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 here; has been referenced in the Domesday book; witnessed the sealing of the Magna Carta; suffered from the plague; developed into a thriving community serving the coaching trade; expanded with the arrival of the railway; and experienced great losses in two World Wars.;xNLx;Egham Museum brings this story to life 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;The Egham-by-Runnymede Historical Society (EbRHS) set up Egham Museum in 1968 to preserve our proud heritage and keep it in trust for future generations. The Museum is now governed by a separate charitable trust, The Egham Museum Trust (TEMT), but still works closely with the EbRHS.;xNLx;[Visit Egham Museum](http://eghammuseum.org/)

Thorpe Church of England Primary School

The first application to build a National School for Religious Education in Thorpe was filed in 1845. The school was built in 1848 and enlarged in 1854 and 1901.

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.

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 of the name Fosters occurs in the court rolls of Thorpe dated 1521. Describing boundaries on the Egham side of the parish, they refer to ”lands on the west called Fosters”.

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).

The Recruiting Sergeant in Thorpe

The famous painting by John Carrick 'The Recruiting Sergeant' is set against the background of Thorpe Village.

Egham becomes an Urban District

In February 1905 Surrey County Council ruled that with effect from 1 October Egham should cease to be a Rural Parish and be designated an Urban District.

Mrs Charleswood's School, St Ann's Heath

A cottage school opened in 1841 on the northern edge of the old St Ann's Heath on land belonging to Corpus Christi College. The schoolmistress was Mary Charleswood.

Miss Portway's School

Miss Bessie Portway ran a private school for young ladies in Egham in the early 1900s.

The first woman in the UK to undergo male-to-female gender reassignment surgery

Robert Cowell was a World War II fighter pilot and co-owner, with his friend Gordon Watson, of Leacroft Motors of Egham, which built racing cars and fuelled their passion for competitive racing.

The Hundred of Godley

In 1053 the hundred of Godley was granted to the Abbot and convent of Chertsey by Edward the Confessor. Godley comprised the parishes of Bisley, Chobham, Pyrford, Byfleet, Egham, Chertsey, Horsell and Thorpe.

The Windsor Union Workhouse

The 1837 Poor Law Act ordered parishes to join together to provide bigger accommodation for local paupers. Egham joined with Windsor to establish a Union Workhouse on Crimp Hill, which opened in 1840.

RHUL student wins triple Paralympic gold

Equestrian Sophie Christiansen won three gold medals during the summer 2012 Paralympics in London.

Money for teaching the Bible - and Needlework!

In her will of 1704, widow Mrs Mary Barker left £350 to pay for teaching poor children of Englefield Green to read the Bible in English and girls to sew, make plain work and to knit.

Budgen's Grocers

Edward Budgen opened his first shop in Egham High Street in 1850 when he was just nineteen.

Thomas Love Peacock's schooldays in Englefield Green

From 1792 the poet and novelist Thomas Love Peacock attended a school run by John (or Joseph) Harris Wicks in Englefield Lodge (then also known as Englefield House).

One-armed hero at Waterloo

Sir Felton Elwell Bathurst Hervey of Castle Hill House, Englefield Green served as Military Secretary to the Duke of Wellington during the Battle of Waterloo.

Egham Band

Egham Town Band was a brass band which was formed in 1895. It used to meet at the rear of the Catherine Wheel in the High Street. Another band, the Egham Temperance Band, met at the Technical Institute on Egham Hill.

Runnymede given to National Trust

in the late 1920s Runnymede Meadows were under threat of redevelopment. To prevent this they were bought by Lady Fairhaven who donated 182 acres to the National Trust on 7 August 1931.

Gypsy Moth IV sails into Egham

In 1966 Sir Francis Chichester circumnavigated the globe in his ketch Gypsy Moth IV. In December 1967 it was moored at Egham station!

The Meadowsweet Memorial Trust

In 1918 Charles Gridley of Stroude set up the Meadowsweet Memorial Trust "in memory of my dear wife and all her gentle ways."

Furore over mixed schools

Plans in 1905 to save money by educating girls and boys together in Englefield Green schools were greeted with controversy.

Bell Weir Lock

Bell Weir Lock was opened in 1817. At first named Egham Lock, it took its current name from the first lock-keeper, Charles Bell, appointed in 1917.

