A History of the County of Surrey: Volume 3. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1911.
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Etwelle (xi cent.); Awell (xii cent.); Ewell (Testa de Nevill).
Ewell is a village a mile north-east of Epsom and 5 miles south-east of Kingston. The parish is nearly 4 miles from north to south, and almost a mile wide, and contains 2,427 acres. This is the compact parish of Ewell, excluding the detached liberty of Kingswood, which is treated separately. The parish lies in the ordinary position of the neighbourhood as regards soils. The southern part is on the chalk downs; the old village was on the extremity of the chalk, on a tongue of that soil extending into the Thanet Sand, and the parish crosses the Thanet and Woolwich Beds, reaching on to the London Clay. There is a strong spring, one of the principal sources of the Hoggsmill River, which rises in the village and has good trout; other springs feed the same stream. There are extensive brick, tile, and pottery works, called the Nonsuch Works, and two flour mills worked by water and steam. There were formerly also gunpowder mills, which have now ceased to exist. (fn. 1)
The roads from Kingston to Epsom and from London to Epsom meet in Ewell. The Wimbledon and Letherhead branch of the London and South-Western Railway and the Portsmouth line of the London, Brighton, and South Coast Railway, opened respectively in 1859 and 1847, both pass through the parish, the stations being about a mile apart.
Ewell was a market town when Speed's map was made (early 17th century) and when Aubrey wrote. In 1618 Henry Lloyd, lord of the manor, was granted licence to hold a market in Ewell. (fn. 2) A curious entry exists in the parish registers for 1654 of banns published in Ewell Market, preparatory to a marriage before a justice of the peace, Mr. Marsh of Dorking. The market was held on Thursdays. It seems to have died a natural death early in the 19th century, the small market-house which stood at the intersection of Church Street and High Street having been removed at a slightly earlier date. The old watch-house, however, is still to be seen, facing the place where the market-house stood. Fairs are said to have been held on 12 May and 29 October in a field near the Green Man Inn. (fn. 3) The village of Ewell still retains some of the picturesque appearance of an old market town.
Pits have been found in Ewell containing Roman pottery, bones, and a few other remains, which have been taken to the British Museum. Ewell lay possibly on the Roman road from Sussex to the Thames, diverted at Epsom from the British trackway, though it is matter of inference rather than proof.
It was probably once a place of some importance, as it gave its name to one of the old Surrey deaneries, but in Domesday there is no church named. Letherhead Church, however, we are told was annexed to the king's manor of Ewell. Shelwood Manor in Leigh was also part of Ewell Manor. (fn. 4)
Richard Corbet, Bishop of Oxford from 1628 to 1632, and of Norwich from 1632 to 1635, was born at Ewell in 1582. He was the son of a gardener, but became a Queen's scholar at Westminster, and then a student of Christ Church. As a bishop he is said to have had 'an admirable grave and reverend aspect,' but it is told of him that after he was a Doctor of Divinity he disguised himself as a ballad singer in Abingdon market. He was certainly a wit, and to some extent a poet; his Iter Boreale and Journey into France show the former, the Fairies' Farewell the latter character.
Amongst the modern houses is Ewell Castle, built by Mr. Thomas Calverley in 1814 in an imitation castellated style. It is now vacant. The grounds, which extend into Cuddington parish, cover part of the former Nonsuch Park, and include the site of the Banqueting House, which stood apart from the palace of Nonsuch, and the remains of the pool called Diana's Bath. Ewell Court is the seat of Mr. J. H. Bridges, J.P.; Tayle's Hill of Major E. F. Coates, M.P.; Rectory House of Sir Gervas Powell Glyn, bart.; Purberry Shot of Mr. W. M. Walters.
The inclosure of common fields (707 acres) and of waste (495 acres) was carried out in 1801. (fn. 5) The common fields lay east of the village.
There is a Congregational chapel in the village, with a school and lecture hall adjoining, built in 1864. Archbishop Sheldon's Returns in 1669 (fn. 6) show that there was a Nonconformist congregation of fifty, ministered to by Mr. Batho, the ex-rector of Ewell. Bishop Willis's Visitation of 1725 mentions 'about 50 Presbyterians,' an unusual instance in rural Surrey of the continuance of a large body of Nonconformity between those dates.
The village is supplied with gas by the Epsom and Ewell Gas Company, and with water by the Sutton Water Company.
