A History of the County of Surrey: Volume 3. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1911.
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Bocheham (xi cent.); Bocham (xiii cent.); Bokeham (xvi cent.).
Great Bookham is a village 2 miles south-west of Letherhead. The parish is bounded on the north by Stoke D'Abernon and the River Mole, on the east by Fetcham and Mickleham, on the south by Dorking, on the west by Little Bookham. It measures 5 miles from north to south; in the southern part it is a mile wide, diminishing to half a mile near the north. It contains 3,281 acres. It extends from the brow of the Chalk, here capped by clay and gravel, across the Thanet and Woolwich beds, on which the church and village lie, over the London Clay, to the alluvium of the Mole. Bookham Common is still an extensive open space in the middle of the parish, and Ranmore Common, on the Chalk Down, is chiefly in Bookham. In this part of the parish are extensive plantations on the property of the Hon. Henry Cubitt, Lord Lieutenant of Surrey.
The road from Letherhead to Guildford, and the London and South-Western Railway between the same places pass through the parish. Bookham Station was opened in 1885. Roreing House was transferred from Great Bookham to Fetcham in 1882.
Neolithic flints are not very uncommon in the southern part of the parish, and there are cavities in the chalk which may be caused by collapsed dene holes. Roman brass coins, of Gallienus chiefly, but also of some later emperors, are said to have been found in an earthen pot about 1750, at Bagden Farm. (fn. 1) Anglo-Saxon interments were found in making the high road from Letherhead to Guildford in 1758. These probably belong to the discoveries recently made in Fetcham (q.v.).
The road (called Paternoster Lane in Mickleham) which passes Bagden Farm (fn. 2) and leads to a ford in the Mole in Sir Trevor Lawrence's grounds, is the probable line of the great west and east road along the Downs, sometimes now called the Pilgrims' Way.
Bookham Grove, south-west of the church, is the seat of Mr. Sydney C. Bristowe; Old Dene of Mr. C. E. Cuthell; Millfield House of Mrs. Hansard; Merrycourt of Sir Stephen Mackenzie, M.D. Sole Farm, on the west side of the village street, is a picturesque old-fashioned gabled house. Miss Fanny Burney, after her marriage with M. D'Arblay, lived for a short time in a cottage at Bookham.
The kennels of the Surrey Union Foxhounds, of which Mr. F. G. Colman is master, are in Great Bookham.
Extensive open fields existed, and were inclosed by an Act of 1821. The award is dated 19 March 1822. (fn. 3)
An infants' school was built in 1830, and was enlarged in 1882. A National school with residence for the master was built in 1856 by Viscountess Downe, the Hon. Lydia Dawnay, and the Hon. P. Dawnay, in memory of William Henry, Viscount Downe.
Ranmore is an ecclesiastical parish, formed in 1860 from the parishes of Great and Little Bookham, Effingham, Dorking, and Mickleham. It lies upon the high ground of the chalk range, but extends into the lower ground towards Dorking and Mickleham. The church, St. Barnabas, is in Great Bookham. Near the church is a village dispensary and training school for domestic servants. Ranmore Common is a large open space on the brow of the hill.
The schools (National) are private property of the owner of Denbies and were built in 1858, an infants' department being added in 1874.
The earliest alleged mention of GREAT BOOKHAM is in a charter dated 675, by which Frithwald, Subregulus of Surrey, and Bishop Erkenwald granted to Chertsey Abbey twenty dwellings at 'Bocham cum Effingham.' (fn. 4) The grant was confirmed by Offa in 787, by Athelstan in 933, (fn. 5) by Edgar in 967, (fn. 6) and by Edward the Confessor in 1062, (fn. 7) and in the Domesday Survey the manor of 'Bocheham' is included in the possessions of the monastery. (fn. 8) In 1537 it was surrendered to the Crown by John, Abbot of Chertsey, (fn. 9) with the rest of the monastic lands, and in 1550 was regranted to Lord William Howard, (fn. 10) son of the Duke of Norfolk, who settled it on his second son, Sir William Howard, (fn. 11) in whose line it remained until 1801, when it was sold by Richard Howard, last Earl of Effingham, to James Laurell. (fn. 12) In 1811–12 James Laurell and his wife jointly conveyed the manor to John Harrison Loveridge, (fn. 13) probably in trust for Holme Sumner, who in the Court Rolls appears as lord of the manor until 1828. Within the next year it was acquired by Louis Bazalgette, who died in 1830. It was evidently bought from his executors (fn. 14) by David Barclay, who was lord of the manor in 1834. His grandson, Mr. H. Barclay, sold the manor in 1882 to Mr. William Keswick, M.P., (fn. 15) to whom it now belongs.
