A History of the County of Surrey: Volume 3. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1911.
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Michelham and Micelham (xi cent.); Mikeleham (xii cent.); Mikelham and Micheham (xiii cent.); Mykeleham (xiv cent.).
Mickleham is a small parish and village midway between Dorking and Letherhead, and 21 miles from London. It measures about 3 miles east and west and 2 miles from north to south, and contains 2,825 acres.
The village lies in the Mole valley, and the parish comprises the valley and the downs rising on either side of it, where the Mole makes its way in a deep depression through the chalk downs. The soil in the valley is river alluvium, calcareous rubble, sand, and Wealden Clay washed down by the Mole, and on either side is chalk, with some small patches of brickearth on the higher parts. The valley is peculiarly picturesque (see Frontispiece of Vol. II). On the west side the well-wooded slopes of Norbury Park rise in places steeply from the stream, and at its southern extremity on the east the side of Box Hill is almost precipitous in places, particularly 'The Whites,' overlooking Burford, which consists of loose chalk thickly overgrown with box and yew. Elsewhere it sweeps upwards in smooth, grassy slopes, studded with box, yew, and other darkfoliaged trees and shrubs. Amid thick woods of box, yew, and beech on the summit, overlooking Dorking, is a fort and magazine recently constructed, and still more recently abandoned. The well-known view from the top extends southward over the Weald, which, from that height, seems to drop away into a plain bounded by the South Downs, while to the southwest Redlands, and other hills near Dorking, covered with wood, rise to the greater height of Leith Hill. Ranmore Common and Norbury face the spectator from the east across the valley. The top of Box Hill is not more than 700 ft. above the sea, but the steep descents to the east and south, and the absence of any high ridge of sand immediately in front of it, give an impression of greater elevation. Dr. Burton, who in 1752 wrote in Greek of his travels through Surrey and Sussex, calls it, with pardonable exaggeration, the brow of a mountain.
On a spur of Box Hill, overlooking Juniper Hall, is a round tower, said to have been built by Mr. Thomas Broadwood.
It is in Mickleham chiefly that the River Mole burrows in the way which has suggested the popular etymology of its name. (fn. 1) From the foot of Box Hill at Burford to Norbury Park there are holes, called swallows, through which the water sinks, making its way by subterranean clefts in the chalk. Some of these swallows are in the bed of the stream, others in bays in the banks of the river, which only come into operation in times of flood. One of the largest of these latter is in Fredley Meadows, some 200 yards up-stream from the railway bridge, close to which, before the pathway from Dorking to Mickleham was diverted, stood the wooden 'Praybridge.' Near Thorncroft, in Letherhead, the water rises again in the bed of the stream. In normal summers the bed of the river for 3 or 4 miles is dry ground and stagnant water. In the grounds of Burford House and Fredley are hollows some way from the stream, in which the water rises when the river is full. The peculiarity of the river, that its whole volume normally ran underground for some miles, has been exaggerated. The Mole is well known by the notice of poets, Spenser and Drayton writing at length upon it, and Milton and Pope mentioning it. Miss Drinkwater-Bethune of Thorncroft privately printed a poem, 'The Mole or Emlyn Stream,' in 1839, with sensible topographical and antiquarian notes, which deserves to be better known.
In Norbury Park is a famous grove of giant yews of great age, known as the Druid's Walk, which no doubt mark part of the track which, leaving the main east and west road, called in modern times 'The Pilgrim's Way,' near Bagden Farm, crossed the river near the Priory, and thence led over Letherhead Downs to Epsom and London. Norbury is also noted for some giant beeches.
On Box Hill, and north of it upon Mickleham Downs, is a great deal of still open grass-land, though plantations and inclosures upon the downs have curtailed it greatly in recent years.
The main road from Dorking to London traverses the Mickleham valley. This was made a passable road in 1755. (fn. 2) Up to that time it was not available for wheeled traffic in bad weather, (fn. 3) and to judge from the traces of the old road it needed courage to drive along it at all. Till the bridge at Burford Bridge, together with the approach to it, was raised some twenty years ago, it was frequently overflowed by the Mole in time of flood.
The old west and east line of communication across the country by the chalk downs passed south of the village, past Bagden Farm and Chapel Farm, to a ford on the river south of Burford Lodge, at the foot of Box Hill.
The London, Brighton, and South Coast Railway line from London to Portsmouth also passes through the Mickleham valley. The line was completed in 1867. There is a station at West Humble in Mickleham, now called Box Hill and Burford Bridge, to distinguish it from Box Hill on the South Eastern line, more than a mile distant.
