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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Epsom
Epsom High Street from the Clock Tower.jpg

High Street, Epsom
Epsom is located in Surrey
Epsom
Epsom
Location within Surrey
Area18.04 km2 (6.97 sq mi)
Population31,489 (2011 census)[1]
• Density1,746/km2 (4,520/sq mi)
OS grid referenceTQ2060
District
Shire county
Region
CountryEngland
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Historic countySurrey
Post townEPSOM
Postcode districtKT17, KT18, KT19
Dialling code01372
PoliceSurrey
FireSurrey
AmbulanceSouth East Coast
UK Parliament
List of places
UK
England
Surrey
51°20′10″N 0°16′01″W / 51.336°N 0.267°W / 51.336; -0.267

Epsom is the principal town of the Borough of Epsom and Ewell in Surrey, England, approximately 13.5 mi (21.7 km) south of Charing Cross and 4.75 mi (7.64 km) northeast of Leatherhead. The town is recorded as Ebbesham in the 13th century and its name probably derives from that of a Saxon landowner.[2] Founded as a spring line settlement where the permeable chalk of the North Downs meets the impermeable London Clay, Epsom developed as a spa town in the Georgian period. The mineral waters were found to be rich in magnesium sulphate, which became known as Epsom salts.

Epsom station is an important railway junction, where lines to London Victoria and London Waterloo diverge.

Each year, on the first Saturday in June, Epsom Downs Racecourse holds The Derby, the most prestigious of the five Classic flat season horse races.[3]

Toponymy

The first written record of a settlement at Epsom dates from the 10th century, when its name is given as Ebesham.[4] It appears in Domesday Book of 1086 as Evesham[5] and in subsequent surviving documents as Ebbesham and Ebesam (12th century), Epsam (15th century), Ebbisham and Epsham (16th century) and Epsome (17th century). The first known use of the modern spelling Epsom is from 1718.[4]

The name is thought to derive from that of a Saxon landowner, either as Ebba's ham or Ebbi’s ham (where ham means home or settlement).[4][6][note 1] Alternatively the name may come from ebbe, the Old English word for 'flow', which may reference an intermittent stream or spring in the area.[8]

History

Epsom lies within the Copthorne Hundred used for periodic, strategic meetings of the wealthy and powerful in Anglo-Saxon England, and later having a Hundred Court.[2] Many Spring line settlements by springs in Anglo-Saxon England were founded at the foot of dry valleys such as here and Effingham, Bookham, Cheam, Sutton, Carshalton, Croydon and Bromley. A relic from this period is a 7th-century brooch found in Epsom and now in the British Museum.

Chertsey Abbey, whose ownership of the main manor of Ebbisham was confirmed by King Æthelstan in 933, asserted during its Middle Ages existence that Frithwald and Bishop Erkenwald granted it 20 mansas of land in Epsom in 727.[2] Epsom appears in Domesday Book of 1086 as Evesham, held by Chertsey Abbey. Its domesday assets were: 11 hides; 2 churches, 2 mills worth 10 shillings, 18 ploughs, 24 acres (9.7 ha) of meadow, woodland worth 20 hogs; altogether it rendered £17 per year to its overlords.[9] The town at the time of Domesday Book had 38 households (and 6 serfs noteworthy enough to be recorded as assets), some of them in a nucleated village near the parish church of which there were two.[10] At various dates in the Middle Ages, manors were founded by subinfeudation at Epsom Court, Horton, Woodcote, Brettgrave and Langley Vale.[2]

Under Henry VIII and Queen Mary the manor passed to the Carew then related Darcy families. It passed via the Mynne, Buckle and Parkhurst families to Sir Charles Kemys Tynte and after his death to Sir Joseph Mawbey.

By the end of the Georgian period, Epsom was known as a spa town. Remnants of this are its water pump and multiple exhibits in the town's museum. There were entertainments at the Assembly Rooms (built c. 1690 and now a pub). A green-buffered housing estate has now been built upon the wells in the south-west of the town.

