Link to Headley page - Index to other Volumes
William Cobbett's experience in Headley, November
Extract from the diary of Mabel Hussey, Aug 1940Jul
|Perambulation of the Bounds
of Headley Parish in 1890
and the solution of a 'knotty point' at Ogmoor
|Wood engravings & Lithographs
of Headley in the 1960s
by the late Norman Wilson
Headley Miscellany is published by The
© The Headley Society and the Authors
In this issue the serialisation of Canon Tudor Jones's Headley 1066-1966 arrives at his own Miscellany section. We also cover his entries on the Fauntleroy family one of whom (Henry in 1824) was the last man in this country to be hanged for forgery, and on William Cobbett and his visit to Headley two years earlier in 1822. Mostly, he concentrates on the time of Wallis Hay Laverty who was a long-serving rector of this parish, 18721928, well-remembered even today.
Following the story of Cobbett's visit to the village, we include a short article which discusses the course he may have taken to get from here to Thursley by way of Hindhead-and publish a map from 1776 which has its own interest as well as helping us to visualise Cobbett's route.
Joyce Stevens has passed us the diary of Mabel Hussey who taught for many years at the Holme school-and we have extracted from it entries showing some of the issues encountered in the village between August 1940 and July 1941 at the beginning of the Second World War.
We no longer beat the bounds of the Parishor at least have not done so for many years (which parish boundary would we choose?)but up to a hundred years ago the exercise was done at regular intervals. There were occasionally disagreements as to where the boundary ought to go-as in the 'treading' of 1890 which we publish here, along with a letter of explanation from a Civil Engineer requested byinevitablyMr Laverty.
Sue Allden was given some wood engravings and lithographs of Headley in the 1960s, made by the late Norman Wilson, and she has made these available to the Headley Society for their use. We reproduce the pictures in miniature on the end page-full size copies of each may be bought from the Society.
The Headley Society welcomes the submission of articles for future editions of Headley Miscellany - please contact Jo Smith on 01428 712892, or by post at 19 Kay Crescent, Headley Down GU35 8AH, or contact me by e-mail.
the late Canon J.S. Tudor Jones
In previous volumes of 'Headley Miscellany,' we published extracts from 'Headley 1066-1966,' written by the late Canon J.S. Tudor Jones in 1966 upon his retirement as Rector of Headley. The next excerpt from the same booklet covers his further observations on personalities and other aspects of the parish …
Among Miss Blunt's papers there is the following "Anecdote".
Fauntleroy-alias 'Enfant le Roy' whose Ancestor (by the by) was a Natural son
of one of our Kings, who Begot him upon a Miller's daughter of Crondal, when
Hunting in the adjoining Forest called Alice Holt, and gave him the Headley,
alias Hethely Estate, situate at the very Edge of the Forest (many hundred years
ago) then called Heath House.
Extracted from an ancient MSS, 31 December 1770.
In some notes by Mr. Laverty he states that by the end of the 17th century the original family of Fauntleroy had disappeared. But there was living at Curtis Farm 150 years ago Fauntleroy the banker who was hanged for forgery. He forged, not for himself but for his bank; and his case finally put an end to hanging for forgery. He was "a tall man and used to wear white trousers, white waistcoat and black coat." Two Headley farmers went up to his execution.
In this connection the following story was told to a friend of mine by a present-day parishioner (Mrs. W.) as follows: Long, long ago in a cottage on Weaver's Down there lived a man and a woman named Gosden and Gauntlett, who had twelve children. The parents were unmarried and the children seem to have been known by either surname indiscriminately. One of the daughters was the victim of the King, and her son became known as Fauntleroy. The parents made her leave home, but provided her with a cottage in Shamble Fields. When the son grew up he stole some bonds, or deeds of property, and to escape from the law, hid them in Curtis Farm, which was unoccupied at the time. He did not live there, but only used it as a refuge. The Mrs. W's Mother told her this story, and it has always been handed down in her family, because Gosden and Gauntlett eventually married and had a thirteenth child who was Mrs. W's mother's ancestor. This child, being born in wedlock, inherited her parent's cottage, and Mrs. W. was born there. She remembers that when she was a child, Curtis Farm was for sale, and her father seriously thought of buying it.
The Fauntleroy's Title to the 12th part of the Headley Estate
In the 3rd year of Kg Edward 6th 1558. Sir Ro Pexall of Beaurepair, Knight was seized in See of the Manor of Broxhead.
On whose death One 12th part of the said Mannor descended to Elizabeth Jobson, wife of John Jobson of Hatfield-Peverel in Essex Esquire, son and heir apparent of Sir Francis Jobson KnightAnd by the said Elizabeth and John Jobson were Lawfully conveyed to Sir John Savage of Beaurepaire Knight
And by him to Edward Savage, one of his Natural Sons
And by the said Edward Savage unto Richd Burrell
And by the said Richard Burrell since conveyed to Thomas Tayler and his Heirs for ever.
And by the said Thomas Tayler and Richard Burrell by Indenture bearing date
15th May 2 King Charles 1626. Conveyed to John Fauntleroy of Headley in the
county of Southampton Gentleman, as per description overleaf. John Shrub the
said informant further tells ye, that in his memory, one John Morer kept Mr.
Fauntleroy's Flock of Sheep upon Broxhead Common, which strayed into the Forest-Liberty
upon which Adams had nearly lost his Place on this Acct. and the other Keepers,
with the Hayward drove them to the Forest-Pound at Holy-Water Where they
confined them so long, that the sheep were much impoverished. And upon complaint
made by Mr. Fauntleroy, Orders were immediately issued, That as many sheep as
had apparently suffered from such confinement, should be made good, by an equal
number of Deer, out of Woolmer Forest, which at that time (abt Anno 1713) was
The Deer were not all distroyed till the year 1742, when the Kings Hounds came
down on purpose. John Cleare, 28th Feb. 1773
The Keepers, once claimed the Liberty of Woolmer Forest, to extend as far down as Mr. Lee's, Hedge Corner, leading to Lyndford Bridge. But Mr. Vickary, the then Lord of the Manor of Broxhead, soon convinced them to the contrary, and obliged them ever afterwards to keep within their own Forest-Bounds, so anciently established and so notoriously well-known.
John Shrub aged 76
27th Feby. 1773
In the Fauntleroy's title to the Headley Estate there is this note: "The Common of Broxhead extends itself from the corner of Old Lands along the Moore southwards, and so along a ditch leading up beyond Bordon Lodge so far or thereabouts as many ancient people have reported, as the lord can lay his line iii times and throw his horn; and so from thence down the Ditch Eastwards, down to the river which is called by the name of Lynford River." The late Sir Charles Owen (quoted by Major A. G. Wade in his book on Alice Holt Forest) gave as his opinion that 'line' was the actual measuring rope used in those days, while 'throwing' his horn probably meant sounding his horn, a note of proprietorship of the area in question. The eastern boundaries of Alice Holt Forest were then probably the streams to the south, west and north of Broxhead, crossed at various points by Washford, Lindford and Huntingford bridge.
Extract from the Taunton Courier, August 4th 1814: "The assizes for the County commenced at the Castle on Tuesday, the 19th. The Right Hon. Sir V. Gibbs presided at the Nisi Prius Bar.