The monks of Chertsey obtained a grant of a weekly market on Tuesday, and a two-days' fair on the eve and day of Michaelmas. (fn. 16) The latter was maintained until 1792, but abandoned very shortly after. (fn. 17)
In the survey of Surrey taken in 1549, it is stated that John Gardyner, sen., holds in Great Bookham a curtilage formerly of John Gardyner, on which was built a horse-mill, and a cottage with a curtilage formerly belonging to the schoolhouse. (fn. 18)
The reputed manor of EASTWICK in Great Bookham appears to have been held by the Dabernon family, certainly as early as the reign of Edward I, and John Dabernon, kt., was holding land in Bookham in 1273. (fn. 19)
In 1327 Sir John Dabernon, his son (see Stoke D'Abernon), died seised of 80 acres of land in Eastwick in Bookham, held of the Abbot of Chertsey, leaving his son and heir of the same name of full age, (fn. 20) who in 1335 conceded to Robert de Aylynchagh and Walter atte Welle a curtilage called 'Clerkeshagh' and a field called 'La Vynye' at Aylynchagh in Great Bookham, (fn. 21) the latter probably representing the messuage and lands called 'Vines' mentioned as forming part of the manor of Eastwick in 1571, (fn. 22) and the name of which is preserved to the present day in Phenice Farm.
William Dabernon, son of John, died in 1359, leaving a daughter Elizabeth, wife of William Croyser, (fn. 23) and afterwards of John de Grey de Ruthyn, in conjunction with whom in 1391 she conveyed the manor of Eastwick to trustees. (fn. 24) William Croyser, son of Elizabeth and William, (fn. 25) had a daughter Anne, (fn. 26) who married first Sir Ingelram Bruyn, (fn. 27) and afterwards Sir Henry Norbury, in conjunction with whom in 1436 she conveyed the manor to trustees, (fn. 28) who in 1439 re-conveyed the manor to Henry and Anne and their heirs. (fn. 29) Sir John Norbury, son of Henry and Anne, had a daughter Anne, married to Sir Richard Haleighwell, (fn. 30) by whom she had a daughter and heir, Joan, or Jane, who settled the manor upon herself and her first (fn. 31) husband, Sir Edmund Bray, kt., Lord Bray, for their lives, with remainder to their son and heir, John, Lord Bray. (fn. 32) The latter in 1547 sold all his lands in Effingham and Bookham to Thomas Lyfield, (fn. 33) who married Frances, sister and co-heir of Lord Bray, (fn. 34) with whom in 1571 he joined in conveying the manor to Ralph Stevyn. (fn. 35) In 1584 John Stevyn and Elizabeth his wife were in possession of the manor, (fn. 36) and in 1608 Edward Stevyn, husbandman, son and heir of John Stevyn, yeoman, deceased, in conjunction with his brothers John, 'shereman,' William, husbandman, Ralph, husbandman, and Richard, weaver, sold the manor and farm of Eastwick to John Browne of Esher for the sum of £320. (fn. 37) At a court of survey held for the manor of Great Bookham in 1614, John Browne was found to hold the whole and entire manor and demesnes of Eastwick, with the rents and services of the free and customary tenants, as it lay intermixed in the parish and fields of Great Bookham. (fn. 38)
In 1626 John Morrice and Grace his wife and William Cooke conveyed the manor to Sir Francis Howard, lord of Great Bookham, who made Eastwick his residence, and from this date the history of the manor follows that of Great Bookham until 1809, when Mr. Laurell (vide Great Bookham) sold Eastwick to Louis Bazalgette, who died in 1830. (fn. 39) In 1833 it was purchased of his executors by Mr. David Barclay. (fn. 40) His son, Mr. H. D. Barclay, died as owner of Eastwick in 1873. Mr. H. Barclay, his son, sold the property, and it now belongs to Mr. William Keswick, M.P., being merged in the manor of Great Bookham.
Eastwick Park is the site of the old manor-house, occupied formerly by the Lords Howard of Effingham. The old house was re-faced and altered by Mr. James Laurell after 1801, and further rebuilt by the late Mr. David Barclay after 1833. There is no vestige of the older building, but the house is now a good example of the Italian style.
