Domesday Send & Newark Priory
Send was first recorded as ‘Sendan’ in a charter of 960 and according to the Domesday Survey was owned by a man by the name of Karl before 1066. At the time of the survey (1086) Alfred of Marlborough had been granted the manor by William I, but he had evidently sub-let at least part of it to a man called Reginald. The entry records that the manor ‘answered for twenty hides’ – a ‘hide’ originally being the amount of land that one family could farm in a year (roughly 120 acres). It should be noted, however, that in Domesday the figures represent the ‘value’ of the land and not necessarily the number of farms or acreage of land. Indeed it goes on to say that there was land for ten ploughs with two ploughs being held by the lord.
Domesday does not record population, but it does record the taxable heads of households, although in Send’s case this is somewhat confusing. On one line it mentions eight slaves, with fourteen villagers and ten smallholders also recorded, but later it records a further seven slaves, one villager and sixteen smallholders! The latter numbers may apply to another part of the manor (Ripley?) which was held from Alfred by Herbert (who apparently answered for nine hides) and Walter (one hide ‘of the villagers land’).
Perhaps surprisingly Domesday also notes the number of pigs (160) in the area (or at least the taxable number of pigs that the woodland in the manor could support) and the value of the fisheries (of which there were five) with a total yearly value of 54d.!
The survey also contains the first reference to the church at Send and records two mills – one valued at 21s.6d. the other just 2s.! At least one of these mills was probably on the site of Newark Mill – the 17th century mill that burnt down in the 1960’s.
The mill at Newark was part of the estate given to the Augustinian monks that founded the ‘new-work’ in the meadows nearby in the late 12th century. There is some confusion as to where the ‘old-work’ (or Aldebury) was, but it is generally accepted that the Chancel of Ripley Church is probably the original, small, wayside monastery before the monks were granted the ‘Hamme de Papworth’ by Ruald de Calna and Beatrice de Sandes about 1189.
The priory appears to have been built soon after this and an excavation in the 1920’s reveals that the whole monastery was built more or less in one go, with very few additions and alterations up to the time it was dissolved in 1539. That seems to suggest that either it was very well built in the first place or (perhaps more likely) that the monastery was so poor the monks could not afford to add or improve the original buildings.
Having said that Newark was granted land by several benefactors with a charter of 1320 recording property in London, Middlesex and Hampshire, as well as properties closer to home at Godalming, Guildown, and Puttenham as well as the chapels at Woking, Horsell, Pyrford, Leigh, St. Martha’s, Wanborough, Weybridge, and Windlesham.
A commission in 1501 found that the annual rents of assize amounted to about 300 marks (and that the house was not in debt), although the exact figure could not be ascertained as the Prior was absent on pilgrimage at the time!
Of course that commission was nothing like the next survey made in 1535 upon the orders of Henry VIII to find the value of all the monasteries prior to the dissolutions of ‘minor houses’ in 1536. Newark , valued at £258 11s. 11½d was over the £200 limit and therefore survived, until 1539 when the Priory ‘surrendered’ and the monks all took their ‘pensions’.
The local ‘legend’ that the monks were ‘martyred’ in Martyrs Lane , Woodham, whilst fleeing to Chertsey Abbey is untrue. For starters Chertsey was dissolved before Newark and the lane is actually named after the Martyr family, who farmed that area in Victorian times! It is also untrue that Cromwell bombarded the Priory from the hill by Pyrford Church . After Newark was dissolved Sir Anthony Browne (who owned Byfleet Manor), was appointed ‘farmer for the crown’ and it was probably he who instigated the removal of all the lead and dressed stone (some say to rebuild Byfleet Manor House), using other materials for road repairs and other building works in the area. The site was only saved from complete destruction in the 1760s when ‘Speaker Onslow’ stopped the site from being robbed any more.
The ‘ Portsmouth Road ’ and the Development of Ripley
The first reference to Ripley is from the late 12th century when it appears the village first started to develop at the crossroads of the road from Kingston to Guildford and the lane from Pyrford ( Newark Lane ) to the North Downs at Clandon.
In later years the main road through the village became an important coaching route to Portsmouth , with cyclists enjoying the route in Victorian and Edwardian times before it became the A3 and heavily congested with motorised traffic. Fortunately the village is bypassed, although a fair amount of traffic still drives through the centre on the way to (or from) the Wisley/Ockham junction.