Holme, Clerk, v. Smith, D. D. The defendant is a Doctor of Divinity and Rector of Headley. The plaintiff is a clergyman, and resided at the parsonage house at Headley. The action was brought by the plaintiff to recover a penalty for non-residence, under the 43rd Geo iii, c. 84, and 53rd Geo iii, c. 149. The first act enacts that the Rector shall reside on his Rectory, and the latter provides that if he cannot or do not reside there he shall keep a licensed curate to perform the duties of his Church. It appeared, that though Dr. Smith kept no resident licensed curate as he ought to do under the latter Act, yet the plaintiff himself had actually resided there and did the duties which he now came into Court to complain were neglected, and the Rector, though he had not so licenced the plaintiff as his curate, had actually nominated him as such to the bishop, but such nomination appeared to have been informal. Much animadversion was made by the defendant's counsel on the plaintiffs conduct in bringing the action, and the learned judge, Sir Vicary Gibbs, made some observations of the same nature thereon; but observed that, however improper or unbecoming a Christian, a gentleman, and a neighbour, towards the defendant, yet the action must be treated in the same manner as others of the same kind, inasmuch as the plaintiff had a right to bring such action, the defendant not having complied with the before-mentioned statutes. The annual value of the living, and the rector's absence from it being proved, the jury, under the direction of his lordship, gave a verdict for one-third of that value after deducting out-goings, agreeable to the provisions of the act."
Dr. Smith was Rector from 1800 to 1818. Mr. James Holme, (presumably no relation of Dr. Holme, an earlier rector), signs as curate from June 1813 to Dec. 1814.
Mr. Dykes was once served a bad trick by old Mrs. B. of Lindford. She sent to him to say that her husband was ill of the small-pox. Mr. Dykes got in a great fright; told her to keep at home, and he would sent her all she wanted; so down went Port Wine and all good things; and Mrs B. even went so far as to say that if he shut off supplies she would come up to the Rectory. The whole thing is now believed to have been a hoax.
Mr. Dykes was once asked to have evening instead of afternoon service in the winter. The Clerk (Mr. Speakman) was told to ask him, and the answer as reported by Mr. Speakman was a refusal 'as it would make the village IMMORTAL.'
Mr. Dykes died on the evening before Good Friday. Mr. Lickfold was carting coal for him at the time, and Shiba Fullick was one of the carters. A little intoxicated, Shiba was making a good row on Friday morning as they were finishing the carting. "Don't make so much noise", said Flackney the Butler, "the governor's gone". "Where's he gone to this wet morning?" said Shiba.
During the great drought of 1864 an extensive fire took place in Woolmer Forest, which was only extinguished by the exertions of more than 1,000 persons employed incessantly for three days and nights digging trenches. The fire began near Trottsford and destroyed the wood which extended from Headley to Petersfield.
Canon Capes of Bramshott writes in 1901, "Some residents can still remember and can name the man who, tiring of his wife's company, took her with the halter round her neck, which was thought enough to make the contract legal, and sold her at Headley Fair."
"1791 Affidavits of all burials in wollen, of all persons, buried in the parish of Headley, Hants, from Easter 1783 to Easter 1791, being eight years: and the whole number buried there as aforesaid, in that period of eight years, that is, 14 per annum at an average. And the whole number of inhabitants of the said parish being about 800; therefore, if 800 be divided by 14, it will appear that a 56th or a 57th part dyed yearly."
A copy of an agreement between Mr. Rooke, Rector of Hedley, and Mr. Richard
Knight for a seat in the chancell. Nov. 11. 1707
Whereas Mr. William Rooke Rector of Hedley hath given to Mr. Richard Knight to erect a seat in ye chancell. These are to certify that neither I the said Richard Knight nor any claiming from me shall have any right by this grant any longer than during the pleasure of him ye said William Rooke, or his successor for the time being for ever.
In witness thereof I have sett my hand ye day and yeare about written
Witnesses hereunto: John Caiger, William Franklin
Breefs were authorisations for the collecting for some particular charitable
object. There were very few prior to the Restoration in 1660, but in 1583 the
registers record "The second day of March was Thomas Brownyng, collector
for the hospytall of Hyghgatt at Hedley. The same day was William More, Collector
of Hammersmyth Hospytall there also." These appear to be collections from
house to house.
Later instances are as follows:
In one of his notebooks Mr. Laverty writes thusMay M. came 15. 2. 84
to ask for some mutton for Mrs. Wm. S. "She had a bad cold, but was not
in bed; hadn't seen the doctor." Gave her 1/- worth. Asked Wm. S; he
"never sent". Went to Mrs. M's; found her at dinner. "Mutton
was for her," she said. "May made a mistake!!" I pulled the
door to pretty roughly and came away…
Wm. M. (a sister of May's) died in Farnham Asylum at 11 years of age. Bewitched by an old woman (when a baby) to whom they had refused something; which said old woman asked after him the day he died, and herself fell down dead the same day on her way home.
From the Hindhead Herald 1921.
In a lately issued 'Mathematical Gazette' there is an interesting reminiscence of the Rector of Headley. It is an account of the Mathematical Association of which the Rector was, and still is, a member. The writer speaks of half a century ago, when the Association had just been formed, and says, "Resolutions were passed approving certain details or principles to be adopted in any syllabus. The matter which gave most chance of a fight was a list of proposals drawn up by the Rev. W. H. Laverty. The most important of them was as follows: That the separation which has hitherto been maintained between the methods of algebra and geometry is artificial. That it is useless to draw a distinction between commensurable and incommensurable quantities, seeing that by the use of infinitesimals, incommensurables may be brought under the same methods of proof as commensurables"!!
Lent weddings. It is recorded that Mr. Laverty, having been asked if any weddings
were coming off soon, replied in the following verse used long ago at Oxford:
Marriages throughout Lent's season,
Few are in the papers found;
Births and deaths, as if no reason
Could stop either, still abound.
As the rushing of the waters
That were long by mill-dam pent.
Lo! The sons of men and daughters
Getting married after Lent.
There is a Board in the Vestry which reads: The Incorporated Society for Building
etc. Churches granted £140, A.D. 1858, towards rebuilding this Church,
by which additional accommodation has been obtained for 63 persons. The entire
area will accommodate 379 at the least. The sittings are all free and subject
to annual assignment by the Churchwardens, suitable provision being made for
the poorer inhabitants.
"379 at least." It is difficult to believe that this figure is anything but an exaggeration on the part of the Society.
From the Parish Magazine
March 1909 In case of Fire in any part of the parish where there is a supply of water, a telegram or mounted messenger may be sent to the Bordon Camp Fire Brigade, which will be pleased to attend.
March 1923 The Post Office announced that the official name of the Telephone Call Office which has been established on 'Stone Hill' will be 'Headley Down'.
December 1925 From Mr. McAndrew of Headley Park we have had a wonderful gift of a Village Hall, primarily for the use of the Women's Institute, but also for general purposes, and to him and Mrs. Perry and others who have provided the furnishing etc., we owe a deep debt of gratitude.
One of the first uses to which the Hall was put was for the Bazaar organised by Major Hooper to help pay the great sum required for 'Dilapidations' (at the Rectory) both now and annually. I need hardly say that my family and I are most thankful for the splendid result.
Paper lent to Mr. Laverty by Mr. Geo. Warren.
I hereby certify that I have received into the Registry of the Lord Bishop of Winchester a Certificate that a Room on the premises of William Warren, paper maker at Bramshot in the County of Hants and Diocese of Winchester is set apart, by a Congregation of His Majesty's Protestant Subjects Dissenting from the Church of England, as and for a Place of Public Worship and Service of Almighty God. Dated at Winchester, the 26th Day of November 1830. C. Wooldridge, Deputy Registrar.
A letter received by Mr. Laverty in 1910.
