A History of the County of Surrey: Volume 4. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1912.
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Acstede (xi cent.); Ocstede (xiii cent.); Oxtede (xv cent.).
Oxted is a parish and village 3 miles east of Godstone and 20 miles from London. It contains 3,646 acres and measures fully 6 miles from north to south and not more than a mile and a half from east to west, and for the most part less. It is bounded on the north by Woldingham and Chelsham, on the east by Limpsfield, on the south by Crowhurst, which at the time of the Domesday Survey probably formed part of it, and on the west by Tandridge. It is of the usual type with regard to situation and soil, extending from the chalk in the north, which rises in a bold escarpment above the Weald, across the Greensands on to the Wealden Clay in the south. The views southward from the chalk are fine, and the sand hills, though rising to no great height, are broken and picturesque. The streams here flow into the Medway. There are small wayside commons called Broadham Green, Hurst Green, and Perry's Green, but there is no record of an Inclosure Act or of common fields.
An uninscribed British gold coin has been found in Oxted, and is described by Sir John Evans. (fn. 1) Some few flint flakes have also been found. North of Barrow Green House is a barrow called the Mount. It was excavated in 1869 by some members of the Surrey Archaeological Society, who found no interment, and because the natural sand rock was in the interior of the mound came rather too hastily to the conclusion that it was entirely natural. There is, however, a distinct ditch round it, showing that the sand was dug out and piled upon a natural knoll, and flint flakes of human workmanship were thrown out by the excavators. (fn. 2) The name, Barrow Green, is as old as the 16th century, and the mound is so conspicuous that long ago it may have tempted explorers, who probably threw out any remains which were there. There is no natural explanation for the loose sand being in a circular heap upon the harder sandstone unless it was piled up for some artificial purpose.
The village lies on the lower slope of the hill rising from a small stream running north and south. The church is to the north-east of the village on the west side of the road to Limpsfield. The houses are generally of brick or half-timber and in many instances the fronts of the half-timbered houses have been renewed in brick in the 18th and 19th centuries. To the south of the church is a farmhouse with some 16th-century chimney-stacks. In the village is the Crown Inn, a half-timber building much modernized, adjoining which is a row of 18th-century cottages entered from the road by a low flight of stone steps. These and the cottages lower down the hill stand high above the road, which is here in a cutting. Lower down on the same side is a two-story Georgian house with a whitewashed brick front. On the north side of the road is the George Inn, an 18th-century house of purple bricks with red-brick dressings. Eastward is a row of 18th century red-brick cottages with gardens in front. The oldest house in the village is the Bell Inn, which, though very much modernized, dates from the 16th century. It was of half-timber stuccoed over, with an over-hanging story on one side, and has lately been restored with old oak on the lines of the old half-timbering.
The National school was built in 1872, the site being given to the rector and churchwardens by the Earl of Cottenham. It was enlarged in 1902. There is an institute and reading room with a library of 500 volumes in the village.
The London, Brighton and South Coast railway line from Croydon to East Grinstead, opened in 1884, enters the parish by a tunnel under the chalk range and has a station at Oxted. The line divides into two branches in the parish, to East Grinstead and to Edenbridge respectively. The parish is generally agricultural, but since the opening of the railway line small houses and villas have begun to spring up rapidly. The Oxted Greystone Lime Company have chalk quarries and lime works in the parish.
About three-quarters of a mile south of Oxted the road to Crowhurst runs across Hurst Green. The Green is of some extent, and from the north end runs a road to Limpsfield, while at the southern extremity the main road is joined by a by-road from Tandridge. On the north side of the Green stands Sheppard's Barn, a Tudor house to which a brick front was later added. It has been recently restored, and during the alterations an original king post was found which has been used as a newel post for the new staircase. Close to this house stood a ruinous forge and an early 19th-century cottage out of the materials of which a new house called Forge Cottage was built. There are some 16th-century cottages near the railway. Cottage property is much in demand and there is a considerable amount of building now going on.
Perrysfield House is the seat of Mr. Lewis Bahr; Oxted Place of Mr. A. R. Bentley; Shrubhurst belongs to the Burdett family; Woodfield is the residence of the Rt. Hon. Sir Ralph H. Knox; Greenhurst Park of Mr. W. Clayton Palmer; Stone Hall of Mr. Metcalfe; Hammerwood of Mr. Esdaile.
