The Epsom Derby occurs tomorrow

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EPSOM (EPP-suhm)

English town famous for the Epsom Downs Racecourse

Common clue: English derby site; Derby town; England's ____ Downs; Downs town; Surrey track town

Crossword puzzle frequency: once a year

Frequency in English language: 21419 / 86800

News: How to pick a Derby winner at Epsom: controversial new research

Video: Epsom – The Ivestec Derby 2009

Epsom is a town in the borough of Epsom and Ewell in Surrey, England, to the south of Greater London. The town is located 18 miles (29 km) south-south-west of Charing Cross, and forms part of the suburbia that surrounds London. The town lies on the chalk downland of Epsom Downs.

Epsom Grandstand in the 1830s

Epsom lay within the Copthorne hundred, an administrative division devised by the Saxons. The name of Epsom derives from Ebba's ham. Ebba was a Saxon landowner. There were a string of settlements, many ending in -ham, along the northern slopes of the Downs, including Effingham, Bookham, and Cheam. The only relic from this period is a 7th century brooch found in Epsom and now in the British Museum.

The early history of the area is bound up with the Abbey of Chertsey, whose ownership of Ebbisham was confirmed by King Athelstan in 933.

Epsom appears in Domesday Book of 1086 as Evesham. It was held by Chertsey Abbey. Its domesday assets were: 11 hides; 2 churches, 2 mills worth 10s, 18 ploughs, 24 acres of meadow, woodland worth 20 hogs. It rendered £17.[1] The town at the time of Domesday Book had 38 peasant households grouped near St. Martin's Church. Later, other small settlements grew up at the town pond (now the Market in the High Street), and at Epsom Court, Horton, Woodcote, and Langley Vale.

The Epsom Derby, the second leg of the English Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing is run each June on nearby Epsom Downs Racecourse.

The British Prime Minister and first chairman of the London County Council, Lord Rosebery, was sent down (expelled) from the University of Oxford for buying a racehorse and entering it in the Derby − it finished last. Lord Rosebery remained closely associated with the town throughout his life, leaving land to the borough, memorialised in the names of Rosebery Park and Rosebery School. A house was also named after him at Epsom College, a public school located in Epsom.

Historically, Epsom was known as a spa town, although there is little to see nowadays. There were entertainments at the Assembly Rooms (built c. 1690) and is now a Wetherspoons pub. A housing estate has now been built upon the wells.

Epsom was visited by Samuel Pepys in 1663 when the town was famous for its wells. The visit is noted in his diaries.

Epsom salts are named after the town. Epsom salt was originally prepared by boiling down mineral waters at Epsom.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Epsom"