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Template:Use dmy dates Template:Infobox UK place Banstead is a residential town/village in the borough of Reigate and Banstead in Surrey, England, on the border with London, Template:Convert south of Sutton, Template:Convert west of Croydon and Template:Convert south-east of the administrative hub of the county council at Kingston-upon-Thames, a 'major metropolitan centre' of London. The county town, Guildford is Template:Convert west south-west.

On the North Downs, Banstead is on three of the four main compass points separated from other settlements by open area buffers with Metropolitan Green Belt status. Echoing its much larger historic area and spread between newer developments, Banstead Downs is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). Regarding its "town status", Banstead has never had the right to a regular (traditional) market; however it forms a post town.

Supporting interpretation as a village, one of its wards currently used is "Banstead Village". The ecclesiastical parish and abolished when its Urban District was created. Both included many outlying parts not only the part currently still associated heavily with today's village, contiguous Nork which contains Banstead station, is dependent on the amenities of Banstead and is included in for example county-level population analyses of Banstead.

Non-commercial in most areas of the economy, the nearest industrial or business areas are in the three more remote, urban towns above, as well as the closer Reigate-Redhill conurbation to the south, Sutton and Cheam to the north and Epsom, Leatherhead and Worcester Park to the west.


At the 2011 Census the population of Banstead (including Nork) was 9,110. The population of Banstead Village ward was 8,510.<ref name=2001census>Template:Citation</ref> Banstead Parish now only exists for church purposes, there being no civil parish, became an Banstead Urban District which was in turn abolished in 1965. In 2001 its population was 46,280 people

The ward of Nork includes areas which were not historically part of the hamlet of Nork. At the 2011 Census it had 7,556 residents.

The area historically had many other hamlets, which gradually gained their own village or town status; they stretched as far as Reigate across the widest part of crest of the North Downs. Thus historic demography does not give a fair indicator of population change.Unknown extension tag "ref"Unknown extension tag "ref" and identifying rather than the 19th century wider-than-parish urban district, the parish, historical figures are provided below:

Population of Banstead Ancient and/or Civil Parish
Year 1801 1811 1821 1831 1841 1851 1881 1891
Population 717 882 940 991 1628 1270 3826 4560
Year 1901 1911 1921 1931 1941 1951 2001 2011
Population 5,624 6,731 7,337 11,236 n/a 22,399 41,559 46,280
2011 Census Homes
Ward Detached Semi-detached Terraced Flats and apartments Caravans/temporary/mobile homes/houseboats Shared between households<ref name=ons/>
Banstead (ward) 922 1,128 365 934 0 0
Nork (ward) 1,612 808 162 303 1 1
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/>
Banstead (ward) 9,110 3,349 43 39 462
Nork (ward) 7,556 2,888 43 45 363

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).


The earliest recorded mention of Banstead was in an Anglo-Saxon charter of AD 967, in the reign of King Edgar.

The settlement appears in the Domesday Book (1086) as Benestede. The first element is probably the Anglo Saxon word bene, meaning bean, and the second element stede refers to an inhabited place without town status (cf farmstead).

Banstead's non-ecclesiastical land and 50 households were held by Richard as tenant-in-chief, under the Bishop of Bayeux. Its assets were: 9½ hides, 1 church, 1 mill worth £1, 17 ploughs, woodland worth 20 hogs. It rendered (in total): £8 per year.

The Manor had two ploughs, and there were 28 villeins and 15 cottars (people with a small cottage but no land) with 15 ploughs.

This was a farming area that later became well-known for its high quality wool. The manor was owned by increasingly wealthy gentry, then by the church, before it fell into the hands of the Crown in the 13th century; Edward I visited more than once. Henry VIII made Banstead part of Catherine of Aragon's dowry, but took it away again and gave it to a court favourite, Sir Nicholas Carew. Carew was later beheaded for treason, but the manor, once covering most of the village but mostly sold piecemeal, stayed in his family until the 18th century.<ref name=visitSurrey></ref>

Banstead Downs, which for many centuries meant all the open land stretching from Epsom to Croydon and Reigate, became well known for horse racing in the 17th century. On 20 November 1683, King Charles II and the Duke of York attended a race meeting near the core of the village. The town also gained a reputation as a health resort during that era, becoming famous for its "wholesome air", and London physicians recommended a visit to Banstead to their ailing patients.<ref name=visitSurrey />

Banstead's population remained low until the late 19th century when the improved roads and the building of the railways led to gradual growth, which continued with low density social housing and post-Blitz rehousing projects in the mid 20th century. Banstead's housing stock is generally low density and set in overwhelmingly green surroundings; there are a few listed buildings of some historical and architectural interest Banstead was a spring line settlement's whose main source of water was The Old Well until the arrival of pumped water. The 18th century wellhead cover which still houses the elaborate winding gear is a listed building.<ref name=visitSurrey/>

In 1930, the ecclesiastical parish of Nork was formed, taking in part of Epsom as far as Wallace Fields and Higher Green in the west of the parish, loosely termed Epsom Downs.


