Godstone

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For the hamlet of Leigh, Staffordshire, see Church Leigh#Godstone.

Coordinates: 51°14′53″N 0°03′50″W / 51.248°N 0.064°W / 51.248; -0.064

Godstone
The Pond, Godstone Green (geograph 3355211).jpg
The pond at Godstone Green
Godstone is located in Surrey
Godstone
Godstone
 Godstone shown within Surrey
Area  18.06 km2 (6.97 sq mi)
Population 5,949 (Civil Parish)[1]
    - Density  329 /km2 (850 /sq mi)
OS grid reference TQ3551
Civil parish Godstone
District Tandridge
Shire county Surrey
Region South East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town GODSTONE
Postcode district RH9
Dialling code 01883
Police Surrey
Fire Surrey
Ambulance South East Coast
EU Parliament South East England
UK Parliament East Surrey
List of places
UK
England
Surrey

Godstone is a village and civil parish in the county of Surrey, England. It is centred 6.3 miles (10.1 km) east of Reigate at the junction of the A22 and A25 roads, and near the M25 motorway on the escarpment of the North Downs to the north. In its far south it has a railway station, with its own small community South Godstone separated by agricultural land. Two other communities exist tied to Godstone, The Enterdent and Blindley Heath, which includes a grassland nature reserve. The Greensand Way and the North Downs Way pass through areas of Godstone.

Godstone has a smaller population than Oxted 3 miles (4.8 km) east which is the administrative centre of its mid-unit of local government, Tandridge District. Westerham, Kent is 6 miles (9.7 km) east. The county town of Guildford is 22 miles (35 km) due west and London is centred 18.1 miles (29.1 km) north.

History[edit]

The village lay within the Anglo-Saxon administrative division of Tandridge hundred. It is built along a stretch of the London to Brighton Way Roman road, which comes through the high Caterham Gap and continues southward along Tilburstow Hill Road.

Godstone initially had a different name, Walkingstead, meaning 'Wolcen's place', from the Old English personal name Wolcen (related to modern English "welkin" meaning cloud") and stede "place, homestead", related to modern English stead. A record of the name from 932 as Wuulicinsted proves this. Another record, undated, shows the name as Wolinstede, suggesting the same etymology. In the Domesday Book of 1086 it was Wachelstede.[2]

The name of the village was recorded in 1248 as Godeston, suggesting an etymology of the Old English personal name Goda and tun "farm, village", here in the sense "village" rather than "estate" considering the village size. Thus the suggested etymology is "Goda's farm". Goda was the daughter of Aethelred The Unready. She died in 1055 but the Domesday book of 1086 records the parish as being held by her husband, Count Eustace II of Boulogne.

Earlier records have the name listed as Cudeston (1153) and Codstune (1173) suggesting "farmstead of a man called Cōd" (pronounced as "code", not "cod"), as with the Cotswolds, meaning "high-forest land of a man called Cōd".

Geography[edit]

The heart of Godstone consists of two centres which are now conservation areas, Church Town and Godstone Green linked by other neighbourhoods.[3] Overall the long north-south parish covers 1,806 hectares (4,460 acres) and through its length of approximately 3 miles (4.8 km) the A22 road runs.[1]

Church Town, with its old timber framed buildings, is quiet and secluded. The Old Packhouse, dating from the 15th century, is the oldest timber framed building in the town. In the 18th Century, brick became the fashionable material for house building, and Church End and Church House, opposite the church, are two fine listed architectural examples.[4]

St Nicholas Church dominates Church Town. The North aisle was built in about 1845. Sir George Gilbert Scott's restoration of the church in 1872-3 involved widening of the chancel arch, inserting a new north side to the chancel, new windows to the nave and east end, and adding the south aisle. The churchyard contains a notable sarsen stone marking the grave of Walker Miles whose work in the early days of the "Ramblers' movement" contributed to the formation of the Ramblers of Great Britain.

