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 from 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;The Egham-by-Runnymede Historical Society (EbRHS) set up the Egham Museum in 1968 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](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. An infants' school was built in 1873 but does not seem to have continued beyond 1889 as a separate entity.

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.

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