A History of the County of Surrey: Volume 3. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1911.
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Dorking is a market town 23½ miles south-west of London, 12 miles east of Guildford. The market was claimed by the Earl of Warenne and Surrey in 1278 as of immemorial antiquity. (fn. 1) The parish is bounded on the north by the two Bookhams and Mickleham, on the east by Betchworth, on the south by Capel, on the west by Wotton. It contains 1,329 acres of land and 10 of water, and is about 5 miles from north to south and 4 from east to west, but is slightly narrower towards the south. Capel, which lies south of it, was anciently part of the parish, and for the most part of the manor. The parish extends over the usual succession of soils in this part of Surrey. The northern part is on the chalk downs, partly capped by gravel and sand. The town and church are on the sand, the southern part is on the Wealden clay.
From the high chalk down about Denbies, and from Ranmore Common on the north-west border of the parish, the views are beautiful and extensive. Between the spectator and the steep side of Box Hill, immediately to the east, the transverse valley of the Mole runs through the chalk range. Southward lies Dorking in the valley between the chalk and the wellwooded sand hills, which rise to the fir-tree clad heights of Redlands Wood, and to Anstiebury and Leith Hill beyond. The lower ground of the Weald, thickly wooded, extends south-eastwards, and the horizon is marked by the South Downs near Lewes. The boundary of the sand and the clay runs north and south for some way on the southern side of Dorking. The Redlands Woods are a steep sand ridge of north and south direction covered with fir trees, with a silver fir, (fn. 2) probably the tallest tree in the county, standing up above them all, while east of it extends the Holmwood Common, a high open common on the clay, thickly studded with hollies and furze bushes, with occasional houses dotted about it. The Glory Woods, a favourite resort of Dorking people, are on the sand hills nearer to the town. There is a small common close to the town called Cotmandene, formerly famous as the cricket ground where the great Dorking players, who did so much for the Surrey eleven, were trained. Caffyn, who first taught scientific cricket to the Australians, was one of them, and Jupp and the two Humphreys were among the last. Milton Heath is another common west of Dorking. Towards the high ground of the Leith Hill range parts of Broad Moor, Coldharbour Common, and the plantation called the Warren are in Dorking parish.
Dorking town consisted till recently of one long street, High Street, which bifurcated at the southwest end into West Street and South Street, the road to Guildford passing out of the former, that to Horsham out of the latter. In the last thirty or forty years a good deal of building has broadened out the town, as well as extended it at both ends.
The parish was divided into six tithings called Boroughs; namely, East Borough, including West Betchworth, at the east end of the town; Chipping Borough, the body of the town, a name which justifies the Earl of Warenne's claim to an ancient market; Milton Borough, lying west; Westcote Borough, still farther west and south-west; Holmwood Borough, to the south; and Walde or Wold or Wale Borough, farther south still, but now known as Capel parish, and distinct from Dorking. (fn. 3) But in the 14th and 15th centuries, when Milton and Westcote were separate manors, both the views of frankpledge held in Dorking recognized the Chipping Borough, East Borough, Waldeborough, and Forreyn Borough only as tithings. (fn. 4) The names are the same in the view of frankpledge of 7 October 1597, but on 27 September 1598 the names are changed to Chipping Borough, East Borough, Capel and Homewood Borough. The last therefore answers to Forreyn Borough, as also appears by local names in the latter tithing.
The town is administered as an urban district under the Local Government Act of 1894, which superseded a local board established in 1881. The Act of 1894 separated the urban district from Dorking rural parish, which is administered by a rural parish council.
The parish is almost entirely residential and agricultural. But there are lime works on the chalk, though not so extensive as those in neighbouring parishes, a little brick-making, water-mills (corn) at Pixham Mill, and timber and saw-mills.
The road from London to Horsham passes through Dorking, and continues over the Holmwood Common. This is the turnpike which was made in 1755 (fn. 5) in response to the astounding statement of the people of Horsham that if they wanted to drive to London they were compelled to go round to Canterbury. Arthur Young justly described it as the worst instance of the want of communication which he had heard of in England. (fn. 6) The Act was for the making of a road from Epsom, through Letherhead, Dorking, and Capel, with a branch to Ockley. The old road from Dorking into Sussex went up Boar Hill to Coldharbour, and down to Ockley. (fn. 7) This road was impassable for wheeled traffic as late as the earlier part of the 19th century, when it was such a narrow ravine that bearers carrying a coffin had to walk in single file with the coffin slung on a pole. It was repaired about 1830, chiefly at the instance of Mr. Serjeant Heath of Kitlands, Capel, who threatened to prosecute the parish. The road from Reigate to Guildford passes through Dorking from east to west.
The South Eastern Railway, Redhill and Reading branch, has two stations in Dorking, Box Hill and Dorking, opened in 1849. In 1867 the London Brighton and South Coast Railway, Portsmouth branch, was brought through Dorking, where there is a station near the Box Hill station of the South Eastern Railway.
The ancient road called Stone Street (see in Ockley on the name) ran through Dorking. It is to be traced in much of its course by flint pavement which is found in draining and field work. It is laid down fairly correctly upon the Ordnance Map. It enters Dorking parish close to Anstie Grange Home Farm (not to be confounded with Anstie Farm), and runs along the side of the hill under the Redlands Woods, and above the Holmwood Common. Folly Farm lies just west of it. Near Dorking it has not been accurately observed, but it has no relation to the direction of the streets. Drainage operations show that it left South Street to the east, and crossed West Street just opposite the yard occupied by Messrs. Stone & Turner; a foot passage opposite their premises is just on the line. It continued in a straight line for Pebble Lane, where there is little doubt that it mounted to the chalk hills, and is represented still by the old bridle way over Mickleham Downs to Epsom race-course; it must have left Dorking Church to the south-east. Manning and Bray (fn. 8) say that the flints were found north-east of the church in a nursery garden, and sold to the road surveyor. But the description is vague and not incompatible with its having passed the church as described. It has not been traced in the north part of Dorking parish.
