High Street, Epsom
Epsom shown within Surrey
|OS grid reference|
|District||Epsom and Ewell|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Postcode district||KT17 KT18 KT19|
|Ambulance||South East Coast|
|EU Parliament||South East England|
|UK Parliament||Epsom and Ewell|
Epsom is a town in the borough of Epsom and Ewell in Surrey, England. Some parts of Epsom are in the Borough of Reigate and Banstead and Mole Valley District. The town is located 13.6 miles (21.9 km) south-south-west of Charing Cross, within the Greater London Urban Area. The town lies on the chalk downland in the valley of Epsom Downs, and is home to the eponymous racecourse, which holds the world-famous Epsom Derby every year.
Epsom lies within the Copthorne hundred, an administrative division devised by the Saxons. The name of Epsom derives from Ebba's ham. Ebba was a Saxon landowner. There were a string of settlements, many ending in -ham, along the northern slopes of the Downs, including Effingham, Bookham, and Cheam. The only relic from this period is a 7th century brooch found in Epsom and now in the British Museum.
Epsom appears in Domesday Book of 1086 as Evesham. It was held by Chertsey Abbey. Its domesday assets were: 11 hides; 2 churches, 2 mills worth 10 shillings, 18 ploughs, 24 acres (97,000 m2) of meadow, woodland worth 20 hogs. It rendered £17. The town at the time of Domesday Book had 38 peasant households grouped near St. Martin's Church. Later, other small settlements grew up at the town pond (now the Market in the High Street), and at Epsom Court, Horton, Woodcote, and Langley Vale.
The town is near the world famous Epsom Downs Racecourse which features two of the five English Classic horse races; the Derby and the Oaks. The races 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 Epsom 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 Rosebery Park and Rosebery School. A house was also named after him at Epsom College, a public school located in Epsom.
Historically, Epsom was known as a spa town, although there is little to see nowadays apart from a water pump. There were entertainments at the Assembly Rooms (built c. 1690 and now a pub). A housing estate has now been built upon the wells.
Owing partly to its position 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.
Epsom and Ewell was ranked in the top ten of the Halifax Quality of Life Survey 2011.
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.
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, a community service based development, including a doctors' surgery, Epsom Library, a cafe and a health and fitness centre. The Derby Square expanded and includes a number of franchise chain pubs/bars.
The University for the Creative Arts has one of its five 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 the Horton Park Children's Farm.
Sport & Leisure 
Epsom has a Non-League football club Epsom & Ewell F.C. who currently groundshare with Merstham F.C., as they sold their original ground off West Street. They are currently looking to move back into the Epsom area
Surrounding area 
As well as Epsom's General Hospital, the town was well known as the location of a group of five large Edwardian psychiatric hospitals, commonly known as the Epsom Cluster. Most of the hospitals closed in the 1990s and early 2000s, although psychiatric services are still offered on parts of the Horton, West Park, St. Ebba's and Manor Hospital sites.
The hospitals were (in order of date of opening):
- Manor Hospital (1899)
- St Ebba's Hospital (1902)
- Horton Hospital (1903)
- Long Grove Hospital (1907, an exact duplicate of Horton Hospital to save construction time)
- West Park Hospital (construction started 1912, used as a military hospital from 1916 and officially opened in 1921)
The hospitals were built in close proximity to each other on a 1,096-acre (4.44 km2) estate close to Epsom Common, which the London County Council bought to solve the overcrowding problems experienced in its other hospitals. The hospitals shared a central 'engineering works' next to Long Grove, which supplied all five institutions with water and electricity and were served by the private Horton Light Railway. Today, of the former hospitals, three have been largely redeveloped for housing (Horton, The Manor and Long Grove Hospital) and two are in the process of being redeveloped while retaining limited NHS services including day care and a cottage hospital.
Epsom railway station has frequent rail services to London (running to Waterloo, Victoria and London Bridge), and also to Leatherhead, Dorking, Guildford, Horsham, West Croydon where it connects with London Overground and Wimbledon where it connects with the London Underground and Croydon Tramlink. The entrance to the station is currently being rebuilt and incorporated into a new block of flats. There was originally a siding at the side of the station and the buffers of this siding survived (but no track) until the new construction at the station.
