Stoneleigh shown within Surrey
|Area||1.93 km2 (0.75 sq mi)|
|Population||8,741 (2011 census)|
|- Density||4,529 /km2 (11,730 /sq mi)|
|OS grid reference|
|- London||11.3 mi (18.2 km) NNE|
|District||Epsom and Ewell|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Postcode district||KT17, KT19|
|Post town||WORCESTER PARK|
|Ambulance||South East Coast|
|EU Parliament||South East England|
|UK Parliament||Epsom and Ewell|
Stoneleigh is a small to medium sized suburb occupying most of the northern part of the borough of Epsom and Ewell in Surrey, England, with a population of almost 9,000 residents. It is situated 11 miles (18 km) from the centre of London with a few streets in the London Borough of Sutton.[n 1] In the traditional parish system it was part of Ewell and Cuddington until the building of its church, St John's the Baptist in 1939.
Stoneleigh, retaining small parks, playing fields and playgrounds, was extensively developed from fields into a low rise network of homes in the 1930s, spurred by the building of its railway station and most of the houses are semi-detached. Stoneleigh has the central amenities of the station and Stoneleigh Broadway being its high street with a post office and some chains of retailers. Its area, in the angle between the A240 and the A24, compromises the wards of Stoneleigh and Auriol and a nominal part of the Ewell Court ward of Ewell.
The Roman road Stane Street passed along the eastern boundary of what is now Stoneleigh (the modern day London Road/A24) on its way from London to Chichester via the nearby spring at Ewell. In the 17th century, the area where Stoneleigh now lies was part of the Great Park of Nonsuch Palace. In 1731 the Nonsuch estate was sold off and the Great Park, by then known as Worcester Park was divided up and turned into farmland.
Bowling Green and Coldharbour farms in the north of the park were run jointly and in 1860 were acquired by John Jeffries Stone. He had a large house he called 'Stoneleigh', close to the Bowling Green Farmhouse, which gave its name to the district.
In 1859 the London and South Western Railway opened the Wimbledon and Epsom Line, passing through Stoneleigh, although no commuter station was opened for a further 60 years. Farming was at its peak at the start of the 20th century when there were nearly twenty farms, but the number reduced rapidly after the First World War, as there was great demand for housing it became profitable to sell off the farmland for development.
Between the world wars, demand for houses on commuter routes into London meant the area grew rapidly. Maps from 1931 show the land was mainly "Meadowland and Permanent Grass" with patches of "Forest and Woodland" and "Heathland, Moorland, Commons and rough pasture". Stoneleigh railway station was opened in 1932 and the residential areas in Stoneleigh were developed around it during the remainder of the 1930s. The first parade of shops on Stoneleigh Broadway opened in November 1933 and the Stoneleigh Hotel, now a pub, opened in November 1935.
Stoneleigh railway station was originally to be named 'Stoneleigh Park' to denote that it was an area of market gardening, but this did not happen, probably due to the next three stations on the line north all being called 'Park' (Worcester Park, Motspur Park and Raynes Park). In 1938 the Rembrandt cinema was opened, next to the railway line on the Kingston Road and operated for 60 years until its closure in April 1998. It was subsequently demolished and replaced by flats.
The postal system along the London border here respects very inaccurately parish borders, which are of enduring relevance ecclesiastically in the Church of England but of little secular relevance given the demise of the vestries, groups of parishioners who would determine most local services from roads and education to poor relief. The red-brick Anglican church of St John the Baptist, next to the station, was built in 1939.
From 1847 until c.1939 many commuter homes to London and Kingston were being built in Stoneleigh Park, on market gardens and small farms, occupying what was the northern part of the parish of Ewell and part of Cuddington (which contributed most of adjoining Worcester Park), economically accompanied by in parts of the Ewell parish by "extensive brick, tile, and pottery works, called the Nonsuch Works, and two flour mills worked by water and steam".
Stoneleigh comprises the residential areas either side of the Mole Valley Line including Stoneleigh Broadway towards its midpoint which is centred 2.8 miles (4.5 km) from Epsom town centre. The suburb has no high rise buildings. It contains or borders two mostly dual carriageway A-roads; the northeast side of the A240 Kingston Road and Ewell Bypass in the Ewell Court, Auriol and Stoneleigh wards, and the A24 from near the Organ Crossroads to the traffic lights with Sparrow Farm Road, via a hill beside Nonsuch Park with two entrances to the park near where Stane Street used to be.
Stoneleigh's traditional bounds were much smaller but it has become associated with an area extending as far as the Kingston Road (A240) in the west to the south, The Organ Crossroads to the south, the A24 by Nonsuch Park in the south to east, Sparrow Farm Road to the northeast, Timbercroft and Auriol Park to the northwest. Auriol Park, for example is in the Auriol Ward but is in the KT4 Worcester Park post town. The area of the Ewell Court Ward east of Kingston road in the KT19 postcode is considered to be in Stoneleigh.
||Tolworth||Worcester Park||North Cheam|
|West Ewell, Ewell Court||Cheam|
|West Ewell||Ewell||East Ewell|
Stoneleigh has one main shopping and eating/drinking out area: The Broadway. It is about 260 metres in length and has around 40 retail units including some chains and restaurants as well as a post office and two pubs. The biggest shops are Budgens on the north side of the Broadway as well as Co-Op and chemist on the south side. Also on the north side of The Broadway is Stoneleigh Library, which opened in 1966. It was set to be replaced by the volunteer-run Stoneleigh Community Library from 19 March 2012, delayed by legal challenges, until the volunteers took over in February 2013. Stoneleigh does not have any banks, but it also contains several smaller parades of shops:
- Stoneleigh Parade on the corner of the north side of Stoneleigh Park Road and the A240 Kingston Road.