There is a barrow, unopened apparently, on Milton Heath, north of the road. Camden says that Roman coins were found in Dorking churchyard, and others have been mentioned. In 1817 a find of 700 Anglo-Saxon coins was made in Winterfold Hanger, on Lower Merriden Farm, west of Redlands Wood. (fn. 9)
The town of Dorking used to consist of many houses of respectable antiquity, but has been much modernized of late. The 'Old King's Head' is a fine brick Jacobean building, standing at the west end of the High Street, on the north side. It used to be called the 'Chequers,' and received its later name in 1660. The licence was withdrawn about 1800, renewed about 1850, and is now again withdrawn. It is usually said to be the original of Dickens' 'Marquis of Granby,' but at the time when the Pickwick Papers were written it was not an inn at all. Opposite the 'Old King's Head,' just before High Street divides into West Street and South Street, was the old 'Bull Ring.'
A few old houses are to be found in the High Street and side streets, but most of them have been re-fronted or otherwise modernized, and a comparison with the sister towns of Letherhead, Guildford, and Godalming, is in this respect very disappointing. In the town itself perhaps the most interesting old houses are the White Horse Inn—anciently the 'Cross House,' from its sign, the cross of the Knights of St. John, (fn. 10) a quaint, low structure largely of timber and plaster, with three gables, and a large courtyard opening from the High Street, probably on a very ancient site, and as it stands perhaps 400 years old. The town abounds in ancient hostelries of lesser size, such as the 'Red Lion' (originally 'The Cardinal's Cap') and the 'Black Horse,' and in the side streets are one or two small half-timber houses with overhanging upper stories.
The gallows used to stand on a hill called Gallows Hill on the left-hand side of the road going towards Coldharbour by way of Boar Hill. A house now occupies the spot. It is marked in the map of Ogilvy's Book of Roads. The parish registers of 1625 to 1669 record at intervals the burial of persons hanged there when the Assizes were held in the town.
The old market-house stood in the street opposite the 'Red Lion.' Pictures show a gabled, probably 16th-century building, of the same type as the Farnham market-house, but the original wooden supports had been changed for brick arches at the west end; they remained under the east end. It was demolished in 1813.
The market on Thursdays, claimed by John de Warenne in 1278, is still held on the spot in the street. There is a fair, also existing in 1278, on Ascension Day. Down to ten years ago the practice of Shrove Tuesday football continued in the streets of Dorking. Shop windows were barricaded, all business suspended, and the town given over to a very tumultuous game. When the practice became known through the papers as a curiosity surviving here, idle people came from a distance to assist. The nuisance, always great, was intolerable, and it was suppressed with some difficulty by the police. But the year 1907 is said to have been the first in which no attempt was made to continue it. In 1830 there was a very serious riot in Dorking during the Swing Riots. (fn. 11)
St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church was rebuilt in 1895 chiefly at the expense of the Duke of Norfolk. The original temporary building had been erected by the Duchess of Norfolk in 1872. There is a Congregational chapel in West Street, representing an ancient congregation formed in 1662 under the Rev. James Fisher, the ejected minister of Fetcham, at whose house a small body of Nonconformists met in 1669, but the minister who was licensed in 1672 under the Indulgence was Mr. Feake, a Fifth Monarchy man, who had been imprisoned under the Protectorate. There was a congregation of Presbyterians under the Rev. John Wood, late rector of North Chapel in Sussex, meeting at his house. (fn. 12) This Presbyterian body does not seem to have survived, (fn. 13) but after the death of Mr. Wood at an advanced age in 1693, became merged in the Congregational body. A chapel was built in 1719. In 1834 this was pulled down and rebuilt, and much improved and altered in 1874. (fn. 14)
There is a Baptist chapel, built in 1869; and a Wesleyan chapel, built in 1850. Wesley made the first of ten visits here in 1764, and in 1772 opened a chapel in Church Street, now converted into cottages.
The Society of Friends were strong in the Dorking neighbourhood about the time of their foundation. Possibly the first meetings of the Friends in Surrey were held at the house of Thomas Bax, in Capel, near Dorking. There had been a Friends' meeting at Bax's house for upwards of twenty years in 1677. (fn. 15) Fox, however, records in his journal a meeting at Reigate in 1655, which may precede this. The Old Friends' Meeting House in West Street, Dorking, bore the date 1709. The present meeting house near Rose Hill was built in 1846.
Denbies is the residence of the Hon. Henry Cubitt, the lord-lieutenant. It stands upon the brow of the chalk down, close to Ranmore Common and church. The church, however, is in Great Bookham parish (q.v.). Denbies commands fine views over the weald and the back of the Leith Hill range, and of Box Hill, which faces it from across the Mole Valley. Ashcombe, from which the peerage of Ashcombe is named, was a piece of land lying close to it, and Ashcombe Hill was the old name of the brow. Denby was probably a farmer who lived there. The farmhouse was bought in 1754 by Mr. Jonathan Tyers, the founder of Vauxhall Gardens, who laid out the grounds in what was intended to be a style appealing to serious reflections, with a temple, two skulls, inscriptions and verses of the tombstone kind, much admired then and very absurd, a sort of Lenten Vauxhall. Mr. Tyers died in 1767, and the estate was sold to the Hon. Peter King. His son Lord King sold it in 1781 to Mr. James White, who sold it in 1787 to Mr. Denison, whose son William Joseph Denison was M.P. for West Surrey. After Mr. Denison's death in 1849 it was bought by Mr. Thomas Cubitt, who built the present house. He was father to Lord Ashcombe, the father of the present owner.