Tower Garage, home to Maranello Sales

The Tower Garage was built in 1935 as a Vauxhall / Bedford Sales & Service operation, for The Egham Motor Co. After several changes in ownership it is now the largest Ferrari and Maserati Showroom in the world.

Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee

Egham and Egham Hythe entered enthusiastically into the celebrations of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee in 1897 with a whole day event in the grounds of Milton Park, loaned by Baron de Worms.

ACS International School Egham

ACS Egham opened in London Road in 1995 as the American Community School, with 70 students aged 3-18 years.

Jewish College in Thorpe - Yeshiva Torat Chaim

After the war a Jewish Orthodox School was established in Thorpe Lea House in Wickham Lane, by Rabbi Chaim Weingarten who had fled to England from Belgium in 1939.

The Princess Christian's Holiday Home for Boys

In 1879 the Princess Christian Holiday Home for boys was established in St Agnes' Cottage, King's Lane, to provide a break for disabled children so that they could enjoy the countryside of Windsor Great Park.

A King in a Cottage in Thorpe

In 1941 the Nazi invasion of Yugoslavia forced its king, Peter II, to leave his country and he came to live in England. After his marriage in 1944 he rented Little Manor in Clockhouse Lane.

Shrubbs Hill School

This was a small day school operating between the 1820s and 1840s, founded by 'a gentleman of the district.'

Civil War Expensive for Egham!

Like most of the areas around London, Egham was under the control of Parliamentary forces and had no direct involvement in the conflict.

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 1916 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,

Berwick House School

Berwick House School was a small private school established by Miss Catherine Spencer in Grange Road, Egham in 1913.

Bishopsgate Infants School

In 1880 Princess Christian and Mrs Catharine Loch opened a kindergarten and private school for children aged 3-10 in Englefield Green.

Surrey County Council Technical Institute

The Surrey County Council Technical Institute was built at the foot of Egham Hill in 1902. It offered classes in subjects like cookery and woodwork for local schoolchildren and adult courses in typing and book-keeping..

The Roman temple at Virginia Water

Between June 1827 and March 1828, columns and stones taken from the ancient Roman city of Leptis Magna (near Tripoli in present day Libya) were transported to Virginia Water and rearranged by Sir Jeffrey Wyatville, George IV’s architect, to form a picturesque ruined 'temple'.

Englefield Green Cottage Hospital

Englefield Green Cottage Hospital opened in December 1880, on the corner of St Jude's Road and Bond Street. A local merchant, Mr Benjamin Warwick, had provided the funds in memory of one of his five daughters who had died in childbirth.

Manor Lodge Preparatory School for Boys

A school for boys aged from 5-11 years, in Manorcrofts Road, open during the 1930s and 40s

Foot and mouth disease hits Egham

In September 2007 foot and mouth disease was confimed on grazing land attached to Milton Park Farm. A 6 mile surveillance zone was set up around Egham starting at Winkfield Place.

Kingswood Roman Catholic Convent

Handmaids of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, an order of Catholic nuns, set up a boarding school for girls on Cooper's Hill in 1921 with the addition of a “Juniorate” and a University Residence.

Egham County Secondary Modern School

From 1954 children from St Jude's School who failed their 11 Plus examination went to Egham County Secondary Modern School in Manorcrofts Road.

First incidence of the place name Virginia

The first mention of Virginia as a place comes from the Egham parish burial register of 1656. An official survey of Windsor Great Park in 1662 records a house called Virginia, just outside the southeastern boundary of the park.

Strode's Almshouses

Henry Strode's will drawn up in 1703, stipulated that any residue of his £6000 legacy intended to build a school in Egham, was to be used for almshouses - with the Cooper's Company acting as trustees.

The Causeway

The Causeway running from Staines Bridge to Egham appears to have been constructed during the reign of Henry III by a merchant named Thomas de Oxenford to make it easier to convey wool to the London markets.

The Training College, Cooper's Hill

A house built on Cooper's Hill in the 18th century by the Harcourt family, on the site of the old Ankerwyke Priory, was acquired in 1873 by the India Office for use as a college to train forestry experts and civil engineers - the Royal Indian Engineering College.

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