Nutfield

The heart of the village was, and still is, along the greensand ridge, today the A25 road from Reigate to Oxted. The southern toe was taken up by the sub-manors of Woolborough and Hathersham. The fulan broc, “the marshy brook”, is the northern boundary with Merstham, and was the boundary in a charter of 942. Nutfield extends seven miles from north to south and barely two miles east to west.

Nutfield, view of the village looking down the main road, 1890 Photographic Survey and Record of Surrey no. 3798 SHC ref 7828/2/111/64

Nutfield, view of the village looking down the main road,
1890 Photographic Survey and Record of Surrey no. 3798 SHC ref 7828/2/111/64

The manor was listed in the Domesday Book in 1086, when it already had a church. The names of some 20th century farms come from the surnames of taxpayers listed in the Lay Subsidy Return of 1332. This historical connection is interesting because the people with those surnames disappeared from the parish soon after the Black Death (1348-1350).

Nutfield Church, a sepia drawing by W J Saunders 1857 Photographic Survey and Record of Surrey no. 5035 SHC ref 7828/2/111/100

Nutfield Church, a sepia drawing by W J Saunders 1857
Photographic Survey and Record of Surrey no. 5035 SHC ref 7828/2/111/100

Click here to see the catalogue of the St Peter and St Paul, Nutfield, Parish Records and Nutfield, Civil Parish Records (1558-1969) held at the Surrey History Centre.

John Hassell and Edward Hassell painted various views of St Peter and St Paul between 1821-1828. Use this link to see some examples.

Nutfield was essentially a farming community, although fuller’s earth was dug on a small scale, becoming a major industry in the 20th century. The deposits have now been worked out. Some farmers had a secondary occupation, particularly in weaving and dyeing.

Patteson Court, Nutfield 1900 - exterior view, with garden ornament and foliage in the foreground, Photographic Survey and Record of Surrey no. 3802 SHC ref 7828/2/111/68

Patteson Court, Nutfield 1900 – exterior view,
with garden ornament and foliage in the foreground,
Photographic Survey and Record of Surrey no. 3802 SHC ref 7828/2/111/68

A railway was built through the parish in the 1840s, but had little effect until a station was opened at Nutfield in 1884. Sir Henry Edwards, a developer working hand-in-glove with the South Eastern Railway, bought up all the key development sites north and south of the station. A new village, South Nutfield, quickly emerged with shops, pub and church. A number of great mansions were built on the ridge by successful professionals and businessmen, all now either in multi-occupation, in business use, or demolished.

An aerodrome opened in the 1930s as an overspill from Croydon Airport. It was taken over by the RAF in World War II. It still exists as Redhill Aerodrome, mainly for private flying, and a certain amount of commerce has grown up around the airfield entrance.

Nutfield is today a polyfocal parish, with the old village astride the ridge of the greensand, the principal community clustered around the station at South Nutfield, and a third community surrounding the 19 acres of Nutfield Marsh at the foot of the dip slope of the greensand.

Today most of the inhabitants earn their living in the city of London, or in the nearby towns of Crawley, Reigate and Redhill, and Croydon, or at Gatwick Airport. Despite being a commuter village, Nutfield has many clubs and societies, and has a vibrant social life.

40 thoughts on “Nutfield”

  1. Roger Whiteway says:

    I was intrigued to see the illustration of Nutfield Church dated 1857. Readers might be interested to compare that illustration with a very similar view that pre-dates 1809:

    http://www.istockphoto.com/vector/north-west-prospect-of-nutfield-church-surrey-england-19th-century-24610156

  2. David Remmer says:

    I lived at Cormongers House with my family from 1963 to 1970 after which the House was sadly demolished by Fullers Earth. The House had about 13 acres of grounds and had a collection of exotic trees from around the world including an American Redwood which was quite rare. Nearby was Patteson Court which was used by Fullers Earth as offices. As my father worked for the company we were able to roam the grounds which were by then a little tired. We tried to imagine what the House would have been like in its heyday. Also near Cormongers House were other large houses such as Loanoak (also in Cormongers Lane) and Hazelhurst (on the A25 opposite Patteson Court. I have happy memories of my childhood spent in Nutfield where I went to primary school (both the original school on the A25 and the new school in South Nutfield). My late father said that Cormongers House had been used by the Canadian Army during the Second World War. I would love to know more about the history of the House but there is nothing on the Internet which is unusual.