I have been asked by Mrs. C. F. to tell you that she for-bids the bands of her son Harry for he his under age. And her son Harry also asked me to tell you that he wishes to withdraw his bands."
Feb. 1923. The London papers had an account in December of the clever way P. C. Bundy (still living with his daughter in the Liphook Road) saved the life of a kitten on Beech Hill. The following is from the official organ of the Swiss Union for the protection of animals; La vie d'un petit minet, tombé dans un puits profond, fut sauvée d'une manière remarquable. Après avoir essayé deux fois de rattraper le petit chat dans un seau; un 'policeman' attacha une corde à la chatte mère, et la fit descendre dans le puits; la dessus elle saisit le petit par le cou et le tint jusqu' à ce que tous les deux fussent mis en sûreté. (par le cou = by the neck!)
Worth, 10 December 1822
[In fact Sunday 24th November the dateline above is from a letter quoted nearby in the book see the following article for further information]
'Upon leaving Greatham we came out upon Woolmer Forest…. I asked a man the
way to Thursley. "You must go to Liphook, sir," said he. "But,"
I said, "I will not go to Liphook." These people seem to be posted
at all these stages to turn me aside from my purpose, and to make me go over
that Hindhead, which I had resolved to avoid. I went on a little further, and
asked another man the way to Headley, which lies on the western foot of Hindhead,
whence I knew there must be a road to Thursley without going over that miserable
hill. The man told me that I must go through the forest. I asked him whether
it was a good road: "It is a sound road", said he, laying a weighty
emphasis upon the word 'sound' "Do people go it?" said I. "Ye-es",
said he. "Oh then," I said to my man, "as it is a sound road
keep you close to my heel, and do not attempt to go aside, not even for a foot".
Indeed, it was a sound road. The rain of the night had made the fresh horse
tracks visible. And we got to Headley in a short time, over a sand road, which
seemed so delightful after the flints and stone and dirt and sloughs that we
had passed over and through since the morning….
'… We got to Headley, the sign of the Holly Bush, just at dusk, and just as it began to rain. I had neither eaten nor drunk since eight o'clock in the morning; and as it was a nice little public-house, I at first intended to stay all night, an intention which I afterwards very indiscreetly gave up. I had laid my plan, which included the getting to Thursley that night. When, therefore, I had got some cold bacon and bread, and some milk, I began to feel ashamed of stopping short of my plan.'
Cobbett bargained with a man for three shillings to guide him so as to avoid
Hindhead, but the guide lost his way and they eventually arrived 'on the turnpike
some hundred yards on the Liphook side of the buildings called the Hut…. It
is odd how differently one is affected by the same sight, under different circumstances.
At the 'Holly Bush' at Headley there was a room full of Fellows in white smock
frocks, drinking and smoking and talking, and I, who was then dry and warm,
moralised within myself on their folly in spending their time in such a way.
But when I got down from Hindhead to the public-house at Road Lane, with my
skin soaking and my teeth chattering, I thought just such another group, whom
I saw through the window sitting round a good fire with pipes in their mouths,
the wisest assembly I had ever set eyes on.'
The following August Cobbett was more fortunate, and he speaks in glowing terms of the road from Headley through Churt to Thursley: 'a prettier ride I never had in the course of my life'.
From the local paper of July '87
On Sunday a very full and earnest congregation assembled at the parish church to hear Madame Patey's 'Oh! rest in the Lord' from Mendelssohn's Elijah. The singing of the National Anthem brought to an appropriate conclusion a hearty service in thanksgiving to God for the Queen's prosperous reign. The National Anthem was sung and the appropriate prayers and thanksgivings used in the afternoon at Greyshott and in the evening at Headley.
On Tuesday the residents of Headley celebrated Her Majesty's Jubilee by holding a very successful festival in the Rectory grounds. On the same occasion the Foresters, Court Forget-me-Not, held their fifth anniversary at the same place. It can thus be easily understood by those who know the energy and zeal that the Headley people always display when they put their hands to any undertaking of this character that the festivities of Tuesday gave satisfaction to all. Indeed, it was such a day of merrymaking and general rejoicing as has rarely if ever taken place in this parish before. The village was tastefully decorated with flags, banners, and evergreens, and loyal mottoes were displayed in prominent positions. Venetian poles were placed on each side of the thoroughfare in High Street, from which were suspended festoons of flags of every colour and nationality. Bunting was also displayed from the Church tower, and the Rectory windows. Mr. W. Rogers' place of business, which faces down the street, attracted general admiration for its artistic decoration of flags, evergreens, and a conspicuous portrait of the Queen over the main entrance. The Holly Bush Inn, a short distance away, was also decorated with foliage, and both made up a very pretty rural scene.
The day's proceedings commenced about 11a.m. when the Forestersadults and juvenilesassembled at the Court House previous to a general parade of the parish. Some were on horseback, in the costume of Robin Hood and his trusty followers. A procession having been formed, headed by the excellent band of the Alton Volunteers corps, visits were paid to The Oaks, the residence of Major General Parish, C.B.; The Firs, the seat of J. G. Patey, Esq.; Mrs. Vincent's residence where the processionists were provided with light refreshment; Harford House, the residence of Colonel Norman; Headley Grange, the residence of T. S. Hahn, Esq.; and Crabtree House, the residence of S. Bewsher, Esq.
And so we come to the times of Mr. Laverty. The Rev. W. H. Laverty was, like many of his predecessors, a Fellow of the Queen's College, Oxford. He was one of the University's leading mathematicians, and a distinguished career in this branch of learning seemed assured to him. Buthe fell in love, and as all Fellows at that period had to be bachelors (there being no married quarters in College), another position had to be found for him. Fortunately, the living of Headley was then of some value, and so in 1872 he became Rector and his almost historic incumbency did not end till he died in harness in 1928. Mr. Laverty was, when appointed, aged 25 (five years younger than the present Rector, whom God preserve!) and the following story was told about him. When news arrived that a young man was coming as Rector, certain people expressed a fear that being young and coming from Oxford, he would be dreadfully 'high church'. This feeling was not diminished when on the Rector's arrival he cleaned up the Church and put a little colour on the walls, but Mr. Bettesworth, the Churchwarden, said, "The world wags, and Mr. Laverty's a young man, and you can't expect him to stand still like an old man as Mr. Dykes".
In the three months' interregnum the following notice was given to the Churchwardens:
"The Churchwardens have the care of the benefice during a vacancy. Having
first taken out a sequestration from the spiritual court they are to manage
all the profits and expenses for him that shall next succeed: plough and sow
his glebe, take in the crop, collect tithes, thrash out and sell corn, repair
houses and fences and the like. They should take care that during the vacancy
the Church shall be duly served by a Curate approved by the Bishop, whom they
are to pay out of the profits of the benefice. And if the successor thinks himself
aggrieved by them he may appeal to the ecclesiastical judge".
The following letter was also sent to the Churchwardens: "Gentlemen, As Executor under the will of my Brother, your late Rector, I hereby give you formal notice that it is my desire that the money lent by my Brother for the purchase of land to enlarge the Churchyard be repaid to me at once.
Your obedient servant
The "young man" got to work at once, but nothing he did could have alarmed his older parishioners. In November 1872 the 'Monthly Illustrated Journal' was begun, and this, under various names, has continued to be issued ever since. Headley was then truly a village community with a comparatively small population, and the Journal records very little but births, marriages and deaths, and the hymns to be sung each Sunday. Many ancestors of present-day residents appear in the lists from the registers as e.g. Shrubb, Burrows, Fullick, Glaysher, Fyfield.
