Description: Epsom College:the Original Eastern Range Comprising Whitehouse Girls' House, Crawford Girls' House,
Date Listed: 22 March 1974
English Heritage Building ID: 290668
OS Grid Reference: TQ2235759995
OS Grid Coordinates: 522357, 159995
Latitude/Longitude: 51.3259, -0.2453
861/31/196 COLLEGE ROAD
861/36/196 (South side)
22-MAR-74 Epsom College:The Original Eastern Ran
ge comprising Whitehouse Girls' House,
Crawford Girls' House, The Dining Hal
l, Granville Boy's House, the IT and D
rama Studios, the Big School Assembl
y Hall and the English Department
(Formerly listed as:
Also Known As: Royal Medical Benevolent College
Originally almshouses and college, founded in 1853; now college. Architect T H Clifton. The assembly hall known as "Big School" attached to the south was in use by 1863. Formerly Royal Medical Benevolent College. A long asymmetrical range aligned north east to south west originally comprising six almshouses to the north and school to the south with further purpose-built hall and classrooms added to the south by 1863. Gothic style. Red brick with ashlar dressings. Pitched tile roofs. Grouped brick stacks with cornicing. Two to three storeys.
EXTERIOR: Projecting to the north is a former almshouse (no 6) of two storeys and attics with two gables. This is followed by a long range of five former almshouses (now boarding houses) of two storeys divided by two three storey gables and two two storey gables each with an arrow-slit window to the attics and arched doorcase. The ground floor has three four-light canted bays and ends in a gabled section with oriel window. To the south are the school buildings with a large gable with five-light two tier window with stained glass roundels with quatrefoil band between and buttress. There follows a three storey symmetrical section with central four storey tower with octagonal turret, crenellated parapet and three storey stone porch, splayed to second floor, square to first floor and elaborate porte cochere to ground floor with arches and arched entrance behind. To the north of this is a three tier staircase window and two canted bays. A one storey section with gables and four two tier windows with buttress leads to a headmaster's house of four bays which has a large gable to the left with gargoyles, elaborate oriel window and a four storey octagonal turret. Linked to the 1853 wing by a brick arch is the "Big School" assembly hall and the English department. "Big School" is a large hall of brick with stone dressings and gabled tiled roof with terracotta ridgetiles. There is a gabled west front with end buttresses, elaborate stone gargoyles and a large five-light two tier window with cinquefoil heads and arched doorcase below with elaborate carving in the spandrels. The sides are of six bays with dogtooth cornice, stone mullioned and transomed windows and stepped buttresses. Adjoining directly to the east is the English Department, originally classrooms with a prefects room and a drawing room. This is also in Gothic style of two storeys red brick with stone dressings and tiled roof. The east front has two gables with trefoil arnament and six lancet windows to the first floor. There is a band of quatrefoils between the ground and first floors. The ground floor has two three-light windows and a later central bay. The sides have four lancets and four mullioned and transomed casements to the first floor and six triple mullioned and transomed windows to the ground floor.
INTERIOR: Interior features in the 1853 building include a stone well staircase with pierced quatrefoils, a central corridor with unusual cambered terracotta ceiling, dado panelling and cambered doors and former dining hall with four bay scissor-braced roof. "Big School" has a six bay arch-braced roof with kingposts, stained glass windows depicting saints, gallery supported on four octagonal columns with panelled front and similar panels to dado panelling. Each side wall has a stone bust, one of John Propert, founder of Epsom college (1793-1867), the other to Dr George Cornelius Jonson (1803-1890).
HISTORY: John Propert, a London surgeon, had a scheme for a Medical Benevolent College for one hundred pensioners "Qualified medical men or their widows" together with a school designed for 150 doctors' sons, of whom 50 would be orphans. The scheme was financed by donations to the college by doctors and their patients. the foundation stone was laid in 1853 but in the end funds were only available for 20 pensioners and 150 school pupils. The college was opened on the 25th June 1855 by Prince Albert and consisted of a long range aligned north east to south west comprising almshouses to the northern part and a school to the south. The college opened with about 100 boys including 40 "Foundationers" whose education was provided free. Lessons originally took place in the schoolroom in this original block, the present Masters' Common room, but after 1863, when the school was growing towards 200 pupils, lessons were taught in the new "Big School" hall and classrooms adjoining. A photograph of 1863 shows "Big School" in existence by this time.
STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE: A good quality and little altered brick and stone mid-19th century Gothic style combined almshouses and school, of 1853 with further classrooms to the south added by 1863.
SOURCES: Pevsner "Buildings of England: Surrey." 1971 p.217.
Exhibition, including original photographs and plans, in school entrance.
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.