Ashtead

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Template:About Template:Infobox UK place

Ashtead Template:IPAc-en is a village or town in the Metropolitan Green Belt of Surrey, England and has a railway station on secondary routes to Horsham and Guildford, formerly the Portsmouth Main Line. It is separated from Leatherhead by the M25, and from Epsom by Ashtead Common and Langley Vale. Its district council is Mole Valley. Ashtead is on western slopes of the Mole Gap of the North Downs and is on the A24 where it is a single carriageway as is generally the case within the M25 motorway. Ashtead has a large two-part conservation area including the mansion Ashtead House used by City of London Freemen's School, and six other schools. Amenities include parks, outlying woodland trails and a high street with convenience shopping, cafés and restaurants, a football club, a cricket club and an amateur theatre.

The incidence of private home ownership is very high and Ashtead has no high rise buildings or dual carriageways.

History

There has been settlement in Ashtead since at least Roman times, with a Roman villa excavated in what is now Ashtead common. Ashtead within a few hundred years of the foundations of Anglo-Saxon England lay within the Copthorne hundred.

Ashtead appears in the Domesday Book as Stede. It was held by the Canons of Bayeux from the Bishop of Bayeux. Its Domesday Assets were: 3 hides and 1 virgate; 16 ploughs, Template:Convert of meadow, woodland worth 7 hogs. Its people rendered £12 in total to its feudal system overlords per year. Its main source of water at the time seems to have been the Rye.

St Giles Church in Ashtead Park dates from the 12th century, and Ashtead is mentioned twice in Samuel Pepys' diaries. Part of his entry for 25 July 1663 reads:

Towards the evening we bade them adieu and took horse, being resolved that, instead of the race which fails us, we would go to Epsom When we come there we could hear of no lodging, the town so full, but which was better, I went towards Ashsted, and there we got a lodging in a little hole we could not stand upright in While supper was getting I walked up and down behind my cosen [cousin] Pepys's house that was, which I find comes little short of what I took it to be when I was a little boy.

Name variants

Ashtead has been spelt differently even after the Victorian general harmonisation of spelling that was accelerated by the mass distribution of the maps and the printed press, its most lasting variants being "Ashsted" and "Ashstead". Until 1967, Ashtead railway station had "Ashtead" and "Ashstead" displayed on station name plates hanging on opposite platforms. The suffix '-stead' also written '-sted' is used to form the meaning behind and pronunciation of the place name, as in Sanderstead, Bearsted, Oxted and East Grinstead, and following the spelling of Oxted has settled on minimal instances of 's', it being deemed implicit in English place name pronunciation. However, while it may have been implicit in 1967, as with Cheshunt and Wrotham it is an example of a London satellite area with slightly counterintuitive pronunciation. 'Stede' is the earliest spelling, without any first syllable, from the 11th century, see the Domesday Book above.

The village

Elevations and Watercourses

Elevations range from the south west crest of the village at 100m AOD (above mean sea level) to 45m AOD at the Leatherhead border outflow of The Rye that rises at a pond at Little Park Farm, Farm Lane, Ashtead. The Rye forms Ashtead's eastern border then turns west, so forms a half-square around the village.

Localities

Marked on Ordnance Survey maps are three of the four named neighbourhoods of Ashtead: Lower Ashtead, rural Ashtead Common and Ashtead Park. At is centre is the most historic part architecturally with many listed buildings, along Rectory Lane and the slightly bendy thoroughfare, The Street.

The fourth area is Ashtead Village which is contiguous with the rest but at its heart. This is the oldest part of Ashtead and has the main shopping and social area of the village, with two pubs and the Ashtead Village Club which is a C&IU affiliate. It has a small southern conservation area, however outside of this has eight listed brick buildings, each more than two centuries old, including the Old Rectory which has been subdivided (built 1777) and so too has Ashtead Lodge (built 1765 - divided into five) Forge Cottage with Wisteria Cottage here are dated to approximately the 17th century and are also Grade II listed.

The area north of the railway line is Ashtead Common, managed by the City of London Corporation subject to a long-standing preservation order, and is a National Nature Reserve.

Lower Ashtead is a relatively flat area leading to Ashtead Common that has a recreation ground, a youth club and skate park, a pub, and a number of shops all built near the preserved large square of wood in front of the railway station.

