Leatherhead (St. Mary and St. Nicholas)

LEATHERHEAD (St. Mary and St. Nicholas), a parish, and formerly a market-town, in the union of Epsom, Second division of the hundred of Copthorne and Effingham, W. division of Surrey, 12 miles (E. N. E.) from Guildford, and 18 (S. W. by S.) from London; containing 1740 inhabitants. This parish, anciently; called Leddrede, comprises 3507 acres, of which 416 are common or waste; it is pleasantly situated on the river Mole, over which is a bridge of fourteen arches, built of brick. The vale through which the stream flows, in its course to Reigate, is bounded on each side by a range of steep eminences, on the declivities of which are numerous elegant seats, with fine parks and plantations; and the scenery in the neighbourhood generally is highly beautiful. The trade of the town is inconsiderable: there are a tanyard and a brewery; and a fair is held on Oct. 11th, in a field to the north, chiefly for the sale of horses and pigs. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £14. 6. 0½.; patrons, the Dean and Chapter of Rochester: the great tithes have been commuted for £582, and the small for £269. The church is a cruciform structure, said to have been founded by Edward I.; the nave and aisles are in the early, the chancel in the decorated, and the tower and north transept in the later, English style: the east window is ornamented with stained glass, and there is a fine screen. Col. Drinkwater Bethune, author of the History of the Siege of Gibraltar, was buried here in 1844. The Independents have a place of worship. A free school, endowed with £30 per annum, principally from bequests by John Lucas and David White, has merged into a national school, for which a school-house was erected in 1839. Several benefactions have been made for distribution among the poor. Judge Jeffreys resided in a house in the town, now the property of Mr. Bland.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, 7th edition, published in 1848.

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