The village and most of the parish of Esher sit on the only considerable elevation of Bagshot Sand east of the Mole Valley and so are picturesque, dry and favourite locations for houses. In 1839 Pigot and Company’s Directory said of Esher that, ‘as a place of business, it is not to be regarded: but as one where nature and art have delighted to wantonly and harmoniously unite to deck its neighbourhood, it cannot but be noted’.

The original house and famous landscape gardens at Claremont were designed by Sir John Vanbrugh for the Duke of Newcastle in the early 18th century. Later, Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown built the present Palladian mansion for Clive of India and landscaped the grounds. In the 19th century Claremont was the royal residence of Princess Charlotte and Prince Leopold of the Belgians and played an important part in the early years of Queen Victoria’s reign.

The village centre first served the large houses in the neighbourhood and grew as Victorian and later development took place, initially near to the main road and Green and later in the more widespread residential estates. Christ Church (click the link to see the Historic Environment Record for the church) and the adjoining school were built in 1853 and 1859 respectively.

Click here to see the catalogue of the Christ Church, Esher, Parish Records (1686-1901) held at the Surrey History Centre.

At the southern end of the High Street and around the Green there remain several buildings of interest, and of particular note is St. George’s Chapel, (click the link to see the Historic Environment Record for the chapel) built in 1540 and now used as a meeting hall. It contains many features of interest and includes the Newcastle Pew, a small chapel built for the family of the Duke of Newcastle in 1725-6.

Esher, St George's Church, 1912 Photographic Survey and Record of Surrey no. 8957

Esher, St George’s Church, 1912
Photographic Survey and Record of Surrey no. 8957

Esher is also home to Sandown Park racecourse.

Further information

Search...Search for records related to Esher on this website

  • Esher District Local History Society website

7 thoughts on “Esher”

  1. C. Kingston says:

    Esher as we know it was in fact founded by the English/Saxons. It was and still is an indigenous English settlement. ‘Anglo-Saxon’ is a misguided and misdirected academic name for we the actual English. That is those of us who are of English stock/ethnicity. We (our nation) did not suddenly disappear after 1066, we still by far made up the majority of the population of England. (remember the English (Angles/Saxons/Jutes) named England after themselves/their shared ethnic and cultural name, England, Land of the English) ..the Normans only making about 2%.

    We also recognized ourselves as being of English stock and ethnicity, and were calling ourselves English long before 1066.

    You will find the majority of Surrey’s place-names are English. Our early English language being used to denote and create these names. Of course some names of were later of Norman addition or Norman add ons to existing English place-names.

  2. Jas Singh says:

    Please advise where the name “esher” came from.
    Who was it named after and what does it mean.

  3. Shirley Hawley says:

    Someone on Facebook was asking about the Goods Shed at Esher Railway Station. The Goods Shed is still there (It was owned by Eagle Company when I worked at the station in 1987) the track was taken up in Feb 1962. Can someone pass this on please. SH

  4. Stewart Watt says:

    In the 4th episode of the World at War they show the preparations for an expected German invasion. There is film showing railway station signs being removed and they show the removal of the sign for Esher West and then the overpainting of Esher at Sandown. Where was Esher West in 1940?

    1. John says:

      Looking in to this Stewart it appears that Esher West was the name of a signal box on the line (to distinguish it from Esher East which was added to handle increased capacity/complexity). There is a similar Getty Images photo of the signs being replaced at Esher – presumably, TV and photography crews were there on the same day these preparatory defensive actions took place.

  5. Christine Hearne says:

    I have been trying to locate Warren Gate Lodge, Lower Green, Esher, which was lived in from 1910 to 1924 by William Henry Hargreaves and his wife. He was the assistant manager of the Sandown Park Racecourse. I have found a Warren Lodge Drive in Kingswood and a Warren Lodge Hotel in Shepperton, but neither really seems to be right. Was Warren Gate the name of one of the entrances into the racecourse, and therefore the lodge close to hand?
    Does anyone know of such an address?
    I live in Australia and can only access what is available online, so any assistance would be greatly appreciated.
    Best regards, Christine

    1. Hi Christine,
      Have you tried looking at old maps for example or the Lower Green Esher website ?



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