Ashtead Park

Ashtead Park has more of the same conservation area at its edge near the Rye in particular: Ashtead House and Headmasters House here are architecturally imposing hillside developments and the latter is part of the City of London Freemen's School - since 1924 its base. This uses as its hub the even more imposing Ashtead Park House in its listed parkland which reaches to Headmasters House.<ref name=aph>Ashtead Park House - Grade II*- Template:NHLE</ref> Its leading architect Sir Thomas Wyatt commissioned its grand façade designs from Joseph Bonomi, for its 1790 owner Richard Bagoti; it was enlarged and altered in or after 1880 by Sir Thomas Lucas again at major expense. Accordingly it is listed in the highest architectural category for the whole village, Grade II*.<ref name=aph/>

The Park itself has remains of a Roman buildings, four lakes/ponds and the school's playing fields and is listed by English Heritage. It is also a Local Nature Reserve.

Business

Ashtead Pottery was produced in the village from 1923 until the company ceased trading in 1935.

The construction company Longcross has its head office in Ashtead.

Activities

Ashtead Players have a long and successful history with a distinguished artistic record equalled by few dramatic societies.Template:Citation needed Established for over 50 years, with two distinct elements:

  1. Adult Ashtead Players, presenting a range of popular theatrical productions.
  2. Young Ashtead Players (12–18 years), offering a real performance experience for younger members.

1st Ashtead Scout Group was incorporated on 21 June 1920 and is still offering adventurous and educational programmes to young people between the ages of 6 and 18. It has its own headquarters in Lower Ashtead near Ashtead Common. The group has over 250 members including young people, adult leaders and supporters.

The Ashtead Psalms were commissioned by Ashtead Choral Society to mark their fiftieth anniversary in the year 2000 from composer Robert Steadman.

In 1887 Ashtead Cricket Club was founded and since then they have progressed into the Premier league of the Surrey Championship.

Ashtead Football Club's ground is at The Recreation Ground along the high street, next to Ashtead Youth Centre. In terms of Rugby Union, six clubs are four to five miles away, top level local ones being Esher, Kingston (in Hook) and Brockham.

Footpaths and Cycle Routes

A footpath from the centre of the village leads to a hilltop intersection of paths along Pebble Lane/Stane Street south of the village. From here accessible from two routes south is the North Downs Way that spans the Mole Gap to Reigate Escarpment SSSI and Box Hill to the south of the village, which can also be accessed via Leatherhead and part of the Mole Gap Trail - which in turn provides cycle and access by foot to a scenic north-south route from Leatherhead to Dorking and beyond.

Schools

Ashtead's schools include:

  • Barnett Wood Infant School
  • City of London Freemen's School - associated with City of London Corporation
  • St. Giles' (Church of England) Infant School
  • The Greville Primary School<ref>Template:Cite web</ref>
  • West Ashtead Primary School
  • Downsend School
    • Ashtead Lodge Division

Transport

Rail

Ashtead has a small modern railway station with direct services to London Waterloo, London Victoria, London Bridge, Horsham, Dorking and Guildford lines. It is served by both Southern and South West Trains services. Construction of a new station building began in November 2012 and the new station building has now opened to business. A number of other jobs are still required to be finished to complete the project. In total £2m will have been spent on upgrading the station. This is now the third station building that Ashtead Station has had since the railways arrived.

Road

The London to Worthing road, the A24, runs through the village.

Demography and housing

2011 Census Homes
Ward Detached Semi-detached Terraced Flats and apartments Caravans/temporary/mobile homes/houseboats Shared between households<ref name=ons/>
Ashtead Common 554 744 70 248 1 0
Ashtead Park 1,045 314 82 210 1 2
Ashtead Village 1,080 754 217 309 4 4

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

2011 Census Households
Ward Population Households % Owned outright % Owned with a loan hectares<ref name=ons/>
Ashtead Common 4,129 1,617 41 44 441
Ashtead Park 4,042 1,654 48 34 520
Ashtead Village 5,998 2,368 46 36 198

The proportion of households 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).

Emergency services

Ashtead is served by these emergency services:

  • Surrey Police
  • South East Coast Ambulance Service
  • Surrey Fire & Rescue Service
  • Ashtead Hospital, a small private hospital with no A&E department. The nearest general hospital with an A&E department is in Epsom.

Notable residents

Template:Refimprove section

  • Evan Davis, presenter of Dragons' Den
  • Andrea McLean, Scottish television presenter.
  • Samuel Pepys, visited Ashtead in the 17th century and spent some time living there as a boy.
  • Alec Stewart, the former England cricketer and wicketkeeper lives in the village.

See also

References

Template:Reflist

External links

Template:Commons category

Template:Mole Valley