Bourne Hall is a wonderful place to visit all year round. It is situated in the centre of Ewell and has beautiful gardens, a museum, cafe and much more. Today I sat Down with David Brooks, a museum assistant who is responsible for researching and protecting the heritage of Epsom and Ewell, as well as making it available for the public to access.

Events at Bourne Hall

There are always a large amount of events going on at Bourne Hall. David decides on the events based on a number of things including things that might be significant that year such as the 80th anniversary of D-Day (which is taking place next year), and also the 80th anniversary of the V-1 attacks on Britain. In the museum, they actually have the back-end of a V-1 that crashed on Ashtead common, which can give you an idea of the sheer size of the whole V-1 bomb. One of David's most prized events is the museum club that he has been running for the past 20 years. He has had at least four children continue on to pursue a profession in archeology. They have also just finished a segment on black history month, particularly focusing on Bill Richmond who was “probably the first British, black, superstar boxer” who fought several times at Epsom Downs from 1804. The matches were gruelling, with each round lasting 28 minutes compared to three minutes nowadays. On top of that, the rules allowed you to “do more than just punch”. 

The museum at Bourne Hall

Bourne Hall’s museum is not a tourist attraction but it is a popular destination for the locals, especially during the school holidays. It is free to access as it is paid for by Epsom Council and holds an astonishing 30,000 items. They have a variety of activities in the museum for kids like ‘cave painting’ where paper is stuck underneath the tables so that children can create their very own cave paintings, as well as brass rubbing. The contents of the museum are decided based on what shows up as they get frequent donations, but they also purchase things from eBay. When covid was about, they looked back to the Spanish flu in 1919 which was a massive pandemic, but soon realised there was not a single photograph or an object associated with it in Epsom. This led them to decide to take several thousand photos of vaccination centres and posters there will be photos for the history books. They have a great deal of interesting artefacts in the museum and one of their most impressive artefacts is a Victorian taxi that was owned by Lord Rosebery. They are also expecting some items from Jimmy Page, who used to live in Epsom. Bourne Hall gets a great quantity of old photos and belongings from people in Epsom that they are not able to pass on to museums. I was very lucky to have been able to see a stone age wood working tool that was made 10,000 years ago and found by the stepping stones at Hogsmill river.