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Surrey, The Mansion House, Nonsuch Park - - 1733012.jpg
The Old Rectory (2), Cheam, London Borough of Sutton.jpg
18 May Cheam (2).jpg
Gardens of Nonsuch Mansion.jpg
Top to bottom, left to right: Grade II listed Nonsuch Mansion in Nonsuch Park; The Old Rectory, Cheam; Whitehall during Cheam Charter Fair; Nonsuch Park
Cheam is located in Greater London
Population 10,285 (2011 Census. Ward)
OS grid reference TQ245625
London borough
Ceremonial county Greater London
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town SUTTON
Postcode district SM2, SM3
Dialling code 020
Police Metropolitan
Fire London
Ambulance London
EU Parliament London
UK Parliament
  • Sutton and Cheam
London Assembly
  • Croydon and Sutton
List of places
51°22′N 0°13′W / 51.36°N 0.21°W / 51.36; -0.21

Cheam is a commuter suburb now in the London Borough of Sutton, England, 10.9 miles (17.5 km) south-west of Charing Cross. It divides into North Cheam, Cheam Village and South Cheam. Cheam Village contains the listed buildings Lumley Chapel and the 16th-century Whitehall. It is adjacent to two large parks, Nonsuch Park and Cheam Park. Nonsuch Park contains the listed Nonsuch Mansion. Parts of Cheam Park and Cheam Village are in a conservation area. Cheam is bordered by Worcester Park to the north-west, Morden to the north-east, Sutton to the east, Ewell and Stoneleigh to the west and Banstead and Belmont to the south.


The Roman road of Stane Street forms part of the boundary of Cheam. The course of Stane Street through the area is now followed by the modern road London Road at North Cheam, and designated A24 on road maps.

The village lay within the Anglo-Saxon administrative division of Wallington hundred.

Cheam's roots date back to 1018, when Chertsey Abbey owned the area. In the Domesday Book, the Bishop was holding Cheam to cater for the monks.

Cheam appears in Domesday Book as Ceiham. It was held by Archbishop Lanfranc of Canterbury. Its Domesday assets were: 4 hides; 1 church, 17 ploughs, 1-acre (4,000 m2) of meadow, woodland worth 25 hogs. It rendered £14.

In the Middle Ages, Cheam had potteries, and recent excavations have been carried out by archaeologists. In 1538, part of Cheam was handed over to Henry VIII. The same year, Henry began work on Nonsuch Palace, which he decorated elaborately. This was later sold and demolished. In 1801, the time of the first census, Cheam had a population of 616 Cheamonians.

In 1259 Henry III of England made Cheam a town by charter. Records of Cheam Charter Fair date back to the 1800s when a fairground accompanied the market.

Cheam was the original home of Cheam School which was formed in Whitehall in 1645 and later occupied Tabor Court from 1719 until 1934 when the school moved to Berkshire. Prince Philip attended the school in Cheam in the years immediately preceding its move.

Cheam Village and North Cheam

Cheam Village Surrey
Ewell Road, looking west
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Cheam Baptist Church, Cheam Village

Cheam Village is centred on the crossroads between Sutton, North Cheam, South Cheam and Ewell. As well as bus services, it is served by Cheam mainline station which is in London Travelcard Zone 5 and one stop from Sutton, about a mile away, and two from Epsom, about three miles away. Services from Cheam to central London include direct trains to Victoria which take about 30 minutes.

It has a conservation area and a number of historic buildings dating back several centuries, including Nonsuch Mansion, the gabled Whitehall and Lumley Chapel (see below) and a Georgian former Rectory.

Cheam Village is a part of Cheam. Cheam Village Conservation Area was designated in 1970 – it covers historic parkland, housing of varying styles and age and a Tudor shopping area with timber detailing and leaded-lights. Its shops include Waitrose and Majestic Wine. Its catering facilities include branches of Costa, Prezzo, and Pizza Express. There are a number of independent establishments, including furniture shops and gift shops. It has banks, building societies and estate agents. The entrance to Nonsuch Park with its historic mansion (see below) is two hundred yards from the village centre crossroads.

North Cheam is centred 1 mile (1.6 km) north, at the crossroads between Cheam Village and Worcester Park, Epsom and Morden. There are established bus routes serving the area, including services 213 (Sutton to Kingston), 151 (Wallington to Worcester Park), 93 (North Cheam to Putney Bridge) and the less frequent X26 express service between Heathrow Airport and Croydon.

Victoria Junction is the centre of North Cheam. The area consists of a large Sainsbury's supermarket with adjoining Starbucks, a neighbouring park, a number of independent shops and restaurants, a post office and a Costa. There are currently plans to redevelop the site of a vacant 1960s building at the North Cheam crossroad and expand commercial and residential buildings.

St. Anthony's Hospital is a large private hospital in North Cheam.

