Haslemere facts for kids

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Haslemere
Haslemere.JPG
High Street
Haslemere shown within Surrey
Area 23.27 km2 (8.98 sq mi)
Population 16,826 (Civil Parish 2011)
• Density 723/km2 (1,870/sq mi)
OS grid reference SU9032
Civil parish
  • Haslemere
District
Shire county
Region
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town HASLEMERE
Postcode district GU27
Dialling code 01428
Police Surrey
Fire Surrey
Ambulance South East Coast
EU Parliament South East England
UK Parliament
  • South West Surrey
List of places
UK
England
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Haslemere (/ˈhzəlmɪər/) is a town in the borough of Waverley in Surrey, England. It is located at the tripoint with Hampshire and West Sussex, approximately 15 miles (24 km) southwest of Guildford, and is the most southerly town in Surrey.

Haslemere lies just east of the A3, the major road between London and Portsmouth, while the south branch of the River Wey rises just to the south of the town, on Black Down in West Sussex. The town's railway station is served by South West Trains services between London Waterloo and Portsmouth, while the town itself has a small commercial district with service and retail amenities.

History

Haslemere town well - geograph.org.uk - 1475788
Town Well - one of the old wells which served the area (at the end of Well Lane)
The White Horse, Haslemere High Street - geograph.org.uk - 1101200
The White Horse

The earliest record of Haslemere was in 1221 as a Godalming tithing. The name describes hazel trees standing beside a mere (lake). The lake does not exist today, but there is a natural spring in West Street which could have provided its source. High Street is a watershed with water from the west going to the North Sea via the Wey whilst water from the eastern side goes to the English Channel via the River Arun. In the 14th century Haste Hill, also called East Hill, was the main settlement at Haslemere and there may have been a church as there were references on the site to "Churchliten field" and the "Old church-yard" of Haslemere Haslemere was granted a charter by Richard II in 1394. This right was confirmed by a new charter issued by Elizabeth I in 1596. Today, this special status is celebrated with the Charter fair, held once every two years in the High Street. There is a bust of Elizabeth I in the newly developed Charter Walk, linking West Street with the car park alongside Waitrose.

One of the rotten boroughs, returning two Members of Parliament until the reform Act of 1832, one being Carew Raleigh the son of Sir Walter Raleigh. Haslemere's borough expanded into the surrounding Haslemere parish and recovered with the construction of the Portsmouth Direct Line, which connected Haslemere with London Waterloo and Portsmouth Harbour railway stations. In Victorian Britain Haslemere became a fashionable place to live and continues to be a commuter town for London, and to a lesser extent Portsmouth, served by Haslemere railway station.

During the building of the railway, the first of the two murders of Surrey Police Officers occurred in Haslemere High Street, on the night of 28/29 July 1855, when Inspector William Donaldson was beaten to death by drunken navvies, which brought the darkest hour in the history of Haslemere. The only other murder of a Surrey Police officer was in Caterham some 120 years later.

St Bartholomew's Church was originally a chapel of ease for Chiddingfold, and probably dates from no earlier than the 16th century. It was rebuilt in 1871. The bell tower is the only remaining part of the original building. The church contains memorials to many of the most prominent local residents, including Alfred Lord Tennyson, who lived south of Haslemere at Aldworth House and is commemorated in one of the stained glass windows, featuring Sir Galahad and the Holy Grail.

Geography

Haslemere is a town in the borough of Waverley, Surrey, England, close to the border with both Hampshire and West Sussex and is the most southerly town in Surrey. The major road between London and Portsmouth, the A3 lies to the west and a branch of the River Wey to the south. Haslemere is 11.9 miles (19.2 km) southwest-by-south of Guildford. surrounded by hills, with Blackdown at 920 feet (280 m) to the south and Gibbet Hill at 894 feet (272 m) to the north. The latter was the site of state executions from at least medieval times until the late 18th century. Many of those hanged were highwaymen, because the roads around Haslemere, particularly alongside the nearby Devil's Punch Bowl, were notoriously dangerous. Today, much of the heathland and woodland is owned and protected by the National Trust and has become a popular attraction for walkers.

Walks

Haslemere marks the western end of the Greensand Way footpath which extends for 110 miles (180 km) to Hamstreet in Kent via the high Greensand Ridge, and is one end of the short Serpent Trail which connects to the Sussex Border Path.