Epsom salts are named after the town. Epsom salt (magnesium sulphate) was originally prepared by boiling down mineral waters which sprung at Epsom. The town's market is built on the pond that existed in the Middle Ages.

Within the centuries-old boundaries is Epsom Downs Racecourse which features two of the five English Classic horse races; The Derby and The Oaks, which were first run in 1780 and 1779 respectively. On 4 June 1913, Emily Davison, a militant women's suffrage activist, stepped in front of King George V's horse running in the Derby, sustaining fatal injuries.

The British Prime Minister and first chairman of the London County Council, Lord Rosebery, was sent down (expelled) from the University of Oxford in 1869 for buying a racehorse and entering it in the Derby − it finished last. Lord Rosebery remained closely associated with the town throughout his life, leaving land to the borough, commemorated in the names of several roads, Rosebery Park and Rosebery School. A house was also named after him at Epsom College, one of Britain's public schools in Epsom.

The New Student's Reference Work of 1914 describes Epsom:[11]

Ep′som, a small town market of Surrey, England, fifteen miles southwest of London. The springs which made Epsom so fashionable a resort in the latter half of the 17th century, gave name to the Epsom salt, formerly made from them. The church, rebuilt in 1824, contains monuments by Flaxman and Chantrey. On Banstead Downs, one and a half miles south of the town, the most famous horse-races of the world are held yearly on Derby day. The grand stand was built in 1829–30 at a cost of $100,000, and seats 7,500 spectators. Population, 10,915.

Governance

The town lies within the parliamentary constituency of Epsom and Ewell, and is currently represented in parliament by Conservative Chris Grayling.

Economy and amenities

Ebbisham House, the early, central structure of which is Grade II listed
Ebbisham House, the early, central structure of which is Grade II listed
Epsom Clock Tower
Epsom Clock Tower
Epsom Clock Tower Surrey
Epsom Clock Tower Surrey
Epsom Town Hall, The Parade
St Martin of Tours Church, Epsom
St Martin of Tours Church, Epsom

Epsom Clock Tower was built in 1847, replacing the watchhouse which stood from the 17th century, and was built to 70 feet of red and suffolk brick, with heraldic lions of Caen Stone at the four corners of the tower base. A bell was added in 1867. By 1902 the lions had been replaced by lanterns, (which were replaced by the current globe lights in 1920) and the toilet buildings added either side of the tower.[12]

Owing partly to its position and transport infrastructure in the London commuter belt allowing easy access to the Greater London conurbation to the north and the rolling Surrey countryside to the south, the borough of Epsom and Ewell was named in August 2005 by Channel 4's Location, Location, Location as the "Best Place to Live" in the United Kingdom, and ranked at numbers 8 and 3 in subsequent years.[13][14]

The Epsom Playhouse was opened in 1984 and is run by Epsom and Ewell Borough council.[15]

The Ashley Centre, a shopping mall, was built in the early 1980s and subsequently parts of the high street were pedestrianised as part of the construction of the town's one-way system. In the 1990s, a large multiplex Odeon cinema was built in Upper High Street.

The late 1990s saw the development of the Ebbisham Centre (not to be confused with the nearby early-18th-century Ebbisham House), a community service based development, including a doctors' surgery, Epsom Library and a café. The adjoining Epsom Square (formerly Derby Square) includes a number of eating and drinking establishments.

The University for the Creative Arts has one of its four main campuses in Epsom. Laine Theatre Arts, an independent performing arts college, is based in the town. Students have included Victoria Beckham. Leisure facilities in and around the town include a leisure centre (the Rainbow Centre) on East Street; Epsom Downs Racecourse; the Odeon cinema; and Hobbledown Children's Farm.

Major employers in the town include Epsom and Ewell Borough Council and WS Atkins.

