Journals of the House of Commons.

Museum of the Croydon Natural History and Scientific Society Ltd., Letter from W.B.Luttly to Robert Barclay.

The Times, 4 June, l8l4. .

Surrey History Centre. Ref.ll..

The Morning Chronicle, 27 April,1807..

The London Gazette, 10-14 March,1807. .

Derbyshire Record Office, Butterley Company Archives, Furnace Ledger B, (D 503 B).

Somerset Record Office, Hylton estate papers, DD HY/l-4l.

The Times, 15 and 18 July, l807.

Rev. Owen Manning and William Bray, The History and Antiquities of the County of Surrey, Vol.2, 1814. .

William Stevenson, General View of the Agriculture of the County of Surrey, 4th. edit. 1813. .

The Times, 23 June, l8l2. .

The Times, 15 July, l8l2. .

The Gentleman's Magazine, March,1843. .

The Times, 17 December,1803. .

Derbyshire Record Office, Butterley Company Archives, Furnace Ledger B, (D 503 B).

The London Gazette, 15-19 July, l806. .

Derbyshire Record Office, Butterley Company Archives, Lease, D 503 B.

Samuel Wells, The History of the Drainage of the great level of the fens called Bedford Level, Vol.1, 1830. .

Croydon Local Studies Library. Minute Book for the Corporation for the Management of the Waste Lands of the Parish of Croydon 1801-1826. .

Charles Pringle, A History of Chipstead, 1984. .

Science Museum Library. Goodrich Collection, Quoted in E.A.Forward, Simon Goodrich and his work as an Engineer, Part 2, in Transactions of the Newcomen Society, Vol.18, 1937-38. .

C.G.Dobson, A Century and a Quarter: Hall & Company Ltd. 1951. .

F.H.B.Ellis, The Grand Surrey Iron Railway. (Lecture delivered to Purley Rotary Club, 12 July,1934). Transcript in Purley Public Library. .

Croydon Local Studies Library. Croydon Poor Rate Books. .

The County Chronicle, 19 June,1832. .

The Times, 10 April,1833..

The Times, 14 May, 1836..

The County Chronicle, 29 November,1836..

Quoted in Charles E.C.Townsend, Further Notes on Early Railways in Surrey, in Transactions of the Newcomen Society, Vol.27, 1949-50, 1950-51..

James Malcolm, A Compendium of Modern Husbandry, Vol.1, 1805..

The Times, 28 November,1808. .

The Times, 21 May, l8ll.

The Times, 7 June, l8ll,.

The Times, 29 January,1812. .

J.Corbet Anderson, A Short Chronicle concerning the Parish of Croydon, 1882..

Joseph Priestley, Historical Account of the Navigable Rivers, Canals, and Railways throughout Great Britain, 1831. .

Vlilliarn Page, My Recollections of Croydon Sixty Years since, 1860. .(Typescript in Croydon Local Studies Library). .

The Times, 27 March,18l8..

The Times, 21 February,1822. .

Derbyshire Record Office. Butterley Company Archives, Furnace Ledger B. (D 503 B). .


At the beginning of 1806, the Croydon, Merstham and Godstone Iron Railway Compa.ny still owed Outram and Company the sum of £2579. In order to pay off this and other debts, and to obtain more money for carrying out further works, they decided to apply for an Act to raise more funds. Their petition was presented to the House of Commons on 5 March,1806.

It was referred to a committee, which reported on 15 May that William. Bedcott Luttly, being examined, had stated that since the passing of the Act cf incorporation, "great progress hath been made towards carrying the same into execution; but the Petitioners have only been able to raise a part of the sum authorised to be raised thereby, which has all been expended in carrying the same into execution, and divers debts have been contracted, which now remain due and owing; and that if other powers than those prescribed by the said Act were given to the Petitioners, they would be enabled to raise the whole of the sum granted by the said Act, and thereby discharge the debts they have contracted, and complete the said Railway and other Works."[1]

The Bill received its first reading on 28 May, l806. Some amendments were agreed following the second reading on 2 June, and it passed to the Lords on 13 June. Examined by the Lords committee, Luttly gave specific financial details. Only £45,500 had been raised by shares, and £991 received from tolls of which £298 was still owing, The total expenditure had been £44,538, £15,288 was still owing, and £41 had been lost due to Castell and Powell's bankruptcy in 1804. Presumably most of the debt was connected with the purchase of land.