Before the Conquest OXTED was held by Gida the mother of Harold. Count Eustace of Boulogne acquired it from William I, and was holding it in 1086. There was land for twenty ploughs, but the assessment had fallen from 20 hides to 4. (fn. 3)
Sub-feoffment of the manor in moieties was made at an early date by one of the count's successors. One part was held by a family who appear to have taken their name from the place. (fn. 4) In the reign of Henry III Roland of Oxted was found to be holding three knights' fees in Oxted of the honour of Boulogne, (fn. 5) and in 1278–9 another Roland, probably his son, claimed to have certain prescriptive liberties belonging to the honour in his manor of Oxted, viz. view of frankpledge, assize of bread and ale, pillory, tumbril, gallows, infangenthef, outfangenthef, waif, ancient warren in his demesne lands, and an ancient park from time beyond memory. The jurors appointed to inquire into the justice of his claims deposed that he had possessed these rights time out of mind, and that he had not usurped on the king's lordship. (fn. 6) In 1290 Roland of Oxted was summoned to Parliament as one of the knights of the shire. (fn. 7) He died in 1291 seised of the manor of Oxted, for which he owed suit at the court of Witham, (fn. 8) leaving five daughters his co-heirs. (fn. 9) The eldest daughter, Margery le Sauvage, had one son Roger, who died under age and a ward of the king in 1299; he was seised of one-fifth of the manor, part of his share being the hall of the manor, the solar and two chambers. His four aunts Alina, Clarice, Lucy and Thomasina were his heirs. (fn. 10) The following year Alina and her husband John de Hamme remitted to the Abbot of Battle 50s. rent and suit of court. (fn. 11) In 1302 Thomasina sold her share to John and Alina de Hamme. (fn. 12) John de Hamme was several times knight of the shire for Surrey. (fn. 13) In 1299 Lucy wife of John le Sauvage granted her moiety to her sister Clarice and her husband Martin Sench. (fn. 14) On the death of Martin, Clarice married Roger de Wellesworth, and in 1312 a settlement was made on them and their heirs. (fn. 15) In 1316 John de Hamme and Alina settled their share of the manor (with the exception of the service of the Abbot of Battle above mentioned) on themselves for their lives, with remainders to Clarice widow of Roger de Wellesworth for life, and to her son Roger and his heirs, with contingent remainder to John her second son and John and Roland Sench, the sons by her first marriage. (fn. 16) Alina died in 1325 (fn. 17) and Clarice inherited her share. (fn. 18) She probably died before 1341, as in that year Roger and John de Wellesworth, the sons of her second marriage, released all their right and claim in the manor of Oxted to Robert de Stangrave, kt., and his wife Joan, (fn. 19) who granted the reversion to Reginald de Cobham of Sterborough, kt., and Joan his wife and the heirs of Reginald, (fn. 20) Reginald granting that for a year and a day after the death of Robert and Joan their executors should have the manor with administration of the goods and chattels and fruits of the lands. (fn. 21) John Sench, son of Clarice and Martin, had previously released his right in one quarter of the manor and the reversion of another part after Clarice's death to John Brutyn, probably a trustee for Stangrave. (fn. 22) Joan died before 1359, when Sir Robert de Stangrave and his wife Idonia were holding Oxted. (fn. 23) Robert died seised the following year. (fn. 24) The other half of the manor (see above) was held of the honour of Boulogne by Henry de Cornhill of London, (fn. 25) who died about 1195–6. Through his daughter Joan, who married a Hugh de Nevill, it came to the Nevills of Essex. (fn. 26) Manning and Bray's statement that it passed with Joan daughter of Hugh de Nevill to the Cobhams is evidently wrong, as in 1359 Sir John de Nevill of Essex held four knights' fees in Oxted and elsewhere. (fn. 27) Before this date the Nevills subinfeudated this land to the Oxted family, who held the other half, (fn. 28) so that the holding became part of the latter's manor of Oxted, distinguishable only by the tenure.
Sir Reginald Cobham died seised of the manor in 1361. (fn. 29) His widow Joan died in 1369 (fn. 30); her son Reginald was her heir. (fn. 31) In 1408–9 Reginald (son of the last-named Reginald, who died in 1403) granted the manor, apparently in trust for his wife Elizabeth Colepeper, to Thomas Colepeper and others. (fn. 32) His eldest son Reginald predeceased him, leaving an only daughter Margaret, wife of Ralph Earl of Westmorland. (fn. 33) The manor was settled on the earl and his wife with remainder to Thomas Cobham, Margaret's uncle and heir. (fn. 34) Margaret died in 1460, leaving no children, (fn. 35) and her husband held the manor until his death in 1485, when it passed to Anne, only child and heir of Thomas Cobham, (fn. 36) who had married Sir Edward Burgh. She died in 1526, and her husband, who 'became distracted of memorie,' died two years later, leaving a son and heir Thomas, afterwards Lord Burgh. (fn. 37) William the son of Thomas Lord Burgh, who succeeded his father in 1550, (fn. 38) sold the manor in 1578 to John Reade, (fn. 39) who in 1587 conveyed it to Charles Hoskins, citizen and merchant tailor of London. (fn. 40) For the next two centuries it remained in the Hoskins family, descending in direct male line. (fn. 41) In 1768 Charles Hoskins died, leaving an only daughter Susannah, (fn. 42) who died childless, her aunt Katherine, wife of Legh Master, being her heir. Mrs. Master died in 1807, and her son, the Rev. Legh Hoskins Master, succeeded. (fn. 43) His descendant, Mr. Charles Hoskins Master, is now lord of the manor. Oxted Court, the old manor-house, is now occupied as a farm, and called Oxted Court Farm. Barrow Green House is considered the manor-house.