Cheam Leisure Centre, on Malden Road, has facilities including a swimming pool (30m x 12m), squash courts and fitness gym.

The population of Cheam, consisting of the Cheam and Nonsuch wards, was 20,972 in 2011.

Places of note

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The Mansion House, Nonsuch Park

Nonsuch Mansion

Nonsuch Mansion is a Grade II listed Gothic revival mansion within Nonsuch Park. The service wing is occasionally open to the public. It is a popular place for wedding receptions, as it is available for hire. In medieval times it was part of the three thousand acre manor of Cuddington. The mansion was originally built in 1731–43 by Joseph Thompson and later bought by Samuel Farmer in 1799. He employed Jeffry Wyattville to rebuild it in a Tudor Gothic style in 1802-6. Farmer was succeeded by his grandson in 1838 under whom the gardens became famous.

Nonsuch Mansion bears a resemblance in its design to the original design of Nonsuch Palace, whose construction was begun by King Henry VIII in the 16th century. Built within the north porch of the mansion is a block from the original Nonsuch Palace that bears an inscription which means "1543 Henry VIII in the 35th year of His reign."


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Whitehall in Cheam Village

Whitehall is a timber framed and weatherboarded house in the centre of Cheam Village. It was originally built in about 1500 as a wattle and daub yeoman farmer's house but has been much extended. The external weatherboard dates from the 18th century. In the garden there is a medieval well which served an earlier building on the site.

Now an historic house museum, the building features a period kitchen, and house details from the Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian eras. The museum temporarily closed in 2016 to allow for a £1.6m refurbishment of the building. It will reopen in 2017 with improved facilities.

Cheam War Memorial

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Cheam War Memorial

Close to Cheam Library and the much-rebuilt Church, the memorial is to the many people of Cheam who lost their lives during World War I, World War II and to a lesser extent The Falklands War.

There are a number of inscriptions on the structure, including one at the 12 O'Clock Face which reads:

Our Glorious Dead / Their names shall endure for evermore.

Lumley Chapel

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Lumley Chapel

Situated next to St Dunstan's Church, Lumley Chapel is the oldest standing building in the London Borough of Sutton, and contains many notable monuments to local families. It has been designated by English Heritage as a Grade II* listed building, and is under the care of a national charity, the Churches Conservation Trust.

Too small to be used for regular worship, it is open to visitors. Its key is held by nearby properties.

St Dunstan's Church

St Dunstan, Cheam (geograph 1664879)
St Dunstan's Church

The parish church of St Dunstan is Grade II* listed. It was built in Cheam Village in 1864 next to Lumley Chapel on the site of a medieval church. It was built with Kentish ragstone below pitched slate roofs with dressings to windows and doors in Bath Stone. It was designed by F. H. Pownall in the Gothic revival architectural style, and features polychrome brickwork decoration internally.

The lychgate, dated 1891, at the entrance to the churchyard, is listed Grade II. In the churchyard are three tombs, each of which is Grade II listed.

The Old Rectory

The Old Rectory is a large part timber-framed house, built in the Tudor period, but extended and remodelled in the Eighteenth Century. It is occasionally open to the public.

The Old Farmhouse

A large timber-framed and weatherboarded Yeoman farmers house, forming part of the Cheam Conservation Area with St Dunstan's Church, Whitehall, The Old Rectory and the Lumley Chapel. The Old Farmhouse has a crown post roof and large Tudor axial chimney stack in the centre with large fireplaces. The earliest part of the house is 15th Century, with several building stages extending the house in the 16th and 17th centuries, creating a Baffle House design popular in the 17th Century.

Many original features remain including oak doors and hinges, window shutters and fireplaces. Much of the timber framing is exposed throughout the house. Recent excavation and ground imaging uncovered a large Tudor kitchen underneath the house with a Tudor hearth and hood visible. Access to the cellar kitchen was by a staircase going north to south, which is now under the floor of the current kitchen. A file of text and images relating to the house is available in the Conservation Archive in Sutton Library.

The Old Cottage

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The Old Cottage, Cheam Village

The Old Cottage was built in the late 15th or early 16th century. Initially built as a cottage, it became a small brewery in the 18th century. It originally stood in the Broadway (then Malden Road) near the junction with Ewell Road. Under threat of demolition when the road was widened in 1922, it was saved by the local council, working with a local architect and historian. The building was dismantled by removing the original wooden pins from the timber frame. The parts were then moved to the present site one hundred yards down the road and reassembled. The Old Cottage features a local historical plaque, and is now used as a bridal wear shop.

Parks and gardens

Cheam is mainly built up, but retains Cheam Park and Nonsuch Park, the latter home to a historic building, Nonsuch Mansion and extensive flower gardens.

Cheam Park backs onto Nonsuch Park, with tennis courts, football pitches and a children's playground.

