Tandridge Past – Oxted

This month we’re in Oxted.

The town’s history goes back many centuries: the first written mention of Oxted was in an Anglo-Saxon document in the year 862 AD, when it was spelt Acustyde, the name derived from Old English meaning ‘the place of the oaks’.

At the time of the Norman conquest, Oxted’s population was recorded at 250, but by 1851 it had grown to over a thousand people. Many of the buildings in what is now known as Old Oxted, the original village, date from the medieval period, with later additions in the Georgian and Victorian periods. However, when the railway and Oxted station was completed in 1884 to the north of the old town, an explosion of building took place around the station.

East Surrey Museum has a large collection of Oxted material, from both the original and the ‘new’ town but, given the impact the station has had, I’ve chosen a view reflecting that. In a nod to Oxted’s heritage, many of the new buildings were in a mock Tudor style, and the undated photo shows Station Road West, looking northeast to the station in the distance.

The building on the front right of the picture was one of the first to be completed, and was originally known as Caxton House, as it was home to a printing business. Constructed in the early 1900s by the Australian builder John Williams, and assisted by woodcarvers Charlie Payne and his student Harry Witner, it’s a perfect pastiche in what became known as ‘Oxted Mock Tudor’.

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

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