As part of Epsom and Ewell, the town is twinned with Chantilly in northern France.[16] Epsom and Ewell was ranked in the top ten of the Halifax Quality of Life Survey 2011.[17]

Geography

Soil and elevation

The town is bisected in two in terms of soil: the north of the town is on gravel and sand deposited around the London Clay of most of London as the Thanet Formation, whereas the south-east of the town is on uneroded chalk slopes: Epsom Downs refers to these slopes reaching up to wide plateau (on which sit the formerly water-scarce settlements: Box Hill, Walton on the Hill, Tadworth and Kingswood, Surrey) and covers 990 acres (400 ha) of what is in traditional terms and in technical terms, part of the area of the settlement, called Epsom Downs.[2] In terms of topsoil, the northern soil is free draining, slightly acid but base-rich soils, producing extremely fertile pastures and deciduous woodland. The southern soil is of two types:

  • shallow, lime-rich soil over chalk or limestone of the escarpment
  • slightly acid, loamy and clayey soils with impeded drainage soil[18]

The town's clustered bulk is at 35m to 70m (above Ordnance Datum, mean sea level) and slopes incrementally from south and all other directions (to a lesser extent) towards the centre-north. The racecourse and Langley Vale parts of Epsom rise to high points of 140m and form a drainage divide between tributaries of the Thames flowing north and towards the Mole Gap south-west.[19]

Localities

Epsom is contiguous apart from the neighbourhoods or localities below.

Horton

Horton covers the slightly elevated westernmost part of the borough. Suburban and rural, it is centred on Horton Lane, a wide road with gentle bends, 1.5 miles (2.4 km) in length with a 40 mph speed limit one of two routes between Chessington (including Hook) and the West Ewell-Epsom conurbation as an alternative route to Hook Road (the B284). It was a manor of the parish and remains a hamlet of the town as well as not qualifying for post town status. The place-name Horton is a common one in England. It derives from Old English horu 'dirt' and tūn 'settlement, farm, estate', presumably meaning 'farm on muddy soil'.[20] Formerly around it were a group of psychiatric hospitals which served London and Surrey, forming a socially distanced community and pre-dated the United Kingdom's shift to care in the community mental health treatments which commenced in the early 20th century.

Horton's amenities include:

  • Horton Park Golf Club
  • David Lloyd Leisure Centre
  • Horton Country Park
  • Hobbledown children's adventure park and farm
  • Epsom Polo Club

Langley Vale

This locality is a sloped, developed network of streets, surrounded by steep farmland and the racecourse.


Demography and housing

2011 Census Homes
Ward Detached Semi-detached Terraced Flats and apartments Caravans/temporary/mobile homes/houseboats Shared between households[1]
College 1,040 425 144 622 0 17
Court 160 721 947 738 1 0
Stamford 707 995 300 346 0 0
Town 237 849 455 1,584 2 27
Woodcote 1,111 513 232 430 0 0
2011 Census Households
Ward Population Households % Owned outright % Owned with a loan hectares[1]
College 5,873 2,248 41.1 35.9 316
Court 6,830 2,567 13.8 39.8 213
Stamford 6,088 2,348 38.5 43.7 436
Town 6,979 3,154 27 29.1 136
Woodcote 5,719 2,286 41.4 37.9 703

Public services

Utilities

The public gas supply to Epsom began in 1839,[21] when the Epsom and Ewell Gas Company purchased land on East Street for the town gasworks. Initially coal was transported by road from Battersea, but was delivered by train following the opening of the railway in 1847.[22] Gas-powered street lighting was installed in the town centre by 1840.[23] The Epsom and Ewell Gas Company was amalgamated with the Wandsworth and Putney Gas Light & Coke Company and the Mitcham and Wimbledon District Gas Light Company in 1912.[22]

