Like a sect, the Quakers seem a quiet and secretive bunch, controlling where we go and what we do…
Stop there. First off, don’t get your hopes up. I’ve found no evidence of a Quaker covenant depriving us of our enjoyment of a pint on every street corner in Carshalton Beeches.
But how did the story start? Let’s investigate.
There’s millions of pubs in Carshalton itself. Why hasn’t the Beeches got its fair share.
You have to remember that Carshalton itself has been a residential and commercial area for many centuries, drawn predominantly to the local springs.
Whereas Carshalton Beeches on the other hand as a name only came into existence with the arrival of the railway. It’s mainly been farmlands and only fairly recently become more built up. Even the row of shops around the corner from the train station was residential originally. Little Holland house was built around 1902.
There was really no need to build more pubs with Carshalton nearby.
There’s a covenant on my house deeds
No there isn’t. I’ve found no mention of Quakers on various deeds I’ve researched in Gordon Road. At Wallington Osteopath next to Carshalton Beeches station there is mention of noise… maybe there was a Quaker influence here, but this is a fairly common addition to deeds. It’s possible there’s even older deeds around, but I’ve not seen these.
If you’ve seen any evidence please share a photo, or perhaps you are a property lawyer who can shed more light.
Alcohol has mostly likely been sold in the area from as long as commercial buildings have existed alongside the station, such as by the Turners family.
But why so much talk of Quakers
Well actually there are several connections to various well-to-do Quaker families in the area. There’s also a strong connection to the Church of England and the Temperance Movement – a movement that was anti-alcohol.
The Fry family from Norwich were famous for Fry’s Turkish Delight, and at one point purchased the land of Banstead from the Carews of Beddington. Members of the Fry family lived at Wallington Manor House (where Derek Avenue is). Elizabeth Fry (nee Gurney) was a famous Quaker and prison reformer. Her nephew was Samuel Gurney who owned the Culvers in Hackbridge. Gurney was connected to the Reynolds of Carshalton House, also a Quaker family.
I believe there was a Gurney connection to the lodge in the ecology centre. This lodge at one point was the location of the Southwark diocese headquarters. An important branch of the church of England.
Then there was George Brightling, a Victorian historian who was a church warden at All Saints church (north of Carshalton Beeches), who had a strong connection to the temperance movement.
I’ve heard there was at one time a temperance connection to the Stanley hotel (east of Carshalton Beeches). This was situated in Stanley Road, which is roughly opposite the mini Sainsburys in Stanley Park Road.
So this gives you a glimpse into the strong Religious routes in the area and it’s easy to understand how ‘rumours’ could have developed about Quaker covenants. It’s plausible that there were plans to build a pub, and these could have been apposed by local landowners, but again I’ve found no evidence.
I’ll be updating this post as new information comes to light.
All colour images ©secretcarshalton.com.