Another in the occasional series on “Far-Flung Lost London” …
Shepperton was first recorded in the Saxon period, in 959. It was subsequently recorded, as an agricultural village, in the Norman Domesday Book of 1086, and remained essentially rural throughout the remainder of the Medieval period and into the post-Medieval. It began to become more densely populated in the nineteenth century, most especially after the arrival of the railway in 1864, and is now a suburban town, home to some 10000 inhabitants, in the London Borough of Spelthorne.
A recently by-passed winding lane leads from the High Street, past a picturesque cricket ground and the eighteenth-century incarnation of the manor house, to the Conservation Area of Church Square, on the river, described by the architectural historian Nikolaus Pevsner described Church Square as “one of the most perfect village pictures that the area has to offer”.
Here are to be found a number of surviving Medieval to post-Medieval buildings, including the Old Rectory, also known as Erasmus House (*), the King’s Head, and Warren Lodge, and also the church of St Nicholas.
Church of St Nicholas
The church of St Nicholas was probably originally built in wood in the Saxon period. It was subsequently rebuilt in stone in the Norman period, in the twelfth century; and rebuilt again in stone in the seventeenth century, in 1614, after having been damaged by floods in 1605-06. The tower was added in brick in the eighteenth century, at the suggestion of Queen Anne (r. 1702-14).
(*) Named after the leading northern European Renaissance figure Erasmus of Rotterdam, who was a friend of William Grocyn, the Rector of Shepperton between 1504-13.