Tandridge Past – the Crowhurst yew

This month, we are in Crowhurst, a village first recorded in documents from 1189 – the name simply means ‘Crow Wood’. Apart from the early church and Grade 1 listed manor house, Crowhurst’s other claim to fame is being home to one of the oldest trees in the country. Reputed to be around 4,000 years old, the Crowhurst Yew can be seen in the churchyard (as in the picture of around 1910). Its girth was first recorded at 30 feet in parish records of 1630. In the early 19th Century, the dead core was hollowed out, a table and benches inserted and a door added to the front: during the work, a large cannon ball dating from the civil war was discovered, embedded in the tree. The tree was then later used, at various times, as a summer house, a meeting room for the parish council and a dwelling for the homeless. It now measures some 34 feet in circumference, and is still thriving, albeit with the addition of some wooden supports. Read more about Tandridge Past here, and visit East Surrey Museum here.  
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Tandridge Past – Titsey's 1907 society wedding

Looking back through the museum’s extensive archives of the local area this month, I came across some photos of what had to be one of Surrey’s society weddings of the year. 115 years ago, on 6 February 1907, Miss Ethel Sophie Gresham Leveson Gower married Mr Edward Henry Liddell at the church in Titsey. Ethel was one of the very many children of Granville William Gresham Leveson-Gower, previously the MP for Reigate and the Deputy Lieutenant of Surrey, who lived at Titsey Place. Her husband was the son of the Very Rev. Henry George Liddell, chaplain to HRH Prince Albert. The bride arrived in a beautiful horse-drawn carriage, in which the happy couple departed after the ceremony. The picture shows the departing guests in their wedding finery, a couple of very fine motor cars, and a policeman (no doubt for crowd control!). Find out what's on at East Surrey Museum by visiting their website.
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Tandridge Past – the history of Christmas music

We are now in December, and East Surrey Museum is looking fabulous, adorned as it is with Christmas decorations! We have also installed a new display, which looks at the history of Christmas music – starting with the medieval music and singing traditions that evolved into some of the carols we still sing today. On show are the musical instruments and scores in our collection, some of which originate from the 18th century, and would have been used to celebrate Christmas in local churches, before organs became commonplace. And we have some examples of music in the home as well. From an early music box, to a phonograph, and on to more modern gramophones and record players, together with some of the Christmas records that have been popular over the years. And last but not least, our fantastic vintage musical Christmas tree is also on display, so do pop in and see us if you can. The vintage pic this month is a selection of Caterham views, sent as a Christmas card in the early 20th century. Christmas greetings to you all!! (Photo credit: East Surrey Museum) For more information about the museum, including opening times, visit
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