The Chelsea and Kensington Workhouse Schools are in the parish.
In 1811 a National School was established on the strength of Mr. White's and Mr. Brumfield's benefactions. Mr. Calverley gave a further benefaction, which became available in 1860. The schools at present existing were built in 1861, one for boys and girls, and the other for infants. The former was enlarged in 1893. They still continue Church of England Schools.
Kingswood Liberty is a completely detached part of Ewell parish, bounded on the west and north by Banstead, on the east by Chipstead and Gatton, on the south by Reigate. It measures less than 3 miles from north to south, and is under a mile broad, of a fairly regular form. It contains 1,821 acres. It lies upon the chalk hills, but the chalk is here in general crowned with a deposit of brick-earth and of clay with flints.
Kingswood is traversed by the old Brighton road which came up Reigate Hill and went to Sutton. It has now a railway station on the Tattenham Corner branch of the South Eastern and Chatham Railway, opened as far as Kingswood in 1899. The neighbourhood which used to be singularly sequestered and rural is fast becoming residential, especially since the opening of the railway. But the majority of the new houses are in the part of Banstead included in the ecclesiastical parish of Kingswood, not in the old portion of Ewell.
In 1838 an ecclesiastical district was formed from Kingswood with a portion of Banstead, and a new church, St. Andrew's, was built in 1848 by the late Mr. Thomas Alcock. The old church is used as a parish room. The church is endowed with a glebe of 31 acres. There is also a Methodist chapel, built by the late Mr. H. Fowker.
Kingswood Warren, built about 1850 by Mr. H. Alcock, M.P., is the fine seat of Mr. Henry C. O. Bonsor, J.P.
Lower Kingswood School was built in 1893 and enlarged in 1903. Tadworth and Kingswood School (in Banstead parish) was built in 1875. Both are County Council Schools.
The manor of EWELL is named in Domesday as part of the royal demesne, (fn. 7) and as such William I secured it as the alleged heir of Edward the Confessor. (fn. 8) Henry II granted it to the Prior and canons of Merton in frankalmoign and as free from aids and customs as it had been when Crown property. (fn. 9) This grant was augmented by one from Richard I of 101 acres of land, without impeachment of assart and quit of all aids and escheats, &c. (fn. 10) Henry III granted to the prior the right of free warren in his manor of Ewell, (fn. 11) this grant being confirmed by Edward I. (fn. 12)
Richard tenth Earl of Arundel, who was executed as a traitor in 1398, held the manor of the Prior and convent of Merton at the time of his death. (fn. 13)
With the manor of Ewell Henry II had granted to the convent of Merton, as parcels of the same manor, two pieces of land called Fifhide (fn. 14) and Selswood (Shelwood). (fn. 15) In the reign of Henry III the prior claimed that the men on these lands were his villeins and owed him villeins' service; this the men denied, affirming that they owed him only the service of free men, and that what the men of Ewell, who were their equals, gave they would give, and no more. (fn. 16) An inquisition held later on the services due to the Prior of Merton determined that the men of Selswood and Fifhide were subject to the tax of Peterpence, and that they might not marry son or daughter out of the township without the prior's licence, but that their taxation should be the same as that of the men of Ewell. (fn. 17)
At the dissolution of Merton in 1538, the prior surrendered all the lands of the convent to the king, and this manor was annexed to the honour of Hampton Court, (fn. 18) Henry purchasing from William Cooper his lease of the manor. (fn. 19) In 1540 Ralph Sadler was appointed bailiff of the manor, (fn. 20) and he was granted a lease for twenty-one years of the site of the manor where not inclosed in Nonsuch Park. (fn. 21)
Edward VI granted a lease of the site of Ewell Manor to Henry Collier and Agnes his wife for the rent of 69s. 9d. yearly, which lease was renewed by Philip and Mary. (fn. 22) In 1563 Elizabeth granted the manor to Henry, Earl of Arundel, and his heirs, for the sum of £885 12s. 10d. (fn. 23) He had only one child, Jane, who married John, Lord Lumley; (fn. 24) these died without issue surviving, and the estates passed, 1609, to Splandian Lloyd, Lord Lumley's nearest kinsman, son of his sister Barbara; (fn. 25) Splandian died childless, and his brother Henry succeeded, (fn. 26) the manor then continuing in his family in direct male line to Robert Lumley Lloyd, D.D. He presented a claim to the peerage, being a direct descendant of Barbara sister and heir of Lord Lumley; it was disallowed on the ground that the barony was limited to John, Lord Lumley, in tail male. (fn. 27) Dr. Lloyd died in 1730, and left his estates to his three sisters for their life, with reversion to Lord John Russell, afterwards Duke of Bedford. By him they were sold in 1755 to Edward Northey, (fn. 28) in whose family they have remained, the present lord of the manor being the Rev. E. W. Northey of Epsom.
