"BANSTEAD, a parish in the first division of the hundred of Copthorne, in the county of Surrey, 3 miles to the E. of Epsom, its post town. To the north of the village are Banstead Downs a finely undulating tract of country, having an elevation of between five and six hundred feet, commanding extensive views, and celebrated for the fine pasture that covers them. They are the site of the famous Epsom racecourse. Part of these downs have been brought under cultivation.
The living is a vicarage* in the diocese of Winchester, of the value of £310, in the patronage of the Earl of Egmont. The church has a fine tower and spire, and is dedicated to All Saints. Banstead House, the seat of the Motteux family, is the chief residence. In the vicinity are several tumuli."
"THE OAKS, a seat of the Earl of Derby, on Banstead Downs, in the parish of Banstead, county Surrey, 4 miles E. of Epsom. It was built by the Hunters' Club and General Burgoyne, who here composed the poem entitled the "Maid of the Oaks." From this seat the Epsom Races, which take place on the Friday before Whit Sunday, are called the Oaks. There are also seats of this name in the counties of Derby and Leicester.
Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003]
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