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EPSOM AND EWELL SUMMER HISTORY WALKS AND TALKS…

Posted by Francesca De Franco on 24 Jul 2023

Bourne Hall Museum is running a series of fascinating guided walks around Epsom and Ewell for all the family over the summer as well as a number of history talks. Walks cost £5 per person and are limited to 20 people per walk. They must be booked ahead with David Brooks: telephone: 0208 394 1734 or email: dbrooks@epsom-ewell.gov.uk

Here’s what’s coming up…

Chalk Lane to World’s End 

From Madan’s Walk to Worlds End, enjoy walking around this fascinating part of old Epsom on Wednesday, 2nd August (1.30pm to 3pm). Discover Highgate House and its resident ghost together with other grand houses including Maidstone House and Woodcote House. See the Durdans, home to Lord Rosebery and visited by Charles II and Edward VII: hear about Frederick Prince of Wales who lived there, son of George II and father of George III. Learn about the influence of the Northey family and discover pubs past and present and the impact that both World Wars had on this tranquil part of town.

Meet at the pond in Rosebery Park, Epsom KT18 5AT

Epsom’s Oldest Road Walk

On Thursday, 3rd August (11am-12.20pm), explore Epsom’s ancient heart along its oldest road. Originally the centre of Epsom village it became one of the finest addresses in town. Discover the oldest surviving residential building and the site of Epsom’s own brewery. See the parish church, mentioned in Domesday Book, and the grand houses once inhabited by Epsom’s lords and ladies. Discover connections with Charles I and how the owner of the Cedars bankrolled William of Orange’s invasion of England. Learn about Epsom’s educational past at the old Technical Institute building, and the importance of the fire station in World War 2. Oh yes and a few ghosts!

Meet opposite the fire station in Church Street, Epsom KT17 4PW.

Explore Epsom Common 

On Wednesday, 9th August (1.30pm to 3pm), discover the ancient village of Stamford and the surrounding area of Epsom Common. Hear how the Common folk made a living and used the Common for brick making and laundry work. Visit the spot where Epsom salts was discovered and Charles I’s mother became one of the first visitors, and hear how Epsom became the place to be and be seen. Find out how the humble salts started the world’s greatest horse race and a battle!

Discover Epsom’s lost windmill and racecourse and its Roman past, learn how the Common played an important part in WWII and hear about a WWI ghost.

Meet by the pond on Stamford Green.

Hidden Ewell Walk 

Peel back time and discover Ewell’s hidden past and unseen history with a guided walk around the village on Thursday, 10th August (11.30am-1pm). A settlement since pre- historic times, Ewell has a rich history concealed beneath the modern village.

Visit Bourne Hall’s sacred lake where Bronze, Iron Age and Roman folk made offerings to ancient gods. Tread in the footsteps of the Romans on Stane Street and hear about their sacred shafts. Discover the village’s Saxon cemetery and its long-lost church. Relive the terror of exploding gunpowder mills and hear about the area’s connections with Saxon Kings, Queen Elizabeth I and William IV.

Meet at the main entrance of Bourne Hall.

Heart of Epsom

On Wednesday, 16th August (1.30pm to 3pm), you can see beneath Epsom’s genteel surface and stroll around its ancient centre discovering on your way the dark deeds, wrongdoings and ghosts of days gone past. Hear tales about Epsom’s own highwayman and the life of the evil Lord Rochester, together with the even more wicked Lord Lyttleton. Relive the time when Epsom’s spa was at the height of fashion and decide for yourself if you would have liked to visit and spend a night in the town, which was visited by Charles II and lived in by his son the Duke of Northumberland and later home to George IV (when Prince of Wales). Hear about the town’s crazy bone setter and come and be haunted by ghostly stories and visit the haunted clock tower. Discover the not so ancient past and see where rioting soldiers led to the death of a brave local policeman.

Meet at the Clock Tower, Epsom KT19 8EB.