It appears that Henry II made another grant of land which later was called a manor, but which does not appear as a separate property after the 13th century. He gave to Maurice de Creon (fn. 29) 43s. 1½d. rent (fn. 30) to hold of the king in chief (fn. 31) as an instalment of 4 librates which he had promised him. Maurice gave the rent to his son-in-law, Guy de la Val, (fn. 32) who sub-enfeoffed William St. Michael; (fn. 33) this grant was confirmed by the king's writ in 1205, (fn. 34) and also on the death of Guy without issue, when the king granted the manor to Peter de Creon son of Maurice to hold of the Crown as his father had done. (fn. 35) William St. Michael continued to hold possession until he was disseised in 1222. (fn. 36)
Peter was succeeded by his brother Almaric, (fn. 37) whose heir, Maurice, lord of Creon, gave all his hereditary right in the manor to Sir Robert Burnell, clerk, and his heirs, to be held of the king by the services due therefrom, and by rendering to Maurice and his heirs 1d. yearly at Easter. (fn. 38)
Robert Burnell the same year, 1272, restored the lands to the king, who bestowed them on John de la Linde to be held by him and his heirs by the service of one-fourth part of a knight's fee. (fn. 39) From this time the manor seems to have been attached as a member to Wallington (fn. 40) (q.v.).
Two mills at Ewell are mentioned in Domesday, and later there appear to have been more; Adam Tychesey gave one to the Prior and convent of Merton. (fn. 41)
There is a reputed manor in Ewell called BOTTALS (fn. 42) (Battailes, Buttalls, Butolphs, xvii cent.), of which there is no certain history until 1659, when it was held by Henry Sanders; (fn. 43) he sold it to Thomas Turgis, (fn. 44) who dying childless left it to his kinsman William Newland. He had no son, and his two surviving daughters were his heirs; they married respectively Philip Cantillon (fn. 45) and Robert Dillon, and their children sold the manor to Anthony Chamier of Epsom. (fn. 46) He died in 1780 without issue, having left his estates in trust for his wife, and after her decease to his nephew John des Champs or Chamier. (fn. 47) They sold it with the manors of Fitznells and Rookesley to Thomas Calverley, whose son Thomas built Ewell Castle on the site of the old family mansion. (fn. 48) He was succeeded by his nephew William Bower Monro, who sold the estate to James Gadesden. (fn. 49) Mr. James Philip Gadesden of Burley, Newbury, Berks., is the present owner.
As early as 675 we have mention of 30 mansas of land in Ewell, afterwards known as the manor of FITZNELLS (Venelles, (fn. 50) Fenelles, (fn. 51) xv cent.; Fenys, (fn. 52) xvi cent.), being granted by Frithwald subregulus of Surrey and Bishop Erkenwald to the newly-founded abbey of Chertsey. (fn. 53) In 1331 Robert de FitzNeel died seised of one messuage, 250 acres of land, 6 acres of meadow, and one watermill, which he held after his wife's death of the inheritance of his daughter Grace; of these he held the capital messuage, 100 acres of land, and 4 acres of meadow of the Prior of Merton by the service of 15s., and 50 acres of land and one mill of the Abbot of Chertsey by the service of 6s. 8d. (fn. 54) It was from this family that the manor took the name of Fitznells. Robert's daughter Grace had at the time of her father's death a son and heir, Robert, (fn. 55) who was probably the father of Robert Leversegge, who died seised of a tenement called Fenelles, lying in the parishes of Ewell, Cuddington, and East Cheam. (fn. 56) His son Richard was imbecile from his birth, but held the estate in demesne as of fee until 10 June 1438, on which day John Iwardby (alias Everby) took possession and was succeeded by his son John, who affirmed that his father held the manor of the gift of Robert Leversegge. (fn. 57) In 1542 it was held by Dame Joan St. John, (fn. 58) who was daughter and heir of Sir John Iwardby, (fn. 59) and her son John sold it (1562) to Edmund Horde, (fn. 60) in whose family it remained for more than a century, (fn. 61) Thomas Horde settling it on his son William in tail male in 1639. (fn. 62) The Hordes were holding the manor as late as 1662, when Thomas Horde conveyed it to Jane Hope, widow. (fn. 63)
In 1693 John Harvey and his wife Mary quit-claimed an annual rent in the manor to Thomas Turgis, warranting it against themselves and all other claimants for Edmund and Thomas Horde, deceased. The manor was in the possession of Thomas Turgis at the time of his death, 1704, he having devised it to his kinsman, Mr. William Newland, (fn. 64) from which time the history of this manor is the same as that of Bottals and Rookesley.
