History of Oxshott

Oxshott enters history in 1179 as Okesseta – the name is derived from the name ‘Occa’ and the Old English word for a strip of land – ‘sceat’.

At this time Oxshott was a poor hamlet of about 200 people earning their living from forestry, farming and the keeping of pigs. For 600 years Oxshott enjoyed a scenic but isolated position, surrounded by heath and scrubland and connected to nearby villages only by simple tracks. In 1885 the nature of the village was changed forever with the building of the railway.

The railway allowed both day trippers and wealthy residents quickly to appreciate the area’s great beauty. The following 30 years saw Oxshott expand to meet their demands and in doing so it acquired all the characteristics of a true English village. The Crown Commissioners limited early housing development to handsome mansions suitable for occupation by families of substance. Examples of these include Danes Hill, Broom Hall and Bevendean. Subsequently, the village has expanded to include all types of housing, but it has retained a degree of prosperity.

The new railway bridge ca. 1904

The religious needs of the growing population were met by the consecration of St Andrew’s Church in 1912. Oxshott became a Parish in its own right in 1913. The high street expanded from an initial nucleus of three shops: a drapers, a tobacconist and a set of tea-rooms. Industry arrived in Oxshott when John Early Cook set up his brickworks in 1866. Production continued until 1958 with the famous and distinctive chimney being demolished in 1967. The resulting clay-pit has since filled with water and forms an attractive lake, about 100 feet deep. 

Although the development of the last 120 years has changed Oxshott immeasurably it remains a thriving community located amidst the most stunning scenery.

Oxshott from Heath Hill, ca. 1904