The manor of SLYFIELD was probably held by the family of that name of the lords of Great Bookham from very early times, but few records remain to throw light upon its early history. In 1201 Ralph son of Walter de Cunton conveyed to William le Faucier a virgate of land in 'Slifeld,' (fn. 41) and in 1217 William son of Roger Testard proved his claim to half a hide in 'Slifeld.' (fn. 42)
In 1368 Nicholas atte Houke and Hawisa his wife, and Walter Rykhous and Alice his wife, made conveyance to Nicholas de Slyfield and his heirs of a messuage and 50 acres of land in 'Bokeham,' which Joan widow of Thomas le Frye was holding for life, (fn. 43) and a later document shows that Nicholas held this tenement jointly with the manor of Slyfield and its appurtenances, extending to a watercourse called Emlyn Streame (the Mole), which marked the boundary between this manor and Stoke D'Abernon, and that Nicholas and his ancestors had held the same from time immemorial. (fn. 44) From this date the manor continued with the Slyfield family, and Edmund son of John Slyfield, who was sheriff of the county in 1582, by his will proved in 1590 directed his executors not to pull down or deface any manner of wainscot or glass in or about his house of Slyfield. (fn. 45) In 1598 Henry Slyfield his son died seised of the capital messuage, manor or farm called Slyfields, held of Sir William Howard as of his manor of Great Bookham, leaving a son and heir Edmund, (fn. 46) who in March 1614 sold the manor to Henry Breton and his heirs for the sum of £2,000. (fn. 47) In November of the same year Henry Breton conveyed these premises, for the sum of £380, to George Shiers, (fn. 48) who died in 1642 leaving his second son Robert his heir. (fn. 49) George Shiers, son of Robert, was created a baronet 1684, and, dying unmarried in 1685, aged twentyfive, left his estates to his mother, Elizabeth Shiers, who died in 1700, having devised this estate to Hugh Shortrudge, clerk in holy orders, (fn. 50) rector of Fetcham. The latter suffered a recovery in 1714, and in 1715 conveyed the estate to trustees for charitable uses, but chiefly for the benefit of Exeter College, Oxford, thereby carrying out an intention of Mrs. Elizabeth Shiers, who is commemorated at Exeter College, Oxford, as a benefactor. (fn. 51) The present occupants of Slyfield Manor House are Mr. Edward J. M. Gore and the Hon. Mrs. Gore.
Slyfield House is situated on the main road between Letherhead and Cobham on the banks of the Mole, and is near Stoke D'Abernon Church. It now consists of quite a small portion of the original house, which was quandrangular or C-shaped in plan, the present dwelling-house representing about one-half of the south side, while the block which is now used as farm-buildings formed the north-east angle.
The arms of Shiers occur in two rooms of the house, while there is no instance of the Slyfield coat; and there is nothing to suggest that any parts of the existing buildings are earlier than the advent of the Shiers in 1614. The house is built of red brick, the south front being of two stories divided into bays by Ionic pilasters standing on high plinths, and running up to a moulded cornice under deepprojecting eaves with modillions, with a very picturesque effect. The pilasters have a considerable entasis, and at half height shields in slightly raised brickwork with lions' heads and fleurs de lis, a treatment recalling Inigo Jones's work on the west side of Lincoln's Inn Fields. The western part of this front has a curved brick gable, and the pilasters are differently treated, having simple moulded Tuscan capitals; this was evidently the central feature of the front, the western half being now represented only by the lower part of its façade with remains of the pilasters dividing the bays. The windows have for the most part 18th-century sashes, but some of the cut-brick heads and sills remain, and the first-floor window in the gable, though possibly not original, has an arched head and square-faced wooden mullions and transom, with leaded casements. The remainder of the exterior is of no great interest, a new wing has been added on to the east end, and the whole of the west wall, in which is the entrance, is modern.
The hall is now quite small, being only a fragment of the original. At the top of the north wall is a wooden balustrade, which is now blocked up on one side. All the doors opening into the rooms from the hall are panelled and hung in solid carved frames. The landing above is supported by a massive beam which rests on carved and moulded pilasters, and at the end of the hall is a massive staircase with large square-carved newels and moulded tops, and in the place of balusters there are carved pierced panels of strapwork. At the foot of the stairs are original doggates.
The drawing and dining rooms on the south side of the ground-floor are panelled, and the former has also a fine plaster ceiling with fleurs de lis, swags, &c., in guilloche borders, and in the centre is a figure of 'Plenty.' Over the fireplace of this room are the arms of Shiers carved in oak, impaling those of Rutland of Mitcham, which are Gules a border engrailed or with an inescutcheon of the like coat. The dining-room fireplace has plain black marble jambs and white marble moulded shelf, and is apparently original.