Two mills are mentioned in the Domesday Survey (fn. 44) and three in the inquisition on Roland of Oxted, 1291–2. (fn. 45) It appears that two of the mills had been alienated from the manor before 1689, when they were in the possession of Thomas Causton. (fn. 46) In 1712 only one is mentioned (fn. 47) as appurtenant to the manor.
BARROW GREEN (Barowe, xvi cent.) was a capital messuage belonging to Richard Moushurst in the beginning of the 16th century; he enfeoffed Walter Vitull, who refused to make an estate to the son Thomas Moushurst. (fn. 48) In 1621 William Albany died seised of it, having settled it the previous year on Sir Robert Albany in trust for his wife and younger children. (fn. 49) It seems to have been acquired shortly afterwards by Charles Hoskins, who died in 1657, for the epitaphs of two of his children in Oxted Church describe him as of Barrow Green. (fn. 50) It continued to be the family seat of the Hoskins and Hoskins Master family till recently. It is still the property of Mr. Hoskins Master, but is now let to Mr. W. B. McGrath.
The house called Barrow Green, on the opposite side of the road from the barrow which gives it its name, is a three-storied house of red brick of the early 17th century, but much modernized by 18th-century sash and bay-windows, inserted when the interior was much altered and the staircase remodelled. In the early 19th century further alterations of a similar character were made, and recently some additions have been made to the house, which is of the [square-cornered capital-letter U-shaped] type, with a centre facing south and eastern and western projections. In the centre part is a large hall with large rooms on either side. The east wing contains living and bedrooms, and the west the kitchen and offices with bedrooms over. Behind the hall are the principal stairs. The south drawing-room, originally the hall, retains some of its old panelling. The fireplace opening is of stone with a straight-sided four-centred head and moulded jambs. The carved oak mantelpiece, though somewhat tampered with, seems to be in the main of original date. The shelf is supported by nude figures, and the 18th-century centre-piece is carved with the arms of Hoskins, party palewise, a cheveron engrailed between three lions, with the crest of a cock's head, and above it are the royal arms as borne by the Stuarts. In the niches on either side of the centre-piece are small allegerical female figures. The side-pieces are surmounted by pairs of fretwork obelisks with scroll-work between. At about two-thirds of the height of the walls is an entablature, supported at intervals, where left untouched, by fluted pilasters of a Doric character, but much mutilated by 18th-century alterations. Above the entablature are arched panels with grotesque telamones. The whole panelling of the room is painted and grained, making it difficult to distinguish between the old work and the new. The whole of the south front appears to have been refaced in the 18th century. The present entrance hall is on the east front, but probably did not become the principal entrance till the 18th century. In its north wall is an elaborate mantelpiece of Jacobean design, painted and grained and much restored. The panelling here is of the same type as in the drawing-room. The principal stairs are a good example of early 18th-century work, with elaborate balusters and carved spandrel brackets. The floors of this and the entrance hall are paved with large squares of stone with small lozenges of white marble between.
The entrance to the back stairs from the lobby behind the drawing-room still retains its original moulded parts, head and three-panel door. The stairs themselves appear to be of mid-17th-century date; the rails are supported by stout widely spaced balusters. The dining-room has good 18th-century panelling. The fireplace has a bold oak architrave. The kitchen still retains its original openjoisted ceiling. The bedroom over the library on the first floor has an original stone fireplace with moulded four-centred head and jambs. The bedrooms over the drawing-room and dining-room have also original stone fireplaces of a more Renaissance character. The bedrooms in the eastern wing have 18th-century panelling. In the room at the northern end of this wing is a fine grate of Adam type. The second or attic floor is contained within the roof, which is gabled at the east and west ends. Here some original detail survives, in particular the doorway and door of a room at the north-west of the main block. The eastern entrance front still possesses its original triple gables with octagonal finials and moulded brick parapet; the chimney-stacks with their diagonal shafts rising between the gables help to maintain, in spite of subsequent alterations, the predominating Jacobean character of this elevation. Against the west gable of the main block, but placed to the south of its apex, is a chimney-stack with three diagonal shafts, the combination forming a picturesque feature. The roofs throughout are tiled. Portions of the garden wall running northwards from the north end of the east wing are of narrow 17th-century bricks. On the south front of the house are a modern flagged terrace and formal garden.
A grant to Katherine Duchess of Bedford for life of the 'manor of Oxted which was of the late Duke of Buckingham, her former husband' was made in 1485. (fn. 51) This must refer to the lands in Oxted which he held and his son after him (fn. 52); but there is no further trace of this estate as a manor. It is probably represented by the district called Staffords' Wood and Staffords' Heath.
BURSTED (Bursted, xvii cent.; Bearsted, xviii cent.).
