After the murder of Thomas aBecket in Canterbury in 1170, the ancient track which ran across southern England from Winchester to Canterbury, passing through Gatton Park and between Merstham village and the church took on new importance and became known as Pilgrims Way.

Merstham is located 3 miles north-east of Reigate and 6 miles south-west of Croydon. St Katherine’s parish church stands isolated on the north side of the village and dates back to c.13th century. The registers of baptisms, marriages and burials date from 1538. All Saints, South Merstham, parish church, was formed in 1899 out of Merstham civil parish.

The earliest documentary reference to Merstham, although under a variety of spellings, occurs c.669AD, when the Bishop of London granted 20 hides of land to the abbey of Chertsey.

The earliest reference to the ancient church appears in the Domesday Survey of 1086. At the time of the survey Merstham Manor was held by the Archbishop of Canterbury for clothing the monks. In 1539 the manor was surrendered to Henry VIII.

Click here to see the catalogue of the St Katharine, Merstham,  Parish Records (1538-1931) held at the Surrey History Centre.

In 1349 the Black Death visited England and caused the loss of many lives in each village. This increased the value of the remaining labour resulting eventually in improved conditions and the possibility for some to purchase their own land.

William Jolliffe purchased Merstham Manor in 1788 and built the great house west of Merstham. He was succeeded by his son Hylton in 1802. The house was demolished c.1834 and sold to Lord Monson.

Click here to see a gallery of Hassell watercolours of Mestham, including one of Reverand Jolliffe’s house, painted in 1821.

From early times chalk was extracted from pits on the northern side of Merstham and processed into lime, which was used as fertiliser on the land. It was later also used as mortar in stone and brick buildings. Sandstone was also extracted from Merstham quarries and used in the construction of the church and also in important building such as Windsor Castle, Westminster Abbey and old London Bridge.

The first narrow gauge public railway, which was horse drawn, was built early in the 19th century, to provide more efficient means of transporting stone to Croydon and on to London. It ran between Croydon and Merstham. In 1837 it was taken over by the London to Brighton Railway Company and later became the main London to Brighton public rail line.

Key buildings and sites

  • St Katherine’s church
  • National School established c.1849
  • Old Blacksmith’s Forge (now converted into a modern house)
  • Wheelwright’s Shop
  • Merstham village High Street
  • Feathers Hotel
  • Windmill (demolished 1896)
  • Nutfield Road, South Merstham
  • Stone quarry

Further information

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22 thoughts on “Merstham”

  1. Kelys Herbert says:

    Searching information on my great great great grandfather John Herbert 1750 merstham

  2. Colin Affleck says:

    I am researching First World War hospitals and have learned of one that was in Merstham, on Rockshaw Road. Today, it’s a nursing home. I know the hospital was opened about 1 July 1916 (as did the Somme battles), was small (30 beds) and that the soldiers there usually came from Horton War Hospital over in Epsom. Is there any other information or records or photos of the place? Many thanks in advance.
    Colin Affleck
    L’Orignal, Ontario, Canada

    1. Steve White says:


      Have a look at the Rockshaw Road residents website – there is mention of a house called Chaldon Rise used as a VAD station during WW1

      1. Colin Affleck says:

        Thank you Steve. I’m on it.

  3. julie says:

    did anyone know the phipps family joyce eileen rosemary ernie he playrd cricket in merstham ernest phipps who was married to emily they work at foxberry oxo not sure of spelling also ronald clarke born 1932 snippets of imformation would be wonderful

    1. Caroline Livermore says:

      Yes! I used to be friends with Rosie (Rosemary).and I was thinking of her, just the other day! I wonder where she is now! Caroline Livermore (nee Heath) At the time I lived at Taynton Drive Merstham! 😀

    2. Pamela Moles says:

      Hi I knew Rosemary we were at Albury Manor, I lived on Mansfield Drive. I saw her last in Beddington probably 1972 she was walking with her husband and baby.

  4. Peter Burgess says:

    The company was Foxboro Yoxall.

  5. julie clarke says:

    Does anyone know of the phipps family merstham area .and redhill also did you go to cromwell roadschool in the 60d or earlswood school in the 60s ….or live in knighton road 1961 to 1967 ..would be nice to have any imformation thank you …….

    1. Snowy says:


      There are several “groups” within Facebook that may be able to provide more help with this for you. Type in Redhill or Merstham into their searches for an invite. I think one is called “Friends of” and the other is “memories”

      Steve White

      On behalf of Redhill Centre for Local & Family History

  6. marian howard says:

    hi i amjust asking if anybody remembers neil howard at albury manor school i lost my darling neil on the19th june and he would have been 67 on the2nd july i did try looking for people when he was alive bless him but wasnt lucky enough to find anyone he lived at 11 malmsbury avenue he did mention an old flame elsie pratt but i expect she has a different name now neil had a sister merle who unfortunatley has passed away and a brother kevin who also has passed away their dad worked on the railway thats about all i can say just hope someone remembers him many thanks marian howard

    1. Jean walker nee carter says:

      Hi I lived next door at number 13 malmstone ave , my name is jean I knew Neil Kevin and the sister but I’ve forgotten her name , wasn’t she blind I used to chat to her over the fence

      1. marian howard says:

        hi there the blind sister is Jackie ,Merle Neil and Kevin unfortunatly are no longer with us ,Jackie lives here in Norfolk in Independant living she is doing pretty well

  7. Susan Jones says:

    Hi Julie. Myself and my 3 siiiblings went to Cromwell Road School from 1968/69. We lived in Redhill.

  8. marian howard says:

    does anyone remember neil howard merle howard or kevin howard and jackie howard they all lived at 11 malmstone avenue with their dad len a railway worker and their mum pat all but jackie have unfortunatly have passed away neil merle and kevin went albury manor school so just wondered if anyone remember any of them jackie went to a school for the blind kevin and merle stayed in surrey neil moved to little ol norfolk and thas where he met and married me as he called me his little ol norfolk gel,so all i am trying to track some mates down to see what sort of life they had kindest regards marian howard

  9. bob adams says:

    I am a local historian from Rowley Regis in the West Midlands and I am looking for the papers of the Rev Reginald Illingworth Woodhouse Rector of St Katherines, Merstham Surrey, 1894 to 1921 and was wondering if anyone had any indication of their whereabouts or could point in the right direction.

  10. Christopher Mott says:

    Does anyone have photographs of Coppice Lea in Merstham, before it became a nursing home?

  11. Mrs Barbara Smart says:

    Does anyone remember the Cummings family who lived at Merstham fort cottage

  12. Dorothy Wigley says:

    Does anyone here any information regarding Cold Rose Farm Merstham during 1932 or before – thank you for your time

  13. Sarah D says:

    Does anybody happen to know wherea Merstham House is/was located please? My late Grandmother visited this house/manor in Surrey and spoke very highly of it. I would love to retrace this building/site now that I live locally in Reigate

    1. Steve White says:


      Have a look at .
      The first aerial photo gives a good guide of where it was prior to the M25 being built and Gatton Bottom Road
      More information may be available from the Local History volunteers at Redhill Library. They are available at various times over the month under Redhill Centre for Local and Family History.


  14. Eric Ruckman says:

    Searching for any information or links to the Ruckman family from Merstham. Records from St. Katharine’s substantiates a presence of this family back to at least the 1500s. Thanks.

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