On the first floor all the rooms are panelled, and several of them have very fine ceilings, the best one being in the south-west room over the drawing-room and entrance. It is coved and has an intricate strapwork design with a central cartouche containing a winged amorino in a wreath, and others occur in the ceiling, among swags of fruit, gryphons, &c. The tympanum at the east end has similar strapwork and a shield bearing the arms of Shiers with helm, crest, and mantle.
The bedroom over the dining-room has a flat ceiling with a moulded dentil cornice and wide moulded ribs enriched with running patterns of fruit and festoons, and in the centre is a large oval wreath containing a female figure holding a palm branch in her right hand and some uncertain object in her left. The room over the kitchen, used as a nursery, has also an ornamental ceiling with flowered ribs.
The out-buildings to the north-west of the house are L-shaped, built of brick with the exception of the lower portion of the north side, which is of flint. They appear to be of somewhat earlier date than the rest, perhaps c. 1600, and retain a good deal of Gothic character.
The front is divided into two stories by a moulded brick frieze with architrave and cornice, the lower story having at the east end a pair of rusticated brick pilasters with Ionic capitals and moulded bases, presumably marking one jamb of an opening now otherwise destroyed, the building having been cut short at this point and made up with later brickwork. The windows in both stories are nearly square with moulded brick labels and wood frames with leaded casements, the labels in the upper story being continuous, breaking up over the windows and over shallow roundheaded recesses which alternate with the windows in the eastern part of the range. There is a deep modillion cornice under the eaves as on the principal building. The west front is like the north, but is of brick throughout, and has a plainer cornice and a doorway with a three-centred head.
The Domesday Survey mentions a mill at Great Bookham worth 10s., which afterwards became appurtenant to Slyfield Manor, and with regard to which a lengthy dispute arose between the Slyfields and the lords of the manor of Stoke D'Abernon. The mill, on the Mole, was on the boundary of Stoke D'Abernon and of the Slyfield property which lies on the river bank. In the early 16th century John Slyfield alleged that Sir Edmund Bray had wilfully turned away from his water corn-mill the stream called Emlyn Streame, which worked the mill and which formed the boundary between the manors of Slyfield and Stoke D'Abernon, and it was represented that when in 1375 Nicholas Slyfield had granted the reversion of certain lands in Great Bookham to William Croyser and Elizabeth his wife, it had been on the expressed condition that Nicholas and his heirs should not be disturbed in their possession of a wharf extending from the north part of the water running to their mill to the south-east angle of the wood of the said William and Elizabeth called 'the parke.' (fn. 52) In 1614 there were appurtenant to the manor of Slyfield two water corn-mills and one fulling-mill, called 'Slyfield Mills.' (fn. 53)
The manor of POLESDEN (High Polesden, Bookham Polesden) was in 1470 conveyed by Thomas Slyfield and Anne his wife to John Norbury, (fn. 54) who in 1491–2 enfeoffed trustees to hold it to the use of Robert Castleton and Elizabeth his wife (fn. 55) (daughter of Sir Henry Norbury (fn. 56) ). John Castleton, son and heir of Robert and Elizabeth, died in 1545 seised of the manor of 'Pollesdon,' held of the king as of his manor of Great Bookham, his son and heir William Castleton being then aged seven years. (fn. 57) William Castleton and Elizabeth his wife joined in conveyances of the manor in 1572 and 1584, (fn. 58) and in 1630 William Castleton (presumably a son of the above) with Phoebe his wife conveyed the manor to Anthony Rous and Anne his wife. (fn. 59) Samuel Rous, the son of Anthony, jointly with Elizabeth his wife, made a cònveyance of the manor in 1680. (fn. 60) In 1713 Edward Symes and Elizabeth his wife, daughter of Samuel Rous, (fn. 61) suffered a recovery of the manor, and in 1723 Elizabeth Symes, then a widow, jointly with Thomas Harris, her son by her first husband, Thomas Harris, of Gray's Inn, sold the estate to Arthur Moore. (fn. 62) He sold to his brother, Col. Thomas Moore, in 1729. The latter, who died in 1735, was succeeded by his nephew, William Moore, M.P. for Banbury, whose executors in 1747 were empowered by Act of Parliament to sell the estate for the payment of his debts. (fn. 63) It was purchased in the same year by Francis Geary, (fn. 64) Captain R.N., afterwards Admiral Sir Francis Geary. He died in 1796, aged eighty-six. In 1804 it was conveyed by his son Sir William Geary, bart., to the trustees of the Right Hon. R. B. Sheridan. In the particulars of the sale in 1804 it is stated that the mansionhouse and principal part of the land contained about 341 acres, the terrace walk in the pleasure ground being 900 ft. in length. Mr. Sheridan died in 1816, and in 1818 the estate was purchased by Mr. Joseph Bonsor, who rebuilt the mansion-house, and was succeeded in 1835 by his son of the same name. (fn. 65) It was subsequently bought by Sir Walter Farquhar, bart., and after his death in 1896 was acquired by Sir Clinton E. Dawkins, K.C.B. Captain the Hon. Ronald H. Fulke-Greville bought it in 1906. The manor of High Polesden was in 1784 united with the reputed manor of Polesden Lacy in Mickleham, and is now commonly called Polesden Lacy.