The Manor Hospital and Manor

On Wednesday, 23rd August (1.30pm to 3pm) you can uncover the medieval landscape of Horton with its long-forgotten moated manor house and ancient barn. See how the landscape was affected by the Victorian policy of keeping patients with mental illnesses out of sight. See where the last fortified line to defend London was built against German invasion. Hear how important the Manor Hospital was in WWI, when it was visited by George V and other members of the royal family, and how the nursing staff dealt with a V1 in the Second. Find out how the mental hospitals changed Epsom forever and what happened when they were visited by Princess Diana.

Meet by the pond on Stamford Green.

The 1919 Epsom Riot 

A walk all about the 1919 Epsom riot, the attack on Epsom Police Station and the death of Sergeant Thomas Green is taking place on Thursday, 24th August (11.30am to 1pm).

Discover what happened in Epsom during WWI with its crowded Military Hospitals, camps and large numbers of Canadian soldiers left behind in Woodcote Camp waiting to go home. See how events boiled over during an incident in a local pub, which led to the infamous riot of 1919, the attack on Epsom Police Station and the death of Sergeant Thomas Green.

The walk begins outside the Rifleman pub in East Street and ends in Ashley Road at the site of the police station

Nonsuch Park and Palace 

On Wednesday, 30th August (11.30 to 1pm), enjoy a guided walk around Nonsuch Park and explore the history of the beautiful landscape. See where the original palace once stood and how it dominated the local area. From the ruins of the banqueting hall, hear stories of luxurious palaces, ambitious royalty, lost churches and lingering ghosts. Listen to tales of battles and discover how warfare has touched this ancient landscape. Discover which famous television presenter’s ancestors used to live here and how a Queen once came to tea.

Meet on the lawn opposite the café in Nonsuch Mansion House SM3 8AP. Nearest car park entry is from Cheam Road, A232.

Ashley Road Cemetery Walk 

On Thursday, 31st August (11am to 12.30pm), explore Epsom’s Victorian cemetery and visit the final resting place of the town’s great and good. Mrs Beeton’s mother, Elizabeth Dorling, enjoyed the dubious privilege of being the first person to be officially interred in 1871, but the first burial was much earlier.Discover monuments to people ranging from war heroes to jockeys and politicians, and learn why Epsom’s war memorial is situated here rather than in the town centre. Visit the grave of a VC winner and stunt man who stood in for Ringo Starr.

Meet at the main gate off Ashley Road, Epsom KT18 5BP.

Epsom Downs 

On Thursday, 31st August (1.30pm to 3pm) discover the history of Epsom’s Grandstands, which provided a home for Mrs. Beeton and a hospital for wounded soldiers. Learn what part the Downs have played in wartime from the English Civil War to the Battle of Britain – armies have trained here and during WWI 20,000 men paraded in a snowstorm. The Racecourse and the Downs were saved by the actions of one man during WWII – discover who and how. Hear tales of the Derby, gypsies, pubs and ghosts! Was Queen Victoria amused by her visit to the Derby?

Meet outside the Derby Arms, Epsom KT18 5LE.

Local History Talks

All talks take place at Bourne Hall and cost £5 per person.

Tuesday, 8th August (11.30am to 12.30pm) – Epsom in the Great War
Tuesday, 15th August (11.30am to 12.30pm) – Roman Ewell
Tuesday, 22nd August (11.30 to 12.30pm)   The story of Epsom Spa
Tuesday, 29th August (11.30pm to 12.30pm) – Epsom and Ewell in WWII

For further details visit the website here.

Have fun exploring the local area and discovering all about the history that’s shaped it!

Fran x

 
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Francesca De Franco
I’m Fran a Londoner living in Surrey with my great husband and our three lovely children. My eldest daughter is 15 and my twin daughters are aged 12.

I'm a freelance PR consultant and also run The Parent Social blog where I write about the activities we do, the places that we visit, the games that we play as well as all the every day parenting (and some non-parenting) stuff in between. I also have a wine and food PR consultancy and blog - https://www.vinocibo.co.uk/

My love for communicating and writing, mirrors my passion for trying to be the best mum I can be. Interests include good food and wine, Italian culture, football and personal finance.

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