Cheam // is a large suburban village in the London Borough of Sutton, England, at the southern boundary of Greater London where it meets Surrey. It is divided into two main areas, North Cheam and Cheam Village, both of which are centred on retail districts.
Cheam has a number of listed buildings, including Lumley Chapel and the 16th-century Whitehall Gallery, and is adjacent to two large adjoining parks, Nonsuch Park and Cheam Park. Nonsuch Park contains the listed Nonsuch Mansion. Parts of Cheam Park and Cheam Village are in a conservation area.
- 1 History
- 2 Cheam Village and North Cheam
- 3 Places of note
- 4 Parks and gardens
- 5 Schools
- 6 Cultural references
- 7 Disappearance of Lee Boxell
- 8 Notable people
- 9 Film locations
- 10 Nearby places
- 11 References
- 12 External links
The Roman road of Stane Street forms part of the boundary of Cheam. The course of Stane Street through the area is now followed by the modern road London Road at North Cheam, and designated A24 on road maps.
Cheam appears in Domesday Book as Ceiham. It was held by Archbishop Lanfranc of Canterbury. Its Domesday assets were: 4 hides; 1 church, 17 ploughs, 1-acre (4,000 m2) of meadow, woodland worth 25 hogs. It rendered £14.
In the Middle Ages, Cheam was known for its potteries, and recent excavations have been carried out by archaeologists. In 1538, part of Cheam was handed over to Henry VIII. The same year, Henry began work on Nonsuch Palace, which he decorated elaborately. This was later sold and demolished. In 1801, the time of the first census, Cheam had a population of 616 Cheamonians.
Cheam was the original home of Cheam School which was formed in Whitehall in 1645 and later occupied Tabor Court from 1719 until 1934 when the school moved to Berkshire. Prince Philip attended the school in Cheam in the years immediately preceding its move.
Cheam Village and North Cheam
Cheam Village is centred on the crossroads between Sutton, North Cheam, South Cheam and Ewell. As well as bus services, it is served by Cheam mainline station which is in London Travelcard Zone 5 and one stop from Sutton, about a mile away, and two from Epsom, about three miles away. Services from Cheam to central London include direct trains to Victoria which take about 30 minutes.
It has a conservation area and a number of historic buildings dating back several centuries, including Nonsuch Mansion, the gabled Whitehall and Lumley Chapel (see below) and a Georgian former Rectory.
Cheam Village is an upmarket part of Cheam. Cheam Village Conservation Area was designated in 1970 - it covers historic parkland, housing of varying styles and age and a Tudor shopping area with timber detailing and leaded-lights. Its shopping facilities have improved in recent years, and include Waitrose and Majestic Wine. Its catering facilities include branches of Costa, Prezzo, and Pizza Express. There are a number of independent establishments, including high-end furniture shops and gift shops. It has banks, building societies and estate agents. The entrance to Nonsuch Park with its historic mansion (see below) is two hundred yards from the village centre crossroads.
North Cheam is centred 1 mile (1.6 km) north, at the crossroads between Cheam Village and Worcester Park, Epsom and Morden. There are established bus routes serving the area, including services 213 (Sutton to Kingston), 151 (Wallington to Worcester Park), 93 (North Cheam to Putney Bridge) and the less frequent X26 express service between Heathrow Airport and Croydon.
Victoria Junction is the centre of North Cheam. The area consists of a large Sainsbury's supermarket, a neighbouring park, a number of independent shops and restaurants, a post office and several banks. There are currently plans to redevelop the site of a vacant 1960s building at the North Cheam crossroad and expand commercial and residential buildings.
St. Anthony's Hospital is a large private hospital in North Cheam.
Cheam Leisure Centre, on Malden Road, has facilities including a swimming pool (30m x 12m), squash courts and fitness gym.
Places of note
Cheam War Memorial
Close to Cheam Library and the much-rebuilt Church, the memorial is to the many people of Cheam who lost their lives during World War I, World War II and to a lesser extent The Falklands War.
There are a number of inscriptions on the structure, including one at the 12 O'Clock Face which reads:
|“||Our Glorious Dead / Their names shall endure for evermore.||”|
Next to St Dunstan's Church (designed by F. H. Pownall), Lumley Chapel is the oldest standing building in the London Borough of Sutton, and contains many notable monuments to local families. It has been designated by English Heritage as a Grade II* listed building, and is under the care of a national charity, the Churches Conservation Trust.
Too small to be used for regular worship, it is open to visitors. Its key is held by nearby properties.
Whitehall is a timber framed and weatherboarded house in the centre of Cheam Village. It was originally built in about 1500 as a wattle and daub yeoman farmer's house but has been much extended. The external weatherboard dates from the 18th century. In the garden there is a medieval well which served an earlier building on the site.
Now an historic house museum, the building features a period kitchen, and house details from the Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian eras. The building is open to the public on Friday, Saturday and Sunday 10am-5pm. There is no admission charge. There is a programme of events and changing exhibitions in the house, which also has displays about the history of the house and its inhabitants, nearby Cheam School, and Henry VIII's Nonsuch Palace.
The Old Rectory
The Old Rectory is a large part timber-framed house, built in the Tudor period, but extended and remodelled in the Eighteenth Century. It is occasionally open to the public.
