All Saints' Church, Banstead
Banstead shown within Surrey
|OS grid reference|
|District||Reigate and Banstead|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Ambulance||South East Coast|
|EU Parliament||South East England|
Banstead is a residential town/village in the borough of Reigate and Banstead in Surrey, England, on the border with Greater London, 13.5 miles (22 km) south-by-southwest of London, 3 miles (5 km) south of Sutton, 5 miles (8 km) west of Croydon and 7.5 miles (12 km) south-east of the administrative hub of the county council at Kingston-upon-Thames, a 'major metropolitan centre' of London. The county town, Guildford is 17 miles (27 km) west south-west.
On the North Downs, Banstead is on three of the four main compass points separated from other settlements by open area buffers with Metropolitan Green Belt status; echoing its much larger historic area and spread between newer developments, Banstead Downs is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). Banstead has never had the right to a regular (traditional) market however it forms a post town. Supporting a case for the settlement being a village, one of its wards is "Banstead Village". The ecclesiastical parish and abolished Urban District had many outlying parts including one which is contiguous, Nork.
Non-commercial, the nearest industrial or business areas are in the three other more remote, urban areas above, as well as the closer Reigate-Redhill conurbation to the south, Sutton and Cheam to the north and Epsom, Leatherhead and Worcester Park to the west.
At the 2011 Census the population of Banstead as a conventional whole (including Nork) was 9,110. The population of Banstead Village ward was 8,510, although the area covered by the former Banstead Parish (which only exists now for church purposes), there being no civil parish which became an Banstead Urban District which was in turn abolished in 1965 and in 2001 for instance had 46,280 people.
One of the former hamlets forms a ward and wholly contiguous development, much of which was never considered part of that hamlet and demonstrating this, it contains Banstead railway station and a Banstead parade of shops — it has nonetheless seized upon the very name of its most westerly few historically settled acres, Nork, and at the 2011 Census had 7,556 residents.
Due to all of its many hamlets which, apart from Nork, gradually gained their own, irrefutable, village or town status and stretched as far as Reigate across the widest part of crest of the North Downs, historic demography does not give a fair indicator of population change. However disregarding this geographical fact of much larger borders[n 1][n 2] and identifying rather than the 19th century wider-than-parish urban district, the parish, historical figures are provided below:
The settlement appears in the Domesday Book as Benestede, derived this suggests from the Anglo Saxon words bene, meaning bean, and without doubt common suffix stede, referring to an inhabited place without town status (c.f. farmstead). Its non-ecclesiastical land and 50 households were held by Richard as tenant-in-chief, under the Bishop of Bayeux. Its assets were: 9½ hides, 1 church, 1 mill worth £1, 17 ploughs, woodland worth 20 hogs. It rendered (in total): £8 per year.
The earliest recorded mention of Banstead was in an Anglo Saxon charter of King Edgar's time dated AD967, a century before the Domesday Survey of 1086. In that survey Banstead had a Manor with two ploughs, 28 villeins and 15 cottars (people with a small cottage but no land) with 15 ploughs. This was a farming area that later became well-known nationally for its high quality sheep wool. The manor was owned by increasingly wealthy gentry, then the church, before it fell into the hands of the Crown in the 13th century and Edward I visited more than once. Henry VIII made Banstead part of Catherine of Aragon's dowry, but took it away again and gave it to a court favourite, Sir Nicholas Carew. Carew himself then fell out of favour and was beheaded for treason, but the manor, once covering most of the village but mostly sold piecemeal, stayed in his family until the 18th century.
Banstead Downs, which for many centuries meant all the open land stretching from Epsom to Croydon and Reigate, became well known for horse racing in the 17th century and were honoured by another Royal visit on 20 November 1683 when the King and Duke of York attended a race meeting close to the core of the village (at the north of the Downs). The town also gained a reputation as a health resort during that era, becoming famous for its 'wholesome air', and London physicians used to recommend a visit to Banstead to their ailing patients.
