Tag Archives: Spring

Nonsuch in Poetry

Nonsuch in Poetry

On 21st June 2016 at 7.30pm a presentation will take place in the Service Wing Stable of new poetry about Nonsuch. Award winning local poet, Bernard Jacobs will tell us about his new anthology. Each poem is based on an aspect of the history of Nonsuch – Henry VIII, Barbara Villiers, the Palace, the Stained Glass and Nonsuch Park during World War II and, more recently, Prof. Biddles’ excavation in 1959.

Bernard Jacobs The Nonsuch Poems

Bernard and some friends will read a selection of them, some accompanied by music, with an explanation being given about the reason for each poem. Some are gentle, some funny, others serious. 

Mr. Jacobs, who lives near to Nonsuch Park, has only recently taken up writing as a hobby and has already received various awards. He has asked if some of the poems can be read with music playing quietly in the background as the poem is read.

The poems have now been published and Mr. Jacobs will sign books after the event. Each books costs just £5.

The Nonsuch Poems Bernard Jacobs

The Road from Rome

London Road 1 (1)

As you sit in the traffic on the London Road (A24) during the morning rush hour, it is perhaps difficult to imagine that the road was originally built as an expressway.

There is now little to show, apart from the Straightness, that the road was built on the line of the Roman Stane Street, which connected the now silted up port of Chichester, Sussex with London.  It was part of the Roman “expressway system” which led to Ewell becoming a major town, partly due to the abundance of fresh water emanating from the many springs there.

When the Romans invaded Britain in AD43, they had the problem of subduing and policing the country’s newly conquered tribes.  To do this required the rapid transit of soldiers and equipment to get wherever the problems were occurring, which could only be achieved by building a good quality network of roads, and preferably in as straight a line as possible.

main-Romans Marching

This they achieved by constructing three categories of road.  The ITER for foot soldiers was 5 feet wide.  The ACTUS for wheeled traffic was 7 feet wide.  The VIA with a 14 feet width was for two way wheeled traffic.  The London road was obviously a VIA grade road.

Should you be waiting for your 293 bus at Stoneleigh, drift into a day dream, and begin to imagine galloping horses hooves and iron shod wheels, pay no heed.  It is only the ghost of Brutus Ironicus driving the last chariot home from London to Chichester as the Romans retreated back their beloved Italy in AD410.

Taken from “A stroll through North Cheam’s past” by Tony Brett Young


Sweet smelling Wisteria and Lilac

Wisteria Nonsuch 1

Visit Nonsuch Mansion House gardens this weekend and the air will be heady with the scent of lilac and wisteria.  Nonsuch Gardens are famous for having of of Surreys largest Wisteria Trees

In 1860 Swete’s Handbook of Epsom describes a  Wisteria120 feet (36.5 metres) in the formal gardens.  Could it be the same plant?


Marshalls history of Cheam, tells us that “The first Lilac trees were brought to Nonsuch by Sir Walter Raleigh.  The Horourable Mrs Colborne, the owner in 1928 keeps up the tradition, as every kind of Lilac that is known is at present growing in the gardens of Nonsuch Park.”

Wickham Avenue saved from flooding by culvert

Wickham Ditch and bridge

After the very heavy rainfall over the past 48 hours, the Wickham Avenue culvert is helping to channel off a huge amount of water and preventing the properties in Wickham Avenue from flooding.

Many thanks to the Nonsuch Voles for digging out the ditch  and culvert under the London Road and Sutton Council for providing the bridge.


Spring is coming to Nonsuch Woodland

Bluebells in Nonsuch woodland

There is nothing more lovely than walking through the woodland in late spring.  The woodland between Nonsuch Park and Cheam Rec, is especially beautiful, after all the hard coppicing work by the Nonsuch Voles, two winters ago.

As the sunlight comes through, dormant seeds are awoken and new plants are discovered.  Spanish Bluebells, Cow Parsley and an Apple Tree all help create some beautiful woodland.