Mickleham is fairly rich in antiquities. In 1788 William Bray, the historian of Surrey, became possessed of some brass Roman coins of the later Empire, which had recently been ploughed up on Bagden Farm, (fn. 4) and neolithic flakes are not uncommon both about this place, near Norbury, and on Box Hill. The ancient road which, as the Roman Stone Street, runs from Sussex past Ockley to Dorking (q.v.) headed for the Mole valley through a gap in the chalk, though it does not appear that it has been actually traced between Dorking and Burford Bridge. A ford over the Mole is still visible at the place where Burford Bridge stands, and a little further north, at Juniper Hall, a lane leaves the present road on the right and ascends the downs. It is called Pebble Lane. At the point where it emerges upon the high ground it becomes a well-marked track carried on a causeway over declivities. Flints with cement clinging to them occur upon it, as farther south on the same road in Capel (q.v.). It is still a bridle road, and leads in nearly a straight line to Epsom race-course. After this point it is supposed to have led to the right, in a curve following the top of the downs, past Banstead to Woodcote. It probably represents a British trackway utilized by the Romans as the line of a small road, though the Roman way probably continued straight on at Epsom towards Ewell, and so to London. In 1780, when Juniper Hall was being built, two skeletons and a spear-head were found, called by Brayley 'exuviae of warfare,' (fn. 5) but were probably AngloSaxon interments, as at Fetcham (q.v.). At Chapel Farm, near West Humble, in Mickleham, are the very ruinous remains of part of the east, south, and west walls of a chapel. The history of its origin and decay is obscure. The priory of Reigate possessed a messuage and rents which were called the manor of West Humble, and the chapel has been supposed to have been built by the priory. But it more probably belonged to Merton, which held the manor of Polesden Lacy. In 1566 lands called Capel were held with this manor, (fn. 6) and these would appear to be Chapel Farm, close by which the remains stand. The building is about 48 ft. by 16 ft.; the greater part of the gabled west wall, a portion of the south wall, and part of the east wall still stand; the material is flint and sandstone. There are no architectural details left, excepting a small light in the head of the west gable, too much worn to be dated; it has one jamb, and part of what appears to have been a trefoiled head. Below it is a round hole, and in the east wall a gap formed by a single light, of which no dressings remain; also another gap in the south wall. The flints of the walling are not split, and are set in fairly even courses. The building probably dates from the 13th century.
The Running Horse Inn, in the days before the advent of railways, was a favourite stabling for horses racing at Epsom. On Mickleham Downs were, until recently, some training gallops.
At the beginning of the French Revolution Mickleham became the refuge of several distinguished French migrs. M. de Narbonne, ex-minister of war, was the most celebrated among them, and Talleyrand also was here for a short time, and Madame de Stal. Juniper Hall had been taken by some of them, but several settled in other houses. Among them was M. d'Arblay, who married Fanny Burney, famous then as the authoress of 'Evelina.' M. and Madame d'Arblay, after a stay at Great Bookham, settled at a newly-built house in West Humble, which they named Camilla Lacey, because it was provided by the profits of 'Camilla,' her third novel. It is now occupied by Mr. Leverton Harris.
Fredley Cottage was the home of Mr. Richard Sharp, F.R.S., M.P., known from his talents as 'Conversation Sharp.' During his lifetime many celebrated men visited Mickleham. He died in 1853. On a tree in the garden are the initials W. W. carved in the bark by Wordsworth.
James Mill and his son John Stuart Mill lived for a time in a house behind the Running Horse Inn. Hazlitt stayed at the Burford Bridge Hotel; there also Keats wrote the latter part of 'Endymion,' and Nelson spent some of his last days in England. It was then called 'The Fox and Hounds' and has since been very much enlarged. The literary traditions of Mickleham were continued by Charles Mackay, who lived in a cottage at the foot of Box Hill, since destroyed, and by the residence of the late Mr. George Meredith at Flint Cottage, where he died in 1909. The Grove, the seat of Mr. Edward Arnold, on the border of Dorking and Mickleham, was once the residence of the Marquis Wellesley. But the old house has been pulled down.
Mickleham Hall is now the residence of Mr. H. H. Gordon Clark, J.P.; Norbury, of Mr. Leopold Salomons, J.P.; High Ashurst, of the Dowager Countess of Harrowby; Burford Lodge, with its famous collection of orchids, of Sir Trevor Lawrence, bart.; Juniper Hall, famous for its cedars of Lebanon, of Mr. George McAndrew; Juniper Hill, of Mr. L. Cunliffe; The Priory, of Mrs. Grissell; Fredley, of Mrs. Kay and Miss Drummond.
'The Old House,' now the residence of Mr. Gordon Pollock, is situated on the east side of the main road south of the church; it bears the date 1636. It is of two stories and an attic, and is built entirely of red brick. Its west front towards the road has a slightly projecting wing at each end with moulded strings and cornices and shaped gables, and there are two similar gables in the main block. The present entrance is in the south wing and is modern; the windows are square with modern wood frames and have moulded brick labels, those on the gables to the third story having pediments over them. The garden or east front is practically on one plane, with a gable head at either end and a small middle gable; each of the side gables has three shallow brick pilasters with moulded capitals formed by breaking the string-course or cornice at the foot of the gables round the pilasters. To the south of the building is a modern extension. The arrangement of the rooms has been somewhat altered since the house was built, and there is nothing of note inside excepting one original brick fire-place with moulded jambs and three-centred arch; this was discovered a short time ago. The original gateway of the grounds towards the road has some good posts with carved brick Ionic capitals.
