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Last updated: Feb 2023

It's what we do

Research is a key activity conducted by members of Banstead History. It is a very important aspect of local history, and is the way in which group members collate new information from the past, in order that local people and other interested parties can learn more about the history of Banstead and the surrounding area.


Research incorporates a variety of activities and can be carried out by anyone with a bit of spare time. There is no rush or stress involved and the hours of patient searching are all worthwhile when you unearth that one piece of information that you were after, often something that has not seen the light of day for many years.

So, does research involve looking through old documents stored away in a long forgotten cupboard? Well, sometimes it does but there are many other types of research sources which members could use. You are using one now - the internet! Archives such as government census are easily accessible now. Take a look at our links page for a few interesting sites.

We need local knowledge

Local knowledge is something that we can tap into to gain information which has never been recorded before. Several of our publications such as 'Memories of Wartime Banstead District' are collections of stories and accounts from local people and others who lived in the area during wartime.

We want photographs
The Wheatsheaf picture-stained and torn

Photographs are another excellent source of information.

Often the group gets given a dusty old box and we never know what treasures lie inside. Sometimes we find a photograph of a group of people. Often there is nothing written on the back, but it seems that some of our older members can remember just about every name of all the people who lived in the village maybe fifty or sixty years ago. After all, Banstead was a much smaller place then.

Take a look at our gallery and see how the photograph on the left was restored.

We want postcards

The High Street -Postcard Postcards are an excellent source of information. Not only do we get the picture, but the little stories on the back often set out the day to day goings on at the time. Surely there can't be that many postcards of Banstead you might say. After all, we are nowhere near the sea. Well you would be wrong.

Back in the early 1900's everybody sent postcards all the time, and many visitors used to come to Banstead on holiday for the fresh air of the Downs away from London.

Banstead History have a collection of postcards and two members have accumulated some four to five hundred different cards between them.

Family History research

Several of our members have access to ancestry sites and have researched hundreds of individuals, for example all the men on our memorial and several people found via the Past On Glass Project amongst others. If you are researching your family history and discover someone local to Banstead, we may be able to add to your family story. Just email us at BH family history enquiry with any details you already have and we will respond quickly, usually withinn 24 hours.

The Surrey History Centre in Woking .......

The local history centre in Banstead Library is normally unmanned but members can meet researchers by prior appointment.

Aside from the Group's publications, other books have been written about,or include information about Banstead. Probably the best known is 'History of Banstead in Surrey' volumes I and II. by Lambert. The first was published in 1912 and is not the easiest book to get hold of but some libraries do hold copies. Banstead History have also republished this important work.