    1. Ray Rohr says:

      I saw your post today when I was doing some research on my wife’s genealogy. Her father was born in Cormongers House in 1889. His father was a merchant in London and they rented Cormongers house for a few years. If you or anyone else would have any info on it I would be delighted.

  3. Mike love says:

    My dad worked for fullers earth at nut field post world war 2 till his death in 1963 , i my self lived in nutfield until 1966 now living in Melbourne Australia fond memories of nut field after leaving 54 years ago .

    1. Jennie Hartwell says:

      Mike, was your Mother Ethel Love?

  4. Elizabeth O'Reilly says:

    I was born in Nuffield in 1941 we lived in ridge cottages mid street south Nuffield .My dad worked for fullers earth after he came out of service and the army ..it wasn’t built up as much as it is now every body knew every body else.had a great childhood there my cousins used to come down for holidays from London they loved it in the country we used to go primrose picking along the railway bank .my granny lived in Trindle’s road my aunts and uncles on my dads side all lived in Nuffield xxnee Betty chairman

    1. Glynnis Wilson (nee Jones) says:

      How nice to read of someone who lived in Ridge Cottages. My grandmother and grandfather lived at the end house which I think was no 7. Their name was Jones. My father and his four sisters lived there too. My grandfather Edward Jones also worked for fullers earth. My aunts were Olwen, Megan, Violet and Myffanwy. My dad was also Edward Jones. I used to come down to Nutfield in the late 40’s (I was born in 1948) and through the 50’s every year for a holiday and stay at no 7. I played with my cousins and the baker’s daughter who was called Jasmine. I well remember the playground there and my favourite house was Magpie Cottage. My dad married a Yorkshire woman ( my mum) and they met when he was army training up there. I always enjoyed my holidays there.

      1. Marcus Carter says:

        Hi Glynnis,
        Hope your well? This may come as a bit of a surprise, but I think your related to my Dad, Steven Justin Henry Carter, he was born in 1948 also. Unfortunately he was placed into a children’s home in Redhill at a young age, so was separated from family. My sister is doing research into Dads side of the family as we know very little of them, anyway ends up his family were also Olwen, Megan, Violet & Myffanwy Jones…Also yourself it would seem Glynnis! If you get this message it would be really good to hear from you, all the very best xx.

    2. Yvie says:

      My father worked at Fullers Earth from pre war to his death in 1961. My own family lives in Trindles Road still, 5th generation to live there. I too remember picking primroses from along the railway line in the late 1960’s until a huge fire burnt the track sides.

  5. Tim Caffyn says:

    I am researching my 3 x great grandfather Jacob Caffyn who was a carrier from Nutfield to London from 1833 to 1876 he is buried in St Peter’s & St Paul’s church. His address is given as Nutfield Cross but I have been unsuccessful in identifying where Nutfield Cross actually was, I have seen a postcard with the address given as ‘Nutfield Cross near Nutfield’ but find no other reference or map location. I would be grateful if anyone can tell me where Nutfield Cross was.

    1. Graham says:

      An educated guess would put Nutfield cross at the junction of Nutfield road and school hill. or the other end, at either Nutfield road with the junction of the A25. or cormongers on. The area of school hill was absorbed into the mass building after the war which could explain the loss of name.The A25 area remains traditional and would probably have kept its name.This area would fit with your grandparents occupation. as a main route Kings cross, Nutfield cross and Purley cross into London. old maps may tell more.

    2. Charles Thompson says:

      The Nutfield History Group website (http://www.nutfieldhistorygroup.org.uk/page8.html) has a postcard which identifies Nutfield Cross as the croosing of the A25 with Coopers Hill Road and Church Hill, with the former Crown Inn on the near left corner.

  6. steve eccleshall says:

    I live in a 1920’s built house in Kings Cross Lane, South Nutfield and whilst doing some extreme gardening unearthed a WW2 Commando Knife still in its leather sheath. I know the Canadians were around here during the war so assume some were billeted in local houses. A neighbour who was here at the time said that they were many nissan huts for the soldiers on about 4 acres of land adjacent to Ridge Green (the triangle of now developed land between Mid Street and Kings Cross Lane. But I cannot seem to find out much more?? does any body know more? It would be nice to find out if my house was used as a billet and perhaps thats where this knife came from???

  7. Christine says:

    Has anyone got any photos of the house that was on the land before Shortacres was built?