In a deed of 15856 reference is made to Mickleham Common Fields. No Inclosure Act or Award seems to be in existence. Inclosure of waste on Mickleham Downs has taken place bit by bit.
Mickleham Village Hall was built by Mrs. and Miss Evans of Dalewood, in memory of the late Mr. David Evans.
The school, national, was built by subscription in 1844 and enlarged in 1872. There is a small infants' school at West Humble.
MICKLEHAM alias HIGH ASHURST alias LITTLEBURGH.At the time of the Domesday Survey one of the two manors then called Mickleham was held of Odo, Bishop of Bayeux. (fn. 7) After his forfeiture under William II the manor was held of the king in chief, the tenant paying 12s. yearly on St. Andrew's Day for ward of Rochester Castle. (fn. 8)
Ansfrig had held Mickleham under the Confessor, and Nigel held it under the bishop, (fn. 9) but there is no trace of subsequent tenants until the Testa de Nevill, which under the heading of escheats gives Robert and Matthew de Micheham holding a hide in Mickleham by the grant of 'King Henry the Elder.' (fn. 10) This was the nucleus of the considerable property of the family in Mickleham in later reigns.
Documents of the time of Edward I show that Robert de Mickleham held a messuage, 20 virgates of land, 10 acres of pasture, and 2 acres of wood in Mickleham. (fn. 11) Robert's property descended to his son Gilbert, (fn. 12) who augmented it by his marriage with Alice daughter of Peter de Rival, with whom he received 30 acres of land and rent and services of John Adrian and others. (fn. 13) He and his wife were also conjointly enfeoffed by William de Bures of 4s. rent of assize. (fn. 14) He died in 1292 or 1293, (fn. 15) and was succeeded by his son John. In 1332 John conveyed the manor of Mickleham (certain premises afterwards known as the manor of Fredley excepted) to Roger de Apperdele. Roger son of Roger de Apperdele settled it on his son Richard to hold during his father's lifetime. (fn. 16) Richard evidently died without issue, as it came to his brother John, (fn. 17) who forfeited Mickleham when he was outlawed as a felon in 1366. (fn. 18) The king, having the manor as an escheat, granted it, first to Simon de Bradestede, (fn. 19) then to William Croyser. (fn. 20) Afterwards Roger de Apperdele appears to have tried to regain the manor by denying that he had made any grant to his sons. (fn. 21) Evidently he was not successful, as Edward III about that time granted it to William, Bishop of Winchester. (fn. 22) Before this date Fredley and West Humble (see below) had both been separated from the manor of Mickleham, which is now referred to as half, and sometimes as two thirds or two parts. In 1402 the bishop received pardon for alienating what is termed half the manor to Nicholas Wykeham (fn. 23) and five other clerks. (fn. 24) From these clerks the manor or portion of the manor passed to another clerk, John Brommesgrove, described as holding two parts of the manor. (fn. 25) Brommesgrove, in 1431, alienated it to Lawrence Doune, who is said to have held twothirds of the manor. (fn. 26) Half of this was bought from him by Ralph Wymeldon and Isabel his wife in 1464. (fn. 27) In 1481 Richard Wymeldon died seised of a third of the manor known subsequently as Littleburgh alias Mickleham. (fn. 28) He left a son Thomas, whose daughter Isabel married Thomas Stydolf. (fn. 29) The other part of the manor, which belonged to Laurence Doune, seems to have been acquired by William Ashurst, who held it in 1485. (fn. 30) Together with land which William Ashurst already held in Mickleham (fn. 31) it descended under the name of Mickleham alias High Ashurst to his son John. (fn. 32) In 1511 William brother of John Ashurst quitclaimed his right to Robert Gaynesford, whose son Henry in 1535 conveyed it to Thomas Stydolf. (fn. 33) From this time Littleburgh and Ashurst are sometimes treated separately and sometimes as different names for the same manor.
In 1538 Thomas Stydolf appears as owner of two parts of one part of the manor of Mickleham, formerly the land of John de Mickleham, Henry Burton and John Walk being trustees, to his use. (fn. 34) At his death in 1545 he is described as holding a third of the manor of Mickleham alias High Ashurst. (fn. 35) John Stydolf succeeded his father Thomas, being followed by his son, another Thomas, who was succeeded by his son, Sir Francis. (fn. 36)
John Evelyn gives an account of a visit to Sir Francis Stydolf at Mickleham in August 1655. He says: 'I went to Boxhill to see those rare natural bowers, cabinets, and shady walks in the box copses: hence we walked to Mickleham, and saw Sir F. Stidolph's seate environ'd with elme-trees and walnuts innumerable, and of which last he told us they receiv'd a considerable revenue. Here are such goodly walkes and hills shaded with yew and box as render the place extremely agreeable, it seeming from these evergreens to be summer all the winter.' (fn. 37) This description is one that might have been written yesterday, for Surrey's lovely hill is still as fair in winter as in summer.