There is no mention of the so-called manor of SHAWFORD (Standeford, Shaldeford, Rokesley, xv cent.; Rixley, xvi cent.) until the middle of the 15th century; but as early as 1229 John de Scaldeford is mentioned as owning half a hide of land in Ewell, (fn. 65) and twenty years later William de Standeford claimed common of pasture in Ewell, of which his uncle Joceus de Standeford (whose heir he was) was seised as of fee as pertaining to his free tenement in 'Scaldeford,' the day on which he died. (fn. 66)
Manning and Bray, (fn. 67) quoting an undated deed in the Rawlinson MSS., give a grant by Henry Picot of Chessington of a tenement in 'Schaldeford,' in the parish of Ewell, and of a mill in 'Schaldeford,' in Long Ditton, to John de Rokesle. The witnesses, John d'Abernon and William Ambesas, date the deed about 1297, when those two were knights of the shire.
In 1458–9 Simon Melbourne and others released to John Merston and Rose his wife for the term of their lives, with remainder to William, nephew of the said John, and Anne his wife, all right in the 'manor of Shaldeford alias Rokesley,' formerly called 'Standeford,' in the parish of Ewell, without impeachment of waste. (fn. 68) This manor was then worth 5 marks and included a barn worth 4s. and two tenements, 100 acres of land, 26s. 8d. rent in the parishes of Ewell and Cuddington worth 5 marks, and was said to be held of the Prior of Merton, service unknown. John and Rose died so seised and William and Anne entered and were seised in fee tail. William died 26 October 1495, and was succeeded by his son William. (fn. 69) About fifty years later it was owned by Edward Jenens, who, dying without issue, left it to his aunt Jane wife of Robert Kempe. Her only daughter and heir married John Wight, and they had one son Rhys. (fn. 70) Then it seems to have come into the possession of John, Lord Lumley, at that time lord of Ewell Manor, for in 1593 he quitclaimed it to Margaret Sanders, widow, (fn. 71) for the sum of £100.
In 1714 William Newland (fn. 72) was holding the manor, and thenceforward its history follows that of the manors of Bottals and Fitznells.
At the Domesday Survey 'the men of the Hundred' deposed that the reeves of the king's manors had abstracted two and a quarter hides of the manor of Ewell with appurtenances. (fn. 73) This is believed to be the manor of KINGSWOOD, which Henry II granted with Selswood as parcel of the manor of Ewell (fn. 74) to the Prior and canons of Merton. (fn. 75) It was augmented by 5 acres of wood granted by Richard de Bures, 1208. (fn. 76)
In 1291 the Prior and convent of Merton were granted licence to inclose their wood of Kingswood, which was of their own soil and without the bounds of the forest, and which they held by grant of the king's progenitors. (fn. 77)
In 1535 Kingswood Manor was worth £14 6s. 8d., (fn. 78) including the perquisites of court valued at 14s. 8d. The manor continued in the priory till its dissolution, when it was annexed by Henry to the honour of Hampton Court. Queen Elizabeth granted it to William Lord Howard of Effingham and Lady Margaret his wife for the service of one-fortieth part of a knight's fee (fn. 79); it descended to their son, who was created Earl of Nottingham. His son Charles died seised of it in 1642, (fn. 80) having settled it on his second wife Mary daughter of Sir William Cockayne. (fn. 81) She held a court there as lady of the manor. (fn. 82) On her death, 1651, the manor should have passed to Sir John Heydon, the reversion of the manor having been granted to him in consideration of the military services of his brother Sir William Heydon, (fn. 83) but as Sir John Heydon had been a Royalist officer and died in 1653, (fn. 84) it is doubtful if he was ever in possession. His name, according to Manning, does not appear in the court rolls. In 1656 the manor was conveyed by Charles Cockayne and his wife Mary to Sir Thomas Bludworth, (fn. 85) another Royalist partisan, who held a court as lord in October 1660. He lived at Flanchford, Reigate (q.v.). He was succeeded by his son Charles, who held his first court 1698, and in 1703 conveyed the manor to Richard Lynch and Thomas Brandon, possibly trustees for Thomas Harris, who held a court in 1708; it then descended to his son Thomas, whose nephew John Hughes (fn. 86) in 1791 sold the manor to William Jolliffe, whose son Hylton Jolliffe was owning it in 1804. (fn. 87) It was sold about 1830 to Mr. Thomas Alcock, (fn. 88) from whose executors it was bought by Sir John Hartopp, and from his trustees by Mr. H. Cosmo Bonsor. The manorial rights are in abeyance.