The Epsom waterworks were established on East Road in 1853. By 1870, there were at least two wells on the site, which supplied water to the town.[24] Until the mid-19th century, sewage was disposed of in cesspits, however the high water table in the town often lead to drinking water becoming contaminated.[23] The pond in the centre of High Street, which had become polluted with waste, was filled in 1854 under the direction of the newly formed local board of health.[25] The first sewerage system was created the same year, which included the construction of a sewage farm on Hook Road (then known as Kingston Lane). A comprehensive drainage plan was produced in 1895, after the formation of Epsom UDC, and arrangements were made to share the Leatherhead sewage outfall. The site of the sewage farm was redeveloped and is now the Longmead Industrial Estate.[23] Today, Thames Water is responsible for drinking water and sewerage in the town.[26]

An electricity generating station was opened in 1902 in Depot Road. Initially it was capable of generating 220 kW of power, but by the time of its closure in 1939, its installed capacity was 2 MW.[21][27] Under the Electricity (Supply) Act 1926, Epsom was connected to the National Grid, initially to a 33 kV supply ring, which linked the town to Croydon, Leatherhead, Dorking and Reigate. In 1939, the ring was connected to the Wimbledon-Woking main via a 132 kV substation at Leatherhead.[21][28]

Emergency services and justice

Following the County Courts Act 1848, a courthouse was built in Epsom.[29] The County and Magistrates' Courts closed in 2010.[30] Epsom Police Station was opened in Church Street in July 1963. The Epsom force had been part of the Metropolitan Police since 1829, but was transferred to Surrey Police in April 2000.[29][31]

Epsom Fire Station, Church Street
Epsom Fire Station, Church Street

Epsom is thought to have acquired a 'manual' fire engine in around the 1760s. It was operated by volunteers and was kept at the clock tower in the High Street. The first full-time brigade was established in 1870 and, by the end of the century, was based on Waterloo Road. The current fire station in Church Street was opened in 1937.[32] In 2021, the fire authority for Epsom is Surrey County Council and the statutory fire service is Surrey Fire and Rescue Service.[33] Epsom Ambulance Station is run by the South East Coast Ambulance Service.[34]

Healthcare

Epsom Cottage Hospital, the first hospital in Epsom, was opened in Pikes Hill in 1873. It moved to Hawthorne Place in 1877 and, in 1889, a new building was constructed in Alexandra Road to celebrate Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee.[35] The suffragette, Emily Davison, died at the hospital after being hit by King George V's horse at the 1913 Derby.[36][37] Epsom Cottage Hospital officially closed in 1988, however the premises are used today as a community hospital offering physiotherapy and rehabilitation services.[38]

Epsom Hospital was built by the Poor Law Guardians adjacent to the workhouse on Dorking Road in 1890.[35][39] It was made the responsibility of Surrey County Council in 1930[40] and became part of the NHS in 1948.[35] Since April 1999, it has been run by Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust, following a merger between the Epsom Health Care and St Helier NHS Trusts.[41] Epsom Hospital has an A&E department.[42]

St Ebba's Hospital, designed by William Clifford Smith, was opened in 1903.[43]
St Ebba's Hospital, designed by William Clifford Smith, was opened in 1903.[43]

The Epsom Cluster was a group of five psychiatric hospitals, built to the west of Epsom on land purchased by London County Council in 1896.[44] The Manor Asylum was the first to be opened in 1899[45] and the fifth, West Park Asylum, was fully completed in June 1924, having been used by the Canadian Military during WWI.[46] A light railway was constructed to deliver building materials and coal to the construction sites.[47] Clean water was supplied from a borehole and a power station was constructed to provide electricity to the five institutions.[44] All of the hospitals closed during the 1990s and 2000s and their sites have since been redeveloped for housing.[44]

As of 2021, the town has three GP practices.[48]

Transport

Rail

Epsom railway station has frequent rail services to London and other local towns operated by the Southern and South Western Railway franchises.

The town's other station, Epsom Town, was closed in 1929; although most of the listed buildings remain. The station is of historic interest being the arrival point for Queen Victoria and her entourage prior to taking a carriage up to Epsom Downs.