—In 1283 William of Oxted granted to the Prior and convent of Tandridge 1 carucate of land of the fee of Roland of Oxted. (fn. 53) At the time of its dissolution the priory owned farms and rents in Oxted to the value of £11 12s. 3d., (fn. 54) and courts were held there by the priors. (fn. 55) After the Dissolution this manor appears as the manor of Bursted or Oxted. It was granted in tail-male to John Reade, (fn. 56) who died in 1545. (fn. 57) His son John sold the manor in 1576 to Richard Bostock, (fn. 58) who in the following year sold it to Edward Johnson. (fn. 59) In 1582 Johnson conveyed it to Richard Hayward of Oxted. (fn. 60) He in his lifetime conveyed it to his son Henry, (fn. 61) who settled it in 1592 on his wife Katherine with remainder to his son John. (fn. 62) John settled it in 1613 on his (second) wife Elizabeth Watts, daughter of William Angell, for life, with remainder to his heirs male; but apparently with the intention of disinheriting his eldest son by his first marriage, Humphrey, who had 'always been a disobedient child,' he made a fresh settlement in 1630, giving Bursted, after the death of Elizabeth, to John the second son of his first marriage, with remainder to William the eldest son of his second marriage. (fn. 63) He died on 1 March 1630–1, and his widow held a court here in 1641. (fn. 64) In 1649 she with Sir William Hayward and John made a fresh settlement of the estate; it was confirmed to her for her life unless her son died before she did, in which case the manor was to be the jointure of Martha, the wife of Sir William, and it was limited to Sir William and his heirs male. (fn. 65)
In 1681 Sir William sold the manor to John Burrough, (fn. 66) who in 1691 conveyed it to Michael Edwards of Kingston. He in 1696 devised it by will to his nephew Sir James Edwards, bart., in tail male. (fn. 67) Sir James was succeeded in 1702 by his son James, who in 1708 suffered a recovery (fn. 68) and in 1713 sold the estate, according to Manning and Bray, to Sir Joseph Jekyll, who died in 1738, leaving no issue. He devised all his, real estate to twelve of his relations; a decree was passed for the sale of his estates, but it was not until 1753 that the sale was effected, and this manor was sold to John Godfrey of Limpsfield, (fn. 69) who dying in 1757 devised it by will to Marmaduke Hilton, a London merchant. He left it in 1768 to Vincent Biscoe, who devised it to his second son Vincent Hilton Biscoe. (fn. 70) It was purchased by Sir William Weller Pepys, bart., (fn. 71) who died unmarried in 1845, his heir being his brother, created Earl of Cottenham. The third Earl of Cottenham, who died in 1881, was still holding it.
The manor of BROADHAM (Brodham, xvi cent.) is found in the 14th century in the possession of Battle Abbey, (fn. 72) having been probably included in the grant of Limpsfield made to that abbey by William I. It seems to have been granted by Battle to the priory of Tandridge, for in 1535 it was in the occupation of the Prior of Tandridge, who paid 12d. rent to Battle. (fn. 73) It was granted with Limpsfield in 1538 to Sir John Gresham, (fn. 74) who died seised 23 October 1556. (fn. 75) He devised it by will to his eldest son William, (fn. 76) who died in 1579 (fn. 77) and left the manor to his younger son Thomas in tail-male. (fn. 78) Thomas, who was knighted at Whitehall before the king's coronation, 23 July 1603, (fn. 79) received a confirmation of the manor in 1615. (fn. 80) He died in 1632, having in 1630 settled the manor on his second son John (fn. 81) and his wife Elizabeth. (fn. 82) This John, who is described on his tomb as 'an obedient son of the Church of England, a loyal subject of his sovereign,' (fn. 83) died in 1643 without issue, and his brother Sir Edward was his heir. (fn. 84) Sir Edward's son Marmaduke was created a baronet 31 July 1660. (fn. 85) In 1664 he suffered a recovery of the manor, (fn. 86) and by his will dated 14 January 1695 he devised it with other manors to his daughter Alice and his second son Charles on trust to raise money for the payment of certain debts and legacies, subject to which he left the estates to them and their heirs as joint tenants. (fn. 87) They sold part of the estates and paid the debts, and in the partition of the remainder the manor of Broadham (with certain privileges named, goods and chattels of felons, deodands, treasure-trove, &c.) fell to Alice. (fn. 88) She died unmarried 30 January 1716–17, (fn. 89) having devised the manor to her brother William Gresham of Limpsfield. (fn. 90) In 1719 William conveyed it to John Blundell of Godstone. (fn. 91) William Hoskins, lord of the manor of Oxted, brought a suit against John Blundell in 1730 for payment of rent for lands he owned in Oxted. John Blundell denied that they were parcel of the manor and liable for the payment of quit-rent. (fn. 92) John's brother and heir died intestate in 1753, and the manor was divided among his three heirs-at-law. (fn. 93) The shares passed through several hands until five-sixths of the manor, partly by devise and partly by purchase, became vested in Admiral Sir Richard Hughes, bart., on whose death Mr. Bryant, who had in 1796 purchased one-sixth, became sole possessor. He surrendered it to the executors of the Duke of Norfolk, who had a mortgage on it, and from them it was purchased by Colonel Clayton. After his death it was sold to Edward Kelsey, (fn. 94) in whose family it still remains.