At the same time, Sir George Gilbert Scott designed St Mary's almshouses next to St Nicholas Church for Mrs Mabel Hunt of Wonham House, in memory of her only daughter who had died at the age of sixteen. Built in a Victorian Tudor/gothic style, they include eight self-contained houses, a wardens house and a beautiful little chapel, dedicated to St Mary. The flèch-capped chapel and the gables compose a very pretty hamlet.

The Bell Inn
Coach House Inn and restaurant

Godstone Green became a busy centre of roads and vehicles during the growth of wheeled traffic in the 16th century, an era which spawned the establishment of Godstone's numerous inns. A number of houses built entirely of brick appeared in the 18th Century, notably the row in the High Street.

During the 19th Century, The Pond at Godstone Green was used as a horse-pond with a sloping bank down which the wagoners drove their horses.

In the very core of the village is a triangular island, which in Victorian times, was densely packed with a remarkable number of cottages intersected by alleys. It is claimed to have been the worst slum in Surrey, which is no longer the case, with each dwelling having been paid much care and attention.

The two parts of Godstone are linked by Bullbeggars Lane, a narrow road leading from the south of the village to the church, and the footpath running from the White Hart pub and its barn, along Bay Pond to Church Lane. The original village around St Nicholas Church was decimated during the great plague of 1342 with the victims being buried in two 'plague pits' in Bullbeggars Lane. Even in death the sexes were kept separate. Men and women were interred in separate pits. The road running past the church was at one time the main coastal road with the present village not being built until Tudor times. The Pack House featured in the Gracie Fields film 'Sing as you dance along', with Gracie dancing along the lane past the cottage which used to be an Inn.

South Godstone[edit]

South Godstone was originally known as Lagham and centred on the old mediæval moated manor house of Lagham, a scheduled ancient monument and Grade II* listed building. It also features a listed brew house, oast house and stable just north on its moat.[5] It forms a neighbourhood buffered by countryside immediately north of Godstone railway station.

It has St Stephens Church, St Stephens C of E primary school, a fireplace shop, an antiques shop, a garage, an RSPCA centre, several garden nurseries, a hairdresser, and a sports and social club. There is a pub opposite the railway station, originally named 'The Railway' it has been renamed 'The Lagham.' serving Indian and Nepalese food. The Fox & Hounds on Tilburstow Hill is also a short walk away.

It is home to South Godstone FC [6] whose first team currently compete in Intermediate Division One of the Surrey South Eastern Combination.

Blindley Heath[edit]

The Red Barn at Blindley Heath with pond

Blindley Heath is the southernmost portion of the parish, a hamlet separated by fields from the village of Godstone. The Blindley Heath Site of Special Scientific Interest is the best known example of a relict damp grassland on Weald Clay in Surrey and has several ponds and a stretch of the Ray Brook.[7][8] It is also a Local Nature Reserve.[9][10] There is an active C of E church to St John the Evangelist built in 1842.[11]

The Enterdent[edit]

This is a small parcel of land, tucked away in between Tilburstow Hill Road and Eastbourne Road, to the south of Godstone.[12]

The name Enterdent alludes to a cluster of cottages on the land set in a wooded valley. The origin of the name the Enterdent has never been satisfactorily explained. It has previously been known as Lower and Upper Henterden, and in the 19th century, Polly Pains Bottom. It is perhaps the dene or valley between two hills.

The first two dwellings appeared in 1842, and improvements began on the cottages in 1857, now number 6 and 7 The Enterdent. These buildings were enlarged with an extension at the rear and five further cottages were added, making a row of seven. A second terrace of cottages, this time eight in number, appeared further up the valley.

Today the fifteen original cottages have been converted to eight homes. The additional five cottages from the original terrace have since been converted into two larger properties, number 1 comprising three cottages, and number 5 comprising the remaining two. Numbers 6 and 7 still remain as individual cottages. At the entrance to the Enterdent, from Eastbourne Road, is a Georgian-style house, which was a tea room and a hotel from the 1920s to the 1940s. It has since been converted into two cottages, River Cottage and White Cottage.