Two other railway lines were built to serve the Epsom Downs Racecourse, with termini at Epsom Downs and Tattenham Corner. The Horton Light Railway was built around 1905, as a branch from the main line near Ewell West Station, to deliver building materials to the mental hospitals (see above) being built on what is now Horton Country Park.

Bus

Bus services connect Epsom to neighbouring areas and a regular service connects with the London Underground at Morden. Some bus services are commercial, some run with the support of Surrey County Council, and others under contract to London Buses. Quality Line, a branch of RATP Dev operates buses from a depot in the town and offers services on a number of Transport for London and other routes.

Road

  • The A24 passes through the centre of the town.
  • The M25 motorway can be joined at Junction 9 Leatherhead, via the A24 south.
  • The B280 runs from Epsom (West Hill) through Malden Rushett (A243) to Oxshott.

Education

Further and Higher Education

The Epsom campus of the University for the Creative Arts was founded as the Epsom Technical Institute & School of Art in 1896. The original building in Church Street was designed by John Hatchard-Smith in the English Renaissance style and was financed by public subscription.[49] It moved to new premises in Ashley Road in 1973[50] and merged with the West Surrey College of Art and Design[51] to form the Surrey Institute of Art and Design in 1994. The combined institution was granted university college status in 1999.[52] In 2005, it merged with the Kent Institute of Art and Design to become the University for the Creative Arts.[53][54]

Laine Theatre Arts is an independent performing arts college, founded by Betty Laine in 1974.[55][56] It prepares students for careers in professional musical theatre and teaches the core skills of dance, singing and acting.[55] Alumni include Victoria Beckham,[56][57] Kerry Ellis,[58] Ben Richards[58] and Sarah Hadland.[59]

Maintained schools

Blenheim High School opened in 1997[60] and it became an academy in 2012.[61]

Glyn School was founded as the Epsom County School in 1927[62] and became a grammar school in 1944.[50] It was renamed Glyn Grammar School in 1954, after Sir Arthur Glyn, the first chairman of the school Governing Body.[62] It became a comprehensive school in 1976 and its name changed again to Glyn/ADT School of Technology in 1994.[50] The school gained academy status in 2011.[63]

Rosebery School was opened in 1921 as the Epsom County Secondary School for Girls.[64][65] In 1927, it moved to its current site on land donated by Lord Rosebery, acquiring its present name at the same time.[64] It became an academy in 2011.[66]

Independent schools

Epsom College
Epsom College

Epsom College was founded in 1851 as the Medical Benevolent College by the physician, John Propert. The school buildings were opened in 1855 by Prince Albert and the first cohort of 100 pupils were all sons of medics.[67] By 1865, the school roll had grown to 300 and had been opened to those able to pay fees.[68] The Grade II-listed chapel, dedicated to St Luke, was built in 1857[69] and was enlarged by Arthur Blomfield in 1895.[70] Girls were first admitted to the school in 1976[69] and Epsom College became fully coeducational in 1996.[71]

Kingswood House School is a preparatory school to the west of the town centre. It was founded in 1899 and moved to its present site on West Hill in 1920. Since the 1960s it has operated exclusively as a day school. Girls will be admitted for the first time in September 2021.[72]

Culture

View at Epsom (1809) by John Constable
View at Epsom (1809) by John Constable

Music

Epsom Choral Society was founded in 1922 by the publisher, Humphrey Milford. His son, the composer Robin Milford was the first conductor. The choir has commissioned works from the British composers Cecilia McDowall and Jonathan Willcocks.[73] Epsom Symphony Orchestra for amateur musicians was founded in 1951 and gives four concerts each year at the Epsom Playhouse.[74][75]

