East & West Molesey

A Dictionary of Local History

Rowland G. M. Baker, 1972

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At the enclosure of the commons in 1821 a small piece of land between the rivers Mole and Ember and lying astride the old road between East Molesey and Esher, forming part of the old East Molesey Common, was allotted to the minister of East Molesey in lieu of the lesser tithes. The rent of this land was supposed to be used to augment his stipend. For some years it was leased to the owner of Orchard Farm for grazing cattle, hence the name "Cow Common" which became applied to it. As Orchard Farm was on the other side of the Ember in Thames Ditton parish a small wooden bridge was constructed for access. This bridge was demolished in 1954 but the concrete abutments may still be seen. Owing to the restricted entry to the land and the impediment of a public right of way over it, it became increasingly difficult to let and is now virtually a public open space.

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