Dr. Borg sent us the following curious and amusing entry from the Gentleman’s Magazine for August 1736, in the list of marriages.
‘Crazy Sally, alias Sarah Wallin, the famous Bonesetter at Epsom, to one Mapp, footman to Mr. Ibbetson, Mercer, Ludgate Hill’.
The story of Mrs. Mapp is given in Gordon Home’s Epsom, its History and Surroundings where he tells us that she was a very grotesque figure calling herself Crazy Sally and affecting insanity, but that she was a remarkable bonesetter, and the town offered her 100 guineas to stay in Epsom. The money procured her a husband who went off after a fortnight with the 100 guineas!
Among the photographs we obtained from Epsom Reference Library for display purposes (by courtesy of Miss Janet Gladwell) was one of an elderly Mr. Dearle sitting in his shop in Epsom. At the time of the Borough Show nobody could tell us where Mr. Dearle’s shop was located, but subsequent enquiries made by John Norrington to his aunt (Miss H.M. Norrington) who remembered Mr. Dearle buying mutton fat from John Norrington’s grandfather in his butcher’s shop in the High Street to make his candles (in the days before electricity). Mr. Dearle’s shop was in the Market Place near the present Yew Tree Restaurant. Gordon Home, writing in 1901 also referred to Mr. Dearle as an ‘old and respected tradesman of Epsom [who] now holds the record of having seen the Derby run for more consecutive years than anyone living. Mr. Dearle, who is eighty three years of age, is a tallow chandler, and carries on his business in a picturesque little shop in the High Street’. In the preface to his book, Gordon Home gives thanks to Mr. Dearle and Mr. Charles Young who placed their long memories as residents in Epsom at my disposal’. (What was Mr. Dearle’s Christian name, and who was Charles Young?). Can anyone identify the actual shop and supply any further details?
Gordon Home lived in Cromwell Lodge at Epsom in 1901, and this building is now threatened with demolition and the building is deteriorating rapidly, in spite of letters to the Town Clerk and the local press.
John Norrington’s shop at 44 Upper High Street has now closed after 59 years. The shop was started by his father, Mr. Charles Norrington, in 1913 and taken over by Jeanette Norrington (who has typed most of the stencils for the NEAS Bulletin) in 1946. John’s great grandfather had built and owned a number of houses in Epsom (East Street) and Ewell (Kingston Road) and other parts of the Borough.
Hop Pole Inn
The pair of red brick cottages at 32/34 West Street, Ewell, which were originally known as the Hop Pole, are to be demolished by the Borough Council early in March, but we are pleased to acknowledge that we were given full permission to record and measure the interior and to carry out archaeological investigations in the gardens of Nos. 18–38a. We feel bound to comment however that, as the Council are unable to obtain the necessary funds for the erection of old peoples’ cottages on this site, why not spend a much smaller sum in renovating the existing cottages, particularly Nos. 32/34, 38 and 38a, which are spacious and would no doubt be preferred by many of our old folk instead of a row of new concrete boxes?
The Hop Pole was built in 1700 or a little earlier of soft red brick of varying colour with a brick storey dividing band, three courses projecting a little, a peculiarity of this area. The original front passage and staircase is intact although the house was divided into two cottages in Victorian times. The original small outshot at the back must have been added very soon after the main building was erected, and extended to abut onto the malt house, the front wall of the malt house forming the rear wall of the extension. The malt house was burnt down c.1850, but part of this front wall remains with some of the original clapboarding embedded into the wall, rendered over and new weatherboarding on the outside.
This is confirmed by documentary evidence such as the 1803 Inclosure Award which shows the malt house joined onto the main building and with the adjoining buildings described as ‘Three Houses, Malthouse, Buildings, yards etc. owned by Henry Bridges’. In a conveyance dated 3rd August 1855 (transcribed by Nita Yardley) the property was transferred from Sir Henry Bridges to James Gaddesden to form part of the Ewell Castle estate with the following description:
‘FIRST ALL that messuage or tenement used as a Grocers Shop and Beerhouse called the Hop Pole with garden and yard (in which are malting premises partly burnt down) stabling, barn and appurtenances… heretofore of copyhold tenure of the manor of Fitznells otherwise Fennells’. A plan attached to this document indicates clearly the house, barn etc., but with the position of the malt house noted in the garden and not joined to the house. The Ordnance Survey of 1863 shows the house and stable only, the area of the malthouse had become the garden of the cottage ‘newly erected’ in 1855 but no longer in existence today.