Centre of Lower Ashtead by Ashtead station
Barnett Wood Lane
Ashtead shown within Surrey
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Ambulance||South East Coast|
|EU Parliament||South East England|
|UK Parliament||Epsom and Ewell|
Ashtead // is a village in the Metropolitan Green Belt of Surrey, England, just outside Greater London, and has a railway station on the secondary route to Horsham, formerly the Portsmouth Main Line. It is separated from Leatherhead by the M25, and from Epsom by Ashtead Common. Its district council is Mole Valley. It lies on western slopes of the North Downs.
There has been settlement in Ashtead since at least Roman times, with a Roman villa excavated in what is now Ashtead common. Ashtead lay within the Copthorne hundred, an administrative division devised by the Saxons.
Ashtead appears in the Domesday Book as Stede. It was held by the Canons of Bayeux from the Bishop of Bayeux. Its Domesday Assets were: 3 hides and 1 virgate; 16 ploughs, 4 acres (16,000 m2) of meadow, woodland worth 7 hogs. It rendered (in total): £12. Its main source of water at the time seems to have been the Rye.
St Giles Church in Ashtead Park dates from the 12th century, and Ashtead is mentioned twice in Samuel Pepys' diaries. Part of his entry for 25 July 1663 reads:
Towards the evening we bade them adieu and took horse, being resolved that, instead of the race which fails us, we would go to Epsom When we come there we could hear of no lodging, the town so full, but which was better, I went towards Ashsted, and there we got a lodging in a little hole we could not stand upright in While supper was getting I walked up and down behind my cosen Pepys's house that was, which I find comes little short of what I took it to be when I was a little boy.
The name of Ashtead is frequently misspelt, examples being "Ashsted" and "Ashstead". Until 1967, Ashtead railway station had "Ashtead" and "Ashstead" displayed on station name plates hanging on opposite platforms.
Elevations and Watercourses
Elevations range from the south west crest of the village at 100m AOD (above mean sea level) to 45m AOD at the Leatherhead border outflow of The Rye that rises at a pond at Little Park Farm, Farm Lane, Ashtead. The Rye forms Ashtead's eastern border then turns west, so forms a half-square around the village.
Marked on Ordnance Survey maps are three of the four named neighbourhoods of Ashtead: Lower Ashtead, rural Ashtead Common and Ashtead Park. At is centre is the most historic part architecturally with many listed buildings, along Rectory Lane and the slightly bendy thoroughfare, The Street.
The fourth area is Ashtead Village which is contiguous with the rest but at its heart. This is the oldest part of Ashtead and has the main shopping and social area of the village, with two pubs and the Ashtead Village Club which is a C&IU affiliate. It has a small southern conservation area, however outside of this has eight listed brick buildings, each more than two centuries old, including the Old Rectory which has been subdivided (built 1777) and so too has Ashtead Lodge (built 1765 - divided into five) Forge Cottage with Wisteria Cottage here are dated to approximately the 17th century and are also Grade II listed.
Lower Ashtead is a relatively flat area leading to Ashtead Common that has a recreation ground, a youth club and skate park, a pub, and a number of shops all built near the preserved large square of wood in front of the railway station.
- Ashtead Park
Ashtead Park has more of the same conservation area at its edge near the Rye in particular: Ashtead House and Headmasters House here are architecturally imposing hillside developments and the latter is part of the City of London Freemen's School - since 1924 its base. This uses as its hub the even more imposing Ashtead Park House in its listed parkland which reaches to Headmasters House. Its leading architect Sir Thomas Wyatt commissioned its grand façade designs from Joseph Bonomi, for its 1790 owner Richard Bagoti; it was enlarged and altered in or after 1880 by Sir Thomas Lucas again at major expense. Accordingly it is listed in the highest architectural category for the whole village, Grade II*.
Ashtead Pottery was produced in the village from 1923 until the company ceased trading in 1935.
Ashtead Players have a long and successful history with a distinguished artistic record equalled by few dramatic societies. Established for over 50 years, with two distinct elements:
- Adult Ashtead Players, successfully presenting a whole range of popular theatrical productions.
- Young Ashtead Players (12-18 years), offering a real performance experience for younger members.
1st Ashtead Scout Group was incorporated on 21st June 1920 and is still offering adventurous and educational programmes to young people between the ages of 6 and 18. It has its own headquarters in Lower Ashtead near Ashtead Common. The group has over 250 members including young people, adult leaders and supporters.
The Ashtead Psalms were commissioned by Ashtead Choral Society to mark their fiftieth anniversary in the year 2000 from composer Robert Steadman.
