A good audience enjoyed a talk on Chertsey’s Historic Houses by Mr M Loveday, member and Chairman of The Chertsey Society for nearly 30 years. Chertsey is one of Surrey’s five historic towns, founded in AD666 with the Saxon religious foundation of Chertsey Abbey & is where Henry VI was buried. His body was later removed to St George’s Chapel, Windsor. The curfew bell in St Peter’s Church is still run nightly.
Behind the church lay the Manor House and some of the oldest houses but we heard about The Orchard, The Cedars, Denmark House, Curfew House, Eldridge’s and the four Almshouses.
Denmark House, next to The Swan was saved from demolition & The Chertsey Society was formed there. It was an inn rebuilt in 1742. Later occupants lived there with their pet crocodiles. The Cedars, nearby, is a Grade II building, but has lost a good deal of ground & its cedars. It became the Museum in 1972.
The Orchard stands on the site of the Abbey fishponds and given to the people to Chertsey by the Agar Bequest as a public library, museum, art gallery or kindred purposes. It is now held in trust by Runnymede Borough Council. The former Chertsey gasworks stood in the grounds. Eldridge’s, an elegant Georgian house, is named after the family of bell founders who moved there in 1500s.
Curfew House was The Swan in 1495, lived in by the founder of Sir William Perkins School. In the 18th Century it educated 25 each of poor boys & girls.
The Almshouses are called Willets, Giles, Chapmans, & Cowley and administered by two trusts.
Several books exist if further history information is wanted including A Chertsey Camera by D & J Barker. A fuller report will come in the printed Members newsletter at the end of February.
Last year EbRHS was awarded the Kenneth Gravett prize for the best display.
This year’s theme “Feeding the County-Agriculture in Surrey” will be a lot harder for us. Ideas and new twists on this theme are welcome as would be help is producing a display. Also come and support us at the meeting itself.
Alice Roberts visited the excavations of the theatre in London where ‘Shakespeare premiered Romeo and Juliet’ and may have appeared in person. Heather has been conducting archaeology on site.
Alice Roberts visits the excavations of the theatre in London where ‘Shakespeare premiered Romeo and Juliet’ and may have appeared in person. Heather has been conducting archaeological excavations here and can be seen talking about them tonight.
On Thursday the 24th November we heard a well researched and carefully reasoned talk by Mr Marshall giving his ideas on the origin of the Bath Road (A4). He believes it came into being in the 1200s, following a sound geological route and that it was responsible for Hounslow being founded on the boundary between Isleworth and Heston, and the growth of Maidenhead and Hungerford. The talk reflected his decades of work in Hounslow as a local history librarian and his love of its local history
Probably not many shoppers heading into the Two Rivers centre in Staines are aware that this was the site of the Staines Linoleum Company from 1864 to the late 1960s. Then it was full of buildings for boiling linseed oil, powdering cork sheet and storing bales of hessian. Lino was invented by F Walton who bought the site because it had rail access to bring heavy raw materials in and take out the finished product and water power. The 22 acre site spanned the railway leading to the epithet ‘smelly Staines’. Lino was not only plain but in geometric designs, art deco and floral patterns, illustrated in pattern books rescued after the company’s closure in the 1960s. It was fitted into houses and also hospitals and ocean liners, as it was hygienic and the pattern never wore out. Vinyl and fitted carpets caused the demise of the company. It had employed several thousand people with a flourishing Social & Sports Club. The talk was well illustrated with many old photos, some rescued with the pattern books
Each year the Local History Committee of Surrey Archaeological Society hold a one day conference on a particular theme.
This year it was Change and continuity in Church and Chapel in Surrey.
Societies are encouraged to bring displays and this year EbRHS won the Kenneth Gravett Award for the best display.
Jill Williams is seen receiving the award from Professor G Moss.