Headley's Past in Pictures
John Owen Smith

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

A tour of the parish in old photographs

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Front cover: Six views of the parish in the first decade of the 20th century

To view the contents of this book on-line, see the 'Headley's Past in Pictures' theme on Hantsphere
To see a comparison between pictures in this book and photos of the same views today, see Past & Present

Paperback - 126 pages, over 100 photographs, plus historical notes and maps of area
John Owen Smith; ISBN: 978-1-873855-27-0; updated December 2003

Associated titles: Characters of Headley's Past by John Owen Smith; Gladys Laverty's Recipe Book by John Owen Smith; Walks around Headley by John Owen Smith; Heatherley by Flora Thompson; Grayshott by JH Smith; Headley Compendium

Introductions . Reviews . Back Cover . Illustrations . Historical Notes . Comments . About the Author . Further information

Headley as it was in the first half of the 20th century.

In this book you are taken on an illustrated tour of the parish by means of three journeys – the first around the centre of Headley and Arford, the second to Headley Down and beyond, and the third along the River Wey and its tributaries. In doing so, we venture occasionally outside today's civil parish boundaries – but that too is all part of the history of Headley.

Introductions to each of the three tours:-

High Street to Arford and Back

The High Street in Headley lies on high ground between the valleys of the River Wey and the Arford stream, and was simply called The Street in past times. The focal point of the parish, here we have the parish church of All Saints, its rectory and tithe barn, the Holly Bush inn, and the commemorative chestnut tree planted at the triangular road junction.

Over the years, there have been several shops and trades-men operating here, but, as with so many rural communities, these have now dwindled to a mere handful.

In this first section of the book, we make a circular tour from the High Street, down Long Cross Hill to Arford, and back again by way of the Village Green, side-stepping to include a couple of properties, Benifold and The Grange, each of which has its own interesting story to tell.

Arford is the second centre of Headley, and was the location of further shops and tradesmen-sadly all now disappeared except for the two pubs, the Crown and the Wheatsheaf. However, with its stone walls and winding roads, it remains perhaps one of the most picturesque parts of the parish.

To Headley Down and Beyond

Going east from the centres of Headley and Arford, the ground rises to an area of heathland.

This was called Headley Down on maps even as early as 1801, and Mr Laverty had also proposed it in 1913, but the name was not formalised for the area until the post office announced in March 1923 that 'the official name of the Telephone Call Office which has been established on Stone Hill will be Headley Down.'

In earlier days it was relatively unpopulated due to the poor nature of its soil, but from about the 1870s onwards, a fashion developed in favour of the healthy air which this high ground was supposed to offer. Houses began to appear on the estates there known as Beech Hill and Stone Hill, and, to the extreme east of the parish, the rapid development of Hindhead as a notable health resort promoted the growth of Grayshott village in its wake.

By the end of the 19th century, Grayshott had become so dissimilar from its mother village that it was decided to create a separate parish there, centred round the new church of St Luke's.

In our tour of the eastern parts of the parish, we shall visit the 'new' buildings on Headley Down, and the open expanses of Ludshott Common which, although a natural 'play-ground' for Headley residents, in fact lies almost totally in Bramshott parish.

Then, following the old parish boundary, we pass by the top of Waggoners Wells, go through Grayshott, and along the line of the county boundary with Surrey down Whitmore Vale, ending up in Barford.

Along the Wey

The southern arm of the River Wey runs through the west of the parish in a loop, flowing from south to north, with various smaller tributaries joining it. In the past there have been a number of water mills along its length-now only Headley Mill remains in working order.

We start our journey in Hollywater, one of the 'forgotten' hamlets of the parish. It sits at the point where three parishes join.

In the old days, the boundaries of Headley, Bramshott and Selborne met opposite the Royal Oak pub at the 'centre of a chimney of a house inhabited by a person named Eade'. This house was demolished between 1881 and 1890, leaving no trace as to where the chimney stood. A joint party from Bramshott and Headley in 1890 then determined it to be: "in a small garden lying due north and 23 paces from the door of the house inhabited by Charles Fisher; the spot being 5 yards from the S. bank, and 7 yards from the W. bank, and 12 paces from a wild cherry tree situated on the E. side of the garden."


KG - Surrey Advertiser - 'Books for Christmas' 10 Dec 1999

Local history has rarely been as accessible as this.

Headley, one of Hampshire’s oldest but most adaptable parishes, comes under the microscope in this affectionate tribute from John Owen Smith.

The past is presented so cogently you can reach out and touch it—even those of you who are unfamiliar with the area will treat it as a friend after looking through these highly illustrated, nostalgia-packed pages.

The majority of the pictures show how much Headley—and Arford, Ludshott, Grayshott and Headley Down—has changed over the years, but it’s also interesting to note how much of it has stayed the same.

The scenes of the High Street, Long Cross Hill and Fullers Vale are particularly evocative, and the book, the first in a series of publications illustrating the history of the parish, offers reminders of the shops that once thrived hereabouts, but have long since closed down.

My weekly hikes often head through Headley. I thought I knew the place pretty well; I know it even better now.

Back Cover

HEADLEY is a village mentioned as Hallege in the Domesday Book.