Bury Hill (in Westcote borough) is the seat of Mr. Robert Barclay, representative of the ancient Scottish house of Barclay of Urie. The name is as old as the 14th century, (fn. 16) but no trace or record of a fortification can now be found. (fn. 17) The ground was part of the waste of the manor of Milton. Mr. James Walter was buying land in Milton Manor in 1753, (fn. 18) and he built the house then and planted the grounds. Mr. Walter died in 1780, when Viscount Grimston, his daughter's husband, succeeded him here. In 1812 he sold it to Mr. Robert Barclay, great-grandfather of the present owner. The Nower, a favourite walk for Dorking people, is a hill adjoining this property.
The Rookery, the property of Mr. Brooke, is the seat of Mr. Lionel Bulteel. An estate here was bought in 1759 by Mr. David Malthus, who built the house and laid out the grounds with the ponds and waterfalls, which make it a picturesque place. The Rev. Thomas Malthus, the economist, his son, was born here in 1766. In 1768 it was bought by Mr. Richard Fuller, banker, of London, of the family of the Fullers of Tandridge, Surrey (q.v.), and was sold by the executors of his great-grandson, Mr. George Fuller, in 1893. The old name of the valley where the Rookery stands was Chartgate, or Chartfield.
Deepdene (in Holmwood borough), lately the seat of Lilian, Duchess of Marlborough, was originally built by the Hon. Charles Howard, after coming into possession of a part of the manor in 1652. In 1655 Evelyn visited him, and admired the gardens which he had already begun to lay out in the deep valley which gives the place its name. It is probable that there was already a small house on the spot. Some thirty years later Aubrey saw and admired the landscape gardening, then evidently far more advanced. Mr. Howard died in 1713 (he was buried at Dorking, according to the inscription at Deepdene, in 1714); his son Henry Charles Howard died in 1720. His second son Charles succeeded as Duke of Norfolk in 1777 and rebuilt the house. His son Charles, eleventh duke, sold it in 1791 to Sir William Burrell, bart., whose son Sir Charles sold it in 1806 to Mr. Thomas Hope. Mr. Hope largely altered the house, and began the great collection of paintings and statuary carried on by his son, the late Mr. Beresford Hope, who also added to the house and built the Italian south-western front.
Charte Park, formerly called the Vineyard, was the property of the Sondes or Sonds family, after they had parted with Sondes Place. (fn. 19) The late Mr. Beresford Hope bought Charte Park, and threw it into the grounds of Deepdene, pulling down the house.
Westcott, also spelt Westcote, and erroneously Westgate, is one of the Dorking boroughs (vide supra), and with Milton was made into an ecclesiastical parish in 1852 (vide infra). A considerable village existed before then, and many houses have since been built.
In Squire's Wood, south of Westcote, is Mag's Well, one of the sources of Pip Brook, which runs through Dorking to the Mole. It was formerly of some repute as a medicinal spring, and is strongly impregnated with iron. A building, now gone to ruin, existed over it, and within the writer's memory children still bathed in it.
Holmwood Borough was the ancient division of Dorking, to the south of the town. The ancient spelling in the Court Rolls is invariably Homewood, the numerous hollies have led to the change in the name. But as far back as 1329 the reeves' accounts include carriage of firewood from 'Dorkynge Ywode vel Homewode' to Kingston, where the distinction between the 'High Wood,' the skirts of the big forest of the Weald, and the 'Home Wood,' sufficiently explains the name. In 1562 Kingston still depended upon this neighbourhood for firewood. (fn. 20) Manning and Bray state, however, that Dorking was supplied lately with coal from Kingston; showing a curious reversal of former relations.
The Holmwood Common is a large high-lying common thickly covered with furze bushes and hollies, about 600 acres in extent. Defoe states that it was as lately as the time of James II the haunt of wild deer. Agricultural writers of a hundred years ago marked it down as good cornland wasted.
The school of the parish of St. Mary Magdalen, Holmwood, was built in 1844, and enlarged in 1870 and 1884. That now in the parish of St. John the Evangelist was built in 1849 and enlarged in 1875 and 1883.
A great number of gentlemen's houses surround the Holmwood Common, and some standing upon it represent the original intrusions of squatters upon the waste of the manor—confirmed by lapse of time. Holmwood Park was the seat of the late Mrs. Gough Nichols, widow of the celebrated antiquary. Francis Larpent, Judge Advocate-General to Wellington's army in Spain and the South of France, formerly lived here. Oakdale is the seat of Lady Laura Hampton; Oakdene of Mr. Augustus Perkins; Redlands of Colonel Helsham Jones; Anstie Grange of Mr. Cuthbert E. Heath; Moorhurst, an ancient farm on the border of the old parishes of Dorking and Capel, of the Hon. W. Gibson, who has opened a small Roman Catholic chapel there. It is the property of Mr. Cuthbert E. Heath, of Anstie Grange.
The present condition of the Holmwood is in curious contrast with what was its state not more than 100 years ago, when the road to Horsham running over the desolate common was a frequent scene of highway robbery, and was openly used by smugglers. William Dudley, of Coldharbour, who died in 1902, aged nearly 101, told the writer that a man with whom he worked had been a witness when the turnpike keeper boldly refused to open his gate at night to a body of smugglers with kegs of brandy on their horses.
In the Domesday Survey DORKING was in the hands of the king. Milton and Westcote were even then separate manors. It had been held by Edith, widow of the Confessor, and like the other holdings of the late queen in Surrey, was granted to William de Warenne I, when he was created Earl of Surrey. (fn. 21) His original Surrey endowment consisted of the manors which had been Edith's, —Dorking, Reigate, Shiere, Fetcham. But one Edric had held Dorking, or part of it, at some previous time, and had given two hides out of it to his daughters. In 1086 Richard of Tonbridge held one of these hides —no doubt Hamsted Manor, which belonged subsequently to the Clares. The other hide was probably Bradley Manor, the lands of which lie in Holmwood tithing and Mickleham.