Paintings

The landscape painter, John Constable (1776–1837), visited Epsom regularly between 1806 and 1812. His works include several depictions of the town, including View at Epsom (1809), held by The Tate.[76] The gallery also owns paintings of horse racing taking place on the Downs, including works by Alfred Munnings (1878–1959)[77] and William Powell Frith (1819–1909).[78] The 1821 Derby at Epsom (1821) by Théodore Géricault (1791-1824) is held by The Louvre.[79] Paintings of Nonsuch Palace, attributed to Hendrick Danckerts (c. 1625–1680),[80] and of the view from Epsom Downs, by William Henry David Birch (1895–1968), are held by Epsom Town Hall.[81]

Public art

John Gilpin as Spectre de la Rose by Tom Merrifield
John Gilpin as Spectre de la Rose by Tom Merrifield

A statuette by the Australian sculptor Tom Merrifield was erected outside the Playhouse in 1999. It depicts the dancer, John Gilpin, performing the title role of Le Spectre de la rose from the ballet by Jean-Louis Vaudoyer.[82]

Evocation of Speed, a bronze sculpture by Judy Boyt, was installed at Epsom Square in 2002. It depicts two horses - Diomed, the winner of the first Derby in 1780 and Galileo, the winner of the 2001 race. The depictions of the two riders show how the clothing worn by jockeys has changed over time.[83]

A statue of Emily Davison by the artist Christine Charlesworth, was installed in the marketplace in 2021, following a campaign by volunteers from the Emily Davison Memorial Project.[84]

Theatre

Epsom Playhouse opened in 1984 as part of The Ashley Centre development. It has two performance spaces:[85] The main auditorium seats a maximum of 450.[86] The Myers Studio, which has an octagonal floor plan, seats 80 and is suited to smaller-scale drama, comedy and jazz performances.[85][87]

Sport

Rainbow Leisure Centre

The current Rainbow Leisure Centre opened in 2003, replacing the original facility which dated from the 1930s. The centre includes swimming pools, two dance studios and a sports hall with four badminton courts.[88] In 2011, a spa facility was added as part of an extensive refurbishment, during which the gym equipment was also upgraded.[89] The centre is managed by Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL) under their "Better" brand.[90]

Association Football

Epsom & Ewell F.C. traces its origins to the Epsom Juniors Cricket Club, founded in March 1918. A year later the team began to play football and was a founder member of the Sutton & District League in 1920. The team changed its name to Epsom Town F.C. in 1922 and played its home games at the Horton Hospital Sports Ground. The club became Epsom F.C. in 1934 and adopted its current name in 1960.[91] Since the start of the 2020/21 season, the club has been based at Fetcham Grove, the Leatherhead F.C. stadium.

Cricket

The earliest reference to cricket being played in the town is from 1711 and Epsom Cricket Club is thought to have been founded in around 1800. During the early 19th century, matches appear to have taken place on the Downs and also at Stamford Green on Epsom Common. By 1860, the club had established a new ground on Woodcote Road, on land belonging to Edward Richard Northey, and plays its home games there today.[92]

Hockey

Epsom Hockey Club is thought to have been founded in around 1900 and was well established by the 1909/10 season. Initially, home games were played at the Court Recreation Ground, but the club established a permanent base in Woodcote Road after the Second World War.[93]

Tennis

Epsom Lawn Tennis Club was founded as a croquet club in the 1850s, based at Woodcote House. By the 1870s, tennis became the more important sport and in 1913 the club had five tennis courts and three croquet courts. The last remaining croquet court was converted to a grass tennis court in 1923.[94]

Other sports

Epsom and Ewell Harriers is a club for track and field athletes, based at the Poole Road Track in Ewell.[95] Epsom Cycling Club was founded in 1891 and is one of the oldest in the country. The club arranges organised rides and regular time trials in the local area.[96] Sutton and Epsom Rugby Football Club was founded in 1881 and their main ground is at Rugby Lane, Cheam.[97]

