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In 1066 in one of England's most famous battles the then Duke William of Normandy defeated the English King, Harold II, at Hastings.The new King, William I, known as 'The Conqueror', was crowned at Westminster Abbey on Christmas Day 1066.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.
There are many other places, all of Saxon origin, that have the common ending of ham, and having the same meaning of 'home', something 'hemmed-in', a small settlement of houses clustered together.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'.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.
It was used in the building of London Bridge and it seems inevitable that it was used elsewhere.
Any man who refused was sent as a prisoner to Windsor.