A significant change was announced to the effect that there would be a Celebration
of the Holy Communion every fortnight, which was obviously an advance on the
custom which had prevailed in previous years. A service each Sunday at 3p.m.
was begun at Grayshott (which was then in the parish and called Greyshott).
A Provident Club and a Shoe Club were formed and some of the rules of the latter state: "those children only are to be admitted who attend the Day School; the weekly subscription is one penny; interest will depend on the regular attendance of the children at school; and further interest will be given for regular attendance at the Sunday School".
On Christmas Day 1873 the old folks who came from a distance were treated to a Christmas Dinner at the Rectory; others, who could not come, received, some a present of food, and others a blanket. The money saved by means of the Provident and Shoe Clubs came acceptably to many; an average of 5/- was given as interest, those depositors who had children receiving some more, some less, according to the attendance of their children at the schools.
The Cricket Club was formed in 1872 and played its first match on May 12, and the first perambulation of the bounds of the parish took place the same year, though there were records of similar perambulations in 1723 and 1772. Mr. Laverty organised other 'beating the bounds', on several occasions till advancing years compelled him to give up that activity. It was revived again in 1936, and on one or two occasions since then it has been carried out.
Mr. Laverty tells some interesting stories of those early years of which the following are examples. "At the autumn manoeuvres [of 1874] Dan Collins the Blacksmith shoed a horse for Prince Arthur (Duke of Connaught) but would take no pay, so the Prince said he would send him a pipe. In the following year the Prince again went to Collins when he reminded him of his promise, and the Prince tied a knot in his pocket handkerchief so as to be sure to remember it." In the same year the said Dan Collins "having ridden to Selborne (he very seldom did ride) and according to his usual habit (as I am told) got tipsy, rode back and on White Hill soon after looking in at the 'Prince of Wales' was thrown. He was taken home in a cart and put to bed, his friends thinking he was merely tipsy. However next morning he was discovered putting his legs into his coat sleeves. A doctor was called for but he never rallied." [There was still a Collins at the Blacksmiths when I came.]
Early in 1857 Abraham Keeling murdered Esther Fullick, aged 11, who was nursemaid to Keeling's grandchild, and then committed suicide. He lived at the "small farm across the water at Headley Mill", presumably now Stream Farm. The intention had been to bury him at Wellfield Corner, but eventually he was buried in the Churchyard at night, near the wall opposite the Church porch, stones being flung on the coffin by the onlookers. (His may well have been the bones found by men working at the enlargement of the Buttery a year or so ago.)
It is manifestly impossible to enumerate all the changes that occurred during
Mr. Laverty's fifty eight years 'reign'. ('Reign' is surely the right word to
use, for undoubtedly he ruled the parish, and his authority increased as his
years). A summary of the chief events was circulated on the occasion of his
Jubilee as Rector and the more important are here reproduced.
1872 Churchyard planted with shrubs.
Perambulations of parish boundaries began.
1873 Services commenced in Grayshott Schoolroom (and continued for 15 years).
1874 East Window erected in memory of the Rev. J. B. Dykes.
1878 Allotments started near the Grange.
Main schoolroom enlarged.
1882 Reredos erected in memory of Mr. J. R. Phillips.
1885 Pipe organ substituted for American organ.
Flower Show first instituted and Rectory field arranged as Cricket Ground (the Club started in 1872).
1886 Penny Dinners introduced.
1887 Church redecorated and new heating apparatus installed.
Pulpit erected in memory of Mrs. J. R. Phillips and lectern presented by Mrs. Laverty's four sisters, all married in the church.
1888 Further addition to the Holme School.
Telegraph office opened.
1890 London children given holiday accommodation.
1891 Chestnut tree planted in High Street to mark site of stocks.
1892 Chancel screen erected in memory of General H. W. Parish.
1894 West window erected in memory of Admiral John Parish. First Parish Council elected (the Rector acting as Hon. Clerk till 1919).
1896 Further enlargement of the Holme School.
1900 Clock installed in memory of a son of Sir Robert and Lady Wright.
Commencement of Bordon Camp. Tobacco etc. sent to our soldiers in South Africa.
1901 Separation of Grayshott into independent parish.
Conversion of Beech Hill allotments into a Recreation Ground.
1905 Mothers' Union started by Mrs. John Parish (who for some years had conducted Mothers' meetings).
1906 Headley Working Men's Institute founded.
1908 Vestry enlarged.
1909 An acre added to the Churchyard.
1912 Beech Hill Social Club and Bordon Working Men's Club founded.
1913 Deadwater Council School (now Mill Chase Primary School) built.
1914-19 Several lists printed of Soldiers and Sailors serving in the War, including those who were lost, to whom Memorials were erected in Church and Churchyard in 1920.
1920 Erection of Community Church at Stone Hill (now Headley Down).
1922 Oak Choir stalls erected in memory of the late Rector and Mrs. Dykes, and their two sons.
Of all but a very few of the above Mr. Laverty must have been the instigator, and no one will doubt that his influence in the parish was outstanding. Someone who came to Headley soon after his death sends a few notes about this exceptional man. "This brilliant young mathematical Fellow of Queen's wanted to get married when it was not permitted, and therefore decided to be ordained. He had no vocation in the ordinary sense, but he was intensely conscientious. The village could set their clocks by him, setting out to visit on his bicycle at 2p.m., or maybe 2.30, and he visited every house in the parish twice a year. The visits were brief ones and he often left tracts about such things as sleeping with open windows etc. He could not face sick visits, and used to send the daughters to visit the sick with baskets of eggs and more tracts.
No Bishop was allowed in the church and no churchwarden in the vestry! The Rector pocketed the collections and paid all the bills, and such was the esteem in which he was held that no one had any doubt but that he was out of pocket.
A photograph in one of the parish registers shows him as a small man who normally wore a knickerbocker suit and a black or speckled straw hat, and, at any rate in his later years, a grey beard.
In eight volumes of notebook which Mr. Laverty left containing short biographies of his parishioners, there are many instances of the practical help which he gave to those who had met with misfortune. For instance, a letter sent to likely subscribers says "George Holden, who carries the letters between Headley and Liphook, has the misfortune to lose his pony. As he is in somewhat delicate health he will not be able to carry out his duties unless he can drive. Contributions towards the purchase of a new pony may be given to the bearer." The result was £3. 13. 0.
"The trial of L. and W. B. on the charge of setting fire to a piece of common on the Grayshott road is to take place at the end of this month. The boys declare their innocence and many believe that a mistake has been made; and it is of the utmost importance that the evidence should be subject to searching cross-examination. For the Law-Expenses a sum of 10 guineas is required, and donations are asked towards this. Donors are understood as not in any way forejudging the case, but only as helping to secure a fair trial for the boys." £7 odd was apparently subscribed, but there is no mention of the result of the trial.
Here it may be appropriate to include this appreciation, which shows what members of another church thought of him.
To The Revd. W. H. Laverty, Rector of Headley in the County of Hants. 1922
In commemorating your Golden Wedding and Jubilee of Rectorship, we, the Trustees of the Stone Hill Community Church, take this opportunity of assuring you how greatly we appreciate the kindly interest, generous gifts and practical sympathy which you have given to us in the establishment of a non-sectarian Church in an outlying part of your Parish.
Some of us have for a great number of years resided in your Parish, and we recall the many improvements and benefits which you have secured for Headley during the 50 years of your Incumbency.