FOYLE (Foyllye, before xiv cent.; Fuyllye, xiv cent.; La Foyle, xv cent.).
—In 1270–1 Nicholas de Basyng and Isabel his wife granted to Richard le Gras the sixth part of 3 carucates of land in Oxted and Limpsfield to be held of Nicholas and Isabel and the heirs of Isabel by the rent of one clove gillyflower yearly. (fn. 95) Manning in his History of Surrey. (fn. 96) says that by an undated deed Richard le Gras, the son of Roger, granted to Geoffrey de Belpisond all his manor of Foyle with all his lands and tenements in Oxted and Limpsfield. Whether this was in trust is not clear. A Roger le Gras died in 1304, leaving a brother Nicholas, (fn. 97) but the manor next appears in the possession of John de Watesham, who in 1362 granted to William de Staffhurst his manor of Foyle, and in 1384 Margaret widow of the said John released her dower and all claim therein to William de Staffhurst, Roger Stalkyndon and others. In 1396 Roger quitclaimed the manor to John at Halle and Joan his wife, daughter and co-heir of William de Staffhurst, and to John Marchant and Margaret his wife and to William Marchant and Catherine his wife. (fn. 98) Margaret and Catherine are not described as daughters of Staffhurst, but they undoubtedly were so. In 1401 John Marchant granted to Stephen atte Lee and Simon Dane all the lands in Oxted which he had by feoffment of Stalkyndon, (fn. 99) and in 1406 John atte Halle and his wife quitclaimed their share to Stephen. (fn. 100) Atte Lee and Dane in 1420 granted to Sir John Gainsford and others in trust for him all lands, rents, services, &c., in Oxted called La Foyle. Four years later all the parties except Gainsford reconveyed to Atte Lee, and in 1426 Gainsford conveyed to him, reserving a road to his mill at Crowhurst and a rent of 22s. (fn. 101)
A William atte Lee appears to have mortgaged the manor to John Harling. (fn. 102) Later, at the end of the 16th or beginning of the 17th century it belonged to William Harling of Oxted, from whom it was purchased by Robert Lord Buckhurst, (fn. 103) who seems to have been acting for his father Thomas Earl of Dorset. (fn. 104) The latter died seised in 1608; Robert died within a year after, and his son Richard succeeded to his title and estates. (fn. 105) In 1615 Richard, with Anne his wife and Cecilia the widow of Thomas Earl of Dorset, conveyed the manor to Francis Goston, (fn. 106) who in 1628 died seised holding the manor of Charles Hoskins as of his manor of Oxted. (fn. 107) Francis his son and heir suffered a recovery in 1636, settling it on his wife Ann, (fn. 108) and died in 1642, leaving a son Francis, aged five years. (fn. 109)
Later the manor seems to have been conveyed to Anthony Farindon of Lingfield, whose son James sold it to Thomas Streatfield. (fn. 110) He devised it in 1786 to his wife for her life, with remainder to Henry Streatfield of Chiddingstone in Kent. The widow and Henry conveyed it to John Wells, a banker of Wigmore in Bromley. On his bankruptcy in 1841 it was sold to William Leveson-Gower of Titsey. (fn. 111)
—In 1299 among the tenants of Roger le Sauvage, grandson of Roland of Oxted, is mentioned John atte Stockett. (fn. 112) In 1310 Robert de Langenhurst and Alice his wife quitclaimed to John atte Stockett and Matilda his wife for themselves and the heirs of Alice one messuage and 50 acres of land with 3s. 5d. rent in Oxted and Limpsfield. (fn. 113) John atte Stockett is among the witnesses to a deed of Richard atte Lee in 1321. (fn. 114) In 1345 John Stockett granted to Sir Robert Stangrave and Dame Joan his wife land lying between their wood on one part and the Abbot of Battle's manor (Broadham) on the other. Roger son and heir of John Stockett was a ward of the lord of the manor of Oxted; the bailiff charged, as paid for his commons going to school, 10d. a week for thirty weeks, and 11d. paid for cloth for one pair of hose, 1d. for sewing and 10d. for two pairs of shoes. (fn. 115) John Stockett (probably a son of Roger) granted 'the manor of Stocketts' to John Alye and another in trust for himself and his heirs; his son John died before 1471 and left an only daughter Denise, wife of Robert Chapell. (fn. 116) She left three daughters, co-heirs, viz. Elizabeth, who married John Gens, Alice wife of John Ownstead and Joan wife of William Banaster. They made partition of the estate in 1515. (fn. 117) By the year 1577 William Banaster's share had come into the hands of William Causten; James Gens held a third, consisting of the manor-house and 34 acres, and John Ownstead held a third. Causten's share was still in the possession of his descendants in 1690. (fn. 118)
The estate is now represented by the farm called Stocketts. It came into the possession of the Hoskins family, and was sold by the late Mr. Hoskins Master to Mr. McNiven. The house, which stands back from the east side of the Crowhurst road, is a small Elizabethan house, the property of Mr. Young, and is now used as a farm-house. It is of L plan and faces east, with a south wing projecting westwards, which appears to be a 17th-century addition. The whole house is much modernized. It is two stories high; the older part is of brick with stone window dressings and has a stone-slated roof, but the south wing is of half-timber and brick construction and is roofed with tiles. The windows in the front wall of the north wing are original and of five mullioned lights; those of the bedrooms on the first floor on the east retain a considerable amount of their original glazing.