The church of ST. NICHOLAS has a chancel 34 ft. 8 in. by 17 ft. 6 in., north vestry, south chapel 19 ft. by 18 ft. 8 in., nave 52 ft. 8 in. by 18 ft. 9 in., north aisle 48 ft. 10 in. long and 19 ft. wide. The south aisle forms a continuation of the south chapel, and is of the same width for 35 ft. 6 in. in length, the remainder of the aisle at the west end being of the original 5 ft. 9 in. in width. There is a west tower 16 ft. 6 in. wide by 15 ft. 6 in. deep. All these dimensions are internal.
The church is mentioned in Domesday, and it is not improbable that the present nave is of the same size as that of the 11th-century building, and may have some of the original stones incorporated in its walling. The first addition to the plan was a south aisle and the existing arcade between the years 1140 and 1150, and about one-third of this narrow aisle still remains at the west. Some thirty or forty years later a north aisle followed. Two of the pillars of the north arcade are octagonal, but the middle pillar is square on its east side and semi-octagonal to the west; it is evident that the two western bays were completed first, with the semi-octagonal east respond, and that the intention was to make this respond into an octagonal pillar when the two other bays were added. The octagonal pillars have two whole and two half scallops on each face of their capitals; it will be seen that the scallops on the middle pillar were similarly treated with a view to the ultimate splaying off of the eastern angles to complete the octagon. This was, however, not done, and the scallops were continued round a square-edged block forming the east half of the column. The reason was perhaps the difficulty experienced in bringing the arches, cut in the older and thicker wall, on to the octagonal abaci of the capitals. It is probable that the west tower was also an addition of the end of the 12th century. The next increase was in the chancel, which is a most valuable instance of dated 14th-century work, an inscription on its east wall recording that it was built in 1341 by Abbot John de Rutherwyk, of Chertsey.
Late in the 14th century a south porch with a parvise over was added. When, late in the 15th century, a large south chapel was set out, the eastern half of the aisle was pulled down and the new south wall brought out to the width of the porch, which was included in the chapel by the removal of its east wall and the abolition of its upper chamber. It is not certain whether the tower was ever carried higher in masonry than at present; but if so it was pulled down to its present level and the existing timber structure and spire built in its place some time in the 15th or following century. A small archway at the west end of the north wall of the chancel is also of late 14th-century workmanship; it is very narrow, and presumably opened into a small chapel, perhaps made by lengthening the north aisle eastward.
The westernmost bay of the north arcade is now blocked; this is said to have been done to form a vestry there (now removed), and dates probably from the beginning of the last century. The narrow aisle was pulled down and the present wider one built about 1845, when the former late 15th-century windows appear to have been re-used. The vestry is also a modern addition; and time and weather have necessitated the repair partly or wholly of many of the windows and other external stonework.
The east bays of both arcades of the nave have been altered, probably to accommodate a rood-loft passage, and are both higher and wider than the rest.
The east window of the chancel is an original one (c. 1341) of three ogee trefoiled lights under a twocentred head filled with net tracery; the jambs and arch are double-chamfered outside, and the latter has a moulded label with large bearded head-stops, nicknamed locally 'the Parson and the Clerk,' of very coarse rough work, and later in date than the window. The easternmost of the three north windows (which are all coeval with the chancel), is of two cinquefoiled sharply-pointed lights with a quatrefoiled spandrel in a two-centred head. The second window is like it, but has been closed up with stone, doubtless when the vestry was added; the third window is a cinquefoiled single light like the others, but somewhat differently drawn, and perhaps due to a later alteration. Below it is a low-side window. To the west of it is a late 14th-century arch with semi-octagonal jambs, moulded bases and capitals, and a moulded two-centred arch of two orders—a wave mould and a double ogee—with a wide hollow between. A modern doorway between the second and third windows opens into the vestry, which has a two-light east window and a north doorway.
In the south wall is a piscina with old chamfered jambs stopped out above the sill, and a modern trefoiled head. The two south windows are like those opposite, and at the south-west is a wide late 15thcentury arch to the south chapel.