The Royal Assent was given on 3 July,l806, the title of the Act being, "An Act for better enabling the Company of Proprietors of the Croydon, Merstham and Godstone Iron Railway to complete the same." (46 Geo.III cap.93) The general provisions of the Act were similar to those of the second Act authorising the Surrey Iron Railway Company to raise more money, and was in fact passed on the same day. It empowered the company to raise the remaining £44,500 of the £90,000 sanctioned by the Act of incorporation, by making further calls for money from existing share-holders, by creating new shares, by borrowing, by mortgage of the tolls, or by the granting of annuities.

81 At a special general meeting of the company held at the London Tavern on 9 September,1806, it was resolved to adopt the first of the fund-raising methods listed above, and accordingly make calls for an additional £30 on each share already issued. The payments were to be made in three calls of £10 each, to be paid on 20 October and 20 December,1806, and 20 February,1807.[2]

It is not known how much money was obtained by this means, If a further £30 was paid on every share, the total amount raised would still have not been sufficient to pay off the debts. It would seem that a new share issue was also made. The sale by auction of "12 original and 12 additional Shares" in the railway was advertised to be held on 17 June, l8l4 [3]; and two "additional" share certificates made out to Jeremiah Lear, numbered 805 and 806, were transferred in July,1810, which seems to indicate that at least 350 new shares were issued. [4]

Another small effort to obtain money about this time is recorded. The company advertised for tenders, to be submitted by 1 May ,1807, for buying "a large Quantity of Brick Earth, sufficient to make about 2,060,000 of bricks, now dug and lying adjoining the Old Fox, in Hooley-lane, near Merstham". [5] This earth was obviously the spoil excavated from the deep cutting between Hooley and Merstham.

The company made further payments to Outram and Company in March and October,1806, and February,1807. On 2 March, 1807, John Beresford, who had replaced the late Francis Beresford, left the partnership of Outram and Company, which henceforth was carried on by John Wright, Margaret Outram (widow of Benjamin) and William Jessop, under the name of the Butterley Company. [6] It was thus to this company that the railway company paid a final instalment on 8 June, l807, together with Croydon, 'Merstham and Godstone Iron Railway shares to the value of the outstanding sum of £910. Apparently the Butterley Company accepted 14 shares for the value of seven shares at £130 each (the inflated price following the implementation of the 1806 Act).

Outram and Company supplied the railway company with a weighing machine in November,1805, and the new Butterley Company provided a turnplate and "waggons and sundry materials" in April,1807. [7]

Some three years after the opening of the Croydon, Merstham and Godstone Iron Railway, a scheme to improve the road from Purley to Reigate was realised. The Croydon and Reigate Turnpike was first promoted in 1796, but opposition from the Reigate and Button Turnpike Trust delayed the proceedings. The Act authorising the new road was eventually passed on 25 April,1807 (47 Geo.III cap.25. Session l). The work was soon afterwards offered to tender, and the recently formed firm of Jolliffe and Banks (of whom more later) was awarded the contract. Work proceeded rapidly and the road was opened on 4 June, l808.

The improvements consisted in the main of widening, regrading, and resurfacing the series of narrow lanes that comprised the route. Two major diversions were made between Coulsdon and Merstham. The first was between Coulsdon and Hooley, where a new length of road was constructed to reduce a wide curve on the original road, at a higher level and nearer the Croydon, Merstham and Godstone Iron Railway. It intersected the railway on the level, to the west of a bridge that carried the railway over the old road. Presumably the track where the railway crossed the new road was relaid with crossing rails. The old road, with its bridge, was retained for local access, until a further diversion of the road was made by the London and Brighton Railway Company in 1839.