It is from the days as a coaching centre that Ripley gained it prosperity with several old buildings in the village being former public houses (not to mention the ones that still are)!
Footbridge House (the first property you come to in Ripley if coming from the A3 roundabout at Ockham) was in the 18th century an inn call the White Hart – a name that was to be given to another property in the village (now occupied by Sage Interiors – once also known as the Spread Eagle).
Ripley’s second public house (from a geographical point of view) was where Hartley’s Antiques is today. It was recorded in 1544 as the ‘Angel’, but in later years is referred to as the ‘Three Mariners’ (a nautical theme often taken up by Ripley pubs vying for the naval trade on this busy route to Portsmouth ).
Almost as old at the Angel was the ‘Tabut’ or Talbot that was first recorded in the manorial court books of 1580 when a George Stanton was fined for ‘being a common innkeeper’ and ‘taking excessive profit’, whilst a later landlord was fined for holding ‘illicit games’ at the inn. The building is slightly later (dating from the early 17th century) and was obviously one of the finest of Ripley’s many coaching inns. The new front was added in the 18th century, hiding the older timber-framed structure behind.
The building on the corner with White Horse Lane was another inn (no prizes for guessing what it was called), which opened in about 1745 and closed in about 1853. It was at that time that Ripley had really began to decline with the coach trade mainly transferred to the railway that now went through Woking and down to Guildford.
The Half Moon is now opposite, but although some claim it dates back to the mid 18th century the first reference appears to be in the census of 1881 with the present building dating from the early 20th century.
The Ship Inn, down the road, is 18th century with documents recording ‘the sign of the ship’ in 1732. One unfortunate incident at this hostelry is recorded in the Surrey Advertiser in 1870 where it is reported that a William Wapshot ‘was poisoned by beer in the Ship’!
Ripley’s other ‘nautical’ public house – The Anchor – probably dates back as a building to the early 1500s, although the first reference to the pub is from 1677, whilst other public houses in the village that have disappeared include the Red Lion (formerly the White Hart) in what is now The Georgian House (which is actually 17th century not Georgian) and perhaps confusingly The George in what is now Cedar House. It too is early 17th century although there was an inn on the site in Tudor times when fresh horses could be hired at 1d a mile!
As well as the former pubs, Ripley was well blessed with various shops and trades.
Richardson ’s Stores is one of the oldest buildings in the area, dating from the mid 1400’s. It is also one of the oldest stores along with ‘Green’s Stores’ up the road. It was set up by Stephen Green, a cordwainer, who in 1837 started a ‘boot and shoe factory’ in the village. Later the shop sold clothing and household goods, remaining in the Green family for almost a century before it was sold to the Wyllie family in 1935.
The village also had its fair share of bakers, with the house called ‘Farrs’ (built in 1812) and Hartleys Antiques once being bakeries, as well as the present Watsons Bakery - parts of which date back to the 17th century when documents record the site owned by a ‘miller and baker’.
The village also appears to have had more than its fair share of educational establishments in Victorian times, with Elm Tree House being advertised in many directories as ‘Mrs. Gall’s Seminary for Young Ladies’, with the original Ryde House School, founded by Thomas Marriott Berridge about 1860, next door. Yew Tree House, almost opposite, served as a sanatorium for Ryde House School for many years.
In Rose Lane is Ripley Court School , still going strong after more than 100 years, with the original ‘village school’ (built in 1861) now used by the British Legion.
Grove Heath, Send Marsh & Send Grove – the ‘Outlying’ Areas of the Village
Although a church was mentioned at the time of the Domesday Survey the oldest part of the present structure – the chancel – dates from about 1200, with the Nave being rebuilt in about 1475 (with ‘recycled’ stonework from the 13th century and possibly older). The tower too is 15th century with the porch described in the guidebooks as ‘early Tudor’.
Part of the Horsham Stone roof still survives at the lower levels, but most have been replaced by lighter tiles over the years.
Send Court Farm, near the church, was originally what is known as an ‘open-hall’ house – in other words it didn’t have a chimney and the smoke from the fire in the centre of the main hall of the house was allowed to drift up and out through the thatch (or tiles) of the roof. It was probably built in the late 15th century but in about 1520 the open hall was partially floored over and a ‘smoke bay’ inserted to help confine the smoke from the fire. In the 17th century the old service wing of the house was pulled down and a new cross wing put in its place. It was probably at this time that the chimney was added.