To the south-west of the building are a small pond and the old stone malt-house.
The church of ST. MARY consists of a chancel, nave, north aisle with a modern north transept, a south aisle, a west tower and a south porch. It is built of rubble with chalk dressings.
The church appears to have been built about the middle of the 12th century, but the only parts of the original building now remaining are portions of the nave walls and the ground-stage of the tower. Late in the century the aisles and tower were added, and about the year 1250 the chancel was rebuilt. In the early part of the 14th century further alterations were made, the aisles being widened and new windows inserted throughout the chancel, while a little before the middle of the next century new arcades were built into the nave, the walls being at the same time heightened and the south porch erected. From the date 1637 placed in the east gable of the chancel the church apparently underwent a restoration in the 17th century, but no structural alterations were made to the building from the time of the insertion of the 15th-century arcade until 1877, when it was completely renovated and re-roofed and enlarged by the addition of the north transept.
The chancel walls have been plastered externally, but on the north and south walls much of this has worn off. The east wall was apparently cemented over in the 17th century. At the east end of the chancel the north and south walls have been projected to form two-stage buttresses, and the east wall has been treated in a similar manner. The buttress at the east end of the north wall is considerably restored, while an entirely modern one in two stages has been built between the windows in the south wall. The east window is modern and of four cinquefoiled lights, with an elaborate traceried head. It was probably copied from the previous one, and may contain some old stones.
In the north wall of the chancel are two 14th-century windows, each of two trefoiled lights with a quatrefoil under a pointed head, with a ribbed rear arch and internal moulded labels. In the east end of this wall is a 13th-century Easter sepulchre with moulded jambs and drop arch. In the west end of the wall is a 13th or 14th-century pointed archway, opening to a passage into the north aisle. The south wall is lighted by two two-light windows similar to and of the same date as those in the wall opposite. They are much decayed, and the mullion of the westernmost one has been completely restored. Under the sill of the first window is a 13th-century pointed piscina with a shelf. The basin and hood moulding have been cut off flush with the wall. To the west of the second window, behind the backs of the quire stalls, is a pointed priest's doorway with segmental rear arch, now opening into the modern organ chamber. West of this is a pointed recess with a ribbed rear arch. In the back of it are two four-centred trefoiled lights under a square head. The chancel arch spans the full width of the chancel, and is of the 14th century. Built into the north wall towards the east end of the chancel is an iron ring, from which possibly hung the Lenten veil.
The nave is in three bays with tall four-centred arches of two double ogee orders, separated by a deep casement. The piers are of three-quarter shafts having moulded capitals and bases, the abaci and plinths of which are octagonal, attached to each face of an inner square having hollow-chamfered angles. The outer order of the arches is continuous to the responds. In the walls to the east of the east respond can be seen the responds and the springers of the arches of the small 13th-century arcades. The responds had angle shafts with capitals carved with stiff-leaved foliage and moulded attic bases. The whole angle shafts, with capital and base, can be seen on the north side of the north-east respond and on the south side of the pier opposite. High up in the east end of the wall of the south arcade is a threecentred rood opening, the stairs up to it being entered through a four-centred 15th-century doorway in the north-east corner of the south aisle.
In the east wall of the north aisle is a 14th-century window of two trefoiled ogee lights with a quatrefoil under a pointed head having a ribbed rear arch and internal hood mould. In the north wall are two large pointed windows, each of two lights, the tracery of which is entirely modern, though the jambs are old. Between these windows is a pointed arch opening into the modern north transept; in the west wall is a single cinquefoiled light of 14th-century date with splayed inner jamb. Its external hood mould has been cut off. In the wall to the east of the east respond of the nave arcade is a small piscina, the basin of which has been broken.