Since that time, developments in and around the parish have changed its shape, size and culture. Details of many of these alterations are lost to us, some are recorded in words on ancient manuscripts, some in the form of maps and diagrams. But here in this book we take advantage of the introduction of the camera, and particularly the popularity of postcards in the days before the telephone, to offer a glimpse of Headley parish as it was in the first half of the 20th century.


Just received as a Christmas gift your 'Headley's Past in Pictures'. What a lovely publication featuring a village with a fascinating history and a natural local beauty.

Whilst we enjoyed the locality very much at an interesting and busy stage in our family life and in the life of the parish, your book helps us to appreciate it the more.

We will come to Headley one day and follow a memory trail. Thank you.

Canon Derek Head - Rector of Headley 1973-1982

Historical Notes

Along with old picture postcards and other period photographs, the text also gives a wealth of historical information about the village and its hamlets.

List of Illustrations

Map of Headley Parish

Map of area (c.1896)

Part 1:-

All Saints' church (SE exterior 1875)

All Saints' church (sketch pre-1836)

All Saints' church (W exterior with ivy)

All Saints' church (SE exterior 1901)

The church clock

All Saints' church (interior 1908)

Headley High St (view north 1890s)

Headley High St (view north 1901)

Close-up of sign post with adverts

Headley High St (view north c.1906)

Chestnut tree in bloom (c.1940)

Headley High St (view north 1950s)

Headley High St (view south c.1906)

Headley High St (view south 1927)

Holly Bush (1911)

Holly Bush, Rogers & Wakefords (1931)

Rogers shop (1957)

Wakefords with meat outside (c.1901)

War Memorial (1925)

Church and Rectory (1931)

Back of Old Rectory (1920s)

The Tithe Barn pond (c.1903)

Loading at the Tithe Barn (c.1903)

Looking down Long Cross Hill (c.1900)

Cows on the Rectory Field (c.1908)

Post Office on Long Cross Hill from Chapel (1908)

Post Office and Chapel on Long Cross Hill (c.1908)

Long Cross House (Headley Restaurant)

Chapel steps

Long Cross Farm (c.1908)

View over Arford from Curtis Hill (c.1903)

View over Arford from Beech Hill Road (c.1903)

Tidey's bakery & The Crown (1931)

Lickfold's garage, Arford (pre-1915)

Corner House, Arford

Outside Eashing Cottages (c.1910s)

Wheatsheaf (c.1908)

Junction at bottom of Barley Mow Hill

View over Wheatsheaf and up Barley Mow Hill

The Oaks (pre-1914)

Hillside, Barley Mow Hill

Fellmongers (c.1900s)

Arford Spring Cottage

Laurel Cottage, Bowcott Hill (1950s)

Pinehurst (now Benifold)

Pine Cottage in Fullers Vale with Pinehurst above

Benifold (1960s)

Hilland, before extension (c.1890)

Hilland, after extension

Pinehurst viewed from Hilland (1908)

Headley Grange, the old workhouse

Sheep in Grange Lane, now Liphook Road (1908)

Village Green, school, church & rectory (1925)

Fete leaflet (1904)

Part 2:-

Fullers Vale Pond (pre-1915)

Fullers Vale Pond (1931)

Car in Fullers Vale Pond

Bottom of Beech Hill (1890s)

Honeysuckle Lane (1924)

Wilsons Road (1912)

Kenley Road and Fairview Road (c.1910)

Bungalows at Stonehill (c.1912)

View towards Stonedene (1912)

Carlton Road (c.1910)

Post Office in Carlton Road (1960s)

Land of Nod (1912)

Ludshott Common (1917)

Grayshott Road (c.1910)

Ludshott Common (1915)

Map of Wishanger Estate (c.1868)

Grayshott Hall (1882)

Waggoners Lane (1907)

Waggoners Wells in Stoney Bottom (1899)

Boundary stone at Grayshott

Crossways Road, Grayshott (c.1900)

Bowes Cottage, Whitmore Vale (1917)

Barford Mill pond (1906)

Barford Mill (1923)

Barford ford (pre-1900)

Barford bridge (1906)

Barford stream (1923)

Part 3:-

Hollywater bridge (c.1906)

Standford ford (1901)

View over Standford (1908)

Old Robin Hood (late 1950s)

Standford Road (pre-1912)

Standford Corn Mill

Headley Mill (1930)

Mill wheel at Headley Mill

Headley Mill from millpond (1910)

Headley Mill Farm, now Wey House (1910)

Haymaking at Headley Mill (1890s)

Mill pond drained

Ford at Headley Mill

Lindford Garage

Royal Exchange at Lindford (pre-1924)

Lindford Bridge (1901)

Oxney Pond (1900)

Headley Park (pre-1912)

Headley Park (Crusaders School)

Bull's Hollow, Picketts Hill (c.1906)

Lime kiln at Bull's Hollow

Sand Rock, Heath Hill (1904)

Lower House Farm, now Mellow Farm (1904)

Huntingford Bridge (1901)

Wishanger Lodge, now Wishanger Manor (pre-1907)

Reverse (to Master Ernest Chapman)

Wishanger Pond (c.1904)

Frensham Pond Hotel (1902)

Sailing at Frensham Great Pond (1901)

Greetings from Headley, as front cover (pre-1911)


A Cottage, Headley - but where is it?

The Pines, Headley (1897) - but where is it?

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