Richard I appears to have confirmed the grant of Edith's lands to the Earls of Surrey, (fn. 22) and in 1237 William de Warenne is recorded as holding Dorking. (fn. 23) John de Warenne claimed it in 1278 as held by his ancestors from before legal memory. (fn. 24) In 1347 John de Warenne died seised of the manor. (fn. 25) He was succeeded by his nephew Richard, Earl of Arundel, who died in 1376, (fn. 26) leaving another Richard as his son and heir. About this time the Arundel lands began to pass through a period of vicissitude. Richard, Earl of Arundel, was attainted in 1397 and beheaded, after a long series of open altercations with the king, (fn. 27) and Dorking was granted to Thomas Mowbray, Earl of Nottingham, (fn. 28) afterwards Duke of Norfolk, his son-in-law. He was banished in 1398 and died in exile in 1400. On the accession of Henry IV, Thomas, son of the unfortunate Richard, was restored. He died on 13 October 1415, leaving three sisters as co-heirs: (fn. 29) first Elizabeth, the second wife of Thomas Mowbray, first Duke of Norfolk, whose share in the property descended in moieties to her son John, second Duke of Norfolk, and to Joan, her daughter by a second husband, Sir Robert Gonshill. This Joan became the ancestress of the Earls of Derby by her marriage with Sir Thomas Stanley. (fn. 30)
The second co-heir of Thomas, Earl of Arundel, was Joan Beauchamp, Lady Abergavenny; her share descended to her granddaughter Elizabeth, afterwards the wife of George Nevill, who thus gained the lands and title of Abergavenny. Margaret, wife of Sir Roland Lenthale, was the third heir, but her claim to part of the inheritance lapsed at the death of her son Edmund, who died without issue (fn. 31) before July 1447. (fn. 32)
The history of the manor is obscure, even with the aid of the Court Rolls placed at the service of investigators by the courtesy of successive Dukes of Norfolk. For the rolls are far from continuous, and generally lack the name of the lord or lords whose courts are held. It is obvious, however, that on the death of Thomas, Earl of Arundel, in 1415, his widow, Beatrix of Portugal, held the manor as dower. (fn. 33) The courts were held for a Domina (feminine) from 1413 to 1431, when there is a break of five years. In 1435 and 1438 Dominus, in the masculine singular is used, probably Roland Lenthale, for his son Edmund. In 1444 Domini begins, the Bishop of Bath and Wells and others, (fn. 34) feoffees of Edmund Lenthale. (fn. 35) This trust seems to have expired between 26 March 1450 and 21 July 1450, for Domini is used in the former, Dominus in the latter. The singular is used till 15 February 1451, after which the manor was divided, courts being henceforth held for Domini when the number is distinguished at all. In 1528 the question was raised in the court baron (17 September 1528) 'whether Edmund Lenthale deceased was while alive sole holder of the manor of Dorking or holder with others.' Unfortunately it was not answered in the extant records, but it would seem likely that he was sole holder, and that after his death the manor went to John Mowbray, third Duke of Norfolk. The inquisition taken after the latter's death in 1461 is unfortunately now missing, (fn. 36) and the entry in the calendar is insufficient. In 1468 (fn. 37) John, Duke of Norfolk, and his wife Elizabeth had a grant of certain privileges, including return of writs, within their manor of Dorking. (fn. 38)
This Duke of Norfolk died in 1475, (fn. 39) leaving an only child Anne, who was for some years betrothed to Richard, Duke of York, who perished in the Tower. She died unmarried in 1480, (fn. 40) and well as bers of the Nevill and Stanley families, as well as descendants of Margaret and Isabel, daughters of the first duke, appear as her co-heirs. A partition of Dorking was probably then made. (fn. 41)
In a document of 1531 George Nevill, Lord Abergavenny, is mentioned (fn. 42) as being one of the joint holders of the manor of Dorking. Again, later in the 16th century, Henry Nevill was in possession of part of the manor, (fn. 43) and on 1 August 1587 (fn. 44) Edward Nevill, Lord Abergavenny, held his first court, with no indication of being only a joint holder, and in 1623 died seised (fn. 45) of the manor of 'Dorking Capel,' not that he was concerned only with the part of the manor in Capel, for the court chose bedells for Dorking and for Capel, and tenants from both attended. Edward Nevill's son Henry seems to have conveyed his share of the manor to the Howard family. (fn. 46)
The family of Stanley, Earls of Derby, in like manner again became involved in the history of Dorking at the death of Anne Mowbray. In 1622 Thomas, Earl of Derby, died seised of a moiety, (fn. 47) which apparently consisted of two quarter parts. In order to explain his possession of more than one quarter it is necessary to consider the third co-heir of Anne Mowbray, namely, William, Lord Berkeley. This William was the son of Isabel daughter of the first Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk, (fn. 48) and although there seems no actual record of his own connexion with Dorking Manor, his son Maurice was seised of a fourth part in 1504. (fn. 49) It seems as though he must have shortly afterwards conveyed his portion to the Earls of Derby, first because, as stated above, they were afterwards seised of two quarter parts; secondly, because the Berkeleys are not again found in possession; and thirdly, because lands did undoubtedly pass from the one family to the other. (fn. 50)
However, that may have been, it seems that two quarter parts were in the possession of the Earls of Derby. In 1586 Henry, Earl of Derby, conveyed one quarter to Sir Thomas Browne, (fn. 51) and in 1594 Henry's son Ferdinand died seised of the other quarter. (fn. 52) The portion which remained in the Derby family was apparently conveyed to the Howards some time during the 17th century, (fn. 53) since the Browne moiety was the only one which did not belong to them in the time of George II. (fn. 54)