In the following century Sir Richard Stydolf left two daughters, Frances wife of James, Lord Astley, (fn. 38) and Margaret wife of James Tryon, and to the two sons of the latter, Charles and James Tryon, the Stydolf lands descended. (fn. 39) In 1705 the two sons made a partition of the property, the manor of Mickleham alias High Ashurst alias Littleburgh falling to James. (fn. 40) From James Tryon, according to Manning and Bray, the manor descended to his nephew, Charles Tryon, whose son Charles, in 1766, sold it to Anthony Chapman of London for 35,000. Chapman sold Mickleham Manor to Benjamin Bond Hopkins of Paine's Hill in 1775, and he in 1779 (fn. 41) sold it to Charles Talbot, afterwards a baronet. He died in 1798. His family held the manor till 1871, when the baronetcy being extinct the Misses Talbot sold it to Mr. R. H. Mackworth Praed, the present lord. Mickleham Hall, built by Sir C. H. Talbot, was bought at the same time by the late Mr. Gordon W. Clark, and is now the seat of his son, Mr. H. H. Gordon Clark. (fn. 42)
Meanwhile Ashurst had been separated, as a reputed manor, but bearing the name of Mickleham, and had been sold by Chapman in 1776 to Mr. Robert Botall. (fn. 43) From him it passed to George Morgan, (fn. 44) and in 1804 was conveyed by John Morgan to F. R. V. Villebois. (fn. 45) In 1817 it was bought by Mr. Andrew Strahan, the king's printer. In 1855 it was purchased from his nephew by Sir Henry Muggeridge; it passed in 1862 to Sir Richard Glass, and in 1872 to J. C. Wilson. It is now the seat of the Dowager Countess of Harrowby. (fn. 46)
NORBURY was evidently the estate in Mickleham which in 1086 belonged to Richard son of Earl Gilbert; it was then assessed for two hides. (fn. 47) From Richard de Tonbridge the overlordship descended to the De Clares, Earls of Gloucester, (fn. 48) from them to the Despensers, (fn. 49) and in the reign of Henry VI belonged to their descendant Isabel, Countess of Warwick. (fn. 50) As her ultimate heir was Anne Beauchamp who married Warwick the King-maker, the overlordship must have fallen to the Crown after his death and attainder in 1471; but in the 16th century it was said to belong to the warden and scholars of Merton College, Oxford, and Norbury to be held as of their manor of Thorncroft; (fn. 51) this is evidently an error.
At the time of the Domesday Survey Norbury was held under Richard de Tonbridge by Oswold, who had formerly been the tenant under Edward the Confessor. The next holder of whom anything is known was Odo de Dammartin, who during the 12th century granted to the monks of St. Pancras a third of his tithe in Mickleham. (fn. 52) His daughter, Alice de Dammartin, held half a fee there, (fn. 53) and Margery widow of Odo de Dammartin had as her dower, among other lands, the manor of Mickleham. (fn. 54)
From the Dammartins the manor passed to William Husee, who in 1314 held 'the manor called Le North Bury' in Mickleham as half a knight's fee of Earl Gilbert de Clare. (fn. 55) He was granted free warren there by Edward II, (fn. 56) and had licence for an oratory in his manor between 1323 and 1333. (fn. 57)
In 1349 the manor was held by Isabel Husee, (fn. 58) and in 1376 by another William Husee. (fn. 59) The next holder of Norbury appears in Thomas Stydolf, who died seised of it in 1545. (fn. 60) He has been connected by Manning and Bray with William Husee, in direct descent. According to these historians Isabel daughter of William Husee married William Wymeldon, the grandchild of whose son Ralph, Isabel Wymeldon, married Thomas Stydolf who died in 1545. (fn. 61) The Stydolfs held Norbury with their other Mickleham manors until the latter half of the 17th century. (fn. 62) In 1705 the manor became the property of James Tryon, grandson of Sir Richard Stydolf. (fn. 63) According to Manning and Bray James Tryon devised Norbury to his nephew Charles Tryon, who settled it upon his wife. She lived at Norbury till 1764, and then granted her life interest to her son Charles, (fn. 64) who with his wife Rebecca, in 1765, levied a fine to Sewallis Shirley. (fn. 65) In 1766 the estate was sold (according to Manning and Bray) to Anthony Chapman, who sold it to William Locke in 1774. Mr. Locke built the present house. (fn. 66) In 1819 his son sold Norbury to Mr. E. R. Robinson, who, however, sold it again in 1822 to Mr. E. Fuller Maitland, who exchanged it with Mr. H. P. Sperling for Park Place, near Henley-on-Thames. Mr. Sperling made great improvements in the beautiful grounds. In 1848 he sold it to Mr. Thomas Grissell, whose family sold it in 1890 to Mr. Leopold Salomons. (fn. 67)
FREDLEY.In 1336 John de Mickleham, after having granted the manor of Mickleham with the exception of a messuage, 120 acres of land, and 4 acres of wood, to Roger de Apperdele, granted the excepted premises, also under the name of the 'manor of Mickleham,' (fn. 68) to his son-in-law John Dewey, husband of Margery de Mickleham. (fn. 69)
In 1365 John Frychele or Fridlee alias Dewey settled a house, 80 acres of land, and 4 acres of wood in Mickleham on himself and his wife Joan, by Hugh atte Sonde, his feoffee. (fn. 70) The manor was held by his son and grandson John Dewey and Roger Dewey alias Fridlee. (fn. 71) Roger Fridlee granted the manor to James Janyn and Nicholas Glover, who enfeoffed John Wydoweson and Isabel his wife. (fn. 72)
In 1449 John Wydoweson was in possession of the manor then first called the manor of Fredley (Frydelees) in Mickleham, (fn. 73) and the following year he and his wife Isabel granted the manor (then simply styled Mickleham) to William Wydoweson. (fn. 74) A William Wydewson presented to the living in 1492, (fn. 75) so was perhaps still holding Fredley. He is buried in Mickleham Church, where his wife also was buried in 1513.