The old parish church of ST. MARY THE VIRGIN, has been pulled down, all except the tower, which is of 15th-century date, and is built of flint with stone dressings in three stages. The west doorway is original, and has moulded jambs and a two-centred arch, but is restored with plaster. The window over it, also old, has three cinquefoiled lights with tracery under a two-centred arch. On the east side there are remains of the nave walls, which are now used as buttresses and to form the sides of a porch. There is also part of the west wall of the south aisle.
The middle stage has single cinquefoiled lights on the north-west and south sides, but a good deal of the stone has been plastered over. The top stage has two-light windows of similar character in each face. The stair turret is on the south-west, and the top of the tower has a much-repaired parapet and angle pinnacles.
The two-centred tower arch is of typical 15th-century character, the moulded jambs having attached shafts with octagonal moulded bases and capitals.
Inside the tower is an early 17th-century pulpit, with ornamental arched and square panels, but spoilt by being grained and varnished. Amongst other slabs on the floor is one to Margaret Craydon, 1690.
There is an old print in the vestry of the new church which shows the original building to have been a small, plain structure. There was a 15th-century south window with a flat head to the chancel, and there was a south porch.
The new church of ST. MARY is built not far to the north of the old one, and dates from 1848. It is in 14th-century style, and consists of a chancel with a south vestry, nave of five bays, north aisle which is extended eastwards, and has a north organ-chamber and quire-vestry, and at the west end of the aisle is a tower; there is also a south aisle with a south porch, and a new porch lately built at the west end of the nave.
The material throughout is grey stone with ashlar dressings and the roofs are tiled.
There are several fittings inside which came from the old church. The altar is a Jacobean wood table, dated 1612, and has large carved legs, and the chancel-screen is of late 15th-century date with cinquefoiled, ogee-headed lights, and a moulded cornice with leaf cresting. The solid panelling at the base has been pulled out, and modern pierced work substituted.
The font is also 15th-century work from the old church. It is octagonal, each side of the bowl having quatrefoiled panels inclosing square leaf ornaments, and there are similar ornaments on the moulded base of the bowl, while the stem has narrow, trefoiled panels on each side.
In the chancel are several mural monuments from the old church, the most important being a large one to Sir William Lewen, who died in 1721. On the same tablet his nephew Charles and his wife Susannah are commemorated. Below is a recumbent figure of Sir William.
At the west end of the south aisle are several old brasses on stone slabs, placed on the walls. The first on the south wall has the following inscription in black letter: 'Pray for me lady Jane Iwarby sūtyme wife of Sr Joh[n'] Iwarby of Ewell Knyght dought[er] of Joh[n'] Agmondesh[am] s[ome]tyme of ledered in Surrey sqer which Jane dyed the viii day of May in ye yere of oure lord mlvcxix of home Jhū have m[']ci.' Above is her figure kneeling in prayer, with a kennel head-dress and a heraldic mantle with the arms of Agmondesham. On one side of her is a scroll bearing the words 'lady helpe me and you'; the scroll on the opposite side is missing. Above are two shields, the first bearing the arms: Quarterly (1) Argent a cheveron azure between three boars' heads sable with five cinquefoils or upon the cheveron (Agmondesham); (2) Party with a lion countercoloured; (3) A cheveron with three millrind crosses thereon; (4) A cheveron between three martlets with five cinquefoils on the cheveron.
