Sunday, 5 February 2017

M25 Merstham Station



Post to the east Merstham Rockshaw Road
Post to the south Redhill Brook Merstham
Post to the west Merstham Centre



Ashcombe Road
The road name could relate to Herbert Ashcombe Walker, at that time General Manager of Southern Region. The road is built along the line of a road descending into a quarry,
Houses. In 1930 20 terraced houses here were built by the Southern Region of British Railways to provide accommodation for its employees.

Brook Road
Brook Road Open Space. Recreation ground with play facilities etc.

Church Hill
St. Katharine's Church. This was originally a wooden church built on a knoll of Merstham firestone which was replaced around 1100, after the first Crusade. It is dedicated to Katharine a Christian Martyr and princess from Alexandria. In an alcove is a figure of her holding the wheel on which she was tortured. The font, and a few stones are all that remain of this church. Around 1220 a new Early English Church replaced it built of the greyish-green Merstham stone. The church was ‘restored’ in 1861 and again in 1875. The church tower is said to have a centre arch built with stone from old London Bridge..  . There is a memorial tablet to Lt. George Jolliffe, R.N., killed at the battle of the Nile. The mosaic floor of the north chapel was the work of Constance Kent in prison for murder. There is a memorial plaque to the dead of the Great War and the Second World War, including civilian dead.
Lych gate. This was made from the remains of Merstham Windmill, dismantled because of railway building in 1896. The tapering cast iron octagonal windshaft is the central  support and on either side are two peak millstones, faceworking side uppermost. This lychgate was given by the Stacey family in 1897.
Grave yard. Tombstone of Henry Hoof contractor on London to  Brighton Railway. There is a detailed memorial to Edward Banks - picture of London Bridge which he built and hus tomb us maintained by Bridge House Estates.

Delabole Road
Furzefield Primary School. Presumably this was built with the estate, post Second World War.

Furzefield Wood
Nature conservation area and woodland used as a local community resource. (the main part is in the square to the east)

Heronswood Mere
(the main part is in the square to the east)

High Street
Merstham Baptist Church. The first chapel was built in 1874 on the site of two derelict cottages bty Redhill Baptist Chapel using stone quarried from Nutfield and Reigate Hill. This remained in use until 1958 when it was demolished. The site is now a shop.
Millennium Clock erected in December 1999 on the corner of School Hill.

London Road North
London Road was part of the Croydon and Reigate turnpike set up in 1818 with a tollgate in the High Street.
St. Katherine’s New Graveyard. This is on the other side of the road from the church and maintained by the local authority.
Merstham Mill. A mill is listed here in Domesday. It is however undocumented until 1784 and by 1801 when water supply problems had begun to result from local quarrying. This was a water mill on a stream or leat which is said to have run from springs on Marlin Glen above Gatton Bottom to form the Merstham brook, a tributary of the Mole. At Merstham there was a large mill pond on the west side of London Road. Eventually it fell out of use and was demolished in 1938. The M25 now runs through the site and there are no remains.
Railway Pub,.

London Road South
War Memorial. This is on the corner with School Lane. It is a granite Celtic cross with names from the Great War on the front and the Second World War on the left hand side. The Inscription says "Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God" .In memory of the men of Merstham who laid down their lives for their country in the Great War. To the memory of those who gave their lives for their country 3rd Sept 1939-15th Aug. 1945,

M25A footbridge carries a footpath from Malmstone Avenue across the M25
Drainage adit. At the northern end of the footbridge is said to be the ext to a drainage adit for Merstham Greystone Lime Works. This was built in 1810 under the Rockshaw Ridge to take water off to the south and to help prevent funding.  It ran for  half a mile but the water table restricted the length of the mine into the hill. It was the removal of this water which led to the Merstham water mill closing. It has been blocked since the 1820s.

Malmstone Avenue
Named after a firestone, known locally as Malm Stone, which was quarried in the area.
Merstham Bund. This is a massive earth bank built to shield Merstham from the noise of motorway traffic and it runs parallel to Malmstone Avenue. It is managed as a nature reserve and community resource.