Nothing more is known of the manor till 1528, when Sir John Mordaunt granted a lease of land in it, (fn. 76) and in 1571 Lewis, Lord Mordaunt, his grandson, alienated the manor to William Lever or Leaver. (fn. 77) From William Leaver the manor of Fredley descended to his son and grandson, John and Thomas Leaver, the latter inheriting it in 1640. (fn. 78) Documentary evidence of the descent is wanting, but according to Manning and Bray Thomas Leaver left sisters, Mary and Joan Leaver, as his heirs. The former married Edward Arnold, (fn. 79) the latter Edward Turner. The Arnolds in 1682 sold their moiety to Mr. John Spencer of Dorking, who in 1691 purchased Turner's moiety. On the same authority Spencer devised to Margaret wife of Gilbert Parker. (fn. 80) They sold Fredley to Samuel Hawkes in 1721. (fn. 81) Hawkes, according to Manning and Bray, was succeeded by his nephew Samuel Lamb, by whom Fredley was again sold in 1762 to Cecil Bisshop, afterwards Sir Cecil Bisshop, and Susannah his wife. (fn. 82) Cecil Bisshop is distinguished for building the famous Juniper Hall on the site of the old Royal Oak Inn. This fine old house afforded a kindly shelter to French migrs in troubled times. (fn. 83) Sir Cecil Bisshop died in 1779. Mr. David Jenkinson, a lottery agent, bought the property, and built Juniper Hill. In 1803, on the death of his son, the property was broken up. Mr. Worrall bought Juniper Hall and sold it in 1814 to Mr. Thomas Broadwood, from whom it was bought by Miss Beardmore. Her heir conveyed it in 1868 to Mr. F. Richardson, who in 1882 sold it to Mr. George McAndrew. Juniper Hill was bought by Sir Lucas Pepys, bart., M.P., who married the Countess of Rothes and took the name of Leslie. It passed through them and Colonel Lambton to Mr. J. H. Bryant in 1884, and in 1899 to Mr. Leonard Cunliffe.
A third portion was ultimately bought by Mr. Sharp, F.R.S., 'Conversation Sharp.' He left it to his adopted daughter, Mrs. Drummond, who built the house now called Fredley. It is the property of her daughter, Mrs. Kay.