The town's other station, Epsom Town, was closed in 1929; and although most of the listed buildings remain they have apparently been left to decay, and incorporated into fast food and shop storage areas on the Upper High Street. 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. The dereliction is even more evident from the train line from Ewell East railway station.
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 services connect Epsom to Sutton, Kingston, Redhill, Leatherhead, Guildford and other 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 (part of TfL). Coach company Epsom Coaches and their bus division Quality Line are based in the town.
- 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.
State schools include Blenheim High School, Epsom and Ewell High School, Glyn Technology School, North East Surrey College of Technology (NESCOT) and Rosebery School for Girls and also The Beacon School Banstead. There is also a campus of the University for the Creative Arts.
Primary schools include Southfield Park Primary School,St Martins C of E Junior and Infant School, Epsom Primary School and Children Centre, Stamford Green Primary School, St Joseph's Catholic Primary School and Danetree Junior School
Emergency services 
Epsom is served by these emergency services.
- Surrey Police
- South East Coast Ambulance Service as of 1 July 2006. The Surrey Ambulance Service, Sussex, and Kent Ambulance services have all merged, and have now ceased to exist.
- Surrey Fire & Rescue Service
- Epsom General Hospital, which has an Accident and Emergency facility.
Notable people 
Notable people who were born in Epsom include:
- singer Petula Clark,
- artist Simon Starling,
- photographer Martin Parr,
- actors Tom Felton, Warwick Davis, Alex Kingston
- current Ambassador of the European Union to the United Nations, Thomas Mayr-Harting.
- record producer, sound engineer Andy Johns
People who have lived in Epsom at some time include
- writer Isabella Beeton,
- comedian Norman Wisdom,
- comedienne Mel Giedroyc,
- author and charity-founder David Charles Manners,
- snooker player Jimmy White
- football commentators Kenneth Wolstenholme and David Vine.
- The guitarist Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin notoriety is a famous son of Epsom and his father owned the Page Motors garage.
- Andy Ward, the drummer of the prog-rock band Camel was born here
and others include
- adult film actor Nici Sterling,
- the Bristol City footballer Jody Morris,
- the Southend United footballer Freddy Eastwood,
- Group one winning jockey Ian Mongan who is an Epsom based rider,
- Louis Cole famous YouTuber
- television presenters Tyger Drew-Honey and Michaela Strachan (born in Ewell).
See also 
- Surrey Domesday Book
- Hull 'worst place to live in'
- Location, Location, Location: Best and Worst Live
- "Epsom Playhouse". Retrieved 2007-11-16.
- "Epsom Clock Tower". Retrieved 2010-01-06.
- "History - From 1990s to the Present Day - Epsom & Ewell Football Club". Pitchero.com. 2012-11-29. Retrieved 2013-04-07.[unreliable source?]
- "Manor Hospital". Thetimechamber.co.uk. Retrieved 2010-04-29.
- "St. Ebba's Hospital". Thetimechamber.co.uk. Retrieved 2010-04-29.
- "Horton Hospital". Thetimechamber.co.uk. Retrieved 2010-04-29.
- "Long Grove Hospital". Thetimechamber.co.uk. Retrieved 2010-04-29.
- "West Park Hospital". Thetimechamber.co.uk. Retrieved 2010-04-29.
- "Urbex". Simoncornwell.com. Retrieved 2010-04-29.
- "Horton Park Childrens Farm". Hortonpark.co.uk. Retrieved 2010-04-29.
- "[[Epsom and Ewell High School]]". Epsom and Ewell High School. Retrieved 2010-04-29. Wikilink embedded in URL title (help)
- "Rosebery School". Rosebery.surrey.sch.uk. 2010-04-09. Retrieved 2010-04-29.
- "ewell castle school". Ewellcastle.co.uk. 2010-03-05. Retrieved 2010-04-29.
- Epsom - 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article
- Town of Epsom
- Epsom & Ewell Borough Council
- Exploring St.Ebbas Hospital
- Exploring West Park Asylum
- Detailed History of the Spa, Salts and Springs of Epsom and Ewell