Online Encyclopedia

EGHAM

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V09, Page 17 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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EGHAM, a town in the Chertsey parliamentary division of Surrey, England, on the Thames, 21 M. W.S.W. of London by the London & South Western railway. Pop. (1901) 11,895. The church of St John the Baptist is a reconstruction of 1817; it contains monuments by John Flaxman. Above the right bank of the river a low elevation, Cooper's Hill, commands fine views over the valley, and over Windsor Great Park to the west. On the hill was the Royal Indian Civil Engineering College, commonly called Cooper's Hill College, of which Sir George Tomkyns Chesney was the originator and first president (1871). It educated men for the public works, accounts, railways and telegraph departments of India, and included a school of forestry; but it was decided, in the face of some opposition, to close it in 1906, on the theory that it was unnecessary for a college with such a specialized object to be maintained by the government, in view of the readiness with which servants for these departments could be recruited elsewhere. Part of the organization, including the school of forestry, was transferred to Oxford University.. Cooper's Hill gives name to a famous poem of Sir John Denham (1642). A large and handsome building houses the Royal Holloway College for Women (1886), founded by Thomas Holloway; in the neighbourhood is the sanatorium of the same founder (1885) for the treatment of mental ailments, accommodating about 250 patients. The college for women, surrounded by extensive grounds, commands a wide view from the wooded slope on which it stands. The recreation hall, with its fine art collection, is the most notable room in this handsome building, which can receive 250 students. Within the parish, bordering the river, is the field of Runnymede, which, with Magna Charta Island lying off it, is famous in connexion with the signature of the charter by King John. Virginia Water, a large and picturesque artificial lake to the south of Windsor Great Park, is much frequented by visitors. It was formed under the direction of the duke of Cumberland, about 1750, and was the work of the brothers Thomas and Paul Sandby.
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