As early as 1253 the priory of Reigate held a tenement in Mickleham of Robert de Watevile. (fn. 84) Their property, afterwards known as the manor of WEST HUMBLE, was augmented by the grant of John de Mickelham, who gave to the Prior and convent of Reigate a house and 1s. 8d. rent with the advowson of the church in Mickleham. (fn. 85) Licence for the alienation was granted by the king in 1345 at the request of Queen Philippa. (fn. 86) The priory held their land until the Dissolution. Before that event, earlier in the reign of Henry VIII, it had been leased by the priory, under the name of the manor of 'West Humble in Mikelham,' to Thomas Stydolf for 99 years. Stydolf's right in certain lands in Mickleham was contested by John Arnold, who declared that he had been unjustly ousted by Stydolf from the peaceful occupation of his land in Mickleham, leased to him, so he said, for 99 years, by the Prior of Reigate in the March of 1521. (fn. 87) He accused Stydolf of having set his servants to kill him, one of whom assaulted him with a sword and 'strake' him 'upon the raynes of his bak' and 'there cut his coot,' his enemies' intention being to cut his head off, and 'playe at the foteball therewith,' according to the admission of Stydolf's own daughters. Stydolf's reply was that the lease of the lands in question had been made to him in August 1516. (fn. 88) An audit of rents of the late priory of Reigate in 1537 shows three years' rent from Thomas Stydolf and John Stydolf his son for the manor of West Humble 15 15s. (fn. 89)
After the dissolution of Reigate Priory the Stydolfs remained as tenants of the manor, which they held of Lord William Howard and his successors, (fn. 90) to whom the lands of the dissolved priory were granted in 1551. (fn. 91) The lease seems to have been renewed at the end of the ninety-nine years, as in 1681 a rent of 6 3s. 8d. was still paid to the successors of the Howards. (fn. 92)
The Stydolfs now held the three manors in MicklehamNorbury, High Ashurst, and West Humble all Mickleham, in fact, except Fridley. As Norbury and Ashurst, so West Humble passed, in Anne's reign, to the grandson of Sir Richard Stydolf, (fn. 93) James Tryon, whose nephew, Charles Tryon, in the reign of George III, 1765, levied a fine of the same manor to Sewallis Shirley for purpose of sale. (fn. 94) According to Manning and Bray the manor was sold to Chapman in 1776, in 1780 to Hopkins, and in 1781 to Sir Francis Geary of High Polesden, who died in 1796, being succeeded by his son Sir William, who sold to Richard Brinsley Sheridan in 1809. In 1816, after Sheridan's death, it was sold to Mr. Thomas Hudson, along with Chapel Farm, which was in Polesden Lacy Manor. The manorial rights and part of the property were sold by Mrs. Hudson's trustees in 1874 to Mr. J. Leverton Wylie, by whom courts were held occasionally. He died recently, and his relative, Mr. F. Leverton Harris, is now lord of the manor.
In the reign of John the priory of Merton held land in Polesden, (fn. 95) later described as the manor of POLESDEN LACY. (fn. 96) At the dissolution of the monastery in 1538 the manor was granted by Henry VIII to William Sackvyle, who purchased the manor of Polesden Lacy and farms called Capelland and Bowetts. (fn. 97) William Sackvyle died in 1556. (fn. 98) His son in the same year had licence to alienate the manor and messuages and land called Capelland and Bowetts to Gilbert and Richard Sackvyle, (fn. 99) by whom it was sold to Henry Stydolf in 1564. (fn. 100) He died without male issue, (fn. 101) having settled the manor on a certain John Stydolf, with remainder to his brothers William and Thomas successively. (fn. 102) William died in seisin of it at the end of Elizabeth's reign; (fn. 103) Thomas himself, at his death in 1603, only possessed land in Polesden, which descended to his son Sir Francis Stydolf. (fn. 104)
William Stydolf, son of William, had Polesden Lacy in 1657. (fn. 105) His son Sigismund Stydolf in 1689 settled the manor on himself and his wife Margaret, daughter of Sir Francis Rolle, and at his death left it to his wife. (fn. 106) She married three times, her third husband being Thomas Edwin, upon whom she settled the manor after her death, in default of issue from the marriage. She died in 1734, and as she left no children Mr. Edwin became seised of the manor, which descended to his nephew Charles Edwin. (fn. 107) Charles Edwin bequeathed his estates to his wife Lady Charlotte, with remainder to his issue, in default to his sister Catherine Edwin and her male issue, and in default to his nephew Charles Windham. Lady Charlotte died in 1777, and Catherine Edwin being dead without issue, Charles Windham succeeded to the estates and took the name of Edwin. In 1784 he sold the manor to Admiral Sir Francis Geary, who held the manor of High Polesden in Great Bookham, after which the descent of the two manors is identical (q.v.).
The church of ST. MICHAEL consists of a chancel 28 ft. 9 in. by 16 ft. 9 in., with vestries on the north side and a circular organ-chamber on the south; a nave 42 ft. by 17 ft. 10 in., with a north aisle 30 ft. 6 in. by 15 ft. 6 in., at the east end of which is a chantry 16 ft. by 10 ft.; a south aisle 7 ft. 6 in. wide, and a west tower 16 ft. 7 in. by 14 ft. 2 in., having over its west doorway a porch 10 ft. 9 in. by 8 ft. 7 in.
The oldest part of the building is the west tower, dating from c. 1140, while the chancel is some forty years later. All the rest of the church except the west porch, a 15th-century addition, and the north chapel, which is of early 16th-century date, has been rebuilt in modern times1872 and 1891the north aisle having been widened at the latter date. A former north doorway was taken away in 1891, and has been set up in the grounds of Fredley, in the parish.
Parts of a large circular column with a scalloped capital, now in the tower, were found in excavating for the new arcade, and show that an aisle existed in the 12th century, evidently on the south side, as the north aisle was a very late addition, none existing when Manning and Bray wrote.
The chancel has a marked deviation to the south from the line of the nave and tower, and doubtless replaced a narrower building coeval with or older than the west tower. Its east wall is almost entirely modern, and contains three round-headed lights with a circular wheel-window over, in 12th-century style. The north and south walls of the chancel are for the most part old, and in each are two roundheaded windows, modern on the outside, but with old internal jambs having shafts at the angles with moulded bases and carved foliate capitals of several types, c. 1180.
