Godstone, Surrey Genealogy

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Parish History

GODSTONE (St. Nicholas), a parish, and the head of a union, in the First division of the hundred of Tandridge, E. division of Surrey, 19 miles (S.) from London; containing 1896 inhabitants. The parish is situated on the road from Croydon to East Grinstead, and comprises by computation 6380 acres. The soil is various, comprising chalk, sandy loam, and a stiffish clay; the surface is elevated, consisting, for the greater part, of a ridge extending from the chain of the Surrey hills. On the Chalk Hill, so called from its substratum, is a quarry of very durable stone, which is raised for building; and from another portion of the ridge, called Tilbuster Hill, is obtained gravel of excellent quality for the roads. The village of Godstone-Green is of considerable extent, and a large brewery is carried on there. The Godstone station of the South-Eastern railway is six miles from the Reigate station, and 27 from the London terminus. A weekly market, and an annual fair of three days' continuance were granted by Henry III. to John St. John; the latter only now exists as a pleasure-fair, and takes place on July 22nd and 23rd. The petty-sessions for the division are held here monthly. The living is a vicarage, styled, in the time of Henry VIII., Walkensted alias Godstone; patron and incumbent, the Venerable Archdeacon Hoare; impropriators, the Earl of Liverpool and Sir W. R. Clayton, Bart.: the tithes have been commuted for £540 payable to the vicar, and £412 to the impropriators; the vicar has a glebe of 11 acres. The church is a neat structure combining various styles, and in the middle of the south aisle has a low tower surmounted by a spire; it was enlarged in 1824. In a small chapel on the north side of the chancel, is a marble altar-tomb, on which are beautiful effigies of Sir John and Lady Evelyn; also another of white marble, to the memory of Jacob Evelyn. James Evelyn, Esq., of Fellbridge House, erected a chapel in 1787, and endowed it with £30 per annum; and in the populous district of Blindley Heath a neat church was erected by subscription in 1842, at a cost of £1800: it is in the early English style, is dedicated to St. John the Evangelist, and the living is a perpetual curacy, in the gift of the Vicar, with a net income of £100. David Maynard in 1709 gave £200, producing £10 per annum, for instructing children; and James Evelyn, in 1783, endowed a school at Fellbridge. The poor law union of Godstone comprises 14 parishes, with a population of 11,459. Here is a mineral spring, now little used. At Leigh Place, where is a hill with an intrenchment on its summit, were formerly extensive powder-mills.

From: A Topographical Dictionary of England  by Samuel A. Lewis (1848), pp. 301-312. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=50983 Date accessed: 18 November 2010.


Civil Registration

Birth, marriages and deaths were kept by the government, from July 1837 to the present day. The civil registration article tells more about these records. There are several Internet sites with name lists or indexes. A popular site is FreeBMD.

Church records

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Census records

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Probate records

Records of wills, administrations, inventories, indexes, etc. were filed by the court with jurisdiction over this parish. Go to Surrey Probate Records to find the name of the court having primary jurisdiction. Scroll down in the article to the section Court Jurisdictions by Parish.

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Web sites

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