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St Lawrence, Chobham, Surrey

(51°20′49″N, 0°36′10″W)
SU 974 618
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Surrey
now Surrey
medieval Winchester
now Guildford
  • Nora Courtney
  • Peter Hayes
  • Susan Nettle
  • Peter Hayes
26 May 2014

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Feature Sets

Cobham is a village about 4 miles south-east of Weybridge and the same distance south-west of Esher. The parish is bounded on the north by Walton, Esher, Thames Ditton, and a corner of Kingston; on the south-east by Stoke D'Abernon; on the south by Little Bookham, Effingham and East Horsley; on the south-west by Ockham; on the west by a corner of Wisley and by Walton—thus touching ten other parishes. It is about 5 miles from south-west to north-east, and rather under 3 miles from southeast to north-west, and contains 5,278 acres of land and 54 of water. The River Mole runs in a very circuitous course through the parish, and the soils are very various.

The High Street runs N-S with the church on the E side. It consists of a nave to which a 4-bay S arcade was added c.1170, and a 5th bay forming a transeptal chapel was added either at the E end at the same time or slightly later. A 5-bay N arcade was added in 1866. There is a 15thc W tower with a timber W porch and a lead spire, and a chancel rebuilt in 1898. The S transept chapel was rebuilt in 1898. The church was over-restored by Ferrey in 1866.


The Domesday Survey records the existence of both a church and a chapel at Chobham, in the possession of the abbey of Chertsey. The abbot caused the chapel to be repaired in 1318, but after this there is no further mention of a chapel. As, however, it seems to have been dedicated in honour of St. Lawrence, it may probably be identified with the present church of St. Lawrence, in which case the church was presumably Bisley Church.

The church of St. Lawrence remained in the hands of the monks until the surrender of the abbey in 1537. (fn. 69) A vicarage was ordained there in 1330 by Abbot John de Rutherwyk, and was augmented in 1427. Among the pensions due to the abbot and convent was an annual one of 10s. and 6 lb. of wax, which was paid by Chobham vicarage. This pension, previously amounting to 20s. and 6 lb. of wax, had been reduced in 1230. In 1537 the church, with the rectory and advowson, were surrendered to the Crown by John Cordrey, Abbot of Chertsey.


Interior Features



Nairn and Pevsner suggest that the original church to which the arcade was added dates from the 11thc., while VCH prefers an early 12thc date. The S arcade is dated c.1170 by Nairn and c.1180 by VCH. They also differ in the status of the present S transept chapel. While Nairn has it contemporary with the arcade, VCH calls it a late addition of the following century. Nairn speculates that the differences in the W bay of the arcade may imply that there was an earlier tower, replaced in the 15thc.


Historic England, English Heritage Legacy ID: 287137. Church of St Lawrence

Ian Nairn and Nikolaus Pevsner, revised Bridget Cherry The Buildings of England. Surrey, Penguin Books Second Edition 1971

Victoria County History, 3, 1911, 413-419, 'Chobham'