The other diversion was made at Merstham, where the old road which ran from Harps Oak through the grounds of the former Merstham House to the present Quality Street was abandoned. The new road was constructed to the east, close to the route of the railway, here in a deep cutting, and remains as the A23 London Road. Just before its junction with Shepherds Hill, where the present road turns southwards, the turnpike road ran in a wider curve to the east. This section was also diverted by the London and Brighton Railway Company about 1839.

The original course of the turnpike road is indicated on the route maps in Chapter 13. South of Merstham a completely new road was made across Gatton Park to Wray Common and thence to Reigate.

The Jolliffe and Banks records indicate that they built for the Croydon, Merstham and Godstone Iron Railway Company a "Croydon Railway machine house", probably the toll house at the north end of Merstham which still exists as "Weighbridge Cottage".[8] The date is not recorded but it seems likely that it was constructed soon after the turnpike road works were completed. Prior to the diversion of the road at this spot, the toll house would not have been readily accessible by road.

Although an extension of the Surrey Iron Railway, the Croydon, Merstham and Godstone Iron Railway was a separate and independent undertaking. Of the 73 shareholders of the latter railway named in the Act of incorporation, only 22 were named as proprietors in the Surrey Iron Railway Act, and many of these were on the first committee of the Croydon, Merstham and Godstone Iron Railway. Evidently the leading promoters of the extension had not been able to convince most of the other Surrey Iron Railway subscribers of its advantages. Unlike the Surrey Iron Railway, the Croydon, Merstham and Godstone Iron Railway had few manufactories or industries along or near its route, and these were all concerned with mineral extraction, except for calico-printing works at Croydon Palace. There were lime works and gravel pits at Haling, just south of Croydon, gravel pits at Purley, and between Purley and Coulsdon, and lime works and stone quarries at Merstham. Farther afield were fullers' earth pits at Nutfield and Reigate.

The fullers' earth pits at Copyhold Farm, Reigate, were opened about 1807 by Thomas Morris and Sons, and this firm's advertisement offering delivery at 23s.6d. per ton to London indicates a connection with the "Lessee Company of the Iron Rail-way, Wandsworth" and with Charles Morris of Wandsworth, who was on the committee of the Croydon, Merstham and Godstone Iron Railway [9]. Manning and Bray recorded that about this time, in addition to the pit at Reigate, there were three pits in operation at Nutfield, "and they generally employ on the whole ten or twelve men." They noted that although "there is now a considerable quantity carried by the iron railway .... it does not yet appear that they convey it for much, if anything, less than the common carrier. It must be carried in common waggons from the pit to Merstham, there put into the carriages constructed purposely for the railway roads, and then into boats on the Croydon Canal, or on the Thames at Wandsworth. [10]

William Stevenson noticed that the fullers' earth from Nutfield "is carried in waggons, each drawing from three to four tons, to the beginning of the iron railway near Mestham (sic), along which it is taken to the banks of the Thames, where it is sold at the different wharfs for about 25s. or 26s. per ton." He went on to report that "The workmen complain, that since the iron railway was brought to Mestham, the demand for fullers'-earth, though equally great, is not nearly so regular as it used to be."[11]