The other shield has Agmondesham impaling the second coat.
The next brass has the black letter inscription: 'Hic jacet Margeria Treglistan nup['] consors Johannis | Treghistan que quidem Margeria obiit xxiii die | Octobris Anno Domini movoxxio cujus anime propicietur deus Amen.' Above is a figure of a lady wearing a long, loose head-dress and gown with fur cuffs.
On the west wall is the following brass black-letter inscription: 'Of your charite pray for the soule of Edmond dows gentilmā oon of the clerke of the signett with Kyng harry the vii whiche decessed the xiiii day of May the yere of our lord god mlccccc and x on whose soule Jhu have mercy Amen.'
On the return wall of the north side of the aisle is a large stone slab on which are several brasses. Near the centre is an inscription in black letter as follows: 'Here lyeth the lady dorothe Taylare widow and Edmonde | Horde her seconde sonne the which Edmond deceassed the 29 day of October Ao 1575, and she beinge ye dawghter of Thomas Roberde of Wylesdon in Mydellsexe Esquyre late the wyffe of Syr Lawrence Taylare of doddington in ye countye of Huntington Knyght and before wyffe unto Allen Horde of ye myddle Temple esquire and bencher ther, ye yeres of her age was lxx and deceased ye xit of Maye Ao 1577.' Above is her figure with her five sons and five daughters, with their names above them: Thomas, Edmond, Alyn, William, and John, and Ketheren, Elizabeth, Mary, Dorothe, and Ursula. All the children are named Horde. Near the top of the slab are two shields, both bearing the same arms: three pheons, and in chief a greyhound collared (Roberts). Near the bottom of the slab are the figures of a man and his wife. Beside the man are three boys, with their names, Arthur, Alyn, and Edmond, and the initial 'h' after each; and by the woman is an indent of three girls, with part of the name-plate over. When complete the three names were Dorothe, Elizabeth, and Anne. Between the man and the woman is a shield: Quarterly (1 and 4) Argent on a chief or a raven sable; (2) Gules a cheveron between three leopards' heads or with three molets sable on the cheveron (Perrell); (3) Azure a lion with a forked tail or (Stapylton); over all a fleur de lis for difference.
A brass, now lost, of which a rubbing is preserved in the collection of the Society of Antiquaries, was inscribed: 'Hic jacet Johēs Tabard et Johanna ux['] ei['] qo aīabz p[ro]piciet['] de['] am[e'].'
There is a ring of eight bells in the tower, the treble and second being by Mears & Stainbank, 1890. The third and fifth are dated 1767, and, together with the fourth, which is probably of the same date, are by Lester and Pack. The sixth is by T. Mears, 1767, and the seventh and eighth are re-casts from old ones, by Mears and Stainbank, 1890. All the old bells came from the tower of the old church.
The oldest piece of plate is a standing paten of 1764. All the rest, consisting of two chalices, two patens, three standing patens, a flagon, and a spoon, date from 1844.
There are four books of registers, the first containing baptisms, marriages, and burials, from 1604 to 1641. There is one baptism of 1597 and one of 1600, and between 1604 and 1608 there is a gap. There are also a few Kingswood marriages and baptisms for 1638. The second book contains baptisms and burials from 1669 to 1723, and marriages from 1697 to 1723. The third book has all three entries from 1723, the marriages to 1754, and the other entries to 1812. The marriages are continued on printed forms in the fourth book from 1754 to 1812.
The parish church of ST. ANDREW, KINGSWOOD, is a building of flint and stone, built in 1848–52, in the 14th-century style, by Mr. Thomas Alcock. It is cruciform in plan, having a chancel, transepts, nave, and central tower. The nave is of less length than the chancel. The central tower has a tall octagonal spire of stone. The building stands to the east of the Banstead and Reigate road. It is endowed with a glebe of 31 acres.
At Lower Kingswood is a small mission church, dedicated in honour of ST. SOPHIA OR THE WISDOM OF GOD, built in 1891 by Mr. H. C. Bonsor of the Warren and Dr. Edwin Freshfield. Its material outside is red brick with stone dressings. It has a small chancel, with a round apsidal east end and small vestries on either side, and a nave with narrow aisles divided from the nave on each side by an arcade of two large and two small round-headed bays of Ham Hill stone; the middle shaft is of darkgreen marble, the others of stone; all three are circular.