Railway
There are a number of railway lines in Merstham and there have been more. One line serves the station and another through line bypasses it. There have also been numerous sidings and branch lines to serve the quarries
Merstham Station. The first station called Merstham was to the south (in a square to the south) and was served by both South Eastern and London and Brighton trains, who were in dispute. It existed 1841-1844.
Merstham Station. The present building dates from 1844 and was built by the South Eastern Railway.. The up side booking office was rebuilt in late 1980s and the footbridge dates 1905. This station was not used by London Brighton and South Coast Railway trains which passed through it until after the creation of the Southern Railway in 1923. These trains were on the South Eastern line to Dover.
Quarry Line. The sharing of the line to Brighton through Merstham  caused a great deal of friction between the South Eastern Railway  and the London Brighton and South Coast Railway . Eventually the London to Brighton got Parliamentary approval to build a line through here which bypassed South Eastern stations, including Merstham, this becae known as the Quarry Line. It runs parallel to the original line to the east.
Sidings. In the Second World War sidings were added between the station and the 'Quarry Line' used for goods trains. In the 1970s a siding was added for the construction of the M23 and M25, There was also a coal yard parallel to the west side of the line in an area which is now the station car park.
Land between the lines. This is a tract of derelict land, with chalk spoil tips deposited there as a result of the excavation of the tunnels and cuttings.  The lines went round some existing pits and one of these is now the site of railway housing in Ashcombe Road.  North of the station is an area of workshops and there is also some car parking, Archaeologists found a small section of quarry between the two railway lines west of Football Field. Also note an area known as Windmill Field (see below)
Merstham Signal Box. This was on the downside  platform. It was opened 1905 and built to a traditional design. It was thought to be to the top of an earlier cabin built onto a new brick base. In 1983 it was replaced by a panel in the Redhill 'A' Signal Box and later by the Area Signalling Centre at Crawley
Sidings to Greystone Lime Works. A standard gauge railway siding left the western main line just north of Merstham Station and crossed the eastern main line immediately in front of its tunnel portal. It then ran into the Greystone Lime pits through a cutting. It is said that the abutments of the bridge in front of the tunnel portal are till in place and that the track can still be partly traced.
Siding. Another siding ran south east  from the Lime Works siding soon after it left the main line. This ran to another quarry. By the early 20th this area had become a rifle range.(see note on Stonefield below)

Rockshaw Road
The road was formed in the 1880s when houses were first advertised and built there.
Windmill., This was built in 1756 and stood on the north side of the road.. At the end of the 19th it was disused and in a state of disrepair and it was on the line of a planned railway. It was demolished in 1896. Local children left school early to watch it coe down. Some of the wood was used in the church lychgate, as were some of the stones. Other stones are elsewhere in the area
Windmill Field. A quarry existed here before 1900. A part of the field survives between the railways and some workings were discovered and explored by Croydon Caving Club, east of the Quarry Line, which they called Potato Field Mine, This is thought to hafe been a surface quarry worked in 1839 which later developed to the north into underground galleries some of which have survived on either side of the Quarry Line.
Stone Field. In the 1860s a siding ran eastwards from the limeworks siding to a quarry mouth on the northern edge of the field and lasted until the Quarry Line was built in 1899.. Stone field is said to be east of Windmill Field. Some underground workings may underlie this area but it may also have been an open work site for the extraction of hearth stone.

School Hill
This follows the line of the old pre-turnpike route from Merstham to Reigate
8 The Golden Wheel. Small timber-framed cottage refaced with plaster and some timbering visible, There is a shop window on the front. This was once a dairy or a tea shop and a wheel hung outside on a pub type gantry.  The wheel now appears to be fixed to the front of the house.
8 The Limes 18th house in red brick


Station Road North
Bellway House. Offices and yard for housing developer.
Merstham Village Club. Merstham Village Club is a private members club that was founded after the Great War. Membership is open to Merstham residents..
Village Hall,. This was built in the 1920s
Fire Station. This is now an upholstery business although the words ‘Fire Station” remain on the building. It appears to have been a humble building probably converted from a previous use.
Telephone Exchange – still in use


Sources
Bayliss, Retracing the First Public Railway
British Listed Buildings. Web site   
Bygone Kent
London Transport. Country walks
Merstham Village Hall. Web site
Merstham History. Web site
Merstham Village Club. Web site
Moore. History of Redhill
Old Reigate. Web site
Penguin. Surrey
Pevsner. Surrey
Reigate and Banstead Council. Web site
Rockshaw Road. Web site
Stidder. Watermills of Surrey.
Surrey County Council. Web site
Surrey Fire Service Museum. Web site
Surrey Industrial Archaeology
War Memorials. Web site
Wealden Cave and Mine Society. Web sitej
Wheatley and Meulenkamp. Follies
Wikipedia. As appropriate

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