The chancel arch is entirely modernized, and has plain chamfered jambs, the chamfers on the east side having splayed stops, and on the west side broach stops; the arch is pointed and of two chamfered orders, the inner springing from moulded corbels.
The north arcade of the nave has four bays; the east respond is square, and of modern stonework with a chamfered abacus; the first arch is of square section, and is pointed. The first pillar is octagonal with a base-mould of two rounds, and a chamfered sub-base, and the scalloped capital is octagonal with a chamfered abacus; the second pier is square on its east side, and half-octagonal to the west, the base is as that of the other pillar, but is not continued round the east side; the capital is scalloped, with the irregularity in the spacing of the scallops already referred to on its north and south faces; the third pillar is partly buried in the filling of the western bay, and it is octagonal, like the first; and the west respond is wholly buried. The arches are pointed and of a single chamfered order, and the filling of the western bay is pierced by a modern window of two plain pointed lights.
The south arcade also consists of four bays, and has a modern square east respond, and an east arch wider and higher than the rest; the pillars are circular, and the west respond corresponds with them; the bases are square with a moulding following the form of the pillars, and leaf spurs at the angles; the scalloped capitals are square above, and have chamfered abaci; and the arches are semicircular of a single square order.
The north aisle is lighted by two north windows, and one in each end wall; they are all of three cinquefoiled lights under two-centred heads, and appear to be of late 15th-century date with some modern stones, though they are said to be entirely modern; they have a wide casement moulding inside and out.
The east window of the south chapel is apparently modern, and contains stained glass in memory of Lord Raglan (Commander-in-Chief in the Crimean War), dating from 1859; it consists of five cinquefoiled lights with cusped vertical tracery above, in a two-centred head; the jambs are moulded with a wide hollow.
In the south wall is a 15th-century piscina with an eight-foiled basin and stone shelf in a trefoiled ogeeheaded recess with pierced spandrels, and the three windows on the south side of the chapel or widened aisle are each of three cinquefoiled lights under segmented heads; they have moulded jambs, arches, and labels, and have been partly repaired with cement. The doorway at the south-west corner was that to the former porch; it has two double ogee orders separated by a hollow in the jambs and pointed arch. In the western wall are two windows, one above the other, each of two cinquefoiled lights, and of modern stonework. The blocked doorways to the former parvise still remain in place; the lower opens from the narrow part of the aisle, and the upper is in the west wall of the wider portion; the stair has been removed. The south-west window (in the narrow portion of the aisle) is modern, and has two trefoiled lights with a quatrefoil over in a pointed head. The west window is a tiny round-headed light dating from the 12th century, and probably contemporary with the aisle.
The tower opens to the nave with a depressed pointed arch, perhaps of late 12th-century date, with two chamfered orders, at the springing of which has been a string, now cut away. The base mould is, however, preserved. In the north wall is a small modern round-headed light, and the west doorway, with chamfered jambs and four-centred arch, is perhaps early 16th-century work. Over it is a modern window of two elliptical-headed lights; and the angles of the tower are strengthened by heavy buttresses, that at the north end of the west wall being a raking one of brick, while the others are old, of stone repaired with brick in places; a modern stair turret rises in the north-east angle. The masonry walls stop at the first floor, and the upper part of the tower is of timber carried up within the lines of the masonry tower on heavy oak posts from the floor, and covered with modern boarding; the parts gathered in over the walls are covered with stone slabs, while the tower is crowned by an octagonal shingled spire.
Most of the walling of the church is of flint and stone, but the lower parts of the chancel are faced with blocks of Heath stone—a crystalline sandstone— and the north-east angle has some very large quoins in this stone, and in a pebbly conglomerate deeply coloured with iron.
The chancel has a modern plastered collar-beam roof with moulded wood ribs. The nave also has a plastered collar-beam roof with moulded trusses, apparently modern.
The south chapel roof is gabled and ceiled below, and dates in part from the building of the aisle and chapel; it has an old moulded tie-beam over the first arch of the arcade; the space above the tie is filled with modern wood tracery; the narrow south aisle has a flat ceiling, and the north aisle has a modern gabled roof like the others.
The altar table, chancel screen, pulpit and seats are all of modern workmanship; across the south chapel are the remains of the lower part of a 15thcentury oak screen having eight bays of closed panels with feathered trefoiled heads; the main cusp points had roses attached, but most of these have been destroyed; the posts and rails are moulded; some of the former have panelled buttresses on their faces; one of the panels has the remains of the original painting, and the rest contain modern decoration. The font has a late 12th-century grey marble bowl; it is square, chamfered and rounded to a circle in its lower edge, with the plain capitals of four shafts cut out of the solid; the stem and base are modern.