Sir Thomas Browne died in 1597 seised of one portion of the manor, which passed to his son Matthew. (fn. 55) It appears at intervals in the possession of the Browne family, and finally, about 1690, on the death of Sir Adam Browne, without male issue, passed from his family by the marriage of his daughter Margaret with William Fenwick. (fn. 56) At her death, according to Manning and Bray, (fn. 57) this part of the manor passed by sale to Abraham Tucker, and from him, by the marriage of one of his daughters, to his grandson Sir Henry St. John Mildmay, who sold it in 1797 to the Duke of Norfolk. (fn. 58)
The remaining portion of the manor passed at the death of Anne Mowbray into the family of Howard. Margaret daughter of the first Mowbray duke, and sister of that Isabel who married into the Berkeley family, became the wife of Sir Robert Howard, and to her son John her share in the Dorking manor now passed. (fn. 59) John was a keen partisan of Richard III, who in 1483 revived the title of Duke of Norfolk in his favour. (fn. 60) He met his death at the battle of Bosworth Field, and his lands, by an Act of attainder in the first Parliament of Henry VII, lapsed to the Crown. (fn. 61) His son Thomas, also attainted then, was restored in blood in 1488, and to the earldom and his estates in 1489. In 1514 he was created Duke of Norfolk. His son Thomas, third Duke of Norfolk in the Howard line, was attainted under Henry VIII, and only escaped execution by the timely death of the king; his lands, however, were forfeited, and his portion in Dorking Manor was granted by Edward VI to Henry Duke of Suffolk. (fn. 62) Under Queen Mary the duke was restored to his possessions. From that time this portion seems to have remained in the family of Howard; the other portions were gradually joined to it until, in 1797, the whole manor was in the possession of the Duke of Norfolk, with whose descendants it has since remained.
The earls had a manor-house in Dorking; but though Aubrey mentions traces of a castle, there are neither records nor visible remains. The Town Fields were on the south side of the town, towards the direction of the modern workhouse. The common meadow and pasture was on the north by the Pip Brook; but it is worthy of notice that as early as the 14th and 15th centuries the manorial rolls tell us that the villeins of the manor held land in severalty, this custom being specially noticeable in Waldeborough, where there seem to have been no common fields. The rights of the lord over a villein tenantry, chivage, marriage, and so on, were then in full force. In 1442–3 the homage are bidden to produce a fugitive female villein. It is needless to say that there is no evidence of the outrageous droit de seigneur mentioned by Aubrey. In the court held 30 December, 5 Henry VI (1426), Johanna Brekspere paid 6s. 8d. for licence to marry whom she would. But as early as the accounts rendered for 1329–30, customary services, carrying, reaping, &c., and xxii plena opera appear commuted for money payments. The custom of the manor was Borough English, and daughters were co-heiresses. A court baron was held every three weeks, and a court leet and a view of frankpledge twice a year.
In 1278 John de Warenne claimed and was allowed free warren in all his demesne lands in Dorking. (fn. 63) The lord had, however, an inclosed warren, which was often mentioned in the Court Rolls owing to the inhabitants stealing rabbits from it. Under Henry V and Henry VI the warren was let out at farm. Possibly the lord had an inclosed park, for in the courts of 8 February and 16 August 1283 persons are accused of breaking the earl's park; but in the first instance the fine pro fractura parci is only 6d., in the second 20s., so parcus may only be the pound, or some small inclosure. No record of imparking or disimparking seems to exist. If there was a park it must have been near Charte Park of later times, where Park Copse, Park Farm, and Park Pale Farm, all to the east of Charte Park, may show that this is only part of a formerly more extensive inclosure.
BRADLEY was a small reputed manor held by service of half a knight's fee of the manor of Reigate. (fn. 64) A Thomas de Bradley appears in a dispute in the court of Dorking of 1283. Mr. Bray had deeds in his possession showing a settlement, by John de Bradley and Maud his wife, on William son of Richard Bradley in 1340, and another settlement of land in Bradley 1389–90, by Nicholas Slyfield, on John Penros. (fn. 65) It passed to the Sondes of Sondes Place, Dorking, and appears as a manor in the time of Edward IV, (fn. 66) and is also mentioned in an inquisition taken after the death of Robert Sondes in 1530. (fn. 67) It seems to have remained in the Sondes family until the middle of the 17th century, when Sir George Sondes conveyed it to William Delawne, (fn. 68) but perhaps by way of mortgage only, for Lewis, created Lord Sondes 1760, seems to have sold it rather later than that to Henry Talbot. He sold it to Mr. Walter, M.P., who was buying much land in the district. (fn. 69) It was certainly possessed by Mr. Walter of Bury Hill and his son-in-law Viscount Grimston, who sold it to Mr. Denison of Denbies, in which estate it remains. It has had no courts held within the memory of man. It is now the property of the Hon. Henry Cubitt of Denbies, the lordlieutenant. (fn. 70)
There seems to have been a small manor called HAMSTED in Dorking. In Domesday Richard of Tonbridge held one hide which had been detached from Dorking. (fn. 71) In 1262 Hawisia widow of John de Gatesden, the name of a Clare tenant, (fn. 72) sued Robert Basset for a third part of a mill and 40 acres of land as her dower in Hamsted and Dorking. (fn. 73) In 1314 Gilbert de Clare, killed at Bannockburn, was seised of Hamsted, held of him by Agnes de Badeshull. (fn. 74) Hugh le Despenser, sister's son to Gilbert, died seised of it in 1350, when it was held by John de Warblyngton of the honour of Clare. (fn. 75) In 1560–1 John Caryll sold land in Hamsted to Sir Thomas Browne of Betchworth. (fn. 76) The description places it at the west end of Dorking, where Hamsted Lane, an old name, preserves its memory.