- Kingston Parade on the corner of the north side of Stoneleigh Park Road and the A240.
- Cuddington Parade on Vale Road with a post office.
- The shops on the northeast side of the A240 Kingston Road by Timbercroft, which includes a Co-Op.
Organ & Dragon
The Organ and Dragon pub and restaurant opened in the 1780s as the Organ Inn and was the drinking place of workmen who fitted the Father Willis organ in St Mary’s Church in Ewell. The Organ Crossroads junction with the A24, A240 and the B2200 was named after the pub as it is located on the corner of the junction in the far south of the suburb.
However, the owners sold the freehold and the pub closed on 18 July 2012 after around 230 years of business and the building has not been used since the closure.
In August 2012, global fast-food chain Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) bought the site and applied for planning permission to convert the former pub into one of its largest take-away and eat-in restaurants.
A wide section of the community, including the Stoneleigh and Auriol Residents Association, were unhappy at KFC's application. Also, a Facebook campaign group that was setup by local residents called No to KFC at site of Organ and Dragon gained over 650 "Likes". Epsom & Ewell Borough Council refused the application in December 2012 as well as the revised plans in March 2013. A company spokesman responded by saying that the restaurant would have been a "positive addition" to Ewell.
In a statement issued in September 2013, a KFC spokesman said, "We are obviously disappointed that our appeal for the Organ and Dragon site has not been successful as we believe that the restaurant would be a positive addition to the community in Ewell." The inspector, Angela Fairclough, did conclude that the scheme would "not harm the living conditions of neighbours and residents nearby in terms of issues they had raised, including noise, disturbance, litter or antisocial behaviour," but raised concerns regarding the anticipated increase in traffic, saying that the KFC proposal would "significantly exacerbate the existing significant queuing problems".
In early February 2014, the supermarket chain Lidl bought the defunct site from KFC and due to legal loopholes, they may not need planning permission to knock down the pub and replace it with a supermarket.
Lidl want to create a larger site for the store and have approached two homes in Elmwood Drive, located behind the defunct pub in a bid to buy their homes, as well as some houses in London Road beside the site. Residents in Elmwood Drive have refused to sell and say they are "confused and irritated" at the lack of information about Lidl's plans and 10% above the asking price is not enough.
Demography and housing
At the time of the 2001 Census Stoneleigh Ward had a population of 4,700, an increase of 3.6% from 1991, with 2,378 females and 2,322 males. Auriol Ward is the smallest in the Borough with a population of 3,687 in the 2001 Census, a decrease of 19% from 1991, with 1,858 females and 1,829 males. This decrease in population is because of the area lost to the Ewell Court ward, where the population increased by 19%.
|Ward||Detached||Semi-detached||Terraced||Flats and apartments||Caravans/temporary/mobile homes/houseboats||Shared between households|
|Ward||Population||Households||% Owned outright||% Owned with a loan||hectares|
There are four schools in Stoneleigh: the Mead Infant School and Auriol Junior School in the Auriol Ward, and Nonsuch Primary School and Meadow Primary School in the Stoneleigh Ward.
The Mead Infant School on Newbury Gardens by Cuddington Avenue is for children from Nursery Year to Year 2. It is next to Auriol Junior School on Vale Road which goes from Year 3 to 6.
There are also two schools (both primary) in the Stoneleigh Ward; Meadow Primary School on Sparrow Farm Road, which merged from Stoneleigh First School and Sparrow Farm Junior School, and Nonsuch Primary School on Chadacre Road, which is run by Sutton Council.
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (November 2012)|
Playwright John Osborne lived at 68 Stoneleigh Park Road. His grandparents lived at the end of Clandon Close. He recounts extensively his experiences as an adolescent living in 1930s and 1940s Stoneleigh and Ewell in his 1981 autobiography, A Better Class Of Person.
Writer Jane Wilson-Howarth spent her childhood and began her education in Stoneleigh.
Notes and references
- such as Sparrow Farm Road and the houses on the north side of Richlands Avenue in the KT17 postcode.
- Key Statistics; Quick Statistics: Population Density United Kingdom Census 2011 Office for National Statistics Retrieved 20 December 2013
- "Roman Ewell" Epsom & Ewell History & Archaeology Society
- "Epsom railway history" Epsom and Ewell History Explorer
- "1931 map" Sound Survey
- "Stoneleigh history" Epsom and Ewell History Explorer
- Alan A Jackson; 'Semi-Detached London', Second Edition, Wild Swan Publications 1991
- "The Rembrandt Cinema Ewell" Epsom and Ewell History Explorer
- "About St John’s" stjohnsstoneleigh.org.uk
- H.E. Malden (editor) (1911). "Parishes: Ewell". A History of the County of Surrey: Volume 3. Institute of Historical Research. Retrieved 27 December 2013.
- "History and info - Stoneleigh Community Library" www.surreycommunity.info
- De-Keyzer, Amy "KFC withdraws plans after Organ and Dragon appeal dismissed" getSURREY 3 October 2013
- "Area: Stoneleigh (Ward)" Office for National Statistics
- "Area: Auriol (Ward)" Office for National Statistics