The Old Cottage
The Old Cottage was built in the late 15th or early 16th century. Initially built as a cottage, it became a small brewery in the 18th century. It originally stood in the Broadway (then Malden Road) near the junction with Ewell Road. Under threat of demolition when the road was widened in 1922, it was saved by the local council, working with a local architect and historian. The building was dismantled by removing the original wooden pins from the timber frame. The parts were then moved to the present site one hundred yards down the road and reassembled. The Old Cottage features a local historical plaque, and is now used as a bridal wear shop.
The Old Farmhouse
A large timber-framed and weatherboarded Yeoman farmers house, forming part of the Cheam Conservation Area with St Dunstan's Church, Whitehall, The Old Rectory and the Lumley Chapel. The Old Farmhouse has a crown post roof and large Tudor axial chimney stack in the centre with large fireplaces. The earliest part of the house is 15th Century, with several building stages extending the house in the 16th and 17th centuries, creating a Baffle House design popular in the 17th Century.
Many original features remain including oak doors and hinges, window shutters and fireplaces. Much of the timber framing is exposed throughout the house. Recent excavation and ground imaging uncovered a large Tudor kitchen underneath the house with a Tudor hearth and hood visible. Access to the cellar kitchen was by a staircase going north to south, which is now under the floor of the current kitchen. A file of text and images relating to the house is available in the Conservation Archive in Sutton Library.
Nonsuch Mansion is a Grade II listed Gothic revival mansion within Nonsuch Park. The service wing is occasionally open to the public. It is a popular place for wedding receptions, as it is available for hire. In medieval times it was part of the three thousand acre manor of Cuddington. The mansion was originally built in 1731-43 by Joseph Thompson and later bought by Samuel Farmer in 1799. He employed Jeffry Wyattville to rebuild it in a Tudor Gothic style in 1802-6. Farmer was succeeded by his grandson in 1838 under whom the gardens became famous.
Nonsuch Mansion bears a resemblance in its design to the original design of Nonsuch Palace, whose construction was begun by King Henry VIII in the 16th Century. Built within the north porch of the mansion is a block from the original Nonsuch Palace that bears an inscription which means "1543 Henry VIII in the 35th year of His reign."
Parks and gardens
Cheam is mainly built up, but retains Cheam Park and Nonsuch Park, the latter home to a historic building, Nonsuch Mansion and extensive flower gardens.
Nonsuch Park also hosts its own parkrun, which is one of the network of 5-kilometre runs which take place weekly on Saturday mornings.
Cheam Park backs onto Nonsuch Park, with tennis courts, football pitches and a children's playground.
There are a number of schools in Cheam, including Nonsuch High School, a grammar school for girls and Cheam High School, a large mixed comprehensive school, and primary schools Cuddington Croft, St Cecilias Catholic Primary School, Cheam Fields Primary, Cheam Common Primary, Cheam Park Farm Nursery and Infants School, Cheam Park Farm Juniors, Nonsuch Primary and St. Dunstans Church of England Primary.
In most series of the comedy show Hancock's Half Hour, Tony Hancock lived in the fictional road Railway Cuttings, in 'East Cheam'. Though not in existence today, the census of 1841 includes the place-names East Cheam, North Cheam, Garden Green and Cheam Common, which indicates that East Cheam did exist officially in name and was not fictional.
Cheam is referred to in a rhyme dating back to the 18th century, and revised in the Victorian era to:
Disappearance of Lee Boxell
Lee Boxell, a 15-year-old schoolboy, disappeared near his home in Cheam on 10 September 1988. He was on his way to a football match at Selhurst Park and has not been seen since. The case remains unsolved. It was featured in the national press and on BBC TV's Crimewatch.[dead link]
- Prince Philip attended Cheam School in the 1930s.
- Koop Arponen, a winner in the Finnish version of Pop Idol attended Cheam High School
- David Bellamy attended Cheam Fields Primary School
- James Blades (1901–1999) orchestral percussionist.
- Jane Dee was born in Cheam
- Tony Hancock lived in and set his sketches in Cheam
- Paul Greengrass was born in Cheam
- Peter Manley was born in Cheam
- Jimmy Mann resides in Cheam, attended Cheam Fields primary school
- Joanna Rowsell, Olympic gold medallist, attended Cuddington-Croft Primary School and Nonsuch High School for Girls
- Harry Secombe lived in Cheam for many years
- Alec Stewart (ex-England cricketer) lived in Cheam
- Jeremy Vine grew up in Cheam
- Tim Vine was born in Cheam
- Carrie Quinlan lived in Cheam and attended Nonsuch High School for Girls
- St. Dunstan's Church was used in an episode of The I.T. Crowd Series 2.
- An episode of Terry and June features the walkway between the library car park and St. Dunstans Church.
- Surrey Domesday Book
- "The Old Rectory". Daily Telegraph.
- Borough Heritage Study
- "Cheam -Combined -War Memorial, Cheam, Surrey, UK - World War I Memorials and Monuments on Waymarking.com".
- "Remains of Old Church of St Dunstan, Now known as the Lumley Chapel, Sutton", The National Heritage List for England (English Heritage), 2011, retrieved 18 April 2011
- Lumley Chapel (St Dunstan's), Cheam, Surrey, Churches Conservation Trust, retrieved 30 March 2011
- "Old Cottage, Cheam Village, Surrey, UK. - Relocated Structures on Waymarking.com".
- Ofsted: Cheam High School Inspection report (2010)
- "Chapter XIV: Local Allusions to Women". sacred-texts.com. Retrieved 5 December 2013.
- "BBC One: Crimewatch - Lee Boxell disappearance". BBC.
- Peter Mattey. "Belmont and South Cheam Residents Association".
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