Shabden

There has been a house at Shabden on the High Road since 1263 when it was occupied by Alured de Shepindon, a family name indicating a connection with sheep.

From the 1770s Shabden was the seat of John Fanshawe, who was associated with controlling the affairs of the royal palaces. By this time Shabden was the principal mansion within the parish, with an estate of approximately 500 acres, Fanshawe having acquired Noke Farm in 1777. To John Fanshawe we owe the Long Plantation and Tickners Wood. On his death in 1816 the estate was bought by Archibald Little, a Scot, whose large marble monument can be seen in St Margaret's Church.

The Littles were succeeded by the Cattleys in 1844. John Cattley, a Yorkshireman and a director of Royal Exchange Assurance, funded the improvement programme for St Margaret's Church, and his son funded the enlargement of the north aisle and provided the oak seating. The Cattleys were also responsible for the transformation of Shabden House into the French Renaissance style in 1870, and for the building of Shabden Cottages to house estate staff.

Perhaps the most flamboyant occupant of Shabden was Sir Horace Brooks Marshall, who bought the estate in 1909. He was the proprietor of a large publishing company and became Lord Mayor of London in 1918/19. He was created a Baron in 1922, taking the title Baron Marshall of Chipstead. He improved the difficult bird shooting on the estate to such a high degree of excellence that the Shabden shoot achieved national recognition. Three of George V's sons, to become the future Edward VIII, George VI and the Duke of Kent, occasionally enjoyed the sport at Shabden.

Lord Marshall died in 1936 and the Shabden estate was purchased by Surrey County Council and converted into a geriatric hospital for elderly ladies. By 1975 the Area Health Authority decided that the elderly patients who had occupied the house for nearly forty years ought to be moved to a place more in conformity with modern fire and safety regulations.

Eventually, a decision was made and in the early 1980s Shabden was sold to a developer and divided into a number of substantial individual dwellings, each of four or five bedrooms, these and the separate lodges being given a share of the extensive grounds as gardens. At the same time Shabden Cottages were sold off to individual owner-occupiers, thus ending another link with a past era.

The Marshall name lives on through the Lord Marshall Settlement, set up in 1923 to provide nursing or relief to the sick or needy in the parish of Chipstead and adjoining parishes.