Elevations and soil

Footpath in Haslemere - geograph.org.uk - 1671103
Footpath within the developed hills of central Haslemere

Elevations range between, in fully developed roads, 205m AOD to 97m and 112m AOD alongside respectively the east and west streams which forms an east-west steep valley through the parish almost meeting in the town centre. This lowest point is specifically in the north east, where one headwater gently curves north following the line of the railway past the north of Grayswood, however rapidly descends another 40m in the space of a few miles. This east stream is the longest headwater of the River Arun/ˈærʊn/ then passing the north of Chiddingfold and turning south close to in the village centre of Dunsfold. By contrast the west stream, the River Wey south branch flows around Headley and past Frensham Common, joins the north branch in the centre of Tilford and heads towards Guildford before reaching the River Thames. However across the north and the south, the wooded hillsides reach 272m at Gibbet Hill in the north and 204m, AOD 211m on Marley Common south of Camelsdale and 280 on Black Down rising gradually across the county line in West Sussex.

The soil is particularly unusual, though common in southwest Surrey, the Bordon area of Hampshire and bottom of the upper vale of Midhurst, being "freely draining very acid sandy and loamy soil" that forms 1% of English soil, of low fertility; its natural vegetation includes acid grasses, pines and coniferous trees; further examples include Blackheath, Surrey and Blackheath, London.; to the east of Haslemere is the more naturally fertile "slowly permeable seasonally wet slightly acid but base-rich loamy and clayey soil" that here forms the western start of the Low Weald soil that continues as far as Maidstone, Kent.

Localities

Grayswood

Grayswood is a small village to the northeast of Haslemere and 5 miles (8.0 km) southwest of Witley. In 1894, Alfred Hugh Harman moved to Grayswood and in 1900 he offered to finance a church in Grayswood on land given by Lord Derby, on condition that a parish was created. The new ecclesiastical parish of Grayswood was formed from parts of the parishes of Witley, Chiddingfold, Haslemere and Thursley in 1901.

Shottermill

St. Stephen's Church, Shottermill in snow
St. Stephen's Church, Shottermill

Shottermill is a parish and village 1 mile (1.6 km) to the west of the town. Shotters mill, after which the area is named and Shottermill Ponds are located in the county of West Sussex, the mill being a few yards south of the Wey which forms the county boundary. The mill was driven by piped water from the ponds. Weyhill is a busy shop-lined street linking the railway station to Shottermill. Weyhill took its name from the old mill at the head of the south branch of the Wey which rises in Haslemere; this area includes 5,769 of Haslemere's 15,612 residents (2001). Novelist George Eliot had a cottage, Brookbank, on what was Shottermill Common, where she wrote most of Middlemarch. Woolmer Hill to the west here is a half developed, half wooded hill, which includes The Edge sports centre with sports ground and Woolmer Hill School which is state-sponsored.

Ten buildings in the village are listed, as well as two on the hillslopes around the hammer ponds in the hamlet known as Critchmere. One of the latter is the Grade II* listed Branksome Place. Dated 1901 over its entrance, it was designed by E J May but has Edwardian additions. It has enormous classroom wings in Glass Reinforced Polyester by James Stirling connected by a corridor at the rear. It was used as an hotel and conference centre until 2012. The modern parts mark a shift in Stirling's career away from the heavy, Brutalist brick aesthetic of his early work to a more classically-inspired post-modern tradition which is international in flavour; here he developed the use of GRP as a sophisticated building material, and this is the first "major building by a major architect to be built in GRP in Britain". The principal spaces are richly designed, and survive virtually unaltered. Extension rooms have a nautical theme as it was previously a naval college.

There are other minor areas of settlement to the south.

Shepherd's Hill

Shepherd's Hill is the name belonging to the neighbourhood to the south of the town centre, which is accessed by three short roads, Shepherd's, College and Museum Hill. The area has large gardens and four listed buildings Broad Dene at Grade II*, features a round tower with conical roof and spike. It was built in 1900 for Walter Tyndale by William Frederick Unsworth, see Shakespeare Memorial Theatre; his business partner being Inigo Triggs. Substantial and sensitive masonry makes up the house, carefully recalling medieval solidity and enclosure.

Nutcombe

This hillside community nestles among the woods leading to Hindhead and consists of approximately forty houses of which three are listed buildings.