We recall particularly the acquisition of seven beautiful windows in memory of Mr. Dykes the previous Rector, Miss Isabel I'Anson, Mr. I'Anson, Admiral Parish, Mr. Hubbuck and Mr. C. A. W. McAndrew. The erection of Reredos and Pulpit in memory of Mr. and Mrs. J. R. Phillips, and Clock in memory of the son of Sir Robert Wright. The installation of Pipe Organ in 1885, the enlargement of Vestry in 1908, and the Memorials to those fallen in the Great War in 1920. The formation of the first Parish Council in 1894, to which for 25 years you acted as Hon. Clerk. The establishment of a separate Church at Grayshott following much arduous but valuable work there, a School at Deadwater and the decoration of Headley Church, enlargement of Church Yard and of Headley School and other improvements too numerous to detail.
To this very incomplete list of your achievements must be added the personal endearment to the inhabitants of your Parish which your Ministry has secured to you.
We wish you, Sir, the ever present joy of knowing that your life work has been well done, and we trust you will be spared to us for a great number of years.
Yours very sincerely,
(Signed) Mary Jane Curtis
Victor M. James
Charles H. Venning
Arthur Bishop Wilson
Lawrence H. James, Chaplain
Trustees of Stone Hill Community Church.
Dated this 12th day of June, 1922.
The wise old man was then aged 75, but his work was not yet quite done. Shortly after the above letter was sent to him he persuaded the 'Laurence H. James', a Methodist who had been appointed Chaplain to the Community Church, to be ordained into the Church of England and become his curate, whereupon the whole of the worshippers of the Stone Hill Church became Anglicans also, and ever since the Rectors of Headley have been asked to conduct services in 'the little church', even though its Trust Deed still declares it to be undenominational.
In the Parish Magazine of July 1928 there is this note (the last of many such
that had appeared over the years) 'The number of houses at my Spring Visitation
He conducted the funeral of Robert Matthews on December 1st and in the following month there is recorded among the deaths,
Dec. 27. Wallis Hay Laverty, Headley Rectory, aged 81 years.
To be concluded in the next issue
Taking up the story of William Cobbett getting lost on his way from Headley
to Thursley on Sunday 22nd November 1822 as mentioned in Headley 10661966
(see above), it is interesting to consider which path his guide may have taken.
Cobbett continues his story as follows:
When, therefore, I had got some cold bacon and bread, and some milk, I began to feel ashamed of stopping short of my plan, especially after having so heroically persevered in the 'stern path,' and so disdainfully scorned to go over Hindhead. I knew that my road lay through a hamlet called Churt, where they grow such fine bennet-grass seed. There was a moon; but there was also a hazy rain. I had heaths to go over, and I might go into quags. Wishing to execute my plan, however, I, at last, brought myself to quit a very comfortable turf-fire, and to set off in the rain, having bargained to give a man three shillings to guide me out to the Northern foot of Hindhead. I took care to ascertain, that my guide knew the road perfectly well; that is to say, I took care to ascertain it as far as I could, which was, indeed, no farther than his word would go. Off we set, the guide mounted on his own or master's horse, and with a white smock frock, which enabled us to see him clearly. We trotted on pretty fast for about half an hour; and I perceived, not without some surprise, that the rain, which I knew to be coming from the South, met me full in the face, when it ought, according to my reckoning, to have beat upon my right cheek. I called to the guide repeatedly to ask him if he was sure that he was right, to which he always answered 'Oh! yes, Sir, I know the road.' I did not like this, 'I know the road.' At last, after going about six miles in nearly a Southern direction, the guide turned short to the left. That brought the rain upon my right cheek, and, though I could not very well account for the long stretch to the South, I thought, that, at any rate, we were now in the right track; and, after going about a mile in this new direction, I began to ask the guide how much further we had to go; for, I had got a pretty good soaking, and was rather impatient to see the foot of Hindhead. Just at this time, in raising my head and looking forward as I spoke to the guide, what should I see, but a long, high, and steep hanger arising before us, the trees along the top of which I could easily distinguish! The fact was, we were just getting to the outside of the heath, and were on the brow of a steep hill, which faced this hanging wood. The guide had began to descend; and I had called to him to stop; for the hill was so steep, that, rain as it did and wet as my saddle must be, I got off my horse in order to walk down. But, now behold, the fellow discovered, that he had lost his way! - Where we were I could not even guess. There was but one remedy, and that was to get back if we could. I became guide now; and did as Mr Western is advising the Ministers to do, retraced my steps. We went back about half the way that we had come, when we saw two men, who showed us the way that we ought to go. At the end of about a mile, we fortunately found the turnpike-road; not, indeed, at the foot, but on the tip-top of that very Hindhead, on which I had so repeatedly vowed I would not go! We came out on the turnpike some hundred yards on the Liphook side of the buildings called the Hut.
It seems that Cobbett's estimates of distance in this extract are unlikely
to be accurate. For example, it is hardly possible to go 'about six miles in
a nearly Southerly direction' from Headley without first meeting the turnpike-road,
as it passed through Liphook which is only about half that distance away.
What seems more likely is that when they were as he says 'just getting to the outside of the heath, and were on the brow of a steep hill', they had in fact arrived at some part of the valley in which Waggoners Wells are situated. This would involve riding about two and a quarter miles south east from the Holly Bush.
From there one assumes that they back-tracked across what is now Ludshott Common before taking directions to the old road which ran across the common from Bramshott to Hindhead (now Headley Road through Grayshott) which emerges, as now, 'some hundred yards on the Liphook side of the buildings called the Hut'.
We can try to follow Cobbett's route on the map shown on the facing page,
for which we have a date of 1776. This predates the Ordnance Survey and shows
some glaring errors as well as some interesting versions of place names. [Map
supplied by Sue Allden is shown in the booklet]
Headley and Thursley are both clearly shown, as is the obvious connecting road through Hern(e) and Churt (Charte). Waggoners Wells are shown as one lake (Pond) on the other side of Ludshott (Lidshot). The road from Bramshott through Ludshott is shown meeting the road which crosses the ford at the top of Waggoners Wells - we believe, on the evidence of other maps, that it continued through what is now Grayshott village and met the turnpike (shown prominently as parallel dotted lines) as it does today, a hundred yards or so below Hindhead.
Surprisingly, perhaps, Headley is spelt as we spell it now. However, note the following:
· Badge Bridge = Bageants Bridge
· Picked Hill = Picketts Hill
· Sandhouse Green = Saunders Green
· Charte = Churt
We also find a Droxford Bridge could this be the name of the bridge over the Slea by Trottsford Farm? Or is it a corruption of Brockford Bridge or even Trottsford Bridge?
Note that the River Slea is marked as the Wey River at Kingsley; also that there is a Boundstone Bottom where Bordon is now and what is 'Lipput' near Hollywater?
There is a strange stream which appears to flow from Gentles Copse through Hilland and Arford down to the river I assume this is supposed to be the stream down Fullers Vale but in the wrong place!
However, it is interesting to see where the routes of communication went in those days, however approximately they are shown here. There is, for example, no road where the A325 is today.
Miss Mabel Hussey was a long-serving teacher at the Holme School in Headley.
She is thought to have started at the school in the early 1920s and taught there
until immediately after the Second World War.
On Friday 2nd August 1940 she writes on the first page of a chunky black-covered notebook: "Closed school for a curtailed summer holiday of two weeks, owing to the war. Decided to keep a diary".
This diary was passed to the Headley Archives by the executors of Elsie Watkins, also a teacher at the Holme, whose mother was a friend of 'Mabs' Hussey.