Send Grove Farm is a large property dating from the mid 18th century, but was enlarged in 1810. In the grounds, however, is an earlier house dating from about 1520, which was also an open-hall house. This may have been the original residence but in the 17th century was turned into outbuildings and has been preserved almost unchanged as ‘the garden house’. The Lodge, up the road, is also 16th century, but was ‘restored’ in the 18th century when a chimney was probably added into its open hall.
The name ‘Send Marsh’ appears to be a relatively new one, as the village green in the centre of the village was known as ‘Cooks Green’ before the 19th century. The ‘Manor House’, on the green, is also a modern name dating from the same period, although the house itself is much older. It dates from at least the 16th century with the magnificent front being added in the 17th century and a massive rear section being added in Victorian times - making it look like a manorial home, when in fact it never was.
Other old properties around the green include Old Manor Cottage, April Cottage and Corner Cottage, all timber-framed buildings dating from the 15th or 16th centuries and all now listed buildings
‘Aldertons’ on the road to Mays Corner is also a listed building, formerly part of Boughton Hall Farm and dating (in part) from about 1450 when it was a simple ‘open-hall’ house. The complex of additions and outbuildings are far from ‘simple’ now, making Aldertons one of the most desirable properties in the village.
Boughton Hall now is mainly a Victorian property but the site itself goes back to medieval times, with the remains of an ancient moated site to the south of the house (towards the Boughton Hall Estate).
The house was used during the First World War for Prisoners of War (employed on drainage schemes in the area), a roll it revived during the Second World War.
This area was originally a small hamlet of just nine houses on either side of Grove Heath Lane , but has now spread to include much new development on the old Portsmouth Road between Ripley and Send Marsh.
Most of the old buildings date from the early 19th century, although Pipers Cottage is a timber framed house dating from the late 16th century and the name ‘Catherinehams’ goes back over 300 years in the history books of the area.
The Wey Navigation and the Development of Send Heath
The building of the Wey Navigation in the mid 17th century brought about some limited development on what had previously been part of Send Heath.Towards Papercourt a new tannery was opened before 1717 whilst at Worsfold Gates the Navigation Company built their workshops.
The ‘lock’ at Worsfold is almost unique. As it is only closed at times of flood the paddles on the two sets of gates still use the original ‘peg and hole’ method whereas most of the others have been converted to the modern winch system. The old paddles had to be levered up by means of a crowbar so that the peg could be put in place – easy to do here where there is little water pressure on the paddle, but extremely hard work on a ‘normal’ lock!
The name ‘Worsfold’ probably comes from John Worsfold who was apparently one of the original labourers on the construction of the waterway. In 1671 he made a claim against the Navigation of £60 ‘for work done in repairing the banks of the river at a rate of 5 shillings per week’. He was not the only one, further up stream at Sutton Green a William Trigg also put in a claim for unpaid work, presumably near the lock that bears his family name.
There was a small wharf at both locks, but the main one for Send Heath was by High Bridge at the end of Wharf Lane . The wharf by Cartbridge was apparently mainly used for trade to Old Woking, although of course goods could be taken by cart over the bridge into the village!
Beside the bridge was a public house called the ‘New Inn’, but it was not the public house that currently bears that name. In fact it was the white house on the opposite side of Send Road.
There was a pub on the present New Inn site, but that was known as the ‘Free Trader’.
From the records it appears that it was built in the early 1820’s by George Bowers, who had previously run the Half Moon in Ripley. It was later owned by Joseph Oldfield of the West Surrey Brewery in Old Woking, and was sold by them in 1878 to Lascelles Tickner’s Brewery in Guildford . By that stage it had acquired the name the ‘New Inn’ – probably adopting the name sometime in the late 1850’s when the ‘old’ New Inn closed down.
The whole story is further complicated by the fact that a former landlord of the ‘old’ New Inn (David Hughes) went on to run another public house just up the road from the ‘new’ New Inn – a pub that in later years was known as ‘Uncle Toms Cabin’.