A 14th-century window similar to that in the east wall of the north aisle, and formerly in a similar position in the south aisle, has been reset in the east wall of the organ chamber. The south aisle is lighted from the south by two large pointed windows filled in with modern tracery, though the jambs are old and were apparently set in an older wall. In the west wall is a two-light 16th-century square-headed window having a segmental rear arch. Between the windows in the south wall is an early 14th-century pointed doorway having continuously moulded outer jambs and a segmental rear arch. In the wall immediately over the doorway is a square-headed niche, and by the east jamb is a mutilated holy water stoup. The porch covering this doorway is of the 15th century. In the spandrels of the south arch are quatrefoil panels containing small escutcheons of Cobham. The south wall is carried up into a pointed gable and projects beyond the side walls to form buttresses to the entrance archway, above which is a small 15th-century image niche having continuously moulded jambs. The buttresses have been considerably restored, the east one having been almost entirely rebuilt in brick. Set against the east buttresses is a sun-dial placed on a baluster pedestal. It was erected in 1815, as stated on a slab built into the wall above the dial. The roof is modern and is covered with stone slates.
The tower is externally in one stage, being undivided by any string courses, and is surmounted by a modern embattled parapet. Built against the north and south walls inside the tower are 18th-century galleries, with a staircase of that date in the north-west corner leading up to the bell-chamber. The tower arch is pointed and of two chamfered orders; the inner one stops at the springing, but the outer order is continuous. Lighting the bottom stage from the north is a small lancet having an external rebate for a shutter and wide inner splays. In the south wall is a similar light with a round head, and in the west wall above a much-decayed pointed doorway of two continuous hollow-chamfered orders, which originally had a moulded label, now completely gone, is a three-light modern window set in old jambs. Lighting the ringing stage from the west is a small trefoiled light of late 15th-century date, while in the north, south and west walls of the bell-chamber are modern two-light windows.
The north transept is of freestone, and has a gallery approached from the inside by a wooden stair, and externally by a flight of stone steps built against the north wall of the aisle.
The roofs throughout the building are modern. Both the font and pulpit are modern, but many of the pews are of 18th-century date. An 18th-century communion table now stands in the tower. In the four central lights in the head of the east window are some fragments of 14th-century stained glass portraying the symbolical representations of the four Evangelists holding scrolls on which are written in Lombardic capitals 'Johan,' 'Marc,' 'Lucas,' and 'Matheus,' respectively.
On the Easter sepulchre are traces of colour decoration. The south door is a fine example of late 14th-century woodwork. The lower part is in six panels, the four centre ones having trefoiled ogee heads, while the upper part is occupied by vertical tracery. In the heads of the four central lower panels are small masks, now much worn, the outer being bearded faces, the inner those of women wearing the characteristic head-dress of the period.
In the north transept is a curious iron chest, probably of the 15th century, in the lid of which is a remarkable locking mechanism. It bears traces of elaborate painted decoration. In the churchyard against the south wall of the chancel are two old grave-slabs. Both have a plain cross extending the full length of the slab carved on them, and are probably not later than the 12th century in date.
In the floor of the chancel is a brass with the following black letter inscription: 'Hic jacet Joh[anne]s page quond[am] Rector hujus Eccl[esie] | qui obiit xiio die mense Julii Anno d[omin]i Millõ. | ccccoxxviii cuius a[nimae] propicietur ds Amen.' Above the inscription is the lower part of the figure of a priest, broken across the middle, in mass vestments. Another brass in the floor of the chancel is inscribed in black letters: 'Orate Pro Anima Johanne Haselden que obiit xxio Die | Mensis Octobris Anno Domini Millimo cccc Octoagesimo (sic) Cuius Anime Propicietur Deus Ame.' Above the inscription is the figure of a lady dressed in the costume of the period with her hands in prayer, while above her head is the matrix for a shield. Below the inscription are the matrices of figures of two children. The figure of the righthand child still exists from the waist downwards.
On the south wall of the chancel is a brass inscribed 'Here lyeth enterred the body of Thomas Hoskins | Gent second sonne of Sr Thomas Hoskins Knight who | deceased ye 10th day of Aprill Ao Dñi: 1611. att ye age of | 5 yeares who aboute a quarter of an houre before | his depture did of himselfe without any instruction | speake thes wordes . . . & leade us not into temptatiõ | but deliver us from all evile . . . being ye last words | he spake. Here also lyeth enterred ye body I of Thomas Hoskins gent: the fifte sonne of Sr | Thomas Hoskins Knight who deceased the 13th of | March Ao 1611 beinge halfe A yeare of age.' Above this inscription are the brass figures of a 16th-century woman and small girl.
Another brass on the south wall of the chancel has the following inscription: 'Here lyeth interred the body of John | Hoskins the fourth sonne of Sr Thomas | Hoskins Knight who dyed the XIXth day of |, July Ao Dñi 1613 | beinge of ye age of V yeres.' Above the inscription is the brass figure of a boy.
On the north wall of the chancel is an elaborate mural monument to John Aldersey, haberdasher and merchant adventurer of London (d. 1616), and Anna his wife. Within an arched recess are figures of the man and his wife kneeling at a desk with an inscription over. Below the large figures are, carved in relief, their seventeen children, all kneeling, with their hands in prayer. On a cartouche on the top of the monument is a shield of his arms, Gules a bend engrailed argent between two cinqfoils or with three leopards' heads vert upon the bend and the difference of a crescent gules. On the pilasters at the sides of the monument are the arms of the Haberdashers and the Merchant Adventurers.