Although she kept the diary for no more than a year, it covers an interesting period from August 1940 to July 1941 when the area around Headley was being subjected to air-raids and the population was getting to terms with the onset of rationing.
In the extracts below we reprint some of the entries which give a flavour of wartime life in the village.
Sun 18th Aug - Returned to Headley this evening after an exciting day - siren nearly spoiled our dinner midday. Norah nearly missed her 'canning' expedition. What a whirlwind of a day. Discovered Bordon had been bombed during my absence - a few casualties, among them poor old Mrs Chandler, where I used to leave my bike for so many years when I was week-ending and returning on the Mon morning - quite upset me. Mrs C had spent nearly the whole Friday in the dug-out, which Mr C made in his week's holiday.
Mon 19th Aug - It would happen to me. Miss Barrow sends a telegram to say she will be away from school - that means I have had her squad of 25 as well as my 50 today. There's a doctor's certificate to say she'll be away a week or two. Feel fed up about it, as we may not get extra help.
Tue 20th Aug - Enemy aircraft overhead during afternoon playtime. I had to dive into school shelters with two classes. Luckily we were soon out again.
Wed 21st Aug - Siren went this afternoon - in the shelters again. What a life!!
Thu 22nd Aug - A supply teacher from Basingstoke arrived at 3 this afternoon. It didn't take me long to hand over her class to her!
Fri 23rd Aug - Hot 'fireworks' display drove us to our dug-out last night, about midnight. So much continuous banging we began to wonder the cause - it appears to have been an ammunition train out the other side of Guildford. Jerry managed to get a truck or two, but the bulk was saved. We had visions of an enemy landing. Went to 'Sherwood' for the weekend to pick up more plums and the rest of my belongings left behind last weekend. [Somewhere near Reading, where her family lived]
Sat 24th Aug - Had intended buying a pair of shoes in Reading in case prices soar - but decided to invest in a pair of slacks instead - one needs them these days with the nightly trips to the dugout! Bought dark brown corduroy.
Sun 25th Aug - Arrived back here about 9 - the plums were a dead weight - they nearly broke my back - but everybody was thrilled with them.
Mon 26th Aug - Played a game of singles with a Mrs Yeo this evening. I've had some nice games with her since she's evacuated herself from Portsmouth. Siren went just as we were sitting down to lunch - had to leave it and race back to school. Siren went at tea time - departed to our dugout with our cups of tea in our hands - stayed there ½ hour. Siren went again at 9.30 - we finished our supper - nothing seemed to happen - many enemy planes making for London. Decided to go to bed. 'All Clear' signal didn't go till 3.30 making it a six-hour alarm - we were glad we went to bed.
Wed 28th Aug - Miss Brunton, my half section, came rushing into my room at 3 o'clock this morning - very distressed - quite sure Jerry was delivering a gas attack. She'd heard strange thuds and on looking out of the window saw gas. She was quite convinced that's what it was till I assured her it was 'mist'. This caused much amusement all round today, especially as I had to restrain her from wearing her gas mask.
Fri 29th Aug - Siren went at 11.45am - marshalled our charges to the dugouts - remained there for an hour. School reopened at 2 instead of 1.30. Stevey, our Assistant Master, went to Portsmouth for his medical today - passed Grade 1, and is down for the Air Force. [Weston Stevens, who married Joyce Suter in April 1942 but was tragically killed in Service soon afterwards]
Mon 1st Sep - Siren went at 5.15pm just as I was going off to Headley Down - had to postpone my trip - played tennis instead later on.
Fri 5th Sep - Siren went at 9.45am - no-one in school heard it - postman shouted to me through the window - lasted till 10.15. Again at 1.15, just in time to prevent me from going back to school.
Sat 6th Sep - Siren went while in bath last night - things seemed a bit 'peppery' so decided to follow the others to the dugout - rather scantily clad as I had to leave in a hurry. Quite a hectic night - bombs dropping all round - great display of 'fireworks' a long way off in a southerly direction. Siren went again at 2am while we were waiting for the 'all clear' to go - what a shock we got!! Finally went to bed at 3 during a lull in operations. Just as well as the siren didn't go till 5.
Mon 8th Sep - No Sunday paper yesterday owing to the raid on London. None again today. Siren went about 5.30 - we actually saw enemy planes overhead in a 'dog fight', Spitfires intercepting them. We thought it advisable to take shelter. Four enemy planes brought down round these parts. Siren went again at 9, but we went to bed. 'All clear' didn't go till 4am. I never heard it.
Tue 9th Sep - Siren went at 9.15am - again at 5.30 and 8.30. Did the only sensible thing - went to bed and slept. Woke up at 2 to hear many planes overhead - but didn't hear the 'all clear' at 4.30. Weather suddenly turned colder.
Wed 10th Sep - Siren went at 10.45am - lasted till 11.45 - so not much work done. Siren went again at 3.45 - what a rotten time, just as we were ready to close school - had to stay in the shelters till 5 o'clock. Did I enjoy my cup of tea? I'll say I did. Siren went at 5.30 - short duration - again at 8.30 we were anticipating, but nothing doing at present (10.30) although we've heard a Jerry about. All the other have gone to bed so I'll follow suit. Bought some nigger-brown corduroy slacks when in Reading one weekend - put them ready each night with other stuff I take down in the dugout - just in case. Feel I have a slight cold about me - hopping out of that hot bath the other night, I guess.
Tue 17th Sep - Severe gale last night resulted in a balloon (barrage) breaking away from its moorings - possibly from Southampton. Put the electric light etc out of order - tore down the wires in the next village to Bordon - what a beano! Upset all the cooking arrangements and no wireless news. Mr C managed to put it right by 6 o'clock, just in time for the news.
Wed 18th Sep - Siren went at suppertime last night. Waves of enemy planes passed overhead - but heard no bombs - so eventually went to bed. 'All clear' signal went at 1.45 but didn't hear it - usually it doesn't sound till much later. Siren went again on our way to school this afternoon. We were in the shelters ½ hour. I've had several new children recently, bombed out of London I presume. Number on register 48 - far too many.
Sun 29th Sep - Very disturbed night - bombs dropping all round. Miss B was away and the others didn't hear it.
Mon 30th Sep - Spent a very restless night - bombs dropping all round again - didn't go to bed till 2 o'clock. Terrific explosions took place at 1 - we hurried to the dugout. I hadn't time to get into my slacks.
Tue 1st Oct - 'Fireworks' again last night, but not quite so close.
Tue 8th Oct - 75 incendiary bombs were dropped on Grayshott Common last night. Mr C woke up and saw the flares. Today he had to explore that part for damaged wires, etc - I brought home some of the pieces - evidently one of Hitler's 'bread baskets'.
Tue 15th Oct - Heard from Miss Letchford who used to teach at Headley School - retired 4 years ago and is now back in the Liphook district. She wants to meet me some time.
Sat 19 Oct - Met Miss Letchford at Grayshott and walked to Hindhead. I thought we might pay a visit to Haslemere pictures but she wanted to be home before dark, so it was a short but very enjoyable meeting. Countryside looking very lovely with its Autumn colourings - had see at the 'Golden Hind' - reached home about 6.30, so went along to Table Tennis in the evening.
Sun 20 Oct - Cycled to Liphook just after 1 o'clock after an early lunch - Miss L and I went for a two hours' tramp - had a lovely walk - back to her house to tea - reached home before lighting-up time.
