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In AD 820 two alternative spellings are also shown as 'Mastam' and 'Mastahaem', and a further ninth century spelling during the reign of Edward the Confessor is 'Mersetham'.The Domesday Survey of AD 1086 simplifies this to 'Merstan' In the twelfth century two spellings are given, namely 'Mesteham' and 'Merstham' - mear or mere, meaning pool, and meare meaning boundary.The Lord's rent was set at 25 fat hogs and 16 lean hogs, which seems to prove that oak trees flourished and the area was suitable for pigs (acorns being part of the staple diet of wild boar).Field terraces on the southern slope of the North Downs overlooking the stone quarries at Merstham suggest the area was inhabited and cultivated perhaps as early as pre-Roman times.The spelling for Merstham has varied throughout the ages.In AD 947 the record shows that the Charter of Eadred or Edwy grants Theyn Oswig twenty hides (a hide was roughly one hundred acres) in 'Mearsoetham', the name meaning literally 'dwelling of the people of the marsh'.Early Roman influences in Merstham first come to light when, in around AD60, Claudia, the daughter of a British king returned from Rome.It is thought she had been held hostage as insurance of her father's allegiance to Rome.
The discovery of swords whilst planting lime trees in the Battlebridge area of Merstham indicates the probability of a skirmish having taken place in the area.Every stone in the smaller arch was inscribed with the Roman numeral VII and it is thought that the Roman VII legion was responsible for this quarry.Next we turn to medieval times and it is in this period that we are able to put names to the quarrymasters of the area.The two books, one of 450 pages, the Great Domesday, and the other of 382 pages, The Little Domesday, were on parchment and bound in thick wooden covers secured with brass plates.Surrey was the described in the first Domesday Book and an entry mentioning Merstham read 'In Chercefelle Hundred the Archbishop himself holds Merstan for the clothing of monks.' It continues: 'There is a church and a mill worth thirty pence, villeins in grass and eight acres of meadow.' The property of Merstham in the Chercefelle Hundred was recorded as five hides, which would have been approximately five hundred acres and valued at twelve pounds.
Knoop & Jones in their book 'The Medieval Mason' record that 'Eton College used freestone from Merstham in the mid 1400s, paying 1s 8d per load at the quarry and a further 2s 8d for transporting it to Eton.' The next period in history when demand for Merstham stone was known to have been heavy was in the re-building of London after the Great Fire of 1666.