Panorama of Flower Garden, Nonsuch Park, Cheam

Places of worship

Apart from the aforementioned St Dunstan's church, St Paul's Howell Hill is on Northey Avenue at the far west of the town although it is actually in the borough of Epsom and Ewell. It is known locally due to its prominent presence on a roundabout and its contemporary design. At the eastern end of Northey Avenue is St Andrews United Reform Church. Cheam Baptist Church is located next to St Dunstan's Church. Cheam Methodist Church is in the east of the town just off the A217 and is also home to Sutton Schoolswork, the local Christian schools charity working in the borough of Sutton.

Disappearance of Lee Boxell

Lee Boxell, a 15-year-old schoolboy, disappeared near his home in Cheam on 10 September 1988. He was on his way to a football match at Selhurst Park and has not been seen since. The case remains unsolved. It was featured in the national press and on BBC TV's Crimewatch.

Nearby places


38.2% of homes in Cheam are detached houses, 23% are semi-detached, 20.6% are flats/maisonettes/apartments, and 18.6% are terraced.


Extract from Report to the Minister of War Transport 21 January 1946 Map 2 - Routes 10 and 11
Duplication of tunnels on the Northern line and extension to North Cheam proposed in 1946

Cheam is served by Cheam station on the Sutton and Mole Valley lines between Sutton and Epsom. It is in Travelcard Zone 5. Services from Cheam to central London include direct trains to Victoria which take about 30 minutes.

In 1910, parliamentary approval was given to the Wimbledon and Sutton Railway to construct a station at Cheam Road, Sutton that would have been served by the London Underground's District Railway. Following negotiations between the Underground Electric Railways Company of London and the Southern Railway, the line was eventually opened in 1930 by the Southern Railway, though the station was replaced by West Sutton to its north.

In 1946, a report on London's railways to the Ministry of War Transport detailed possible new routes and rail lines for the London Underground, including the Victoria line and a route that would serve similar stations to Crossrail. The same report recommended extending the Northern line to North Cheam, contingent on doubling the tracks between Kennington and Tooting Broadway such that Charing Cross trains would terminate at Tooting Broadway, and with an intermediate station at Morden South. Both proposals would each have cost £1,500,000. The proposed site for North Cheam station would have occupied the site of what was then a Granada cinema on London Road in North Cheam, which was opened in 1937 and closed in 1969; one half was demolished to make way for a community centre car park, and the other half of which is now a Wetherspoon pub. However, as no detailed planning and application was made for permission to construct the extension — by the report's own admission, "the period required for construction, under the most favourable conditions, would not be less than 30 years" — the extension to North Cheam did not take place.

Cheam and North Cheam are served by bus routes including services 213 (Sutton to Kingston), 151 (Wallington to Worcester Park), 93 (North Cheam to Putney Bridge) and the less frequent X26 express service between Heathrow Airport and Croydon.

Notable people

The Duke of Edinburgh (2)
Prince Philip went to school at the prestigious Cheam School prior to its move from Cheam
Joanna Rowsell's gold postbox in Cheam, London
Olympic gold postbox in Cheam Village for local medal winner, Joanna Rowsell
  • Prince Philip (1921–2021), attended Cheam School in the early 1930s when the school was still in Cheam
  • Koop Arponen (born 1984), a winner in the Finnish version of Pop Idol, attended Cheam High School
  • David Bellamy (1933–2019), TV naturalist, attended Cheam Fields Primary School
  • James Blades (1901–1999) orchestral percussionist.
  • Lee Boxell (born 1973), a schoolboy who disappeared on 10 September 1988 from Cheam
  • Jane Dee, Elizabethan lady-in-waiting and wife of occultist John Dee, was born in Cheam
  • Tony Hancock (1924–1968), comedian, lived in and set his sketches in Cheam
  • Paul Greengrass (born 1955), film director, was born in Cheam
  • James Hunt (1947–1993), Formula One racing driver, lived in Cheam as a child and attended Ambleside School
  • Peter Manley (born 1962), darts player, was born in Cheam
  • Jimmy Mann (born 1978), darts player, resides in Cheam, attended Cheam Fields primary school
  • Joanna Rowsell (born 1988), Olympic cycling gold medallist, attended Cuddington-Croft Primary School and Nonsuch High School for Girls
  • Alex Sawyer (born 1993), actor, lived in Cheam and attended The Avenue School for a while
  • Harry Secombe (1921–2001), comedian, lived in Cheam for many years
  • Alec Stewart (born 1963), (ex-England cricketer) lived in Cheam
  • Jeremy Vine (born 1965) (presenter) and his brother Tim Vine (born 1967) (comedian) were born in Cheam
  • Carrie Quinlan, actress, lived in Cheam and attended Nonsuch High School for Girls
  • Dr Suzannah Lipscomb (born 1978), historian, lived in Cheam and attended Nonsuch High School for Girls.

Images for kids

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Cheam para niños

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