A book entitled ‘An Oarsman’s Guide’, written in the late 1850s, and published by Searle and Sons ‘Boat-builders to Her Majesty’ records that there ‘were two or three beds to be found at the New Inn Public House’, but adds ‘Uncle Tom’s Cabin is recommended for beer’!
The census returns of 1861 and 1871 record Mary Ann Hill of Shoreditch as Landlady, but after 1881 (when Charles and Mary Covey were the publicans) the pub disappears from the records.
One of the first ‘public’ buildings to be built in what has become the village centre of Send was the Church Room built in 1894. Before then villagers in the new community that was rapidly expanding on the former heath had to walk to St Mary’s at Send Grove. As the Vicar noted in the parish magazine, on cold winter nights the attendance at church was considerably reduced, but with the new building ‘previous excuses for absence – will now be tested’!
The other main ‘public’ building was the Village Institute which had originally been set up in ‘Uncle Toms Cabin’ in the mid 1880’s, before moving to Nos 85-86 Send Road and then, in 1911, to the present building, designed by Mr Charles Tice.
Arthur Henry Lancaster, a retired paint merchant, who lived at Sendholme in Potters Lane , paid for the building. His house was formerly the home of Sir Joseph Leese, a barrister and Liberal M.P. (for Accrington in Lancashire 1892-1909) and Recorder for Manchester from 1893. It was built in 1871-2 by George Davey, a Victorian architect well known for his imaginative restoration and enlargements of old 16th and 17th farmhouses.
Market Gardens and Mineral Extraction
The people of Send had always had the right to take sand and gravel off of the heath, but only for their own use. Some of the small lakes and ponds around the village could be the result of this activity, but the large lakes off Potters Lane were formed by sand and gravel extraction by Stephen Spooner, a local nurseryman and gardener who was probably one of the first to commercially extract the materials in the late 1890s. His first pits were off Wharf Lane (where Sanger Drive is today), but later he moved his operations into Potters Lane where his rhubarb fields had once been!
During the Second World War the ponds were apparently used by the army to test amphibious vehicles!
The larger pits at Send Marsh were begun in the 1920s by Athertons of Woking who were the first in the area to use mechanical diggers.
The Send Marsh area was also the home of the British Poultry Development Company, which was owned by Gordon Stewart of Send Manor, and operated from sheds and buildings behind the house on the village green. The place was also the site in the 1930’s of kennels where over 150 Great Danes were bred (hence the name of ‘Danesfield’ for a recent development in the area).
The market gardens were also well established in the area between the two world wars, with Samuel Boorman (of Heath Farm) supplying Peas, Raspberries and other produce to Crosse & Blackwells, with carts taking the produce to Clandon Station (rather than Woking). During the Second World War Mr Secrett (Mr Boorman’s successor) employed Land Girls and POW’s, as well as many Gypsy’s and migrant workers, building huts on the fields towards Mays Corner to house them.
Local Shops and Commerce
Whilst Ripley developed on the main road to Portsmouth with coaching inns and shops, Send’s shops and commerce only really started to develop in the late Victorian times with the ‘new’ village on the former heath. Shops soon developed on street corners with ‘Webbs General Stores and Bakery’ (later Lemons Stores or Gladdings Stores) being established on the corner of Potters Lane and Send Road , and at the other end of the village ‘May’s Stores’ being built on the corner with Send Marsh Lane . Both have now gone and have been replaced by modern houses and flats.
The Post Office was established in the village by Thomas Lucas in 1907, who later sold the shop to the ‘Surrey Trading Co.’ who ran it until the 1920’s. Later more shops were built opposite (on the corner with Sandy Lane ), and after the 2nd World War the new shops were built opposite Wharf Lane (where another corner shop – now the funeral directors, was also established).
There were no shops at Send Grove, but at Send Marsh there was a small village stores and the local pubic house, The Sadlers Arms. The name comes from the fact that in the 1870’s James Broomfield was a ‘saddler and harness maker’ whilst his wife, Emma, is recorded as the ‘beerhouse keeper’. Their son, also called James, eventually took over the business and branched out into making boot and shoes, later opening a shop in Send Road.
The Jovial Sailor is also in Send Marsh, although its history is more linked with the coaching trade that prompted the development of Ripley, rather than the more ‘rural’ development of the rest of the Send Marsh area.