A Headley Compendium
compiled by John Owen Smith

Cover of Headley's Past in Pictures ISBN 1-873855-27-3

A collection of historical material relating to Headley parish

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Front cover: Headley High Street looking north in 1999 – a watercolour by Wendy Bennett

Paperback - 242 pages
John Owen Smith; ISBN: 978-1-873855-62-1, published 2011

Associated titles: Headley's Past in Pictures, Characters of Headley's Past, One Monday in November, All Tanked Up and Walks around Headley by John Owen Smith

This book collates material previously published in the Headley Miscellany series of booklets by The Headley Society and in Headley: 1066–1966 by Canon Tudor Jones.

Introductions . Acknowledgements . Contents . Further information


It is not easy to record the history of a parish in a consistent manner, let alone to give an understandable picture of its progress through the centuries. Some information is no longer available, some is inconsistent, some is incomprehensible to the modern eye and mind, and always there is the feeling that such facts as we have are a mere snapshot, and a fairly random one at that, of fragments of the full picture.

So we must take our hats off to Canon Tudor Jones who, at the end of his 30-year incumbency as rector of Headley, sat down to write Headley 1066-1966, which is still the nearest thing we have to a complete history of our parish.

The 'some other lover of Headley' who he hoped would 'one day make good' his document has not arrived, or at least has not yet dared to embark on such an exhaustive task. However, the arrival of computers and the worldwide web, which 'TJ' could never have envisaged, has given us the means to bring the particulars and anecdotes of the parish to an ever wider audience in new ways – and while these may not always have the benefit of the same studied learning and deliberation which Tudor Jones brought to his work, they do offer a vast storehouse of facts, figures and images to which he had no ready access.

They include tales and photographs sent to us from the four corners of the world by descendants of Headley people who have discovered their roots here using the 'new technology.' Also we have information transcribed from public records now available to be retrieved by all at the mere 'click of a mouse.' (See the Headley history website)

In this book you will find the contents of Canon Tudor Jones' book faithfully reproduced, with just the occasional footnote or editorial comment added by me where it seemed appropriate.

Following on, I have added as a second section all the articles previously published in the six volumes of Headley Miscellany which were produced annually by The Headley Society from 1999-2005. It now replaces these six bookletsnot only a more convenient way of buying the set, but also slightly cheaper.

I hope you enjoy your excursion into Headley's history.

John Owen Smith
Headley Down
December 2010


My thanks to the family of Canon Tudor Jones for permission to republish his work. Also to Betty White whose idea it was to create the Headley Miscellany series as a means of disseminating the historical information we had collected in Headley. This work now continues to reach a world-wide audience via the village website.

When the names are listed of those who have loved and actively recorded Headley history, along with Wallis Hay Laverty and James Spencer Tudor Jones will be included Joyce Mary Eileen Stevens (née Suter). Born in the village, she founded The Headley Society and was active in promoting the value of history – she has been an inspiration to those of us who continue to record and retell the stories of the parish, and has been greatly missed since her death in 2007.

Another who has been a fount of knowledge, especially in matters to do with farming, was David Hadfield. Many is the meeting we have held in his farmhouse listening to his fascinating tales. Sadly he, too, has passed away now and another gap is left in our knowledge.

The original cover of Canon Tudor Jones' book was designed by Hester Whittle. For the cover of this compendium, I am grateful to Wendy Bennett for permission to use one of her colourful watercolours of the village.

Finally, my thanks of course to all those who have contributed the articles which we are now republishing. I think you will find their stories both interesting and informative.


HEADLEY 1066-1966 by Canon JS Tudor Jones
An Outline of Nine Centuries
The Church
A Bishop Enquires
An Odd Fellow, William Sewell
The Holme School
The Fauntleroys
A Strange Case, Dr Henry Smith
A Miscellany
Cobbett's visits to Headley
Troubled Times, the Riot of 1830
Queen Victoria's Jubilee in Headley
1872-1928 (Mr Laverty's 'reign')
The Parish Council
The Last Thirty Years (1935-1965)
1. Headley's Water Mills
2. Directory of 1878
3. The Expense of a Common Kiln of Lime
4. Manuscript relating to Tithe c.1710s
5. Note on health in Headley, 1773
6. Inventory of Rev Dr Holme, 1765
7. Headley & Kingsley Assoc for the prosecution of Felons, 1806

The Influence of Dr Wilks on Headley
Dr George Holme, rector of Headley
Edgar Kehoe, Racing Driver
St Francis Church, Headley Down
Reminiscences of Two Brothers - Ted & Cyril Croucher
Essay on Headley, 1925
The Watermills of Headley Parish
The Alderbed Dispute, 1806/7
Henry Knight, 1805-1903
Matthew Triggs and the 1830 Riots
Indenture, 1862
A Piggott Descendant Returns
The Canadians in Headley during WW2
Memories of Fullers Vale Pond
Inventory of The Wheatsheaf, Arford - 1864
Headley Park & Headley Wood, 1945-49
Hollywater & Standford during the 1950s
The Pageant of Headley, 1951
Notes on Headley, written in 1975 by Beatrice Snow
"Hartie" - Harriett Rowswell, 1879-1965
Memories of Moor House Farm between the Wars
Early days at Mellow Farm by David Hadfield
William Cobbett's experience in Headley
Local Map of 1776
Extract from the Diary of Mabel Hussey during WW2
Perambulation of the Bounds of Headley Parish, 1890
Wood Engravings & Lithographs of Headley
Charlie Payne, 1901-1992
Mystery Mugs, 1891 & 1892
Grayshott in the 1870s
Counting Heads in Headley
Monumental Inscriptions in All Saints' Churchyard

About the Author

John Owen Smith was born in 1942 and trained as a Chemical Engineer at London University, but spent most of his working life designing commercial Information Systems for the paper-making industry. Following redundancy, he 'fell' into researching and recording the local history of east Hampshire, where he now lives. His output of historical community plays, lectures, articles and books includes:–

For further information on Headley, see the village history website

Please feel free to contact me if you would like to share information on the history of Headley. See address details on Home Page