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Sutton's Archives

The present Borough includes the ancient parishes of Beddington, Carshalton, Sutton and Cheam as well as the hamlet of Wallington. Also contained within the boundaries are small areas of the ancient parishes of Cuddington and Woodmansterne.

Administrative history

For Poor Law purposes, the parishes of Carshalton, Cheam and Sutton were part of the Epsom Union, whilst Beddington and Wallington made up part of the Croydon Union. Similarly, from 1875 both the Epsom and Croydon Rural Sanitary Districts had jurisdiction in the area.

Formal local government as such in the Borough began in 1883 with the formation of Local Boards in the two largest towns of Sutton and Carshalton. However, it was not until 1915 that the Urban District of Beddington & Wallington was formed and 1928 before Cheam merged with the Urban District of Sutton. Both Sutton & Cheam (in 1934) and Beddington & Wallington (in 1937) achieved the status of Municipal Borough; Carshalton remained an Urban District until the merger of all three authorities in 1965.

Summary of records held

Our oldest records date back to the 14th century and our newest to the 1990s. The main collection comprises Local Authority records such as council and committee minutes, rate books, account books and school records. The records of the predecessor authorities include Overseers of the Poor volumes and Vestry Minutes.

In addition to the Local Authority records we are designated as place of deposit for Public Records, for example, the records of the Local Magistrate Courts dating back to the 19th century. We are also designated as a place of deposit for Manorial and Tithe records. Our oldest manorial documents are the Carshalton Manorial Rolls dating back to 1346.

Sutton Archives is also the designated Diocesan Record Office for the London Borough of Sutton. As such we hold original parish registers and records for those parishes whose churches are within the boundaries of the Borough. Of most interest to researchers are the records of the ancient parishes of Beddington, Carshalton, Sutton and Cheam. The Beddington parish records are particularly rich in Poor Law material.

Family and personal papers held include: photographic and film archive from the Bawtree Family of Sutton; the Carews of Beddington Manor. The Carew estate papers date back to the 15th century.

Other records of interest include the deed to the sale of Nonsuch Palace (1687); notes, cuttings and pamphlets relating to Carshalton which were collected by Dr Albert Peatling, a notable local antiquarian; WWII bomb maps of Sutton & Cheam and plans and drawings of Sutton Garden Suburb.

There are catalogues and indexes to the Borough Archive collection. Please contact Kath Shawcross, the Borough Archivist and Local Studies Manager, for further details of the Borough Archives on 020 8770 4745 or email: A large proportion of our archive catalogues can be searched for on A2A (this link opens in a new window). 

Please note: 24 hours notice is required to produce the majority of Archival material.