On the ball

Walton-on-the-Hill

Walton-on-the-Hill, Surrey, is a small village in England, situated midway between Reigate and Epsom, just inside the M25 orbital motorway around London. It is situated close to the larger village of Tadworth. Other neighbouring villages include: Kingswood, Burgh Heath, Headley and Box Hill. Its name distinguishes it from Walton-on-Thames, which is about 15 miles to the north-west.

In some respects Walton-on-the-Hill fits the remit of an archetypal English village, having a large pond, a green (where cricket is played), a small primary school, some local shops and several pubs.

History

The Romans are known to have settled here in the first century, for a substantial villa has been excavated in Sandlands Road, and is believed to have been inhabited until around 400 AD. Roman finds have been discovered here and in the neighbouring village of Headley.

Walton-on-the-Hill lay within the Copthorne hundred, an administrative division devised by the Saxons.

Walton-on-the-Hill was called Waltone in the Domesday Book of 1086. It was held by John from Richard Fitz Gilbert. Its domesday assets were: 2 hides and 1 virgate. It had 5½ ploughs, 1 house in Southwark. It rendered £6. There is an early post-conquest motte within the grounds of Walton Place, the remains of a timber castle.

The church of St Peter dates back to the 12th century - one of its oldest features being an 800 year old font, constructed in lead, although this is thought to have originally stood in a chapel alongside the village’s manor house. The interior of the church features examples of 16th century artwork and stained glass.

Local legend has it that the manor house was visited by Henry VIII, and his wife Anne of Cleves is also thought to have stayed here.

Buildings

The village features housing of a wide variety, in size, type and age. Closer to the centre there are smaller Victorian houses, while further out and especially to the south of the village are larger detached houses situated on private roads. These tend to have been built during the early to mid-twentieth century. In the centre of the village itself there has been more recent development of flats, including retirement apartments.

St Cross is a large building to the north of the village which was formerly a boys school. Since 1948 it has been the home of the British Transport Police Training Centre which includes the force police dog training school.

Today

Walton-on-the-Hill is best known for its golf course, Walton Heath, which was the venue for the Ryder Cup in 1981.

The village is has four pubs: The Chequers, The Fox and Hounds, The Blue Ball and The Bell.

References

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