The rear arches are semicircular, and have moulded outer orders with billet-moulded labels, which continue between the windows as a string-course. Below the sills of the windows is another string, being in section a keeled roll.
Near the east ends of both walls are rectangular lockers with plain rebated jambs and square heads, fitted with modern doors; and between the two north windows is a modern doorway leading to the vestries, with moulded jambs and pointed arch.
At the west end of the south wall of the chancel is a modern opening to the organ-chamber in 12th-century style, and above it an open arcade of interlacing round arches.
The organ-chamber is circular on plan, lighted by four narrow round-headed windows, and by a series of small circular windows high in the wall. On the west side of the chamber is a tall narrow opening to the south aisle with a semicircular arch and scalloped capitals.
The chancel arch is semicircular, and is of three orders, the two inner ones being modern and having moulded edge rolls, but the outer order on the west face is a pretty piece of late 12th-century work, with a lozenge pattern with leaf-carving in the spandrels between it and the label, which has a line of dogtooth ornament on the chamfer. The jambs are of old stonework and quite plain, with modern scalloped capitals and corbels.
The north and south arcades of the nave are entirely modern, and are of four bays with semicircular arches and round columns having moulded bases and scalloped or carved capitals, with corbels to correspond at each end. The eastern bay on the north side opens to the north chapel, and instead of a column has a square pier to take the western arch of the chapel.
The chantry has an early 16th century east window of four cinquefoiled lights with a traceried fourcentred head and a moulded label, the inner jambs being worked with a large casement moulding, and on the north side of the window is a canopied niche, now without a base; the canopy has trefoiled ogee arches with crockets and finials and small crocketed pinnacles between. Manning and Bray note that in their time there was a corresponding niche on the south side. Two plaster figures of St. Peter and St. Paul, now in the vestry, are said to have stood in these niches.
Against the north wall of the chapel is a canopied tomb, which is described below; and to the west of it a plain contemporary doorway with a threecentred arch; while above it is a window of two cinquefoiled lights in a square head. The arch opening to the aisle is modern, and corresponds to the adjacent arches of the nave arcade.
The north aisle has two modern windows in its north wall, each having three cinquefoiled ogee lights under a square head; and at the west end of the aisle is a modern doorway.
The three windows of the south aisle are likewise modern, except the small west window, which is old work reset, its inner splayed jambs and rear arch being perhaps of 13th-century date.
The tower opens to the nave by a modern round-headed arch, and has in its north wall a modern twolight window of 12th-century design.
In the south wall of the tower near the west end is an old doorway, now leading into a cupboard in the wall, but originally intended to open to the stairs to the belfry.
The 12th-century west doorway in the tower has jambs of two square orders with engaged shafts having scalloped capitals and chamfered abaci; the arch is semicircular, and has a heavy roll between two plain orders. It opens to a porch with small loop-lights in each side wall, and a western arch with chamfered jambs and a modern moulded label.
The tower is low in proportion to its width, and has on the north, south, and west two small lights, one above the other, which have what seem to be 16th-century heads externally, but retain their 12th-century rear arches.
On the east face is one window of the same character just above the nave roof. The western angles of the tower are strengthened by pairs of deep buttresses, which have been largely rebuilt, but their internal angles have old stones; they are probably 15th-century additions, and the tower is finished with a low pyramidal roof from which rises a slender octagonal shingled spire. The roof of the nave and the west porch are covered with Horsham stone slabs, while the chancel and organ-chamber are tiled, and the aisles have lead roofs and stone parapets.
The fittings of the church are for the most part modern. In the pulpit are five panels carved in highrelief, representing scenes from the New Testament. At the angles are figures in canopied niches, and the moulded cornice has a form of acanthus-leaf ornament in low-relief.
In the north chapel is some panelling from St. Paul's School in London, c. 1680.
The font is of 13th-century date, and has a shallow square bowl with tapering sides ornamented with arcades in low-relief, and standing on a central and four angle shafts with moulded bases. Near the font is an old wooden eagle lectern fixed to a modern iron stem and base; and on the south wall of the chancel is the banner and helmet of Sir Francis Stydolf, who died in 1655.
The tomb in the north chapel is a panelled Purbeck marble altar-tomb in a canopied recess, the panels being square with feathered quatrefoils inclosing shields, once painted, but now almost plain. The recess above has a four-centred head with tracery spandrels, and a cornice with a vine-trail and a Tudor flower cresting. On a brass plate in the recess is the following inscription: 'Here lyth the body of Wyllyam Wyddowsoun cytezein and mercer of londn & of ye parych of Mekyllham late patorne & also here lythe ye body of Jone hys wyfe the wyche dyssesyd the xxvii day of septebyr the vth yere of kyng hary the VIII on whoys soullys god have mercy ame.'
