Tadworth is a large suburban village in Surrey in the south-east of the Epsom Downs, part of the North Downs. It forms part of the Borough of Reigate and Banstead. At the 2001 census Tadworth had a population of 9,522.
In a small farm to the northwest, South Tadworth Farm, directly at the top of the westward leading Langley Vale and south of the Epsom Downs racecourse is an Iron Age Banjo enclosure, a term used by archaeologists for a distinctive type of prehistoric settlement. They were mostly constructed and used during the Middle Iron Age (400-100 BC), although some remained in use up to the time of the Roman Conquest (43 AD).
Tadworth appears in Domesday Book of 1086 as Tadeorde and Tadorne. It was held partly by Halsart from William de Braiose and partly by Radulf (Ralph) from the Bishop of Bayeux. Its domesday assets were: 2hides. It had 5 ploughs, woodland worth 4 hogs. It rendered £3 15s 0d. Manorialism operated for the ensuing centuries.
During this period the listed mills were erected in the south.
Some of the windmills, c.1910
In 1273 John and James, sons of William Haunsard lord of North Tadworth Manor, gave a carucate of land, 2 acres of pasture, 12 acres of wood, and 20s. rent in North Tadworth and Little Bookham to the Priory of St Mary Overy — they held until the Dissolution of the Monasteries. However in 1524 they gave it with the rectory of Banstead to William Coltson and Richard Moys and Elizabeth his wife for a term of forty years, which was widened to complete ownership in effect by Henry VIII. From the Crown to Thomas Walson and Robert Moys, eventually the manor was given up to the latter entirely and stayed in his family until his grandson Henry who held court in 1648. At Henry Moys's death the manor passed to his five sisters and co-heirs. In 1659 4⁄5 of the owners finally released their income and rights to Christopher Buckle of Burgh (Burgh Heath, see Domesday section for example in Kingswood). Only in 1663 did he acquire the remaining fifth. Since that time North Tadworth has been held with as part of the manor of Burgh in the Banstead parish.
No Charter, Assize Roll, Patent Roll or other manuscript has been found to explain how the Merton Priory came by the manor of South Tadworth, in Domesday Tadeorde, but the priory gained it around the same time when the priory gained Banstead Manor; for they held it in 1291. As with the other manor, this manor was held by a priory until Henry VIII's Dissolution of the Monasteries. Henry VIII wanted this land as his own so attached it to the wide, not all joined up, honour of Hampton Court. In 1553 Edward VI granted it in fee to Edward Harendon, also seen as Herrenden, whose children reliquished it from one to the other by fine. In 1631–2 Thomas Grymes acquired it leaving it to his son who became Sir George Grymes; in the English Civil War Robert Wilson acquired and conveyed it to Leonard Wessel [sic] in 1694, who held the manor for ten years during which time he rebuilt in into today's Grade I listed Queen Anne building, children's home and charity headquarters, Tadworth Court. Later an Act of Parliament enabled a fee tail to be cleared off to sell the manor for lack of descendants of John Fleetwood who earlier acquired it, selling it to William Mabbot. Mabbot died at Tadworth Court in 1764, having devised his property to his wife, Lady Rhoda Delves and daughter Rhoda, who with Edward Beaver sold the Court to Sir Henry Harpur in 1773. Robert Hudson and later his widow held from 1808-c.1860 followed by Lord Chief Justice Sir Charles Russell, created later first Baron Russell of Killowen and held from 1900 by C. D. Morton.
During this period South Tadworth manor's purchasing Lord of the Manor, Leonard Wessels rebuilt the manor on its site and renamed it Tadworth Court in 1700.
In 1848, Samuel Lewis (publisher) described the place only under Banstead, where the living was a perpetual curacy and "A place of worship for dissenters in Tadworth" much of the proverbial Banstead Mutton pasture was at that time being replaced by tilled fields. The great tithes were commuted for £393, the vicarial lesser tithes for £300, and a rent-charge of £201. 5. 9. was payable to the trustees of Newport Grammar School; the glebe (of Banstead) consisted of 6½ acres.
Still in 1911 topographer and historian H. E. Malden describes Tadworth in detail but summarises it as "Tadworth is a hamlet on the Reigate road, included now in the ecclesiastical district of Kingswood" however by that date there was "a Baptist chapel at Tadworth".
During the Second World War no cricket was played at the club, although the ground and surround area was used by the Canadian Army for training exercises and ammunition storage in the run up to the D-Day landings.
British Transport Police's training headquarters was located at a site between Tadworth and Walton-on-the-Hill until it was closed in 2010. The Dog Section Training School which shared the site was relocated to Keston at this time, to the same location as the Metropolitan Police Dog Training School
Tadworth has a Non-League football club Banstead Athletic F.C. who play at Merland Rise.
Tadworth Cricket Club is situated opposite the Duke's Head Pub, on the south-east side of the B2032. It has picturesque grounds surrounded by trees and with the lighting from the pubs opposite illuminating it on a summer's evening. The club was founded in 1903, and at that time the club was originally based at a site some 400 yards north of where it is currently situated. It is not known exactly when the club moved to its present site, but it is believed to be before the First World War. The 'Green' was substantially smaller then and lacked a pavilion.
In 1951 the club members built a new pavilion near the present site. It, along with the whole of the clubs' records and ground equipment, were destroyed by fire. The new pavilion was opened by Alf Glover(formerly of Surrey CCC and England) during Tadworth Village week in 1993. During the summer months, cricket is played at the ground by members of the Club. The club has three adult teams, two of which play on Saturday afternoons in the Surrey Downs League, and the other plays Sundays. The club also has a thriving colts section, with players aged 8–16 who play competitive cricket in the NEC Surrey Colts League.
There is a cycling club that meets regularly on Thursday and Friday nights and Sunday mornings. It is made up of approximately 40 local cycling enthusiasts.
The village has two, or possibly three, small shopping areas. The largest is around the station, approximately in the centre of the Tadworth area. There is another towards the south of the area, nearer to Walton Heath, and a third, known locally as Shelvers Hill, to the north, near to Epsom Downs. The shops in these areas are part of the increasingly rare British village landscape, featuring amongst them a butcher, fishmonger, baker, greengrocer and delicatessen. There are also two estate agents, a travel agent, an off licence, a gift shop, several restaurants, two newsagents/general stores and a MINI dealership. Services include two banks, a post office, a medical centre, a dentist, an optician and a vet's surgery. There are three public houses situated to the south-east of the village centre, along the B2032 Dorking Road, these being the Blue Anchor, the Dukes' Head and Inn on the Green.