The centre of Banstead has a modest High Street which stretches from the war memorial to the public library, with a churchyard on part of the south side. Scouts and Guides parade the street on Remembrance Day and May Day. Shops are mostly geared towards socialising and convenienceTemplate:ClarifymeUnknown extension tag "ref". There are various restaurants and coffee bars as well as largely upmarket independent stores and the professional offices: six estate agencies, three firms of solicitors and a notary public.

In addition to employment in the retail sector in the High Street, there are a small number of public sector jobs: in the local authority offices and NHS facilities to the west of the Banstead's centre, and in various schools across the area. However, the majority of Banstead's residents commute out of the district for employment: annual exits from the town's station rose from 93,069 in the tax year 2004-05 to 128,148 in 2011-12.

Surrounding area

Template:Geographic Location


Template:Seealso Banstead has several churches. The All Saints Church and Banstead Baptist Church (now known as ChristChurch Banstead since September 2013)are on the high street. Within the area there is also Banstead Community Church , St Ann's Roman Catholic Church, the Methodist Church, St Paul's Church and the United Reformed Church.


There are several schools in and around Banstead. Further education is not available in the town, most students go to institutions in Sutton, Epsom or Reigate.


  • St Annes Catholic Primary School (for ages 4 to 11)
  • Banstead Juniors School
  • Banstead Infants School (students from here go on to Banstead Juniors)
  • Warren Mead Primary School, Nork


  • The Beacon School, previously Nork Park Secondary School, is the predominant secondary comprehensive school in the area. Nork Park, a public park, borders the back of the school. It is one of the 23 schools that supply ball boys to the Wimbledon Tennis Championships. It has over 1000 students.

Neighbouring London Borough of Sutton has five grammar schools, which accept pupils from outside the borough.


  • Aberdour School (co-educational preparatory school for ages 3 to 13)
  • Priory Preparatory School (independent day school for boys aged 2 to 13)
  • Greenacre School (independent school for girls aged from 3 to 18)


  • The majority of the town is bypassed by the A217 dual carriageway to the west. The A2022 passes through the residential area just to the north of the town centre, however the town centre frequently suffers from traffic congestion.
  • There are several bus services through the town, linking to Epsom, Sutton and Croydon, which all have good onward bus and rail connections.
  • Banstead railway station is to the west of the town's centre, across the A217. It is within Nork ward rather than Banstead ward. This was to increase Nork's negligible geographic area to roughly equalise the populations thus enabling an equal number of three councillors for each ward.

Elevation and Soil

Much of the land is at about 125 m above sea level and as this descends to about 100 m it is bisected by a railway line in a relatively deep cutting.

Underneath a variable depth humus topsoil, most of the village is on various flints or chalk.



Foremost among the listed buildings is the Grade II-listed parish church made of knapped flint, partially dressed in stone, with its sturdy tower and medieval spire.

The parish church of All Saints was built on a site donated by Nigel de Mowbray, Lord of the Manor. The West window was designed by Dante Gabriel Rossetti and produced by William Morris.

Built in the 12th and 13th centuries, the patron and parishioners commissioned church architect George Edmund Street to repair and restore the building in 1861.


The old village well stands to the east of the town centre in Woodmansterne Lane. It is almost 300 feet (90 m) deep and was last used around the end of the 19th century. The wellhead cover dates from the 18th century and still contains the winding gear.

Nork Park

Nork Park contains the remains of the Colman family mansion (associated with Colman's Mustard). Many apple trees survive from the original orchard.

Tumble Beacon

A large mound of earth close to The Beacon School is known as the Tumble Beacon. This was once part of a series of beacons/bonfires that stretched from the South coast towards London, which were used to warn London of the arrival of the Spanish Armada. Some open spaces and homes have far-reaching views across London.


On the site of Downview and Highdown Prisons once stood the Banstead Asylum, a psychiatric hospital from 1873 to 1986. After being involuntarily committed to the Asylum in the late 1960s, Vincent Crane of the band Atomic Rooster wrote the song "Banstead," which featured on the 1970 album Atomic Roooster.

Open space

Banstead Downs is a large Site of Special Scientific Interest, covering Template:Convert. Banstead Golf Course is on the northern slopes. The Downs is one of four green areas in the north of the borough, which are overall referred to by their historic name "Banstead Commons"; the other three are:

Banstead Downs is home to the rare Small Blue butterfly. The four tumuli (burial mounds) that can be seen on the Downs have been identified as dating from Saxon times and are known as the Gally Hills because they are the site of a 15th-century gallows.

In literature

Banstead appears as a destination in the 1895 novel The Time Machine by H. G. Wells and also gains a brief mention in another of his novels, The War of the Worlds.

Notable residents

  • Dickson Etuhu, footballer
  • Andrew Garfield, actor
  • Chris Powell, footballer
  • Sarah Tullamore, actor, singer and dancer, grew up in Banstead
  • Tim Vine, comedian
  • David Walliams, actor and comedian
  • Jonathan Greening, footballer
  • Danny Murphy, footballer

See also

  • Banstead railway station
  • Nork
  • Banstead Prisoner-of-War Camp

Notes and references





External links

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Template:Reigate and Banstead Template:London Outer Orbital Path