading edge.
Christ Church hall. Dates from 1899 and was sold to a private school in 1986
22 Epsom Christian Fellowship.  The group dates from the early 1970s and for some years meetings were held in a rented hall. When this became too small the present premises were bought in 1984 and extended. In 1988 the Cornerstone School also flourished here until its closure in 2015.
26 Eclipse House .  Offices in what was the Eclipse Inn., named after the invincible horse of the 1770's, whose descendant include many classic Race winners, with no owners willing to race their horses against him he was retired to stud nearby.
West Hill House. Offices in a copy of a house which dated from about 1700 which was rebuilt in the late 20th
23-25 Hookfield Mews. Hookfield was a house to the south. This was the stable block and estate entrance. It is now sheltered housing.
Epsom Court Farm. Kingswood House was built on this site where there were existing paddocks
Kingswood House. This was built here by Colonel Kelly, owner of Eclipse which was retired to stud here He made so much money that he built a big house around 1785  to entertain the elite of the racing world. He had 35 paddocks for his large stud of stallions, brood mares, colts and fillies."
West Hill Infants School. This opened in 1844 in converted stables with an endowment from Miss Elizabeth Trotter of Horton Manor. It was extended in 1872 but later condemned as insanitary before closure in 1925 and subsequent demolition.
Kingswood House School. This is on the site of Kingswood House and the Kelly stables.  It is a ‘preparatory’ school, founded in 1899 and moved here in 1920.

West Street
The extension of West Street south is post Second World War.
4 Marquis of Granby.pub in an 18th building with a later porch.
13 Old Manor House. Early 18th building, this was ever a real manor house. Now offices and flats
15 White House. 18th house now offices and flats
21 British Legion. 18th house. This is closed and is now used by a nursery.
Wall between Manor House Court and 15 West Street. This dates from 1680-87 and is stone and red brick in English garden wall bond with lower courses of clunch and greensand. It has tiles and carved stone said to be from Nonsuch Palace.  In 1706 entrances were cut into the wall to give access to a bowling green, and later infilled
Territorial Army Hut. 154 Cadet Detachment ACF, ACF Hut,

White Horse Drive
This was the original path to Epsom Wells on Epsom Common
Tamarisk Cottage. 18th weatherboarded house. This was probably the dairy for the Elms estate.
Rosebery School. This was built on land given to the borough by Lord Rosebery. It was originally Lord Rosebery Girls County Secondary School from 1924l and later an amalgamation of Rosebery Grammar School for Girls and Epsom County School for Girls. It is now an ‘academy’ since 2011.

Woodcote Road
Epsom Sports Club. Francis Schnadhorst Memorial Ground. This was secured in perpetuity for the Epsom Cricket Club in 1934 by the Schnadhorst family. The Club, which was founded in 1800, has played at Woodcote since 1860.It is now home to a number of other sports including croquet, hockey and lacrosse.

Sources
Abdy. Epsom Past
Architects Journal. Web site
Beamon. Ice Houses
British Listed Buildings. Web site
EMC. Web site
Epsom and Ewell Council. Web site
Epsom and Ewell History Explorer. Web site
Epsom Christian Fellowship. Web site
Epsom Sports Club. Web site
Kingston Zodiac
London Transport Country walks
Lost Hospitals of London. Web site
Lost Pubs Project
Nairn. Nairn’s London, 
Parker. North Surrey 
Penguin. Surrey
Pevsner. Surrey
Rosebery School. Web site
Sycamore Centre. Web site
University of the Creative Arts.  Web site

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