The lower part of the apse, to about a height of 10 ft., is lined with marble of various tints, mostly dove-coloured; the upper part is treated with mosaic, having a rose-tree pattern on dark-blue ground; the semi-dome is lined with gold mosaic, in which is a cross in red outline between the letters IC XC NI KA. The east wall on either side of the apse is also treated in a similar manner. The floor is paved with various-coloured marbles, and which are continued down the centre passage of the nave. At the west end, beside the three entrances and lobbies, is a small baptistery also lined with marble, in which is a font of yellow marble of a cylindrical shape, with slightly wavy sides of five lobes.
The furniture of the chancel is of a dark-brown wood, inlaid with lozenges of mother-of-pearl. In the church are nine Byzantine capitals, &c., brought to England by Dr. Freshfield, of which a short description has been written by Mrs. Freshfield. The two largest are capitals closely resembling those of the Corinthian order; they were brought from Ayasolook, the north quarter of ancient Ephesus, in which stood the Temple of Diana of the Ephesians; they formed part of a church screen, and were erected by the Emperor Constantine. The third capital, a smaller one, belonged to a second church, of the 6th century. Two other small capitals came from the monastery of St. John of the Stadium, near the Seven Towers at Constantinople, erected about the time of the Emperor Theodosius; the capitals date from between the 5th and 8th centuries. The sixth capital is from the platform on which the imperial palace of Blachernae stood, in the west quarter of Constantinople. The seventh capital is a small one from Bogdan Serai, Constantinople, and dates from the period of the Comneni. The eighth is a beautiful little capital from near the site of the church of the Blachernae, and was probably part of an internal ornament. The ninth stone is a piece of ornament from the great triple church of the Pantocrator at Constantinople, the mausoleum of the family of the Comneni, dating probably from the 11th century. A small cross over it was from another church built by the Comnenus family; it was in the church now called the Eski Imaret Djami.
The bell belonging to the church hangs in a detached wooden turret in the churchyard.
The chapel of ease of ALL SAINTS is situated about three-quarters of a mile west of the parish church. It is a small, unfinished building of red brick and stone, erected at the expense of Mr. J. H. Bridges of Ewell Court and the Rev. John Thornton, vicar of Ewell, in 1894, and of the style of the end of the 13th century. It consists of a nave of four bays, north aisle, north porch, and a temporary sanctuary and south organ-chamber; provision is made for a future south aisle. The roofs are tiled, and at the west end is an oak-shingled bell-turret with an octagonal spirelet. The font is of various marbles; the other furniture is more or less temporary. The churchyard is small, and has a wooden fence on the north side towards the road.
The church was apparently not situated on the royal domain at Ewell, but on the property of the Abbot of Chertsey there. A bull of Pope Clement III, which was confirmed by letters patent of John, Bishop of Winchester dated 1 April 1292, licensed the abbot and convent to retain in their own hands the parish church of Ewell, to reserve the benefice to their own use, and to appoint vicars to the church. (fn. 89) In the reign of Richard I we have mention of a suit concerning the building of a wall on some land which the Prior of Merton, lord of Ewell Manor, claimed against William the vicar of Ewell. (fn. 90)
In 1380 the abbot and convent received confirmation for the appropriation in mortmain of the church which was of their own advowson. (fn. 91) In 1415 they gave the advowson to the king, (fn. 92) reserving to themselves an annual pension of 20s., to be paid by future rectors. The following year Henry V granted the church to the Prior and convent of Newark, who continued to pay the pension to the Abbey of Chertsey until its dissolution. (fn. 93) In 1458 the endowment of a vicarage took place under the direction of Bishop Wayneflete, (fn. 94) and was ratified by the Prior and convent of Newark as rectors of Ewell.
After the Dissolution the advowson remained with the Crown (fn. 95) until 1702, when Queen Anne granted it to the Earl of Northampton in exchange for the advowson of the rectory of Shorncutt, co. Wilts, (fn. 96) the Crown reserving one turn. (fn. 97) In 1703 it was purchased by Barton Holliday, (fn. 98) and passed with his other estates to the Glyn family. (fn. 99)
Lady Dorothy Brownlow, of Belton, co. Lincs., gave a sum of money to be disposed of by Henry Compton, Bishop of London, for the benefit of this vicarage; with part he bought the tithes of the liberty of Kingswood, (fn. 100) with the remainder a small farm in Malden, the rents of which were appropriated to the same use. In 1843 the Malden Farm was exchanged for a house and land adjoining Ewell Church for the use of the vicar.