In 1887 Ashtead Cricket Club was founded and since then they have progressed into the Premier league of the Surrey Championship.
- Footpaths and Cycle Routes
A footpath from the centre of the village leads to a hilltop intersection of paths along Pebble Lane/Stane Street south of the village. From here accessible from two routes south is the North Downs Way that spans the Mole Gap to Reigate Escarpment SSSI and Box Hill to the south of the village, which can also be accessed via Leatherhead and part of the Mole Gap Trail - which in turn provides cycle and access by foot to a scenic north-south route from Leatherhead to Dorking and beyond.
Ashtead's schools include:
- Barnett Wood Infant School
- City of London Freemen's School - associated with City of London Corporation
- St. Giles' (Church of England) Infant School
- The Greville Primary School
- West Ashtead Primary School
- Downsend School
- Downsend School Ashtead Lodge
Ashtead has a small modern railway station with direct services to London Waterloo, London Victoria, London Bridge, Horsham, Dorking and Guildford lines. It is served by both Southern and South West Trains services. Construction of a new station building began in November 2012 and the new station building has now opened to business. A number of other jobs are still required to be finished to complete the project. In total £2m will have been spent on upgrading the station. This is now the third station building that Ashtead Station has had since the railways arrived.
Ashtead is served by these emergency services:
- Surrey Police
- South East Coast Ambulance Service
- Surrey Fire & Rescue Service
- Ashtead Hospital, a small private hospital with no A&E department. The nearest general hospital with an A&E department is in Epsom.
|This section needs additional citations for verification. (January 2009)|
- Evan Davis, presenter of Dragons' Den
- Clara Dow, singer, soprano for Gilbert and Sullivan
- Albert "Smiler" Marshall, the last British cavalryman to have ridden into battle on the Western Front, lived and died in Ashtead.
- Andrea McLean, the Scottish television presenter currently lives in the village.
- Beverley Nichols, whose Merry Hall trilogy is about his decade restoring a house in this area.
- Samuel Pepys, visited Ashtead in the 17th century and spent some time living there as a boy.
- Alec Stewart, the former England cricketer and wicketkeeper lives in the village.
- Arthur Duckham, founder and first President of the Institution of Chemical Engineers, lived at High Warren, where he died at the age of 52 after a game of squash.
- "Ashtead Common cultural heritage". City of London. Retrieved 2010-09-27.
- Surrey Domesday Book
- OS Map with Listed Buildings and Parks marked
- Ashtead Conservation Area Mole Valley
- Old Rectory - Grade II - English Heritage. "Details from listed building database (1028655)". National Heritage List for England.
- Ashtead Lodge - Grade II - English Heritage. "Details from listed building database (1028653)". National Heritage List for England.
- Forge Cottage / Wisteria Cottage - Grade II - English Heritage. "Details from listed building database (1028658)". National Heritage List for England.
- Ashtead House- Grade II- English Heritage. "Details from listed building database (1028691)". National Heritage List for England.
- Headmasters House - Grade II - English Heritage. "Details from listed building database (1294785)". National Heritage List for England.
- Ashtead Park House - Grade II*- English Heritage. "Details from listed building database (1028682)". National Heritage List for England.
- English Heritage. "Details from listed building database (1001490)". National Heritage List for England.
- "Ashtead Park". Local Nature Reserves. Natural England. Retrieved 4 August 2013.
- "Map of Ashtead Park". Local Nature Reserves. Natural England. Retrieved 4 August 2013.
- "Contact Us". Longcross. Retrieved 23 October 2012.
- "Barnett Wood Infant School". Retrieved 2008-04-24.
- "The Greville School". Archived from the original on 9 May 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-24.
- "West Ashtead Primary School". Retrieved 2008-04-24.
- "Downsend School". Retrieved 2009-09-25.
- The Six Visits of Mr. Pepys
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ashtead.|
- Ashtead Online - community news and information site
- Save Ashtead's Village Environment
- Transition Ashtead - Working towards a sustainable Ashtead
- Read a detailed historical record about Ashtead Roman Villa
- Ashtead Parish Church and Village
- Ashtead Choral Society
- Ashtead Community Vision - local planning for the future
- Ashtead Conservatives
- Ashtead Residents Association
- Ashtead Peace Memorial Hall
- Ashtead Hospital
- Local community magazine
- Stained Glass Windows at St. George Ashtead, Surrey
- Stained Glass Windows at St. Giles Ashtead, Surrey
- Stained Glass Windows at St. Michael (RC) Ashtead, Surrey
- Ashtead Players
- Ashtead Players
- St George's & St Giles' Churches in Ashtead
- 1st Ashtead Scout Group
- Ashtead in the Domesday Book