Banstead Downs

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Banstead Downs

Coordinates: 51°20′06″N 0°11′35″W / 51.335°N 0.193°W / 51.335; -0.193 Banstead Downs is a Site of Special Scientific Interest in Surrey, England (bordering Greater London). It covers 430 acres (1.7 km2). To the west is the A217 and to east is the B2218. The town to the north is Sutton; whilst Banstead lies to the south. It lies at about 125 metres above sea level and is bisected by a railway line.


The Downs have long formed a largely open grass chalkland attraction — (physically separated briefly by housing since the early 20th century at Burgh Heath) from their neighbouring geographical continuation, Epsom Downs in a section of the North Downs which is not so eroded nor indented, a relatively abrupt rise of the tall North Downs less than 15 miles (24 km)} from the City of London.

...Spacious airy downs,
With grass and thyme o'erspread, and clover wild,
Where smiling Phoebus tempers every breeze,
The fairest flocks rejoice -
Such are the Downs of Bansted, edg'd with woods
And tow'ry villas
— John Dyer (1699-1757), The Fleece, book 1


The Downs is one of four green areas in the area, which are overall referred to as Banstead Commons. The other areas are Burgh Heath (87 acres), Banstead Heath (760 acres) and Park Downs (74 acres). These areas were the focus of a protracted legal battle in the 19th century.

Banstead Downs is home to the rare Small Blue butterfly.[1]

The Downs are recorded in the Domesday Book in 1086, when they were the property of Bishop Odo, the half-brother of William the Conqueror.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Walk London with audio clip
  2. ^ Noticeboard on Banstead Downs

External links[edit]