The manor of MILTON (xi et seq. cent. Middleton) was held of William Fitz Ansculf by a certain Baldwin at the time of the Domesday Survey; Uluric held it of King Edward. (fn. 77) It passed with the honour of Dudley from William Fitz Ansculf to the family of Somery; early in the 13th century one Simon Fitz Giles owed one knight's service for Milton to the honour of Dudley. (fn. 78)
The manor was possibly granted to the nuns of Kilburn by Roger de Somery, (fn. 79) for their prioress was found to hold lands of him at his death; there is, however, reason to suppose that they had gained possession of it somewhat earlier, since Margery, Prioress of Kilburn, was seised of a knight's fee in Milton in 1232. (fn. 80) Again, in 1269, Matilda, a prioress whom Dugdale omits from his list, (fn. 81) had transactions touching the moiety of a virgate of land in Milton. (fn. 82)
The manor remained with the nuns until the dissolution of the monasteries, when the king exchanged it for other Surrey lands with John Carleton of Walton on Thames, and Joyce his wife. (fn. 83) From John Carleton the manor passed to Richard Thomas, who was holding it in 1552. (fn. 84) Richard Thomas continued to hold under Philip and Mary; (fn. 85) his tenure was not, however, popular among his tenants, who were indignant at his having inclosed lands on Milton Common otherwise known as Anstey Heath, where the aforesaid tenants had had common of pasture from time immemorial. Waterden Wood is also mentioned. Anstey Farm and Waterden lie on the two sides of the road in Milton Manor near Coldharbour. Milton Gore, close by, is the only part of the heath in question now uninclosed.
It is probable that the grant to Richard Thomas was only for a period of years, for at the death of his widow Katharine, who had subsequently become the wife of Saunders Wright, it reverted to the Crown. (fn. 86) Queen Elizabeth in 1599 gave it to Ralph Lathom. (fn. 87) The grant, however, was cancelled before it took effect, and the next year the manor passed from the Crown to George Evelyn (fn. 88) in consideration of some £700. From that time it descended with Wotton in the Evelyn family.
Milton Court, the seat of the late Mr. L. M. Rate (ob. 1907), is the old manor-house of Milton. It is a fine Jacobean house, mostly of brick, with wings projecting in front and behind and a projecting portico in front, showing five gables to the front, over the wings and portico; and between these, to the back, there are three gables, the chimneys occupying the intermediate spaces on this side. The gables are all of the rounded pattern common in Kent and the Netherlands. The house was rebuilt by Richard Evelyn, and completed in 1611 (accounts in possession of Mr. Rate). There was no high hall, but a gallery ran along the front of the house with a projecting bay over the porch. This has been altered into a drawing-room and other rooms. The staircase in the east wing is a very fine specimen of Jacobean woodwork. Mr. Rate bought the house in 1864, and it was restored under the direction of the late C. Burgess.
The manor of WEST BETCHWORTH was held by Richard de Tonbridge at the time of the Domesday Survey, and the overlordship appears to have remained with the honour of Clare. (fn. 89) In the 13th century John de Wauton held half a knight's fee in Betchworth of that honour; (fn. 90) he subsequently forfeited his lands to the king, who in 1291 made a grant of them to John de Berewyk. (fn. 91) At John's death in 1313 his heir was found to be his grandson Roger Husee, then a minor. (fn. 92) Roger died seised in 1362, (fn. 93) and was succeeded by his brother John, who died a few years later leaving his son John as his heir. (fn. 94) This John conveyed the manor to Richard Earl of Arundel. (fn. 95) It remained in the Arundel family until 1487, when it was sold to Thomas Browne. (fn. 96) It was still in the possession of the Brownes in the time of Elizabeth, (fn. 97) and from that date appears to have descended with the portion of Dorking Manor which was in their hands.
Betchworth Castle, now only a picturesque ruin, perched on a bank above the Mole, and almost concealed by trees and creepers, was built, or, more probably, rebuilt, by Sir Thomas Browne. Judging by the print in Watson's 'Memoirs,' the mansion which, in the middle of the 15th century, replaced an earlier fortified house or castle, must have been extremely picturesque with its battlemented gables, clustered chimneys and oriel windows, standing among lawns and gardens descending to the Mole. The ivy is disintegrating the walls, and almost the only architectural feature is the arch of a fireplace. A remarkably fine avenue of lime trees leads to the ruin.
The Domesday Survey records that Abbot Æthelrige had held WESTCOTE of King Edward; also that Ralph de Fougeres then held it. (fn. 98)
In the 13th century Westcote (villa de Westcote) was terra Normannorum held by Gilbert de Aquila and taken into the hands of King Henry III. The Earl of Warenne and Surrey had paid a fine and held it for his sister the wife of Gilbert. (fn. 99) Later John de Gatesden (see Hamsted Manor) held it. (fn. 100) He died in 1269 or before, when a survey of the manor was taken, late in his hands. (fn. 101) His daughter Margaret married Sir William Pagenel, but it would seem that the Latimer family had some previous claim upon Westcote, for in 1306 Alice widow of William le Latimer sued William Pagenel and Margaret his wife for dower in Westcote Manor, which had been granted by Latimer to Pagenel and his wife. Pagenel acknowledged her claim and granted her lands in Leicestershire to the required amount. (fn. 102) In 1317 William Pagenel died seised of the manor, leaving John his brother and heir, then fifty years of age. (fn. 103)
In 1355 Eva widow of Edward St. John, and formerly wife of William Pagenel, who was probably the son of John Pagenel, died seised of one-third of Westcote Manor which she held in dower. Her heir was Laurence de Hastings, lord of Paddington Pembroke (q.v.), with which Westcote descended from that time. (fn. 104)
There was a mill at Westcote at the time of the Domesday Survey; it is also mentioned in the inquisition taken at the death of Laurence de Hastings in 1348, when it was stated to be a water-mill. (fn. 105)
George I granted to John Evelyn the privilege of holding two annual fairs in his manor of Westcote, on 15 April and 28 October. (fn. 106)
Westcote retains many picturesque old houses of the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries, including some with gables of Bargate stone rubble and ornamental brick; and a farm-house with fine brick chimneys dating from about 1670.