Despite all the changes, the Enterdent has essentially remained relatively unaltered. The cottage gardens and vegetable allotments stand to this day, so too does the sandpit, the brook, the woods and the bluebells.

Amenities[edit]

Godstone Fire Station.

Godstone Village School is in the Godstone Green neighbourhood of the village. It caters for children between the ages of 3 and 11.[13]

The Orpheus Trust Centre is an inclusive performing arts centre founded in 1998 by British entertainer and musician Richard Stilgoe in his former family home in the village.

Godstone Vineyards is a local wine producer selling wine from the premises on Quarry Road.

There is a petting zoo and farm giving children an introduction to animals by the Vineyards, Godstone farm.[14]

Transport[edit]

Godstone is at the junction of the A22 and A25 long distance roads, the A22 is designated a trunk road by the Highways Agency, which leads to Eastbourne, East Sussex. Junction 6 of the M25 motorway is just to the north of the village, immediately south of this junction is the town's Fire Station. Godstone is also the traffic control centre for the southern M25. Godstone railway station is in South Godstone (which used to be known as Lagham), approximately 2 miles to the south of the village.

Sport[edit]

Godstone is the home of Godstone Football Club, who currently play in Redhill and District Premier Division.

Governance[edit]

Local administration is divided between Oxted, 2.8 miles (4.5 km) east and Kingston upon Thames, 15.8 miles (25.4 km) north-west.[15]

There is one representative on Surrey County Council, Helena Windsor of the United Kingdom Independence Party.[16] There are three representatives on Tandridge District Council:

Member Since Member[17]

Ward

2004 Jules Gascoigne Godstone
2006 Rosemary Linda Thorn Godstone
2009 Nick Childs Godstone

There is also a parish council with 9 members.

Demography and housing[edit]

2011 Census Homes
Output area Detached Semi-detached Terraced Flats and apartments Caravans/temporary/mobile homes shared between households[1]
(Civil Parish) 655 824 498 406 3 0

The average level of accommodation in the region composed of detached houses was 28%, the average that was apartments was 22.6%.

2011 Census Key Statistics
Output area Population Households % Owned outright % Owned with a loan hectares[1]
(Civil Parish) 5,949 2,386 32.5% 39.3% 1,806

The proportion of households in the civil parish who owned their home outright compares to the regional average of 35.1%. The proportion who owned their home with a loan compares to the regional average of 32.5%. The remaining % is made up of rented dwellings (plus a negligible % of households living rent-free).

Nearest settlements[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Key Statistics; Quick Statistics: Population Density United Kingdom Census 2011 Office for National Statistics Retrieved 21 November 2013
  2. ^ Norman Marshal
  3. ^ Jaques, J (1992) : "Bygone Godstone", Phillimore
  4. ^ OS Map with Listed Buildings and Parks marked
  5. ^ "National Heritage List for England". English Heritage. Retrieved 28 April 2012. 
  6. ^ "South Godstone FC". South Godstone Football Club Ltd. 
  7. ^ "Blindley Heath citation". Sites of Special Scientific Interest. Natural England. Retrieved 4 August 2013. 
  8. ^ "Map of Blindley Heath". Sites of Special Scientific Interest. Natural England. Retrieved 4 August 2013. 
  9. ^ "Blindley Heath". Local Nature Reserves. Natural England. Retrieved 4 August 2013. 
  10. ^ "Map of Blindley Heath". Local Nature Reserves. Natural England. Retrieved 4 August 2013. 
  11. ^ "Church of England "a church near you" website.". Church of England. Retrieved 28 April 2012. 
  12. ^ Lotter, A (1988) "The Enterdent", Surrey Mirror, Thursday December 15, 1988, p.12
  13. ^ http://www.godstone.surrey.sch.uk
  14. ^ Godstone Farm
  15. ^ Grid Reference Finder distance tools
  16. ^ "List of Surrey CC Councillors". Surrey County Council. Retrieved 28 April 2012. 
  17. ^ "Council Members". Tandridge District Council. Retrieved 28 April 2012. 

External links[edit]