The Croydon, Merstham and Godstone Iron Railway passed through the Haling Limeworks between South Croydon and Purley, and these were probably established after the railway was built, to take advantage of the transport facility it provided. The quarry is not shown on the one-inch Ordnance Map of 1810, but in June,l809, Thomas Burt was assessed for the Croydon Poor Rate on "limekilns" at Haling. In July, 1810, they were rated to George Skinner and Company, who also at this time leased a warehouse at the Croydon Canal basin. The works were advertised to be let by auction on 7 July,l8l2, when they were described as "a very lucrative concern: comprising all that extremely valuable and established trade .... with all necessary and requisite plant and buildings for conveniently carrying on the business to the best advantaage, and most eligibly situate .... contiguous to the iron railway leading to the Croydon Canal and the river Thames."[12] No bids were then accepted, apparently, for in July the works were again advertised to be let, but "by private contract." [13]. George Skinner was still paying rates thereon in March,1813, presumably working out his lease, but by January,1814, the works had been taken over by Messrs.Smith and Grantham, who also occupied a warehouse at the canal basin. James Allen was the tenant in 1817 and John Malyn in 1829. Limestone continued to be quarried there for some 40 years after the closing of the railway.

Further south was the Haling gravel pit. By 1813 this was being worked by William Wildgoose, who also leased a warehouse at the Croydon Canal basin. The association with the canal of the firms named, and Manning and Bray's reference to the fullers' earth trade quoted above, confirm the use of the canal in preference to the Surrey Iron Railway, as indicated in the previous chapter.

The major works on the line were at the terminus at Merstham. The stone quarries there were underground workings into the Upper Greensand, which there surfaced as a narrow strip at the foot of the chalk escarpment. There were such mines at intervals along the valley eastwards to Godstone, and at Chaldon and Reigate. These quarries had supplied building stone from at least 1255.

The chalk escarpment was also quarried to obtain limestone. It is not known when this activity began; the earliest mention is found in William Jessop's report on the proposed line of the railway dated 7 October,1802, wherein he stated, "it is extremely fortunate that it is directed through the very valuable Quarries of Lime Stone at Merstham." The quarries may have been opened by William Jolliffe, the former Lord of the Manor of Merstham.

William Jolliffe (1745-1802), M.P. for Petersfield from 1788 until his death, bought the Merstham estate, together with the adjacent Chipstead estate, in 1788, and in 1792 he purchased the Kingswood estate. His wife, Eleanor, was the daughter and heiress of Sir Richard Hylton of Cumberland, and her property included an estate at Chester-le-Street, Durham. There, on Waldridge Fell. William developed a colliery which was opened in 1779, and was served by a wooden railway connection to the River Wear. In 1790 work began on the construction of Merstham House, and he and his family moved to Merstham when it was completed.

His eldest son, Hylton Jolliffe (1773-1843) joined the 2nd. Foot Guards in 1790 and was promoted to Captain in 1793. In 1796 his father returned him to Parliament jointly with himself, but he vacated his seat soon afterwards to rejoin his regiment in Ireland. He continued his career in the army, and saw service in Egypt, where he commanded a battalion of the Coldstream Guards at the Battle of Alexandria on 21 March,1801. His brother, William John Jolliffe (1774-1835) went into the Church. After his marriage to Julie Pitches in January,1799, he moved to Chelsworth in Suffolk, of which parish he had accepted the curacy. In September,1801, his father offered him the tenancy of Mint House, about two miles from Merstham, and he resigned his living and left Chelsworth at the end of 1801. At about the same time his brother Hylton returned to Merstham from Egypt.

Soon after this family reunion, on 28 February,1802, William Jolliffe died, as the result of injuries sustained when he fell through a trapdoor opening into his cellar. Hylton inherited his father's estates, and on 29 March resumed his Parliamentary representation. After his marriage to Elizabeth Rose, daughter of the 7th Earl of Ferrars, in September,1804, he resigned his army commission, with the rank of colonel, and devoted himself to politics, and "his hours of amusement were devoted to sports of the field, in which he attained such celebrity as to haye acquired the designation of 'the hero of the chace'(sic)" [14] The management of his Merstham and other estates devolved mostly upon the Rev. William John Jolliffe.

As described in Chapter 3, the first recorded association of the Jolliffe brothers with the Croydon, Merstham and Godstone Iron Railway was on 12 October,1802, when they were among the magistrates at Reigate who received the deputation from the committee for the extension of the Surrey Iron Railway. They would, however, have known of the proposal some months earlier, when Wildgoose and Jones were surveying the route and possibly brought their influence to bear on the surveyors to ensure that the railway was planned to run close to the quarries.