SONDES PLACE, in Milton borough, the vicarage house since 1839, belonged to a family of Sondes, who migrated to Surrey in the 15th century, and who were ancestors of the present Lord Sondes. In 1590 John Carill, of Warnham, conveyed Sondes Place for £1,000 to John Cowper of Capel, Serjeant-at-Law. (fn. 107) Cowper possibly sold it to Christopher Gardiner, who died about 1597, and is described as of Dorking, (fn. 108) and whose son Christopher, baptized 1595, (fn. 109) resided at Sondes Place. The latter married Elizabeth daughter of Sir Edward Onslow of Knowle in Cranleigh. (fn. 110) William Gardiner of Croydon, by deed of 1678, granted the manor or lordship of Sondes Place to Francis Brocket. (fn. 111)
The parish church is approached by a little stone-flagged alley from the High Street, and stands in the midst of a large and prettily kept churchyard, no longer used for burials, in which are numerous gravestones and railed tombs, some of 17th and 18th-century dates.
It is dedicated to ST. MARTIN, and is, as it stands, absolutely modern, having been rebuilt in 1835–7 (the chancel excepted), and the nave, till then an unsightly structure of brick and compo, with slender iron columns and many galleries, again rebuilt in 1873 from the designs of Mr. H. Woodyer, who in 1866 had rebuilt the ancient chancel. In 1835–7 the central tower had been rebuilt, or remodelled, and crowned with a lofty spire, which it had not before possessed, and these features, which were not reproduced in the original position in the later re-edification, were replaced by a lofty western tower and spire, erected to the memory of Dr. Samuel Wilberforce, Bishop of Oxford, and then of Winchester, who was killed by a fall from his horse near Dorking in 1873. The present church, which is constructed of black flints and Bath stone, is a handsome and spacious edifice in a somewhat mixed style of 13th and 14th-century Gothic architecture, consisting of a lofty clearstoried nave, with western tower and spire, porches, transepts, chancel and vestries. Nearly all the windows are filled with stained glass of varying merit, and there are many elaborate fittings, including altar and reredos, pulpit, lectern and choir stalls, font and chancel screen of oak, in commemoration of Wm. Henry Joyce, M.A., vicar, 1850–70, beneath which is a brass to his memory.
The floor and lower parts of the walls of the old church remain in vaults under the present church. It was a large and picturesque structure, occupying much the same area as the present, cruciform, with a central tower, north and south aisles to the nave, under lean-to roofs, and a south porch, built of local rubble and flints plastered externally, with dressings of firestone, and having the old Horsham slate on all the roofs, except the chancel and north transept. The nave was about 65 ft. by 30 ft., its aisles being between 12 and 14 ft. long, the north transept about 27 ft. by 23 ft. wide, the south transept 26 ft. by 23 ft., the central tower about 27 ft. square, and the chancel 40 ft. by 22 ft. Probably little or nothing remained of the building recorded in Domesday, except as old material worked up on the walls; but the chancel seems to have retained to the last at the angles of the east end four flat pilaster buttresses of mid-12th-century character. To a date towards the close of the same century the lower part of the central tower and the remarkable north transept appear to have belonged. The latter is well shown in a carefully accurate steel engraving forming the frontispiece to Hussey's Churches of Kent, Surrey, and Sussex. (fn. 112) The design of this transept end consisted of a lofty gable with a small lancet in the upper part, below which was a pilaster buttress with steeply sloped weathering, this buttress being pierced at about half its height with a longer lancet, (fn. 113) and similar lancets flanking it right and left, while at the angles were other pilaster buttresses. In the eastern wall of the same transept there were three lancets of like proportions and a pilaster buttress. There appears to have been some early work in the south transept also, but masked by alterations made in the repairs of 1674 and 1762, when a large circular-headed window was inserted in the gable end, a huge, unsightly buttress erected against the south-east angle of the tower, and the upper part of the central tower was altered. Evidence is scanty as to other work of the earlier periods, especially as to the nave arcades and crossing arches, but they were probably of late 12th or early 13th-century date. In the first half of the 14th century considerable alterations were effected. A clearstory of coupled lights having ogee, trefoiled, and cinquefoiled heads was formed on both sides of the nave, and other windows inserted, in about 1340. The chancel at this time received a fine large east window of five lights, the central higher than the others, with flowing tracery in the head resembling that of the east window in Witley Church. (fn. 114) The windows in the south wall, of three and two lights, with square heads, may have belonged to the same or a slightly later date. The upper story of the tower, although its parapet had been made plain in 1762, retained two-light windows with pointed heads of 15th-century character, and in the east wall of the south transept, the south wall of the south aisle, with its porch, and the west wall of the nave, were other windows of the 15th century. If it seems hard to forgive the 1835 rebuilding of the nave, it is almost impossible to excuse the destruction of the ancient chancel, with its fine east window, in 1866. The north aisle had no windows in its wall, but was lit by wooden dormers in the roof.
