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Caterham, Surrey

Historical Description

Caterham, a village and a parish in Surrey. The village stands on the S.E.R., 7 miles S by E of Croydon, and 16 from London. It has a head post office. Acreage, 2438; population of the civil parish, 7298; of the ecclesiastical, 5015. The Roman vicinal way, called Stane Street, went through the parish, and ancient works, indicative of warlike operations, are in it near a place called Warcoppice. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Rochester; value, £216. The church is mainly Early English, and was erected in 1866. The old parish church of St Lawrence, on the opposite side of the road, is now used as a Sunday school. This church probably dates from the beginning of the 14th century. The patronage and advowson of the church was banded over by King John to the abbots of Waltham, and the first rector of whose institution, there is creditable records, was Hugh de Aungeer, who was instituted in 1312. The perpetual curacy of Caterham Valley is a separate charge, and was constituted in 1866. The Warehousemen and Clerk's Orphan Asylum, usually believed to be in Caterham, but really in Beddington, was built in 1865 at a cost of about £20,000, is in the Venetian Gothic style, and has accommodation for 150 boys and girls. A fine Roman Catholic church was opened in 1881. The Metropolitan District Asylum for insane persons and imbeciles, erected in 1870, is situated in the upper part of this parish. Adjoining the asylum are barracks for the recruits of the brigade of Foot Guards.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1894-5


The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.

Ancient CountySurrey 
Ecclesiastical parishCaterham St. Lawrence 
Poor Law unionGodstone 

Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.

Church Records

The parish register dates from the year 1543., in association with Surrey History Centre, have images of the Parish Registers for Surrey online.


Church of England

St. Lawrence (parish church)

The old church of St. Lawrence, originally built in the 13th century, is in the Early English style, and has a turret containing 2 bells: it has been restored at a cost of £250, and later used as a Sunday school.

St. Mary (parish church)

The church of St. Mary, consecrated in 1866, is of flint with stone dressings, in the Early English style, and has a tower with a spire containing 8 tubular bells. A north aisle was added in 1912.


Congregational Chapel

The Congregational chapel, erected in 1866, has 450 sittings.

Congregational Chapel

The Congregational chapel at Upper Caterham, built in 1876, has seating for 150 persons.


Military Chapel

The military chapel, opened Feb. 16th, 1887, and within the area of the old brigade of foot guards' barracks, is in the Gothic style of the 13th century; it comprises a chapel for the use of Catholic soldiers, and will seat 600.

Roman Catholic

Catholic Church of the Sacred Heart

The Catholic Church of the Sacred Heart, opened in 1881 by his Eminence the late Cardinal Manning, is an edifice of Reigate, Box and Bargate stone, in the Early English style, and affords 300 sittings: a presbytery, connected with the church by a covered cloister, occupies the upper portion of the site, abutting on the main road, and a school was erected in 1881.

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Caterham from the following:


The Metropolitan District Asylum for chronically insane persons and imbeciles, erected in 1870, was situated in the upper part of the parish, adjoining Chaldon and Coulsdon, and surrounded by a farm and garden of 154 acres: the building consisted of 13 blocks and a chapel, with a detached block for infectious cases: there was a recreation hall, seating 500 persons, with a permanent stage, and a spacious cricket ground: the asylum was arranged to hold 972 males and 1,137 females, and most of the officers were resident.

Land and Property

The Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Surrey is available to browse.


Online maps of Caterham are available from a number of sites:

Newspapers and Periodicals

The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following Surrey papers online:

Visitations Heraldic

The Visitation of Surrey, 1662-1668 is available on the Heraldry page.

RegionSouth East
Postal districtCR3