"That valuable and inexhaustible stone quarry, situated at Merstham, adjoining to the Iron Railway" and, as a separate lot, the chalk quarry, were advertised to be let by auction to be held on 1 March, 1804 [15] . It is not clear whether the lessor was Hylton Jolliffe or a lessee seeking to sub-let the works. Nor is the outcome known, but it must have been about this time, or not long after, that Hylton Jolliffe, Edward Banks, George Anderson, and George Harrison Eades entered into the "business of lime-burners" and formed the Merstham Limework Company. The concern had probably been established by September,1805, when Outram and Company supplied "Col.Jolliffe" with "726 four feet gang rails" [16]. A notice dated 30 June,l806, announced that in future the business would be carried on by Hylton Jolliffe and Edward Banks, with Anderson and Eades continuing to act as agents on commission [17]. An account of Edward Banks was given in Chapter 5, and Anderson and Eades will be remembered as the contractors' agents during the building of the Croydon, Merstham and Godstone Iron Railway. On 1 June, 1805, Banks and Eades went into partnership with Henry Wright, to lease from Outram and Company their limeworks and quarries at Codnor Park and Crich in Derbyshire, trading under the name of Edward Banks and Company [18]. This arrangement was no doubt part of the reorganisation of Outram and Company following Outram's death in May. Eades left the partnership in February,1808, and the firm was then managed solely by Banks.

Another and more important partnership entered into by Banks was with William John Jolliffe to form the firm of Jolliffe and Banks, civil engineering contractors. Samuel Wells gave the date of this incorporation as 1807 [19]. The first specific mention of the firm occurred on 9 February, 1807, when Messrs. Jolliffe and Banks delivered a revised tender to the Trustees of the Waste Lands of Croydon, for building the Court House. The original estimate had been submitted on 11 November, 1806, by the "Merstham Company", and on 28 January,1807, Banks, on behalf of that company, had attended on the Trustees to discuss it [20]. This suggests a date for the incorporation of Jolliffe and Banks in the two weeks between Banks's two attendances, assuming that the original tender had been prepared by Banks on behalf of the Merstham Limework Company.

The partnership leased the stone quarries at Merstham and they soon experienced problems with roof collapses and with flooding. In 1807 a drainage adit was driven upwards to below a flooded mine, which successfully drained off the water for a while.

In July,1809, the Butterley Company supplied Jolliffe and Banks with a steam engine, and in March,1810, with "goods for inclined plane." Both the engine and inclined plane are mentioned in the annual statements of Jolliffe and Banks from 1813 to 18l8.

By 1817 the drainage adit had fallen in and the mine was again flooded. The mines seem to have been largely abandoned in the 1820s, although small quantities of stone were obtained for some years after.

Jolliffe and Banks, in partnership with Hylton Jolliffe, also operated the limeworks, a more profitable activity. This was probably an amalgamation with the Merstham Limework Company. Banks, as might be expected, had the management of the concern. In 1813, his share of the profits was £7251-7s-lOd, William John Jolliffe's was £968-5s-ld, and Hylton Jolliffe received £276-8s-8d. [21] A price list, issued by Jolliffe and Banks, dated 5 November,1808, gives the prices of lime and stone delivered to various place on the Croydon, Merstham and Godstone Iron Railway and Surrey Iron Railway. [22] According to Samuel Wells, the firm carried on "a considerable trade in limestone, fullers' earth, and timber, between that part of the county of Surrey and the Metropolis."[19]

But it was the civil engineering part of the business which was the most important. Their early local contracts, the Croydon and Reigate Turnpike Road and the Croydon Court House, have already been mentioned, but they soon engaged in larger undertakings farther afield. During 1809 to 1811 they completed the building of Dartmoor prison, followed by works at Heligoland and Howth Harbour. They constructed the first Waterloo Bridge during 1812 to 1817, and other bridges in London, and were involved in numerous other projects.