Banstead remained a small village in population — see Demography — until the late 19th century when the improved roads and the building of the railways led to gradual growth, which increased significantly including with low density social housing and post-Blitz rehousing projects in the mid 20th century. Banstead's housing stock is generally low density and set in overwhelmingly green character surrounds; it has however few listed buildings of chiefly historical and to an extent, therefore, architectural interest — see Landmarks. Vital to the spring line settlement's water supply was the depth of the source of water, The Old Well, used by the people in the village until the arrival of pumped water. The 18th century wellhead cover which still houses the elaborate winding gear is a listed building.
The centre of Banstead has a modest High Street, a B-road that is long-bypassed by a B and an A-road to the north and west and, numbered up to 175, which stretches from the war memorial at one end to the library at the other and has the traditional churchyard lining a section of the south side. Scouts and guides parade the street on Remembrance Day and May Day. Shops are mostly geared towards socialising and convenience — the principal brands being Marks & Spencer Simply Food, Boots the Chemist, Halifax, Lloyds Bank, HSBC, Natwest, Santander, Thomas Cook, Coral (bookmakers), Cooperative Travel, Möben Kitchens/ Sharps Bedrooms/Dolphin Bathrooms and Waitrose[n 3]; a variety of restaurants and coffee bars complement these such as Zizzi, Prezzo, Caffe Nero, Costa Coffee and Pizza Express as well as largely upmarket independent stores and the professional offices: six estate agencies, three firms of solicitors and a notary public.
Other than the minority of employment in the retail sector rooted in the High Street, a small number of jobs are found in the public sector; in the local authority offices and NHS facilities to the west of the Banstead's centre, and in various schools across the area. However, the majority of Banstead's residents commute out of the district for employment: railway station annual exits have risen at the town's station from 93,069 in the tax year to 2005 to 128,148 in that of 2011-2012 for example.
||Ewell, Cheam, Worcester Park||Belmont, Sutton, Morden, Mitcham||Carshalton, Wallington, Purley|
|Epsom, Chessington||Coulsdon, Kenley|
|Burgh Heath, Tadworth, Headley, Ashtead, Leatherhead||Kingswood, Reigate,||Chipstead, Redhill, Merstham|
Banstead has several churches. The All Saints Church and Banstead Baptist Church are on the high street. Within the area there is also Banstead Community Church, St Ann's Roman Catholic Church, the Methodist Church, St Paul's Church and the United Reformed Church.
- St Annes Catholic Primary School (catholic primary school for those aged 4 to 11)
- Banstead Juniors School
- Banstead Infants School (students from here go on to Banstead Juniors)
- Warren Mead Primary School (school based in Nork part of Banstead)
- The Beacon School, previously Nork Park Secondary School, is the predominant secondary comprehensive school in the area. Nork Park, a public park, borders the rear perimeter of the school. It is one of only twenty three schools in the United Kingdom that supply ball boys to the Wimbledon Tennis Championships. It has over 1000 students.
Neighbouring London Borough of Sutton contains five Grammar schools, all of which accept pupils from outside the borough, providing they can pass the schools' entrance exams.
- Aberdour School (co-educational preparatory school for ages 3 to 13)
- Priory Preparatory School (independent day school for boys aged 2 to 13)
- Greenacre School (independent school for girls aged from 3 to 18)
- The majority of the town is bypassed by the A217 dual carriageway to the west. The A2022 passes through the residential area just to the north of the town centre, however the town centre frequently suffers from traffic congestion.
- There are several bus services through the town, linking to Epsom, Sutton and Croydon, which all have good onward bus and rail connections.
- Banstead railway station is to the west of the town's centre, across the A217. It is within Nork ward rather than Banstead ward. This was to increase Nork's negligible geographic area to roughly equalise the populations thus enabling an equal number of three councillors for each ward.
Elevations and Soil
In terms of elevation much of the land is at about 125 m above sea level and as this descends to approximately 100 m it is bisected by a railway line in a relatively deep cutting.
Underneath a variable depth humus topsoil, most of the village is on various flints or chalk.
