MANOR OF SANDERSTEAD.
by Granville Leveson-Gower, F.S.A.
THE earliest mention that I find of this place is in the Saxon Charters. It is mentioned in the will of Duke Ælfrid, 871 A.D., in conjunction with Selsdon, Westerham, Lingfield, and other places in the neighbourhood. It is there written Sonderstede, and in Domesday Book Sandestede. There can be no doubt of the origin of the name: it is the 'sonde 'stede,' or sandy place, a name singularly applicable, and given to it from the character of the soil, which, as may be noticed in coming up the hill from Croydon, is of a sandy nature, a feature very uncommon on these hills, and therefore likely to attract notice. It has been hastily assumed, from the fact that in the Middle Ages the family of Saunders (ancestors, according to Manning, of those of that name long settled at Charlwood in this county) had property here, and were owners of one of the manors, that they gave the name to the place, Saunderstead, quasi the abode of Saunders. It is a plausible but not the true derivation; men in the Saxon times did not so often call the lands after their own names as from some local and distinguishing feature. This name is far older than the Saunders family, and while it has outlived them, is still as significant as on the day on which it was first given.
- Kemble, Codex Diplomat. Cart, Ang-Sax, p. 492.
- Hist. of Surrey, vol. ii p. 190.
- 'Sandres,' in the early times, is the shortened form of Sandested. The family were first called 'de Sandres,' taking their name from the glace. The earliest of the name that I find in this place is Beatrice de Sandres.—Ped. Fin, 3 John, No. 27.