Mon 4th Nov - Re-opening of school - minus two teachers. Stevey absent owing to visit to Oxford - exam for Air Force (pilot). Miss B not returning till after her brother's funeral. Our Head had a narrow escape while passing through Watford - Air Raid - 25 incendiary bombs - spent night in hospital as a casualty.
Tue 5th Nov - Miss B returned at 4pm.
Fri 15th Nov - Enemy planes over all night - rather disturbing - no sleep for any of us - learned today big attack on Coventry - many casualties and much destruction.
Sat 16th Nov - Rotten wet day but went to Grayshott for some wool - supposed to meet Miss Letchford for tea at Hindhead, but she failed to turn up.
Mon 18th Nov - One foot of water in our shelters at school - unable to use them. Luckily we've had no sirens in the day-time - extreme wet weather the cause of it.
Tue 19th Nov - Our dugout is a young pond.
Wed 20th Nov - My equipment (on going to bed) in case of a hurried rush in the middle of the night consisted of my corduroy slacks, turned back to knee-length just ready to pop on - they look queer. I don't possess wellingtons and didn't want to get my trousers wet!! Hundreds of planes were going over from 6.30 to midnight - luckily no bombs dropped here - so no rush to the dugout. Baled out dozens of buckets of water from the dugout when we came home from school today.
Sat 28th Dec - My birthday.
Sun 5th Jan - Returned to Headley.
Mon 6th Jan - Miss Brunton not returned - no news of her - no letter or wire.
Tue 7th Jan - Letter arrives to say Miss B is ill - doctor's certificate.
Mon 13th Jan - My usual luck - Miss Barrow away ill - I have her class to cope with - number on both registers 90 children.
Tue 14th Jan - Feeling somewhat irritable with such a big class.
Wed 15th Jan - Weather bad - frost and snow. Miss B and Miss B both still away - Mrs Maloney going home to bed - looks lively for tomorrow.
Thu 16th Jan - Arrived at school to find I'm the only member of staff to turn up. The Head ill in bed. Rector sends word to close the school for the rest of the week - so two days holiday. Jolly glad to get rid of my 90 - for a spell.
Mon 20th Jan - All staff back at work.
Sun 26th Jan - Spent weekend indoors - weather miserably wet and foggy. Seem to have started smoking again - only just realised it.
Sat 1st Feb - Went into Farnham - saw 'The Great Dictator', quite enjoyed it - bought a pretty knitting bag - about time - also a new umbrella.
Sun 16th Feb - Things keeping very quiet still - nothing of any importance to relate. I have spent most of my spare time reading and knitting. Am making a pair of socks - Air Force blue - for Mrs C's brother.
Sat 22nd March - [Away from Headley] Severe cold in head - stiff neck etc - couldn't move in bed - Norah has vision of mastoid - rings up doctor - a form of muscular rheumatism - get a medical certificate.
Mon 31st March - Returned to Headley.
Tue 8th Apr - Had the misfortune to break off a tooth at breakfast time - luckily not in the front. New Budget taxes - pretty big increase in Income tax - this would happen after taking out an Insurance (a War Bond £100) connected with Alton's War Weapon week. This will be a drain on my cheque each month - but daresay I'll survive it.
Wed 9th Apr - Leaving tomorrow for Easter Holiday. Only getting a long weekend this year - our week's holiday to come at end of April. Terribly cold weather again - had thought of buying a Spring costume, but weather not very encouraging.
Tue 15th Apr - Had a visit from the Prudential Insurance Inspector. Took out a War Bond to aid Alton's War Weapons Week. Shall be stony broke - broke each month now.
Fri 25th Apr - Start of my week's holiday (instead of Easter week). Wore my new woollen frock made by Mrs Cleare.
Mon 5th May - Started tennis in Headley - weather very cold still.
Mon 12th May - Managers meeting at school - chief item being the over-crowding due to so many children (some evacuees). Some talk of an extra teacher on the Staff - hope so anyway - give me a breather, perhaps!!
Thu 22nd May - Inclined to rain this evening so no tennis.
Sun 1st June - What a bombshell in the papers! - clothes rationing!!! Got my leg well pulled for not buying anything [while visiting Reading] yesterday, being in need of many things. It was a great surprise to us and the secret had been well kept - everybody talking and counting in 'coupons'.
Tue 3rd June - A visit from our Drill Inspectress - seemed thrilled with my squad - so much so that another teacher was invited out to watch.
Sat 7th June - Took a trip into Aldershot with Miss B who wanted a new coat. 14 coupons went in one go (out of 26).
Fri 27th June - Closed down for summer holiday of three weeks.
Sat 28th June - Grand weather - wearing brown shorts - sun bathing - played tennis.
Sun 29th June - Heat terrific.
Thu 3rd July - Trip to Reading - saw 'Virginia', a lovely coloured film - still no shopping - waiting for a drop in the 'coupons' - badly in need of sandals but don't want to part with 5 coupons.
Tue 8th July - Really did shopping in reading. Bought two dresses - 5 coupons for a bluish cotton dress and 7 for a more expensive one (claret and white), and 5 coupons for some nice Coolie sandals - so bang goes 17 out of my 26 coupons!!
Wed 9th July - Saw 'Philadelphia Story' (K. Hepburn) and enjoyed it very much.
Sat 12th July - Mater celebrated her 80th birthday - doing a Highland jig with Jane in the lounge!!
Sat 19th July - Saw 'Comrade X' (Clark Gable and Margaret Sullivan) - quite good. This finishes our little stints to the pictures. Raspberry season very disappointing - too dry.
Sun 20th July - Returned to Headley - arrived at Bordon 10.20. Some drunken Canadian vomited all over me in the bus - so the end of a perfect holiday.
[This is not reproduced here as it is already on the website]
As noted in the perambulation notes, there were some problems in determining the precise line of the boundary between Nos. 120 to 142, and these were the subject of a detailed letter from Henry H Coventry (a Civil Engineer living in Lindford) and the rector WH Laverty, which also sheds some interesting light on the use of this part of the Parish in past times:
Dear Mr Laverty,
Of the various knotty points in the boundary which you brought under my notice, all except one yielded a ready solution when confirmed with range rods and tape, but that one was certainly a knot that seemed of Gordian complication. However I think that I have hit on the right way of untying it. This point affects the boundary from 120 to 142 of this year's treading. I should say at once that I consider the recent treading, 123 to 126, to be quite wrong. The description, 90 to 92, of the 1873 treading agrees with the Ordnance boundary and seems to be correct. That the party here went wrong or were led wrong by Mr G Lemon is scarcely to be wondered at. The boundary for miles had followed streams, rivulets or marshes always, that is, the lowest ground: and the description given of the old treading of 1772 is in part apparently confused that it is only with difficulty that one can arrive at its true meaning.
Article 52 of the 1772 treading says, "Thence up the middle of this great Pond to the tail of the lesser or Long Ogmoor Pond which falls or is emptied into the greater". The italics are mine. Please also observe that the long pond is only touched at the tail of it. It is art: 53, however, that is the puzzling one. It says, "Thence from the tail of the lesser pond along the cut or canal or watercourse by which it is supplied to the great morass or marsh". Along the cut: it must be something artificial then: canal: something also of considerable dimensions: or watercourse: a work then capable of water flowing along it; fairly level, that is, though by no means on the lowest ground: by which it is supplied to the great morass. Now really this is too bad. Either the old perambulator I apologise for the epithet for I mean him no insult wrote nonsense or I am lacking in insight. We shall see, presently, that it is the man of 1890 who is at fault, not he of 1772.
