Another in the occasional series on “Far-Flung Lost London” …
East Molesey was first recorded in an Anglo-Saxon charter in the seventh century as Muleseg, from the Old English personal name Mul and eg, meaning either an island or a peninsula (in a loop of a river). It was later recorded in the Norman “Domesday Book” of 1086 as Molesham, and as being held by Odard Balastarius, Richard FitzGilbert and Roger d’Abernon. The settlement continued to grow in the later Medieval and post-Medieval periods, and more markedly in the Victorian, after the arrival of the railway in 1849. East Molesey is now essentially now a contiguous suburb of London, although technically it lies in the Borough of Elmbridge in the County of Surrey (south of the Thames).
A number of late Medieval and post-Medieval buildings may still be seen here, including the mid fifteenth- century “Bell” public house (formerly known as the “Crooked House”), and the sixteenth-century “Quillets Royal”.
Church of St Mary
The old parish church, at least for part of its history dedicated to St Lawrence, was probably originally built in timber in the seventh century (*), and subsequently rebuilt in stone in the twelfth, and repaired in the fourteenth, thereafter standing until the nineteenth, when it was damaged in a fire and had to be demolished.
The present, new church, dedicated to St Mary, was built on the site of the old one in 1865.
(*) Possibly by Benedictine monks based at Chertsey Abbey (itself built in 666),