Project 1 Exercise 1.2 Site Selection & Documentation

Location: Epsom, Surrey

Epsom is a historical market town located in North Surrey, on the southern outskirts of London (around 15 miles from Central London), just inside the M25. During 2011 Census the population of Epsom was counted at 32311.

Main historical events that contributed to towns development were:

  1. The early 17th century discovery of Epsom Salts in a spring in Epsom Common led to the town becoming a popular spa destination.
  2. Epsom Derby is one of the oldest and most renowned horse races. It began in the spa period and continues to this day. Epsom Downs Racecourse is home to Epsom Derby. It is located on the outskirts of Epsom, amongst woods, fields, and small, picturesque villages.

During Covid-19 crisis this year I walked often around the racecourse area and even then, I started to assess prospective suitable locations for my pavilion. Initially I considered area just south of the racecourse, still within recourse grounds. I later dismissed it due to likely access issues.

I noticed the area was popular with walkers, and I thought it would be nice to have somewhere to take shelter on a hot or rainy day, to take a break. I decided to look for a suitable location around the racecourse. I used my first-hand knowledge of which spots are specifically popular as rest areas, and unsurprisingly these are the ones with the best view.

Number 1 in fig. 1 shows small hill overlooking the racecourse, there are already some benches for people to relax on. The view over the racecourse is stunning. This location is also very close to Tattenham Corner Rail Station, and village facilities. For the purposes of this task I titled this spot as Location 1.

Number 2 in fig. 1 shows another location with a north facing view of central London and beyond. On days with particularly good air clarity a viewer can even notice Wembley stadium on the horizon. For the purposes of this task I titled this spot as Location 2.

Each of the locations could do with a pavilion:

Location 1 is very near train station, so could be a nice spot to spend a few minutes before or after your journey, especially in winter weather – the view it would provide would make the space more attractive than even the fanciest station facilities. The train service is infrequent (every 30 mins in peak time), so any unlucky commuter who missed their train could de-stress there.

Location 2 is next to a very busy 40m/h road. It can get quite noisy. There also are no benches, so the space is more for people who drive and who often bring their own seating to relax while they admire the London skyline. A pavilion there could be a good idea as certain construction types could provide noise shelter; it could also have some seating for those unable to bring own chair.

After careful consideration I decided to go with Location 1. Mainly because it has a guaranteed view of the racecourse – regardless, the weather and visibility. I also like it because it is more elevated than location 2. I think pavilion there will be more practical too. People can admire the view at location 2 without leaving their car, location 1 does not have that option so a pavilion there will be more useful than at location 2. There also could be a legal issue in Location 2 – the green belt next to car park belongs to Epsom Golf Club – I cannot imagine the management would be happy to put a pavilion there, inviting even more walkers to their grounds. This year they put up special orange fences to stop the ‘lockdown’ walkers treading on their grass.

Fig. 1 Epsom Downs Racecourse and Surroundings
Fig. 2 Location 1 Street view
Fig. 3 Location 1 Zoomed in Map
Fig. 4 Location 1 – view from station side
Fig. 5 Location 1 – panoramic view over the racecourse
Fig. 6 Location 1 – Standing near the edge of the hill.
Fig. 7 Location 2 – Zoomed In Map
Fig. 8 Location 2 – Street view
Fig. 9 Location 2 – View towards London Skyline

List of illustartions:

Fig. 1 Google Maps (2020) Epsom Downs Racecourse and Surroundings. [Map/Edited Screenshot] At: https://www.google.com/maps/search/epsom+downs/@51.3090834,-0.2595061,3906m/data=!3m1!1e3 (Accessed 13/09/2020)

Fig. 2 Google Maps (2020) Location 1 Street view. [Screenshot] At: https://www.google.com/maps/@51.3087969,-0.2440703,3a,75y,26.87h,93.16t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sPY0k6hKvxVZt7u58oLnVhQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656 (Accessed 13/09/2020)

Fig. 3 Google Maps (2020) Location 1 – Zoomed In Map. [Map/Edited Screenshot] At: https://www.google.com/maps/search/epsom+downs/@51.3093161,-0.2443427,288m/data=!3m1!1e3 (Accessed 13/09/2020)

Fig. 4 Shuttleworth, A. (2020) Location 1 – view from station side. [Photograph] In the possession of: the author: Epsom.

Fig. 5 Shuttleworth, A. (2020) Location 1 – panoramic view over the racecourse. [Photograph, panoramic] In the possession of: the author: Epsom.

Fig. 6 Shuttleworth, A. (2020) Location 1 – standing near the edge of the hill. [Photograph] In the possession of: the author: Epsom.

Fig. 7 Google Maps (2020) Location 2 – Zoomed in Map. [Map/Edited Screenshot] At: https://www.google.com/maps/search/epsom+downs/@51.3147582,-0.2515405,387m/data=!3m1!1e3 (Accessed 13/09/2020)

Fig. 8 Google Maps (2019) Location 2 – Street view. [Screenshot] At: https://www.google.com/maps/@51.3142628,-0.2508613,3a,40.5y,350.41h,92.63t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1saxsCrSxWLiPaWnrir-MFbA!2e0!7i16384!8i8192 (Accessed 13/09/2020)

Fig. 9 Shuttleworth, A. (2020 Location 2 – View towards London Skyline. [Photograph] In the possession of: the author: Epsom.

References:

Dalton, T. (2019) Discover some amazing historical facts about Epsom. At: https://www.timeandleisure.co.uk/epsom-history-snippets/ (Accessed 10/09/2020)

Epsom & Ewell History & Archaeology Society (2020) A Brief History of Epsom and Ewell. At: http://www.epsomewellhistory.org.uk/local-history/4545527639 (Accessed 10/09/2020)

Exlopring Surrey’s Past (2020) Epsom. At: https://www.exploringsurreyspast.org.uk/themes/places/surrey/epsom_and_ewell/epsom/ (Accessed 10/09/2020)

Surrey I Your Insight into Surrey (2011) 2011 Census town/village summary: Epsom.

At: https://datapress-files.s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/surrey/dataset/2011-census-summaries-for-towns-and-villages/2018-05-10T13%3A53%3A22/Epsom%20and%20Ewell%20towns.pdf?X-Amz-Algorithm=AWS4-HMAC-SHA256&X-Amz-Credential=AKIA34OJCNUVXSUMRHGO%2F20200913%2Feu-west-1%2Fs3%2Faws4_request&X-Amz-Date=20200913T094734Z&X-Amz-Expires=300&X-Amz-Signature=cb1024e3cd2c4b2e5c3fd44076b398182bb0e2954cd703b7c7d37b9ab0ca6b1f&X-Amz-SignedHeaders=host (Accessed 13/09/2020)

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