The monuments in the old church prior to its demolition do not appear to have been of great importance. Aubrey records many tombstones as existing on the floor of the church in his time (1673, &c.), some of which bore the indents of brasses. These have all disappeared. The following mural monuments have been preserved and set up in the new church:—(1) The Howard monument, to the memory of Charles Howard of Greystoke Castle and of Deepdene, (fn. 115) fourth son of Henry Frederick, Earl of Arundel (died 31 March 1713), and Mary his wife (died 7 November 1695); of Henry Charles Howard, his son and heir (died 10 June 1720), and Mary his wife (died 7 October 1747); and of Mary Anne Howard, the late wife of Charles Howard, jun. (died 28 May 1768). (2) A monument, removed from a mausoleum formerly in the churchyard, to the second wife of Henry Talbot, son of a Bishop of Durham, who purchased Charte Park in 1746 and died in 1784. (3) To Abraham Tucker, author of A Picture of Artless Love and The Light of Nature Pursued, who lived at his estate of Betchworth Castle till his death in 1774. (4) A brass plate to Jeremiah Markland (1693–1776), the classical scholar, who lived at Milton Court.
The church plate is all modern, presented recently by the Rt. Hon. George Cubitt, M.P., of Denbies, now Lord Ashcombe. There is a ring of eight bells, of which no. 2, 3 and 4 are dated 1709 and bear the names of William Fenwicke, Mrs. Margaret Fenwicke, John Hollier and John Pinny, 'benefactors'; while no. 5 has the inscription, 'JOHN WILNER MADE ME 1626.' The others are modern. The 'pancake' bell used to be rung between 11 o'clock and noon on Shrove Tuesday down to the early part of the 19th century.
ST. PAUL'S CHURCH was built in 1857 for a new district on the south side of the town. It is a stone building, consisting of a nave and chancel, in quasi 14th-century style, with a small bell-turret at the west end.
ST. MARY MAGDALENE'S CHURCH, HOLMWOOD, was built in 1838. It was successively enlarged in 1842, 1846, 1848, and 1863. Mr. James Park Harrison was the original architect, and the church is a successful imitation of 13th-century style, built in sandstone, with a tower to the south-west. The sites for church, parsonage, and school were given by the Duke of Norfolk.
The church of HOLY TRINITY, WESTCOTE, was consecrated in 1852. It was built by Sir Gilbert Scott in 14th-century style. It is of stone, with a small western turret. Mr. Charles Barclay gave £1,000 to the building, and Lady Mary Leslie £1,000 endowment. The clock was put up to commemorate the Jubilee of 1887. The parsonage house was built at the sole expense of the late Mr. Charles Barclay, of Bury Hill; the Westcote Schools (National) by subscription in 1854; an infant school by subscription in 1882.
The advowson of the church of Dorking was attached first to the Priory of Lewes, (fn. 116) and then, in 1334, to the Priory of Holy Cross at Reigate until the dissolution of the monasteries. (fn. 117) It was then granted to Lord William Howard, (fn. 118) created Lord Howard of Effingham. Charles second Lord Howard of Effingham, created Earl of Nottingham, inherited from his father. His eldest son William having died in his lifetime, his daughter Elizabeth, by marriage the Countess of Peterborough, inherited, (fn. 119) and conveyed it in 1657 to her son, John Mordaunt, (fn. 120) an ardent Royalist, to whom Charles II shortly afterwards granted the titles of Baron Mordaunt of Reigate and Viscount Mordaunt of Avalon, as a reward for his many services. (fn. 121)
In 1660 Dorking with Capel (q.v.) and other churches was confirmed to John Mordaunt in trust for Mary daughter of his brother the Earl of Peterborough. (fn. 122) Mary sold it in 1677 to Sir John Parsons. The widow of his son Humphrey settled it on her daughter Anne, wife of Sir John Hynde Cotton, who conveyed it to him. He sold it in 1766 to Mr. Edward Walter of Bury Hill. At his death in 1780 it descended to his daughter and her husband Viscount Grimston. The latter sold in 1789 to the Duke of Norfolk. (fn. 123) The rectorial tithes were bought by various people in lots, among whom were the late Mr. Rate of Milton Court and Mr. Williamson of Guildford. The advowson to the vicarage remained with the Dukes of Norfolk till the Right Hon. G. Cubitt, M.P., now Lord Ashcombe, bought it about 1865, and it remains in his hands.
Smith's charity exists, but unlike the usual practice in the other Surrey parishes is administered by the parish, not by the trustees. The Rev. Samuel Cozens, Presbyterian minister in Dorking 1656–9, who probably resigned before 1662, left land at Chislet in Kent which was added to Smith's land.
Cotmandene Almshouses for eighteen poor persons were erected on land given to the vicar and churchwardens by the Hon. Charles Howard of Deepdene and Sir Adam Browne of Betchworth Castle in 1677, and were endowed by Mrs. Susannah Smith. A decree in Chancery established the legacy in 1718. Mr. William Ansell left £200 consols in 1830. Mr. Richard Lowndes of Rose Hill left £320 consols in 1831. Messrs. Joseph and John Sanders gave £700 consols in 1839 to the same object.
In 1725 Mrs. Margaret Fenwick left by will £800 which was laid out in the purchase of a farm called Fordland in Albury, for the apprenticing of poor children, providing a marriage portion for maid-servants who had lived blamelessly in the same family for seven years, and the residue to the poor in alms.
Summers' Charity was founded in 1807 by Mr. Thomas Summers, a hatter of Horsham, who used to travel between Horsham and Dorking. He left £100 each to Horsham, Dorking, and Capel. The money was laid out in buying £134 3 per cent. consols. and the income is devoted to buying bread for the poor.
Dorking Cottage Hospital, containing seventeen beds and three cots for children, was built in 1871 on land given at a nominal rent by Mrs. Hope of Deepdene. It is supported by voluntary contributions and payment of patients. The Right Hon. G. Cubitt, M.P. (Lord Ashcombe), gave £1,000 towards the building.