Tandridge Past: Smallfield

This month we’re in the village of Smallfield, in the parish of Burstow, south west of Tandridge. Smallfield was first mentioned in medieval documents as ‘Smaelfeld’, meaning a narrow, open piece of land.

Up until the 19th Century, Smallfield was very rural, consisting of a few scattered farms and the old coaching stop, the Plough Inn (now sadly closed). The main house was Smallfield Place, originally the seat of the de Burstow family and dating from the 12th Century. The present building largely dates from the Tudor period, and was further enlarged in the 17th Century by Edward Bysshe, a prominent lawyer and politician.

Bysshe sided with the Parliamentarians during the first English civil war and was made Garter King of Arms. He was demoted following the restoration, but was eventually knighted in 1661 and became MP for Bletchingley in the Cavalier Parliament. In the later Victorian period and the early 20th Century, more houses were built around the crossroads, and the village as we see it today began to take shape.

One of the village’s older buildings is the Ebenezer Chapel on Chapel Road: built as a strict Baptist chapel in 1851 and shown in the photograph on a fine summer’s day in the 1920s. The building was sold in 2010 and is now the village vets.

To find out more about Tandridge Past, visit East Surrey Museum on Stafford Road, Caterham.


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