According to C.G.Dobson, George Valentine Hall (1788-1845), the son of a farmer, walked from his home in Sussex towards London looking for work, in 1800 or 1801, and stopped at Merstham. There he was befriended by William John Jolliffe, who arranged for him to work in the stone mines, (in fact, the year is more likely to have been 1802, as the Rev.Jolliffe was at Chelsworth in l800 and 1801.) In 1824, Hall became the lessee of the quarry, and in 1835 his eldest son James joined the business. In 1842 they established an office and depot in Croydon, and after George's death in 1845 the business was carried on by his three sons. [23]

Dobson quotes two authorities who give differing dates as to when Hall started lime burnlng, namely about 1825, and 1835. Presumably he had previously worked only the stone mines. F.H.B.Ellis was informed by Henry Hall that his grandfather George sent his lime to London on the Croydon, Merstham and Godstone Iron Railway [24] , which suggests that the 1825 date is more likely, as the railway closed in 1838. No doubt, however, he made good use of the railway for other purposes, and he is said to have become a coal merchant at a comparatively early date, although his first recorded transaction in this trade is noted on 12 September,1838.[23]

Jolliffe and Banks apparently maintained an office at Merstham after Hall had taken over the lease, although their business activities were carried on elsewhere. In 1834 they dissolved their partnership and went into retirement, and they both died soon afterwards, Jolliffe in January, l835, and Banks in July of the same year.

It would appear that during the early years of the railway the tolls were leased by Jolliffe and Banks. Their annual accounts record a sum of £705-13s in 1815 and of £1072-l6s-9d in 1819 in connection with railway tolls. The Butterley Company supplied them with a "wagon for Croydon Railway" in July, l8ll. They held the lease of a "cottege, stabling,etc." in Upper Church Street, Croydon, from 1813 to 1815, and occupied a wharf and land at the Croydon Canal basin from 1818 to 1820. A Possibly they relinquished the lease of the tolls soon after the latter date: a "new Toll House" at Croydon was recorded in October,1822, which was occupied by William Titmuss from November,1823, until at least July, 1825. William R.Wood was rated on the tolls from May,1830, until July, 1837.[25]

In June,1832, the railway company advertised for tenders for the lease of the tolls for a term of three years, to be delivered on 10 July. [26] The offer was made again the following year, for proposals to be submitted on 7 May,1833. [27] Presumably Wood then renewed his lease. Three years later, tenders were again invited, to be received on 7 June,1836. [28] It would seem that the tolls were again leased by Wood, but that he terminated the agreement soon afterwards, for in November it was announced that tenders should be submitted on 17 December. [29]. The next lessee was James Lyon of Wandsworth, who also leased the tolls of the Surrey Iron Railway at this time.

His lease document, dated 19 December,1836, showed that the rental was £170 per annum, and it included a list of the tolls to be charged, which in some cases differed from those charged Surrey Iron Railway in 1804, being generally higher. [30]

A list of the works executed by Jolliffe and Banks includes a few undated references to items connected with the Croydon, Merstham and Godstone Iron Railway: a "Croydon Railway Machine House" (the toll house at Merstham), Dean Bridge (between Hooley and Merstham) and "Pitlake toll house" (probably the “new toll house" recorded above). It is also noted that the firm carried out repairs to the railway, to the value of £70-13s-7d in 1813, and £60-2s-9d in 1817.

Mention has been made several times previously of a railway built by the Croydon Canal Company from the basin at West Croydon to join the Croydon, Merstham and Godstone Iron Railway at Pitlake. The original proposal was for a road on the route. Section X of the canal company's Act of incorporation specifically authorised the construction of a "publick Carriage Road from the High Road leading from Croydon to London .... across a Piece of commonable Land called Parson's Mead, and then across a Field called Handcross Field .... and then through a Piece of Orchard or Garden Ground .... and there entering the Lower End of Church Street."