After the suppression of Newark Henry VIII granted to his new monastery of Bisham the 'tithes of the church of Ewell, one of the possessions of the late Abbey of Chertsey.' (fn. 101) But on the almost immediate suppression of that house also they reverted to the Crown. In 1558 Queen Mary granted the rectory to John Bishop of Winchester, (fn. 102) but he was deprived in 1559 and died in January 1560, and it reverted to the Crown. In 1560 Elizabeth granted the rectory and church to Thomas Reve and George Evelyn and their heirs, to be held in chief by the service of a fortieth part of a knight's fee. (fn. 103) These were probably trustees, for soon after Nicholas Saunders was seised of the rectory, from whom Sir William Gardiner purchased it, (fn. 104) and left it by will, proved 1622, to his son, (fn. 105) who was holding it in 1628. (fn. 106) A descendant of his of the same name sold it to Barton Holliday in 1691, (fn. 107) who conveyed it to Sir Richard Bulkeley, bart. (fn. 108) A few years after Sir W. Lewen bought it, and in 1722 devised it to his nephew George, whose daughter and sole heir married, in 1736, Sir Richard Glyn of London, (fn. 109) and with her it passed to the Glyn family, with whom it still remains.
When the rectory was granted to Thomas Reve and George Evelyn in 1560, the sum of £11 was reserved out of the profits, to be annually paid to the vicar. (fn. 110) The vicarage fell very low after that time, for we have the humble petition of the inhabitants and parishioners of Ewell for the 'relief of the most miserable state of their poor vicarage'—the vicar was Richard Williamson, (fn. 111) who held the living from April 1584 to April 1589.
There was a chapel in the far-removed hamlet of Kingswood, which had existed long before the middle of the 15th century; for when the vicarage of Ewell was endowed in 1458, it is mentioned as of long standing. It was then stipulated that the vicar should not be obliged to minister to the hamlet of Kingswood or to celebrate Mass in the chapel there; that when any of the Sacraments of the Church were to be administered to the people of that place, the rectors (Prior and convent of Newark) should provide a priest for the purpose; and in case of the death of any inhabitant of Kingswood and his removal to Ewell for burial, the vicar should meet the body at Provost's Cross, on the south side of Ewell, which had been the custom from ancient time. (fn. 112) The subsequent history of this chapel remains obscure.
Smith's Charity is distributed as in other Surrey parishes. Mr. Thomas Dickenson's rent-charge of £2 2s. for the poor, presented as existing in 1725, was left in 1631.
Mr. Mason, in 1733, gave £3 a year from South Sea Stock for the poor.
Two fields, Chamber Mead and Parish Close, were rented for the benefit of the poor from an unknown date.
In 1725 Mr. David White left money for educating poor children. There was no school at Ewell, and the bequest led to protracted Chancery suits, with no benefit to the parish till 1816, when Mr. Bromfield's bequest had also became available for a school.
Mr. Bromfield, by will of 1773, left £350 for the vicar of Ewell, or, if he did not preach on Sundays at evensong, for the poor not receiving parish relief, and five shares in the Sun Fire Office for six poor widows and the education of ten poor children.
Mrs. Hellena Tindall, in 1798, left £1,758 19s. 6d. Three per Cent. Stock for widows and poor not receiving parish relief.
Bromfield's charity is, according to a scheme sanctioned by the Charity Commissioners, 3 January 1905, divided between a payment made to the vicar, educational purposes, and poor relief. Under the second head prizes and exhibitions for the higher education of scholars are given, and a balance is held over to provide against possible demands under the Act of 1902. White's bequest is now held in reserve for the same contingency. Chamber Mead was sold in 1883, and the price invested in consols, the income being applied in relief of the poor rate. Parish Close, awarded to the parish under the Inclosure Act of 1801, was exchanged in 1885 for a field at Beggar's Hill, which is let in allotments, the rent, £8, being also used for the relief of the poor rate. The total of the charities amounts to over £300 a year, given in bread, clothing, and school scholarships and prizes.