Ruxley Lane

We are grateful to the family of the late Derek Phillips for their permission to use much of the text and images from the website that was set up and run by him. Derek was very interested in local history and his community and a short biography can be viewed on the introductory page.

Ruxley Splash 1930
Image courtesy of Bourne Hall Museum

Although one of the key roads from the past, Ruxley Lane has changed considerably only in the last 70 odd years. The previous page showed a photo of the junction of Ruxley Lane and Chessington Road in around 1910 when it was a road junction amongst fields. Most other photographs of the road centre around its most notable feature, the ford with the Hogsmill River. A favourite place for young and old to linger and popularly known as "Ruxley Splash"

Ruxley Lane Bridge in 2007
Ruxley Lane Bridge in 2007
The bridge is on the site of The Ruxley Splash (see photo above)
Image courtesy of the Phillips family © 2007

The following information was taken from an undated (but assumed to be mid to late 50's) newspaper cutting held by Ewell Library. It was written about the retirement of Mr D. Card of Ayres and Card Nursery which used to be in Ruxley Lane where Goodwin Close and the new bit of Jasmin Road are now. The memories apply to the period around 1924 when Mr Card moved into the area.

Ruxley Spash Bathers
Just in case you can't see from the reproduction here,
the gent on the left is a chimney sweep complete with rods and brushes
Image courtesy of Bourne Hall Museum

"Ruxley Lane at that time was a thoroughly rural thoroughfare - a winding narrow country lane with a ford or "watersplash" along it, and with no more than five cottages and a farm in the way of human habitation. In those early days, there was no general piped water supply, and it was the practice of the nursery to send their horse-drawn water cart to the "splash" for supplies to meet their requirements. The "splash," the name by which it was known locally, was created by the passage of the River Hogsmill across the lane, and, after heavy rains it was quite deep. Pedestrians kept their feet dry by using a wooden bridge on one side of the lane.

It did not prevent much difficulty to horse-drawn traffic, but when old motor vehicles encountered it they often came to grief, and boys in the district earned many a tip by helping to extricate those that had become water-logged. The boys also earned money by not helping, as in those days there was a well-known character living in Ruxley Lane who abhorred motors in any shape or form. He showed his dislike by offering the boys a shilling to take no action when a vehicle became stranded.

The prospect looking towards Kingston Road in those early days was one of waving fields of corn, part of the lands of Ruxley Farm - the very fine old farmhouse which is still in existence."

Ruxley Splash South
This rare photograph taken looking south shows what we presume to
be the Farmhouse of Ruxley Farm; although the windows look a bit broken.
A footpath in front of the house is now Scotts Farm Road.
This farm was demolished in 1959 prior to the building of
housing and flats on the farmland although some land remains
as the playing fields of Ewell High School.
Image courtesy of Bourne Hall Museum

Richard Jefferies a naturalist living in Surbiton published the following in 1910 as part of an account of local walks.
Leaving the [Bonesgate] inn, we retrace our steps to the last footpath and take the lane immediately opposite it, which leads to RuxIey Farm and the Hoggsmill (sic) water-splash. Unlike the one which runs with the lane at Bone's Gate, this flows in a broad, crystal-clear stream-which makes the lane impossible for motors-right across it. It is a mile nearer London, but still more secluded. Birds of all sorts come openly to the water's edge; some to drink, others to wash, flirt, and preen themselves, and the swallows for insects and mud for plastering their nests. No one appears to hurry here. The farm-labourers lean on a wooden bridge silently and smoke; a horse stands in the swift, clear current, idly turning his head this way and that-but we must get on, though it is hard to leave a water-splash on a warm day, even to take to the fields. After crossing the wooden bridge a footpath immediately on the right leads by Ewell Court (crossing a drive and another footpath nearly at right angles) to Ewell, in about two miles. Here there is a wide choice of inns and places of refreshment.

Ruxley Lane Coach Stop
Postcard image of the Ruxley Lane Coach Stop

Boring legal stuff relating to this page

As explained earlier the text and images for this page came from the website run by the late Derek Phillips. To preserve his work and allow ready access to it, it was decided to merge his local history pages into the Epsom and Ewell History Explorer website. Of necessity some minor changes to the text were necessary and the layout has been changed to fit in with the house style of Epsom and Ewell History Explorer but in essence the web page is Derek's.

The family of the Late Derek Phillips makes every effort to ensure that the information on this web page is accurate. However, they cannot accept responsibility for any loss or inconvenience caused by reliance on inaccurate material contained in this site. Links to other sites are provided for your convenience, the Phillips family cannot give endorsement of them. They cannot be responsible for any information contained on other websites.

All material on this site (including text and images) is copyright. Every effort is being made to ensure that all sources are credited. Where no credit is given then it should be assumed that the copyright in any particular item resides with the Phillips family or that the Phillips family should be contacted to ascertain who owns the copyright before text or photographs are reproduced elsewhere. Educational use is permitted provided that no changes are made to the material and Derek Phillips is acknowledged as the source.

Commercial usage is prohibited unless formal written permission is obtained beforehand.

Derek Phillips
Derek Phillips
Chessington Road
Chessington Rd
Hogsmill River
Hogsmill River
Rembrandt Tour
Rembrandt Tour
Ruxley Lane
Ruxley Lane
West Ewell History 1
West Ewell 1
West Ewell History 2
West Ewell 2
West Ewell History 3
West Ewell 3
West Ewell War Memories
West Ewell War