Parks and open spaces

Epsom Common

The Great Pond, Epsom Common
The Great Pond, Epsom Common

During the medieval period, Epsom Common was the manorial waste land[98] and, in the 12th century, the monks of Chertsey Abbey built the Great Pond to rear fish.[99] The first cottages had been built around the edges of the common by 1679 and by the mid-18th century there were over 30, mostly on the land around Stamford Green.[100] The Common was purchased by Epsom Urban District Council (UDC) in 1935 and its successor body, the Borough Council, continues to own and manage it today. Together with the adjacent Ashtead Common, Epsom Common comprises a Site of Special Scientific Interest and is a Local Nature Reserve. The 176-hectare (430-acre) site has a range of distinctive habitats and is a breeding ground for 59 bird species.[98]

Epsom Downs

Epsom Downs and the neighbouring Walton Downs are to the south east of the town and together comprise 240 ha (600 acres) of chalk downland. The Downs are owned by Epsom Racecourse and are managed by a board of Conservators under the framework of the Epsom and Walton Downs Regulation Act 1984. A number of rare plants species are present, including round-headed rampion, bastard-toadflax and chalk hill eyebright. The area provides a habitat for bird species including the Eurasian skylark.[101]

Horton Country Park

Nilgai at Hobbledown Children's Farm, Horton Country Park
Nilgai at Hobbledown Children's Farm, Horton Country Park

Horton Country Park was created in 1973 from two farms belonging to the Epsom Cluster of psychiatric hospitals and is owned and managed by the Borough Council.[102] Around 152 ha (380 acres) have been designated a Local Nature Reserve in 2004.[103] The country park includes areas of ancient woodland and provides a habitat for a wide range of mammal, bird and insect species including the green woodpecker and roe deer.[102] It also contains a golf course, equestrian centre and a children's farm.[104]

Mounthill Gardens and Rosebery Park

Mounthill Gardens, south west of the town centre, was formed from the grounds of two adjacent houses, both purchased by Epsom UDC in 1950. The smaller house, Rosebank, had been bombed during the Second World War and was subsequently demolished by the Council. The larger house, Mounthill, was used as offices for a time, before it too was demolished.[note 2] The 2 ha (5 acres) of steeply sloping land surrounding the two buildings was converted into a public park that opened in 1965.[105][106]

The lake in Rosebery Park
The lake in Rosebery Park

Rosebery Park, to the south of the town centre, was presented to Epsom UDC in 1913 by Lord Rosebery as "proof of [his] deep and abiding affection" for the town. Rosebery’s wish was for the creation of "a public pleasure ground for the resort and recreation of the inhabitants of Epsom." Work to create the formal areas of the park had begun by the outbreak of the First World War, including the enlargement of an existing pond to create the lake. Non-landscaped areas were converted into allotments during the two world wars. Today the 4.5 ha (11-acre) park is owned and managed by the Borough Council.[107][108]

Recreation grounds

Alexandra Recreation Ground
Alexandra Recreation Ground

Alexandra Recreation Ground was opened in 1901 on land previously owned by Chertsey Abbey.[109][110] The land was purchased by Epsom UDC in response to a public petition[110] and was intended for local residents to use for sporting activities.[109] During WWI, the football pitches were ploughed and the land was used to grow potatoes. An adjacent chalk pit was filled in 1933 and is now the site of the children’s playground.[110]

The Court Recreation Ground, to the north of the town centre, is the largest recreation ground in the borough. The land was acquired between 1924 and 1926 and a bowling green was created in 1934. The ground has an artificial turf sports pitch, five football pitches and three tennis courts.[111]

Notable people

Jimmy Page in 1977 at Chicago
Jimmy Page in 1977 at Chicago

Notable people who were born in Epsom include:

People who have lived in Epsom at some point include:

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Although identity of the landowner is uncertain, it has been suggested that Ebba was a 7th-century South Saxon queen.[7]
  2. ^ The Sadlers Court retirement apartments opened in 1998 on the site of the former Mounthill House.[105][106]

References

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Bibliography

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External links

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