    1. Jan says:

      Hi Christine
      Do you mean the house (called Shortacres) before the group of houses that are there now? I might have some photos from the 1970/80s.
      Or are you thinking of an earlier building?

      1. Christine Crick says:

        Hi jan

        No before the 14 houses were built 28 years ago. Nobody seems to have pictures of the house that was on the land before.

  8. Chris Bashford says:

    Further to Steve’s story I lived in South Nutfield from 1931 to 1951 (and since returned) I do not recall any Canadians living in South Nutfield they did live in the big houses along the A25 Holmesdale, Denholm House,High Beech,etc two regiments I know were Princess Pats Canadian Light Infantry and the Seaforth Highlanders who had. Bagpipe Band and would practice in Station Approach North.
    The triangle of land he refers to was partly occupied by the RAF from the aerodrome there were two long airmans dining halls and kitchens,a gymnasium, the sargeants mess and I believe washouses and a NAAFI. I don’t recall nissan huts but could be wrong.

    1. Gillian Denning Graham says:

      Chris, hello. My name is Gillian Denning Graham, my father Peter Denning, his mother Lucy Bashford Denning – are we related? The reason I was on this site is because Nutfield is where my Dad lived until he joined the RAF and headed off overseas. I think you would have lived there the same time as Dad.

    2. Yvie says:

      I remember a lovely elderly gentleman called Mr. Bashford living in Trindles Road. He used to sit for hours outside his house, just down from the butcher shop, tatting lace. He was a true quiet and gentle man. Lovely memories. Is this your relative?

      1. Chris Bashford says:

        Thanks for your email.
        I did not initially recognise the Mr Bashford Yvie refers to although my father had a cousin living further along the road, however further investigation reveals that the man she is talking about is Mr Owen Ashdown who lived in that location and was known for tatting lace. Mr Ashdown was for many years the pastor at the Free Church/Chapel in mid street he was also the local agent for the Prudential insurance company making door to door collections around the village using his bicycle. He was a much loved villager and loved a laugh and joke at the door.
        I remember him at Sunday school where he played the mandolin and we sang choruses.

        1. alastair says:

          Chris, would you be able to write a short piece about Mr Ashdown and any other memories about South Nutfield Free Church Sunday School for a website on its history. I could just copy what you put here with your approval.

    3. Yvie says:

      Hi Chris
      Apparently (from listening to stories from parents) Canadians did live in South Nutfield. They were at the aerodrome in digs and also in a house in Trindles Road, just by the station.
      I still live in South Nutfield and my children (now forth generation in the village) and I know they did stay here.
      I would love some information if anyone has it of the HOME GUARDS. They used to stand guard on top of Nutfield Priory looking out for the enemy!

  9. Mary mickleburgh says:

    Does anyone know the history of flint cottage kingsmill lane nutfield which overlooks the airodrome

  10. Mary mickleburgh says:

    I was looking for any information about a cottage standing on its own in kingsmill lane right opposite redhill aerodrome and it’s history. Now called flint cottage sth nutfield

  11. Jane Church says:

    Thanks for information. My great great grandfather worked as a gardener [1861-1881] on the Nutfield Priory estate at the time of Henry Gurney. His son stayed in the village and was an engine driver then gardener.
    Family name George Markwell Thurston, son George William Thurston.
    Please do get in touch if you know any information about this family. Thanks

    1. Hello Jane
      I work for Nutfield Priory Hotel and have done so for the past 15 years, I am trying to find out any information I can about the family’s that lived here when the Priory was a home, or any one that worked here in the early years.
      I would love to know what rooms were the masters and lady’s bedrooms, where the servants lived etc.

      I would love to here from anyone .
      Thank you Amanda

      1. Yvie says:

        Hi Amanda
        Although I do not have any information on the family that lived in the priory, I know it was used during WW2 by the local home guard. My father used to stand on the top turret of the priory looking out for enemy planes. He once saw the planes coming over and unfortunately they dropped a bomb in Earlsbrook Road, where my grandmother lived, and knowing that my mother and my two eldest sisters were visiting that day he biked as quickly as he could over to Earlsbrook Road but thankfully my mother, sisters and grandma were all ok, if covered with dirt and dust. However, some people down that road were not so lucky and a few died. Therefore I have a lovely memory in my mind of how the priory was used during WW”. Sorry for the deviation!

