In Surrey, England, Epsom is the largest town in the borough of Epsom and Ewell, approximately 13.5 miles (21.7 km) south of Charing Cross and 7.64 miles (9.91 km) northeast of Leatherhead. EPSOM was founded as a spring line settlement where the permeable chalk of the North Downs met the impermeable London Clay; Epsom developed as a spa town during the Georgian period. The name may originate from the name of a Saxon landowner. There was a large amount of magnesium sulfate in the mineral waters, hence the name Epsom salts.
History of Epsom
In Anglo-Saxon England, Epsom was part of the Copthorne Hundred, which served as a venue for periodic, strategic meetings of the wealthy and powerful. Anglo-Saxon England was characterized by many spring-fed towns and villages at the foot of dry valleys such as here, Effingham, Bookham, Cheam, Sutton, Carshalton, Croydon, and Bromley. The British Museum has a brooch dating to the 7th century from Epsom.
Chersey Abbey had been granted 20 mansas of land in Epsom in 727 by Frithwald and Bishop Erkenwald, and King Thelstan confirmed the ownership of the main manor of Ebbisham in 933, when this monastery was established. Domesday Book records Epsom as Evesham, held by Chertsey Abbey. The money it rendered to its overlords came from 11 hides, 2 churches, 2 mills worth 10 shillings, 18 ploughs, and 24 acres (9.7 ha) of meadow and woodland.
The Carew and Darcy families inherited the manor under Henry VIII and Queen Mary. Sir Charles Kemys Tynte and Sir Joseph Mawbey followed the Mynne, Buckle, and Parkhurst families in an inheritance.
A spa town, Epsom gained its reputation as a spa city by the Georgian period. This is still visible in the town’s museum and its water pump. During those days, there was entertainment at the Assembly Rooms (built in 1690 and now a pub). On the south-west side of the town, green-buffered homes now sit upon the wells.
The town’s name is derived from Epsom salts. The mineral waters that spring from Epsom were originally used to prepare Epsom salt (magnesium sulphate). During the Middle Ages, there was a pond in the town.
Sir Lord Rosebery, the British Prime Minister and first chairman of the London County Council, was expelled from the University of Oxford in 1869 for having purchased a racehorse and entered it in the Derby (it came last). As part of his legacy to the borough, Lord Rosebery named Rosebery School and Rosebery Park, and donated several roads to the borough. His house at Epsom College, a public school in Epsom, was named after him as well.