The original purpose of this proposed road is not clear, but it was presumably to effect a direct link between the canal and the old centre of Croydon in the vicinity of the parish church and near the then proposed terminus of the Surrey Iron Railway. 'No immediate steps were taken to form this road.

James Malcolm, writing in 1805, had mentioned the possibility of the Croydon, Merstham and Godstone Iron Railway Company building a branch from their line to join the Croydon Canal: "It is not at all improbable but that this latter Railway Company may form a junction with the Croydon Canal Company, and by this union obtain a much greater proportion of trade than would reasonably be expected from the Wandsworth railway; indeed, such a thing is now talked of, and if it does take place I most heartily wish them success." [31]

At this time, the upper length of the Croydon Canal and the basin had still to be constructed. In November,1808, when the canal company were making arrangements for completing the remaining length, it would seem that they adopted the idea of a railway instead of a road, for they advertised for tenders from "persons desirous of contracting for making an Iron Railway from the Bason of the Croydon Canal to Pitlake in Croydon", to be delivered on 2 December. [32] If any tenders were received, none was accepted, and the scheme was held in abeyance.

In fact, at this date, the canal company had not acquired the requisite land. It was not until March, 1811, that they purchased the land needed in Parson's Mead from the Trustees of the Waste Lands of Croydon, and. shortly afterwards the land for the remainder of the route.

The intention now was to build a road, as originally planned, and in May,1811, tenders were invited "for making and forming a road from the Canal-basin to Church Street." [33] A tender was apparently accepted, but then it was decided to build a railway along the side of the road, and the company sought tenders from "persons willing to supply them with metals and blocks for about half a mile of Rail-road. Also, proposals from Carpenters willing to contract to make and erect Half a Mile of Oak-paled Fencing." The tenders were to be opened on 14 June, 1811. [34]

Following this, the road and railway were at last constructed, and were completed probably at the end of 1811. The following advertisement was dated 17 January,1812: "Junction of the Croydon Canal with the Croydon and Merstham Railway. E. Grantham begs leave to inform the Public, especially those persons concerned in the carriage of heavy goods, that he has by means of his wharf, situated in Church-street, Croydon, effected a complete Junction between the Croydon Canal and the Croydon and Merstham Railway: and that the same is now open for the passage of goods to and from the river Thames." [35]

Edward Grantham originally owned the land between Church Street and the Croydon, Merstham and Godstone Iron Railway on which the junction was made, but shortly afterwards it was bought by the canal company and leased to Grantham.

The following brief description of this railway was given by J.Corbet Anderson, writing in 1882: "A fork of that iron tram, which then communicated between Croydon and Merstham, following the line of the present Tamworth Road, ran up to the said canal basin .... the junction of the lines being at the Old Gun Orchard in Pitlake. The trucks were generally drawn by large mules. Nearing the wharf, the trucks used to be hauled up by a windlass up a short incline, where their contents of lime, timber, stone, or fuller's earth, as the case may have been, were unloaded into barges, that afterwards came back from Deptford laden with coals." [36]

The Pitlake Railway commenced on the south side of the basin, ran across North End and along the southeast side of the "carriage road" now the course of Tamworth Road, and across Church Street. It was of double track with crossovers, and split into two single branches beyond Church Street to form a Y-junction with the Croydon, Merstham and Godstone Iron Railway.

Sundry contemporary references confirm Anderson's account of the main goods carried on the railway, and the use of the alternative route to London via the Croydon Canal. Manning and Bray, writing in about 18l8, observed that "great quantities of chalk have" been conveyed by this means to the vicinity of the metropolis and the business of lime burning is now carried on with great alacrity .... the diminution of labour is great, but whether the experiment has been made in country where there exists a sufficient quantity of heavy articles of so general demand as to afford a fair trial may be doubted."

