Historic Egham

Egham and the surrounding areas of Egham Hythe, Englefield Green, Thorpe and Virginia Water can trace their beginnings as far back as the Upper Palaeolithic period, over 12,000 years ago, and have seen many changes since in landscape and communities.

The Egham area has watched as Romans brought their trade and lifestyle to this part of the world; has been referenced in the Domesday book; witnessed the sealing of the Magna Carta; suffered at the hands of the plague; developed into a thriving community serving the coaching trade; expanded with the arrival of the railway; and experienced great loss at the hands of two World Wars.;xNLx;Re-developments after World War II meant that parts of our built heritage were being lost. ;xNLx;The Egham-by-Runnymede Historical Society (EbRHS) was established in 1967 to counter this. The Society set up the Egham Museum the following year and collected many artefacts to preserve our proud heritage and keep it in trust for future generations. Egham Museum is now governed by a separate charitable trust, The Egham Museum Trust (TEMT), but still works closely with the EbRHS.;xNLx;Egham Museum brings this story to our visitors through a time-line of thematic displays. Links to external websites are provided for further information: the Museum accepts no responsibility for any views expressed in those websites.;xNLx;[Visit Egham Museum](www.eghammuseum.org)

Egham Races

The first horse races in the area seem to have taken place in Englefield Green in 1729. However by 1734 they had moved to Egham at Runnymede and were held sporadically over the next 30 years or so. In 1774 they were launched as an annual event by a three-day meeting from Monday 5th to Wednesday 7th September.


Plague was a recurring problem in the early modern period. An outbreak of bubonic plague in 1603 led to 68 recorded deaths in Egham, starting with 11 year old Mercy Bullen who was buried on 18th June 1603. Further outbreaks hit Egham in 1606 and 1608. Records do not show how many Egham residents died in the 'Great Plague' of 1665.

Domesday Book: Egham

Egham, in the hundred of Godley, is mentioned in the Domesday Book, with 57 households - a very large community. It belonged to the Abbey of St Peter in Chertsey

Great Fosters

The first mention on the name Fosters occurs in the court rolls of Thorpe dated 1521. Describing boundaries on the Egham side of the parish, it refers to ”lands on the west called Fosters”. It is believed that Sir William Wareham who owned the land in 1555 was responsible for the building of the core of the present house. Both Henry VIII and Elizabeth I used the house as a hunting lodge. The building became a hotel in 1930 and in 1931 it played host to Queen Mary, The Prince of Wales and the Duke and Duchess of York.

Magna Carta

The late 12th and early 13th Centuries were expensive for people living in Britain. Each time the King lost a war abroad, he raised taxes, made people sell their possessions and would imprison them if they refused. The Barons became very unhappy with how the King was treating them and so forced him to agree to the Magna Carta, meaning the ‘Great Charter’. The Magna Carta set out a series of laws for everyone to follow and was sealed at Runnymede on 15th June 1215.

Egham Regatta

The first Egham Regatta took place in 1909 on the Runnymede reach of the River Thames, just upstream of Bell Weir Lock, and has continued since (apart from the war years and a short period in the 1930s.

Marilyn Monroe in Englefield Green

Shortly after her marriage to playwright Arthur Miller, Marilyn Monroe stayed for several months from July to November 1956 in Parkside House, Wick Lane, Englefield Green.

Suffragettes set fire to house

On 21 March 1913 suffragettes set fire to Trevethan, a house in Crimp Hill, Englefield Green, owned by Lady White, widow of Field-Marshal Sir George White, hero of Ladysmith. They caused £4000 worth of damage but no one was hurt.

'Eros' stored on Cooper's Hill

The statue of Eros was moved for safekeeping to the London County Council's temporary headquarters at the Runnymede Campus on Cooper's Hill.

Timber felling in Virginia Water to support the war effort

On the 13th May the first sawn lumber produced in Britain by the 224th Canadian Forestry Battalion was ready. Their pioneering English camp - the Clock Case Plantation - was sited in Virginia Water,

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