      2. Jane CHurch says:

        Henry Edmund Gurney from the Gurney banking family [Barclays] lived here when my x2 great grandfather was here. He had the poor Ragged School Children down from London for a day for entertainment.

        I have the census for that time. My family lived in Priory Lodge. In 1861 8 Gurneys lived at the Priory and ten servants.
        I am sorry I did not get a notification that you had posted, do feel free to contact me.

  12. Lucia Charman says:

    Does anyone know who farmed Hale Farm prior to it being sold to the Aerodrome? i would be interested in finding out about the old farm buildings which no longer exist

    1. Steve White says:

      There is a 1914 map (ref Surrey Sheet XXXV. N. W. ) of the area in Redhill library which shows outlines for various buildings.
      You may be able to access the Map via sites such as Old Maps or the National Library of Scotland – English Maps
      When I am next in the Library I could look in Kelly’s Directories for the occupants post WW1.

      You can contact me via the Redhill Centre for Local and Family History email of [email protected] or via this site

  13. Judy Bell says:

    I saw David Remmer’s post from 2015 today. My husband’s great great grandfather, Richard Bell, is listed in the Surrey Electoral Register at Cormongers from 1864-1867. If anyone can help with a photo of the house I will be grateful.

  14. M. Butler says:

    My father was sent to a reform school in Surry. We believed it was Redhill but since finding photo since he passed the postcard and writing on the back of the picture says High Beach Nuffield. Can anyone tell me if they’re was such a place. It would of been 1957. Many thanks

  15. Carol Kelly says:

    I was walking with friends today and passed High Beech House just off Coopers Hill Road. Unfortunately it is looking a little sad now. However having looked it up we discovered it was bought in 1949 by The London Police Court Commision (pre cursor to probationary service). here is the link with a picture(4th one down)
    https://www.oldreigate.com/?r=1&width=1920&height=1080&goto=coopershillroad
    Hopefully this is what you are looking for.

    If anyone has more information on this house ie when it was built I would be very interested.
    Carol.

    1. William Finch says:

      I remember High Beech being used as a borstal. I grew up in Nutfield – and one of my friends when I went to secondary school in Redhill was the son of the High Beech headmaster.
      After they stopped using it as a borstal – it was used as a home for Vietnamese boat people (and Cambodians and Laosians) who were invited into the UK. Lots of Nutfield people got involved in welcoming them – I was friendly with a pair of brothers who had seen their parents murdered in front of them shortly before they managed to escape.

      I would love to know what happened to those people after the High Beech reception centre got closed down.

  16. Duncan White says:

    The Dann family are extensively listed as associated with Werks House / Werks House Farm which is variously stated to have been in Charlwood, Capel or more likely Nutfield

    As far as I can decipher it would have been on the opposite side of the road to the church of St Peter & St Paul but there is no obvious sign of it and only very dubious map references

    I am a distant relative of the Dann’s, who are mentioned in two books about the Quakers of Reigate and there is a lengthy family tree

    If anyone has any knowledge of Werks House / Farm and/or the Dann family I would be very grateful for info

    1. Paul Usher says:

      If you are still interested in the location of Werks Farm look at https://maps.nls.uk/view/189259496
      As usual with maps, what you want to see is always on the border! Right down at the bottom of this map, between ref 31 and 32 you will see Werks Farm. Once you have found it you can look for better maps. We often walk in that area and there is very little left of the buildings which were probably abandoned when the M23 motorway was built through the land.

    2. Carol Fraser says:

      Hi
      I also believe that I am related to the Danns through Thomas Dann 1668. Thank you for your information on the family. Now living in Qld Australia.

  17. jenny barber says:

    know the house behind the crown inn became a nursing home but prior to that was used as a police dog training centre
    we lived in a cottage next door but one to the old bakery
    our son attended a small private school called Doods Brow some 40 years ago

  18. Suzanne Greenwood says:

    Hi
    Does anyone know anything about a property I believe was called Home Farm that was requisitioned during the war and not treated well. My great great aunt and uncle surname Coke lived there until they were forced to move withthe requisition . My son has been helping at the plantation with Conservation and so we have returned to the area but would love to know if the propert is still standing or has a new name . My mother now age 77 remembers driving there c 1960 and the house being in a sorry state but it would be lovely to know what happened to it subsequently

  19. Les harding says:

    Hi, could anyone tell me the history of Lyttel lodge ( Lyttel cottage ) on coopershill road please. Next to Lyttel hall. Many thanks

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