They also noted that "the farmers (of Woodmansterne) were flattered with the expectation of having dressing brought from London, and of having their flints taken in part payment for the use of the earthenware manufacturers, but they have been disappointed in both."[10]

Joseph Priestley in 1831 wrote of the Croydon, Merstham and Godstone Iron Railway: "The principal object is to facilitate the transit to London, of heavy minerals and other produce, found in the vicinity of the southern end, which is effected by its connection with the Surrey Iron Railway, and the Croydon Canal; and, in return, to bring sea-borne coal and other general merchandize, for the supply of this district of country." [37]

William Page, an elderly resident of Croydon, writing in 1860, remembered in his boyhood some 60 years earlier, "this tram being for the conveyance (in trucks drawn by a horse or horses) of stone from the Merstham quarries, chalk, lime, English grown timber, etc., to the Basin."[38]

Finally, William Stevenson gave it as his opinion that "the division from Mestham (sic) to Croydon, running through a tract of country destitute of manufactures, and having only the lime, fullers' earth, stone and corn to depend upon, at the further extremity, can never pay very well." [11]

In fact, the Croydon, Merstham and Godstone Iron Railway was financially more successful than the Surrey Iron Railway. An advertisement in April,1818, for the sale of shares in the former stated that "the concern has repeatedly divided £1 per share per annum." [39] A similar notice of a sale in March,1822, also claimed that an annual dividend of £1 was usually paid. [40] More specifically, the Butterley Company accounts recorded a dividend of' £1 each year from 1809 to 1813, from 1815 to 1818, and in 1820 and 1825; a ½ per cent dividend in 1826, and 1½ per cent in 1832. [41]

The annual general meetings of the company were held on the first Tuesday in May from 1804 to 1838, and on 7 June in 1803 and 1839. From 1803 until 1826 they took place at the King's Arms Inn at Croydon, from 1827 to 1829, and 1831 to 1839 at the Greyhound Inn, Croydon, and in 1830 and from 1835 until 1839 at the George and Vulture Tavern, George Yard, Cornhill, London. As with the Surrey Iron Railway, William Bedcott Luttly was the company's clerk and solicitor until 1834, and was succeeded by his son, Charles Beaumont Luttly.

In 1834 a scheme was put forward for a railway from London to Croydon. The line was to run from a junction with the London and Greenwich Railway at Corbetts Lane, and follow the general route of the Croydon Canal. It would thus he necessary to purchase the canal property and close the navigation, and the Act of incorporation of the London and Croydon Railway Company, passed on 12 June,1835 included clauses authorising the purchase.

After inconclusive negotiations between the canal and railway companies regarding the purchase price, the matter was decided by a compensation jury which determined upon the sum of £40,250. Payment was made on 21 July,1836, and on that day the whole of the canal property passed into the hands of the railway company.

Soon afterwards notice was given that the Croydon Canal would be closed on 22 August,1836, but the railway company's contractors actually started work on 15 August, their first job being to drain the canal basin at Croydon. The railway from the basin to Pitlake was also taken up at this time. Thus the users of the Croydon, Merstham and Godstone Iron Railway lost the benefit of the route to London provided by the canal.

In April.1840, the railway company decided that the road adjoining the former Pitlake railway should be reinstated "for the convenience of passengers living in that direction from the Railway." The work was completed by 27 April and on 14 May the railway board ordered that notices should be put up at both ends of the road, proclaiming that it was a private road and that only passengers were permitted to use it.

On 27 July,1846, the London and Croydon Railway Company was amalgamated with the London and Brighton Railway Company to form the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway Company. The new company, having acquired property on the northwest side of the road to Pitlake, bought some more property at "in order to improve the access from Tamworth Road to Church Street." Then on 15 June,1849, the sale "by auction of "building land in lots, on the northwest side of the road, was held, and it was probably at this time that it became a public road. The first reference to the name "Tamworth Road" appears to "be on W. Roberts' "Plan of the Town of Croydon", dated 1847.

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