Foremost among the listed buildings is the Grade II-listed parish church made of knapped flint, partially dressed in stone, with its sturdy tower and medieval spire.
The old village well stands to the east of the town centre in Woodmansterne Lane. It is almost 300 feet deep and was last used around the end of the 19th Century. The wellhead cover dates from the 18th Century and still contains the winding gear.
- Nork Park
Nork Park contains the remains of the Colman family mansion (as in Colman's Mustard). Many apple trees that date from the original orchard survive.
- Tumble Beacon
A large mound of earth close to The Beacon School is known as the Tumble Beacon. This was once part of a series of beacons/bonfires that stretched from the South Coast towards London, which were used to warn London of the arrival of the Spanish Armada. Southern parts of the town and avenues demonstrate the height of the North Downs and as such, some open spaces and homes have far-reaching views across London.
On the site of Downview and Highdown Prisons once stood the Banstead Asylum, a psychiatric hospital from 1873 to 1986. After being forcefully committed to the Asylum in the late 1960s by his manager, Vincent Crane of the band Atomic Rooster wrote the song "Banstead," which featured on the 1970 album Atomic Roooster.
Banstead Downs is a large site of Special Scientific Interest, covering 430 acres (174 ha). Banstead Golf Course is on the northern slopes and a residential avenues and closes down the slopes to Sutton.
The Downs is one of four green areas in the north of the borough, which are overall referred to by their historic name 'Banstead Commons'; the other three are:
- Burgh Heath (87 acres (35.2 ha))
- Banstead Heath (760 acres (308 ha))
- Park Downs(74 acres (29.9 ha)) .
Banstead Downs is home to the rare Small Blue butterfly. The four tumuli (burial mounds) that can be seen on the Downs have been identified as dating from Saxon times and are known as the Gally Hills because they are the site of a 15th-century gallows.
- Dickson Etuhu, footballer
- Andrew Garfield, actor
- Chris Powell, footballer
- Sarah Tullamore, actor, singer and dancer, grew up in Banstead
- Tim Vine, comedian
- David Walliams, actor and comedian
- Jonathan Greening, footballer
- Danny Murphy, footballer
Notes and references
- The hamlets mostly in Banstead in various southward directions of the village centre were: Kingswood with Burgh Heath; Nork; Preston; Margery; Mogador and Tadworth; and Tattenhams
- In 1848, Banstead consisted of some 5,463 acres (2,210.8 ha), chiefly in pasture: 1,375 acres (556.4 ha) were common or waste
- On 12 December 2008, a large fire destroyed the previous Waitrose supermarket rendering it structurally flawed.< ref>Large fire at Waitrose store in Banstead, Surrey Police, 13 December 2008</ref> While the original store was being completely rebuilt Waitrose operated a temporary store in the High Street, in the building vacated by the defunct Woolworths retailer. The rebuilt store opened on 26 November 2009.
- 2001 Census: Banstead (ward), Office for National Statistics
- Office for National Statistics : Census 2001 : Usual Resident Population (KS01) Banstead Village; Chipstead, Hooley and Woodmansterne; Kingswood with Burgh Heath; Nork; Preston; Tadworth and Walton; and Tattenhams wards. Retrieved 27 August 2010
- Samuel Lewis (1848). "Banstead". A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research. Retrieved 28 September 2013. In 2011, Banstead consisted of 462 hectares (1,140 acres) and Nork ward (largely somewhat arguably but always historically considered Banstead) 363 hectares (900 acres).
- "Banstead Ancient/ Civil Parish through time : Population Statistics : Total Population". A Vision of Britain through Time. Retrieved 24 September 2013.
- Domesday Map
- Church of England - Nork - About us and Find Us tabs. Retrieved 2013-09-29
- Waitrose re-opens less than a year after big fire, get Surrey, 26 November 2009
- English Heritage. "Details from listed building database (1029028)". National Heritage List for England.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Banstead.|
- Banstead History Research Group
- A vision of Banstead and Reigate through time
- Map of Banstead's historic boundaries
- Modern day map of Banstead from Mapquest.co.uk
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