Above is the figure of a man in a long fur-trimmed cloak praying at a desk. A scroll issues from his mouth on which is the prayer: 'Dne deus miserere su[per] animabs.' To his right is a woman with a long head-dress and a tight-fitting dress with a loose waistbelt; on the scroll from her mouth is, 'Ihs xps miserere sup animabs.' Between the two figures is a brass shield on which are the arms of the Mercers' Company, and above are indents for other shields now lost.
There are two floor-slabs near the east end of the nave, one to Thomas Tooth, who died in 1685, and the other to Peter de Lahay, 1684. Near the west end of the nave is a mediaeval coffin-lid on which is the indent of a long cross with foliated ends. In the west porch are two marble coffin-slabs of the 14th century, with raised crosses, and edges which are twice hollow-chamfered. On one of them are remains of an inscription in Gothic capitals. . . . ICY DEU DALME EIT MERCI AMEN.
The tower contains three bells, the treble being by C. and G. Mears, 1850. The second has the inscription, 'Bryanus Eldridge me fecit 1624,' and the third has 'Wilhelmus Carter me fecit 1610' in Gothic capitals.
The plate is as follows: Two cups, one of 1666 and the other of 1870; two patens, one of 1701 and the other a year later; and two flagons, the first being of 1614 and the other of 1702. There is also an almsdish of 1700.
There are four books of registers, the first a long paper volume containing very irregular entries; first is a group of burials from 1612 to 1629, then there are baptisms from 1549 to 1629, and next come more burials from 1549 to 1605, and finally baptisms, marriages, and burials from 1634 to 1660. At the other end of the book are some briefs, churchwardens' accounts, &c. The second book, which is mostly a copy on parchment of the first, contains baptisms from 1549 to 1698, with a gap between 1658 and 1660; marriages from 1549 to 1713, with a gap between 1647 and 1663; and burials from 1549 to 1712, with a gap as in the baptisms. At the other end are accounts and tithe rents from 1637. The third book contains baptisms and burials from 1713 to 1812 and marriages from 1713 to 1753, and the fourth book continues the marriages from 1754 to 1812.
Mr. Samuel Woods, one of the founders of the London Institution, who lived in Mickleham, made an index to the registers.
The churchyard surrounds the church, and it is entered from the road at the north-west corner and by a lych-gate at the south-west corner.
A church at Mickleham is mentioned in the Domesday Survey. (fn. 108) At the time of the taxation of Pope Nicholas it was assessed at 18 13s. 4d. (fn. 109) The early owners and patrons of the church were the De Micklehams, John de Mickleham presenting in the 14th century. (fn. 110) He alienated the advowson in 1344 (fn. 111) to Reigate Priory that prayers might be daily sung in the priory church for the souls of his family, and the priors presented continuously until the Dissolution, with two exceptions, when Laurence Doune and William Wydoweson presented in the 15th century. (fn. 112) Wydoweson claimed the advowson, which he said John de Mickleham had alienated to John Dewey, from whose descendants it had passed to himself. (fn. 113) The owners of Fridley Manor had claimed some right in it in 1449, (fn. 114) and William Wydoweson presented in 1492. (fn. 115) Henry VIII after the dissolution of Reigate Priory granted the advowson of the rectory and parish church of Mickleham, with West Humble Manor, to Lord William Howard and Margaret his wife. (fn. 116) It passed by descent to Elizabeth, Countess of Peterborough. (fn. 117) Charles, Viscount Mordaunt of Avalon, her grandson, sold the advowson to John Parsons in 1681, (fn. 118) and in 1698 Sir John Parsons presented to the living. (fn. 119) The next presentation, in 1744, was made by Thomas Walton, merchant of London, hac vice. According to Manning and Bray, Parsons devised the rectory to his daughters, Sarah wife of James Dunn, and Anne, who married John Hynde Cotton, afterwards knighted. (fn. 120) Sir John Hynde Cotton presented in 1771, (fn. 121) and sold the advowson to Sir Charles Talbot in 1786, (fn. 122) and Lady Talbot, the widow of Sir Charles, presented in 1800 and 1802. In 1813 Mr. Henry Burmester presented his son, having bought the next presentation from Sir George Talbot. (fn. 123) It passed with the manor till 1899, when Mr. H. H. Gordon Clark of Mickleham Hall bought the advowson from Mr. Praed.
Smith's Charity is distributed as in other Surrey parishes. In 1586 Richard Woodstock left 5s. annually charged on land in Mickleham common fields for the repair of the church. It appears that the fields were by the river. After the parish was brought into the Dorking Union by the Poor Law of 1834 the old poorhouse at Bytom Hill became useless, and proposals were made for converting it into an almshouse. The matter was delayed till the old building fell down, and it was not till 1851 that the almshouses were actually opened, built chiefly by the generosity of Sir George Talbot, and endowed by Miss Talbot. They were burnt down in 1864, and were rebuilt by Mr. H. P. Grissell of Norbury, whose family further endowed them. They accommodate eight persons.