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Esher (St. George)

ESHER (St. George), a parish, in the union, and partly in the hundred, of Kingston, E. division, but chiefly in the Second division of the hundred of Elmbridge, W. division, of Surrey, 3¾ miles (S. W.) from Kingston: containing 1261 inhabitants. It comprises 2075 acres, whereof 799 are pasture, 407 arable, and the remainder chiefly gardens and houses: the soil is principally sand, but with a mixture of sand and some clay. In this parish are situated the mansions of Claremont and Esher Place. The former, well known as the seat of the Princess Charlotte, is the property of the King of the Belgians; it was frequently the residence of the Queen in her younger days, and has been occasionally since Her Majesty's accession to the throne. The latter was the place to which Cardinal Wolsey retired when he fell into disgrace, but there are no remains of his palace, with the exception of the gateway flanked with towers, which forms an exceedingly picturesque object from the grounds. The scenery is highly interesting, being enriched with mansions and seats of the first order. There is a fair for horses on September 4th. A station on the London and South-Western railway is situated near the village. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £9. 18. 4.; net income, £400; patron, Henry John Pye, Esq., who appoints, if possible, a kinsman of the founder of Wadham College, Oxford. The church is neatly fitted up, and contains at the east end a highly finished painting of Our Saviour by Sir Robert Ker Porter, who presented it to the parish in 1837, and whose mother was for some time a resident here. Adjoining Esher Common, an hospital or priory was founded in the reign of Henry II., the site of which is now called Sandon Farm.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, seventh edition, published 1858.