The oldest of the inscribed stones and monuments is that in the east wall of the chancel recording the building of the chancel; it reads:—'Hec: domus: Abbate fuerat: constructa: Johanne: de Rutherwyka: decus ob: Sancti: Nicholai: Anno: Milleno: triceno bisqz: viceno: primo: [Christe]: ei paret hinc sedem requiei.'
On the rail of the old screen in the south chapel is fixed a small brass inscription reading in black letter:— 'Pray for the soule of John Barmsdale and Marion his wyf the which John desseced in August in the yere of oure Lord m cccc lxxxi ō whos soules Jhu have m . .' In the nave floor, near the chancel screen, is a brass inscribed 'Hic jacet Elizabeth nup ux Thome Slyfield ac quonda ux Georgii Brewes armig'i filia Edwardi Seynt John milit' que obiit xxvii die m[en]s' Augusti Ao d[omin]i Mo 1111c xxxiii'; above the inscription is the figure of a lady in a cushion headdress, high-waisted loose dress, and loose hanging sleeves. Under the south arch to the chancel is a brass inscription:—'Here lieth buried Henry Slyfield Esq. and Elizabeth his wife who was the daughter of Richard Buckfold citizen of Lond: the said H. was of ye age of 56 yeres and deceased AnoDni 1598 and had issue by his wife 6 sonnes and 4 daughters.' Over it is his figure in a gown and ruff, and his hands in prayer; and her figure in a tight bodice, full farthingale and ruff; below are the children in one plate. There are three shields of arms, the first being Slyfield quartering Weston of West Clandon, Sable a cheveron or between three lions' heads razed argent; the second has the quartered coat of Slyfield impaling Buckfold, Party cheveronwise argent and sable three bucks' heads countercoloured with their horns or; the third has Slyfield impaling Cobb, Party cheveronwise gules and sable with two swans argent in the chief and a herring or in the foot.
Further east is a brass inscription to Elizabeth Slyfield wife of Edmund Slyfield and daughter of Walter Lambert, of Carshalton; it bears no date, but from other sources the date 1597 is known.
On the south side of the east respond of the south arcade is a brass inscription to Edmund Slyfield, who died
1590; it has a quaint epitaph in 50 lines beginning:—
'Of Slyfield Place in Surrey soile
Here Edmond Slyfeld lyes
A stout Esquier who allweys sett
Godes feare before his eyes
A Justice of the Peace he was
From the syxt Kinge Edwards dayes
And worthely for vertues use
Dyd wyn deserved prayse.' …
In the south aisle is a brass inscription to Robert Shiers, a Bencher of the Inner Temple, who died in 1668; over the inscription he is represented in a large brass wearing a lawyer's gown and holding a book; on a shield are the arms of Shiers impaling a fesse wavy ermine between three crescents ermine.
There is also a floor slab to Edward Shiers, second son of Robert Shiers, died 1670, and a large white marble monument in the north aisle. Robert Shiers, of Slyfield, died 1668, Elizabeth his wife 1700, and Sir George Shiers, bart., his son, died 1685. There is another to Sir Francis Howard, kt., son of Lord Howard of Effingham, died 1651. Among the later monuments may be mentioned Colonel Thomas Moore, of Polesden, 1735; William Moore, 1746; and Cornet Francis Geary, eldest son of Admiral Geary, who fell in the American War in 1776, and the monument has a bas-relief showing the incident which caused his death.
Outside in the churchyard is an ancient coffin-lid on which is a floriated cross in relief, but without an inscription; it is probably of the 14th century.
In the tower are two bells, and space where there was formerly a third; one of them bears no mark or inscription, the other was cast by William Eldridge in 1675.
The communion plate includes a cup, evidently of the 17th century, but without a hallmark; the maker's mark is R A over a star; it has a cable band on the lower edge of the cup, and a trumpet-shaped stem; there is also a paten with mark of 1675 dated 1677, a flagon of 1762, and cup of 1859, all of silver; besides these there exist two pewter plates, one dated 1730.
The first book of the registers is a parchment copy containing baptisms and marriages from 1632 to 1711 and burials to 1680; the second has baptisms from 1695 to 1812, marriages 1695 to 1753, and burials 1680 to 1812; in it is a note that the yew tree and five walnut trees (south of the churchyard) were planted in February 1733–4; the third book has marriages from 1754 to 1812. There is also a vestry book, in which are recorded the names of all the churchwardens from 1631.
