Bletchingley or Blechingley, Surrey
Bletchingley or Blechingley, a village and a parish in Surrey. The village stands on an eminence, adjacent to one of the sources of the Medway river, near the Roman vicinal way, 3 miles E of Redhill junction station on the L.B. & S.C.R., and 5 E by N of Reigate, and has a post, money order, and telegraph office under Redhill. It claims to have been a place of ancient importance, is said to have once possessed seven churches, contains some picturesque old liouses, and sent members to Parliament from the time of Edward I. till disfranchised by the Act of 1832. It formerly had a weekly market. The parish includes also the hamlet of Ham Farm. Acreage, 5621; population of civil parish, 1882; of the ecclesiastical, 1746. The manor belonged at one time to the Clares, and passed to the Mordaunts, the Howards, and others. A castle on it, belonging to Gilbert de Clare, Earl of Gloucester, was destroyed in 1263 by the royal forces, but was afterwards restored, and the foundations of it may still be seen in the grounds of Castle Hill. Earl Godwin is said to have retreated to Bletchingley after the overwhelming of his fine Kentish manors by the sea, and to have lived there in great state; but he does not appear to have had any property there. Traces of a Roman villa under White Hill were discovered in 1813, and very many Roman coins have been found. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Rochester; net value, £716 with residence, in the gift of Emmanuel College, Cambridge. The church is Early English with traces of Norman; consists of nave, south aisle, and double chancel, with a tower; had once a wooden spire, 160 feet high; and contains some splendid monuments. It was well restored in 1870. There are Wesleyan and Congregational chapels, and some alms-houses. Archbishop Herring and Bishop Thomas were rectors.
The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.
|Ecclesiastical parish||Bletchingley St. Mary|
|Poor Law union||Godstone|
Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.
There is a cemetery of 5 acres in extent, with a mortuary chapel, under the control of the Parish Council.
The parish register dates from the year 1538.
Ancestry.co.uk, in association with Surrey History Centre, have images of the Parish Registers for Surrey online.
Church of England
St. Mary (parish church)
The church of St. Mary, an edifice of stone, dating from the early part of the 13th century, has a tower containing a clock and 8 bells: the interior was thoroughly restored in 1870, and the exterior partly restored in 1906 at a cost of about £1,300, and again in 1910 at a cost of £1,500; the church affords 500 sittings.
The Congregational chapel erected in 1830, has 90 sittings.
Society of Friends
Society of Friends Meeting Room
For general information about Civil Registration (births, marriages and deaths) see the Civil Registration page.
Directories & Gazetteers
We have transcribed the entry for Bletchingley or Blechingley from the following:
- Samuel Lewis' A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, seventh edition, published 1858. (Bletchingley (St. Mary))
Land and Property
The Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Surrey is available to browse.
Online maps of Bletchingley or Blechingley are available from a number of sites:
- Bing (Current Ordnance Survey maps).
- Google Streetview.
- National Library of Scotland. (Old maps)
- old-maps.co.uk (Old Ordnance Survey maps to buy).
- Streetmap.co.uk (Current Ordnance Survey maps).
- A Vision of Britain through Time. (Old maps)
Newspapers and Periodicals
The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following Surrey papers online:
The Visitation of Surrey, 1662-1668 is available on the Heraldry page.