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Merstham, Surrey

Historical Description

Merstham, a village and a parish in Surrey. The village has a station on the S.E.R., 19 miles from London, and 3 NE of Reigate. It has a post, money order, and telegraph office under Red Hill. Acreage of parish, 2599; population, 937. The manor was given in 1018 by Ethelstan, son of Ethelred II., to Christchurch, Canterbury, and remained with it till the dissolution. Merstham House is the seat of Lord Hylton. A peculiar kind of stone has been quarried in the parish from a very early period; was once esteemed of so much importance as to be kept under the control of the Crown; was used in the erection of Henry VIII. 's chapel at Westminster, and of some parts of Windsor Castle; is a greyish green arenaceous limestone, lying under a grey calcareous marl; is soft at removal from the quarry, but acquires hardness by exposure; resists heat so remarkably as to be characterized as fire-stone; and is now used chiefly for hearths and furnaces. Chalk rock abounds, is calcined to be used as lime, and was formerly worked on a large scale. A tunnel of the London and Brighton railway, 1820 yards long, occurs immediately N of the village. The parish was traversed by the ancient Pilgrim's road to Canterbury. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Rochester; net value, £330 with residence. Patron, the Archbishop of Canterbury. The church stands on a knoll among fine old trees at the E end of the village, includes some Early English portions but is mainly Later English, shows the palm leaf, the mark of the early crusade, among the decorations of its chancel-arch, and contains a curious double piscina of Decorated character, a square Norman font, some excellent stained glass, notably the E endwindow, four brasses from 1472, and some handsome monuments to the Jolliffe family. There is a Baptist chapel. A spring breaks out in wet seasons in a pool at the foot of the church-knoll, and very deep wells, one of them 210 feet deep, occur in various parts, the water of which is excellent.

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 parishMerstham St. Catherine 
Poor Law unionReigate 

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

Church Records, in association with Surrey History Centre, have images of the Parish Registers for Surrey online.

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Merstham from the following:

Land and Property

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


Online maps of Merstham 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.

DistrictReigate and Banstead
RegionSouth East
Postal districtRH1
Post TownRedhill