In 1632 Samuel Cherrie was vicar. In 1633 six of his parishioners were excommunicated, but the cause is not given. One of them was absolved in 1635.
The church stands in the midst of a roughly triangular churchyard, the south and west boundaries are on the road sides, and at their angle is a lych gate of 1897.
The church of ST. BARNABAS, RANMORE, was built in 1859 by Lord Ashcombe, then Mr. George Cubitt, from the designs of Sir Gilbert Scott. It is a handsome stone church, with chancel, nave, and aisles in 13th-century style, with a tower and spire which form a conspicuous landmark. The tower is vaulted and treated as a lantern over the crossing.
The church of Great Bookham was appurtenant to the manor in 1086, (fn. 66) and in 1292 was confirmed with its issues to the Abbot and convent of Chertsey, under letters patent from John de Pontoise, Bishop of Winchester, reciting a bull of Clement II given the fourth year of his pontificate. (fn. 67)
An endowment of the vicarage in the same year by Philip de Barthon and John de Pontoise secured to the vicar all offerings made upon the altar of the church, with all the small tithes, except hay and wool, which belonged to the abbot and convent, and a house near the court once belonging to the rector of the church. (fn. 68) The rectory and advowson having been surrendered to the king in 1537 by John, Abbot of Chertsey, (fn. 69) were regranted in the same year to Bisham, the new foundation, (fn. 70) and on the dissolution of the latter a draught was made for a grant to Sir Christopher More for life, to be held in chief for the twentieth part of a knight's fee. (fn. 71) This was apparently not completed, for in 1544 a grant of the rectory and advowson to Richard and John Sackvile is recorded. (fn. 72) They seem to have conveyed to Sir Christopher More, who died in 1549 seised of the rectory. (fn. 73) His son, William More, in 1560, in conjunction with Margaret his wife, obtained licence to alienate to Thomas Lyfield and Frances his wife and their heirs. (fn. 74) Thomas died in 1596, having settled the rectory and advowson on his grandson Sir Francis Vincent, (fn. 75) whose grandson Sir Francis Vincent (fn. 76) in 1657 conveyed it to Francis and Samuel Rous. (fn. 77) Francis Rous, who was provost of Eton College, died in 1659, having bequeathed £40 per annum out of the parsonage or tithe to maintain two scholars at Pembroke College, Oxford. The remainder of the tithe he bequeathed to the minister of the parish, the patronage of the living to his kinsman Samuel Rous, and his lands and interest in the parsonage to Colonel Anthony Rous. (fn. 78) Samuel Rous presented to the living in 1663, (fn. 79) and in 1713 Edward Symes and Elizabeth his wife, of Polesden, suffered a recovery of a moiety of the rectory, with all the tithes pertaining thereto and the advowson of the vicarage, together with the manor of Polesden, (fn. 80) with which it descended until sold by Sir William Geary in 1803 to James Laurell, who in 1812 conveyed it in trust to John Harrison Loveridge, together with the manor of Great Bookham. (fn. 81)
Before 1821 the advowson was bought by William Heberden, M.D., F.R.S., who in that year gave the living to his son, the Rev. W. Heberden, who succeeded to the advowson also in 1845, and died in 1879. It was bought by the late Viscount Downe, who died in 1900, and in 1903 by Mr. Arthur Bird, of the Grange, Great Bookham. (fn. 82)
The living of St. Barnabas is a rectory in the gift of Lord Ashcombe.
Smith's charity is distributed as in other Surrey parishes.
In 1625 Mr. John Brown, of Great Bookham, left 30s. yearly, charged upon land in Eastwick Manor.
Sir George Shiers, bart., of Slyfield, left in 1685 an annual rent-charge of £36 3s. (less land tax) upon land in Hertfordshire for Great Bookham, to apprentice children, to portion poor maids, and to relieve the aged poor or those with large families who had not come upon the rates. It is commemorated by a tablet in the church, dated 1717.
In 1715, by deed enrolled in chancery, a settlement was made by Dr. Shortrudge, Sir Francis Vincent and others, of land in Hertfordshire and in Bookham for the use of various charities, the residue to go to the vicars of Great Bookham, Effingham, Letherhead, and Shalford for ever, on condition that they read the Common Prayer in their churches on Wednesdays and Fridays; that they preach sermons proper for the several days on Good Friday and 30 January; that the vicar of 'Lethered' administers the Holy Sacrament, according to the form of the Church of England, in the parish church there on the first Sunday of every month. This charity is commemorated by a tablet in the church, by order of the trustees. There is a similar tablet in Shalford Church. The second condition, as to 30 January, is not now observed.