It is clear that the parish boundary does leave the lowest ground and does follow something, very indefinite now, but called nevertheless a cut, canal or watercourse. The fact is clear, but I am not quite satisfied unless I can see the reason why. Allow me, then, to go back; first to go back a very long time to a time when artificial works, Ogmoor ponds, cuts, canals and watercourses did not exist here. Undoubtedly at such a time the parish boundary would keep to the lower ground and follow up Oxney Marsh, as the most striking feature of the ground, to its source in the great morass, hidden now by fir woods until one comes on to it, boggy still, but rendered passable by deep and well maintained drainage from which flows a copious and perennial stream. This morass is of some extent and abuts on the Portsmouth Road at the level piece between Deadwater hill and White hill.
Now there came a time when Ogmoor pond was formed by banking in the lower end of the depression of which the pond forms the lowest part, abutting nearly on to Oxney marsh. I say "was formed by banking in" for this, like every pond and they are very numerous in the district, has been artificially formed. This certainly was not done without a definite and practical objective. The object, I firmly believe, was the obtaining of water power by an overfall for the working of tilt hammers in connection with the extensive iron industry which was formerly carried on in this neighbourhood, or for fulling and other mills required by a population probably far in excess of that now occupying the district. On examining Ogmoor pond, however, it at once strikes one that the natural drainage flowing into it is from not more than about 200 acres, and that its outflow would be insufficient to effect a result commensurate with the cost of formation of the pond and erection of wheel, buildings, etc. Here perhaps our old perambulator of 1772 may help us, and his article 53 may, like the old barbers sign , so tempting but misleading, be very much altered by a little punctuation.
I'll make a little a very little alteration and put a comma
after "supplied". Now we find that the watercourse or canal or cut
supplied water from the Great morass to the lesser pond which falls or is emptied
into the greater. This then is the secret. The copious stream now flowing out
of the great morass was caught at its source and led along a higher level so
as to run into the ponds. Here then we have a first rate water privilege.
We can now go back to a period, the commencement of which I am not antiquary enough to date, but which terminated not so very long ago a period when the iron railing round new St Pauls, erected after the great fire of London and completed in 1710 was supplied from iron works in Sussex. At this time the surroundings of Ogmoor pond must have presented a very different aspect to their present ones. Oxney marsh, now so impassably swampy through the water being dammed up to work the water wheel pumping water to Broxhead Court, was then drained, at least below Ogmoor, by a deep cut to obtain the utmost benefit of probably a 14 foot fall from Ogmoor pond. The pond itself was dammed two or three feet higher, making its water surface very much more extensive and causing it to reach, at its southern bay, a point very near the long pond, now a mere swampy hollow, but then an extensive and striking piece of water. The roads, now embracing the ponds between them, had then no existence but tracks trodden by frequent trains of pack mules and horses laden largely with lime for use as a flux with the iron ore, would cross the marsh by the hard that exists here and, coming direct from Selborne, would here divide, one track leading by Lindford or by Hungerford to Frensham, the other passing by Standford and Passfield to Headley and Bramshott. This traffic with the buildings and works at the foot of the pond (miscalled "head" in all the perambulations) and workmen's cottages on the rise above would make the scene a busy one very different from its present desolate and heron-haunted aspect. At this time too the enclosures and fir woods were not [there], so that the ponds and watercourse would form a very striking and visible feature.
As to how this feature became the parish boundary, which I have supposed originally
to have followed the lowest ground, is not difficult to conjecture. Here was
something of value something that is, in an otherwise improductive region
of heath and bog, [which] could pay rates. Though this valuable property lay
wholly in Headley, it was a thing for which Selborne would fight, and the more
so that she had in her hand a very effective weapon for the purpose a
very small cut on the Selborne side of the swamp would easily tap the great
morass and lessen, if not cut off, the supply of water flowing through the canal
to the ponds. The great morass, too, being equally in either parish, the water
supply would be as much from Selborne as from Headley. It would therefore be
equitable and natural that the user of the water should pay a rate to both parishes
and, the land being of itself valueless, the water course or canal should have
a peculiar and distinctive character, rendering it quite distinct from the drainage
ditches and enclosure banks which have been formed in recent times. Its purpose
being to lead water from the great morass to the ponds, it should be nearly
level with a slight fall northwards. It would be irregular in direction following
the contour of the ground. It would be banked entirely on one side, that is
on the downhill side and, as its object was to deliver water at as high a level
as possible, it would not generally be deep. All these characteristics it has.
Its very shallowness causes its present indistinctness. At the end nearest the
ponds it was necessary to pass through somewhat higher ground here therefore
it was deeper and is consequently quite distinct.
Placing myself now at the boundary cross mentioned in paragraph 126 of the recent perambulation, the "cross on the end of a bank", one is at the point where "the cut, canal or watercourse" ended and delivered its water at will to either the long pond for storage or to the Great pond for immediate use. There are yet visible on the ground traces of a runnel to the long pond a very short one as this pond, when full, would rise very nearly to the point at which we are standing and of a longer one towards the great pond. About three chains off, along this runnel, is the boundary cross shown on the Ordnance boundary, and a few yards further on yet, barring the way as it were, is a low bank, vertical on the hither side but sloping on the side towards the great pond. This I take to be the remains of an overfall weir and am confirmed in this opinion by finding immediately on the vertical side of the bank a deep groove about 5 inches wide and 9 deep. This, I think, must have been the seat of timbering, now rotted away, but of which the form has been preserved by the roots of heath and swamp grasses.
Now turning round we can follow the cut, canal or watercourse without a hitch
in accordance with the successive paragraphs of the recent perambulation from
No 126 on to 136. Here to 139 the ground is swampy, encumbered by tall tufts
of hummocky grass, and cut in many directions by drainage grips, newer and older.
At this part the cut, canal or watercourse is not traceable and, indeed, may
never have existed in a definite form. The ground to the right, being somewhat
higher, may have acted as a natural dam, taking the place of the bank which
is found on the downhill side of this cut everywhere else in its course. Here,
in fact, the water may have been allowed to widen out to its natural limits
forming a sedgy pool. Of the two treadings given here in the perambulation notes
I should prefer Mr Lemon's. He seems to me to have taken about the middle of
the sedgy pool, while the other treading takes the somewhat higher ground to
From here (139) the water course is quite easily traceable and bears the characteristics I before mentioned, on to 142 where it originally tapped the great morass. At this place the swamp leading from and forming the natural outlet of the water from the great morass is quite narrow, firm ground coming up on either side to form a narrow neck. At this place there would have probably been a low dam. I could see no traces of one: the large ditches and bathing pond, recently constructed, and occupying this part of the ground quite account for the disappearance, however, of a work which need never have been more than slight.
Before leaving the subject I should like to remark on the rapidity with which the works represented by these ponds and this canal, works of considerable extent and much interest, have become almost obliterated and the very tradition of their existence died out. The whole organization was in working order, probably, well into the last century. The canal still carried water to the ponds in the last quarter of the 18th century (as shown by the treading of 1772), probably even to its very end. When Suttons enclosure (which includes the great morass) was formed and the drainage works carried out - and this I think was about 80 years ago - then first would water have ceased to flow through the canal and its rapid decadence to have commenced. I think one may assert with truth that the very careful way in which the Headley boundary perambulation has been carried out has been the one thing that has saved from utter oblivion this record on a not uninteresting past.
I am Dear Mr Laverty
very faithfully yours
H H Coventry
Five illustrations of Headley have been discovered, made by the late Norman Wilson probably in the 1960s. We reproduce them in miniature. Full size copies may be obtained from The Headley Society.
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