In the floor of the chancel is a brass inscribed 'Here lyeth the body of Mary Rand the | daughter of Mr Thomas Sheafe of Crans | brooke & widow of George Roberts of | Brenchly Gent & after the wyfe of | Mr Ralph Rand Rector of Oxted whose | soule was surrendered by her to God | that gave it, the second daye of March | in the 72 yeare of her age Ao; Do[mini]: 1638.'
Another brass in the floor of the chancel is inscribed in memory of Joan, wife of Ralph Rand, who died 14 August 1641, aged sixty-four. On the north wall of the chancel is a brass in a marble frame to Ralph Rand, who died in 1648, aged eighty-eight. In the floor of the chancel is a stone tablet to the memory of the wife of Charles Hoskins, daughter of William Hale, who died 2 December 1651, aged forty-two, and to Charles Hoskins, son of Sir Thomas Hoskins, who died 30 September 1657, aged fifty-four. At the top of the slab is a shield of their impaled arms. In the floor of the south aisle is a sepulchral slab to Edmund, second-born son of Charles Hoskins, who died in 1676.
In the nave floor are slabs to John Hoskins and Philippa Rouse, daughter of Sir John Rouse of Henham Hall, Suffolk, bart., who both died 1712; while in the floor of the chancel are slabs to Sir William Hoskins, who died the same year, and to George Bond, son of George Bond of Ogbourne St. George, Wilts., by Elizabeth his wife, daughter of Charles Hoskins of Barrow Green. He died in 1712, Elizabeth his mother in 1728.
On the south wall of the chancel is an elaborate mural monument to William Finch, son of the Hon. William Finch. He died in 1728.
There is a peal of five bells by Richard Phelps, 1729. The fourth bell is inscribed 'Ab omni fulgure defenda nos domine Ricardus Phelps me fecit 1729,' and the tenor has the following: 'Good folks with one accord we call to hear god's word, we honour to the king and joy to brides do ring, we triumphs loudly tell & ring your last farewell R. P. Fo. 1729.'
The plate consists of a silver chalice of 1634 with a cover paten of the same date; a chalice and cover paten apparently of 18th-century date, but the hall marks are quite illegible; an embossed plate inscribed 'The Rev. Dr. Cheyney Dean of Winchester'; two silver flagons of 1765, both with the same inscription as the above plate; and a large dish of foreign make enriched with repousse work of Cupids and Bacchanals with a wreath of fruit and flowers in the centre and the inscription 'The Rev. Dr. Cheyney Dean of Winchester.' This basin has the Nuremberg saw mark. There are also a chalice and paten of 1885 which are used in the mission room.
The plate inscribed 'The Rev. Dr. Cheyney Dean of Winchester' was bequeathed to the church by Catherine daughter of John Hoskins and wife of William third Duke of Devonshire, to whom it had been left. She died in 1777.
The registers are in four books: (1) baptisms 1613 to 1682, with a gap 1603–12, marriages 1555 to 1678, with a gap 1603–52, burials 1603 to 1682; (2) all entries 1705 to 1799, marriages ending 1753; (3) marriages 1755 to 1813; (4) baptisms and burials 1800 to 1812. Baptisms and burials 1683 to 1704 and marriages 1679 to 1704 are lost.
There is a large Congregational chapel in Oxted, built in 1905. At Hurst Green is the mission church of St. Agatha. A site has been given and money is being collected for building a much needed church of larger size near Hurst Green.
A church on the manor of Oxted is mentioned in the Domesday Survey. (fn. 119) The advowson was appurtenant to that part of the manor of Oxted owned by the family of Roland of Oxted, (fn. 120) and its history follows that of the manor with the exception that in 1794 Thomas Dyke presented to the living. (fn. 121) In 1534, on the disolution of the priory of Tandridge, the prior John Lyngfield was presented to the living by Catherine Burgh, lady of the manor, (fn. 122) and he is named as rector in the Valor Ecclesiasticus. (fn. 123)
Smith's charity is distributed as in other Surrey parishes. In the church are also recorded:
1786, Mrs. Jane Linwood, £100; 1794, Mrs. Jane Piggott, £150; and 1830, Lady Bensley, £50, for the poor.
1832. Mr. William Peters, £200, for poor widows not in receipt of parish relief.
1855. Mrs. Maria Sale, £100, for the poor; no date is given in the church, but the gift was in 1855 by Charity Commission Report.
1892. Rev. C. M. McNiven, £50 to the poor, £50 to the quire, £50 to the school, £50 to the mission room, £50 to the reading room.
In 1887 a Queen Victoria Jubilee clock was put up by £100 subscriptions and £50 from Mr. George Marchant of Coltsford Mill.