Economy, culture and community

Haslemere town hall and war memorial
The main northwest façade of the town hall with the war memorial in the foreground

Its High Street is wide because of its use as a cattle market before the 1920s and characterises the heart of Haslemere, with the Town Hall standing at its southern end. The White Horse and The Swan Inn are the two public houses along the main street. Along the High Street, West Street and Charter Walk are a mix of shops (mostly independent), restaurants, cafes, banks and estate agents. In 2009 a Waitrose opened in the town centre replacing the previous Somerfield supermarket.

To the west of the High Street, separated from it by the railway station, is an area known as Wey Hill. Here, there is a bank and a public house, shops (again, mostly independent), restaurants and takeaways. The town library is in Wey Hill and so are two further supermarkets, a Tesco and a M&S

Local news is provided weekly by the Haslemere Herald (established 1896) and other publications.

Haslemere Hall

Haslemere has a concert hall known as The Haslemere Hall. Located on Bridge Road, just off West Street, the hall can seat 340 people and is used regularly as a theatre, a concert venue and a cinema. Performances are held by local theatre groups including the Haslemere Thespians and the Haslemere Players. Haslemere Musical Society Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, conducted by James Ross, also hold performances and there are popular music concerts. Films are shown shortly after their general release.

Dolmetsch Early Music Festival

The town is significant musically, partly through the contribution of one family. Arnold Dolmetsch, musician and instrument maker, was born in France in 1858. The family settled in Haslemere his son, Carl Dolmetsch, taking over the business. They revived the recorder and began the revival of other instruments of early music, contemporarily with the start of historically informed performance which itself came to fruition towards the end of the 20th century. The family firm still manufacture viols, recorders and harpsichords. Their presence inspired the International Dolmetsch Early Music Festival held every year in the town.

Haslemere Town Band

Haslemere Town Band was officially founded in 1837 following the amalgamation of two small bands which had started in 1834, and is one of the UK’s oldest brass bands in continuous existence. Their first engagement was playing for the coronation of Queen Victoria in 1838. The Band continues to play an active part in the life of the town, playing at community events throughout the year, as well as at numerous summer fetes and garden parties in the surrounding district. They have also performed in the twinning towns of Bernay in France and Horb am Neckar in Germany.

Haslemere Charter Fair

See also: Charter fair

In 1397 Richard II and the Bishop of Salisbury confirmed an order dated 29 April 1221 allowing an annual fair to be held in the town. The first ever recorded fair was held in the year 1394 and continue yearly, for example 7 May 2012. Although this ceased to be a yearly event some time ago and was reinstated in 1984 and now runs every two years.

Transport

Haslemere railway station in Sept 2007 (1)
Front of Haslemere railway station

Haslemere railway station is operated and served by South West Trains. It is situated on the Portsmouth Direct Line with trains running between London Waterloo and either Portsmouth Harbour or Portsmouth and Southsea.

Haslemere is served by buses to Aldershot, Guildford, Hindhead, Bordon and Midhurst.

The A286 and the A287 are the main routes into Haslemere, with the A3 running close by.

Sport and leisure

Grayswood cricket 2015
Grayswood cricket 2015

Two cricket clubs are Haslemere and Grayswood. Haslemere has a Non-League football club Shottermill & Haslemere F.C. who play at Woolmer Hill Sports Ground.

The Haslemere Leisure Centre, on King's Road, owned by Waverley Borough Council, replaced the swimming pool previously at Lion Green in the 1990s (now the site of Tesco). Facilities include a 25m swimming pool, children's pool, jacuzzi, hot-tub, sauna, steam room, a fitness suite, squash courts, tennis courts, a skate-park and an outdoor basketball court. The Woolmer Hill has a further sport centre, the Egde, owned by Waverley, and the sports ground has a clubhouse that is home to a number of local teams and the facilities include four rugby pitches, two football pitches, and two artificial hockey pitches. The senior Haslemere RFC team plays in the Surrey Leagues.

Twinning

Haslemere is twinned with Bernay in France and Horb am Neckar in Germany.

Demography and housing

2011 Census Homes
Output area Detached Semi-detached Terraced Flats and apartments Caravans/temporary/mobile homes shared between households
(Civil Parish) 2,812 1,500 946 1,628 2 11

The average level of accommodation in the region composed of detached houses was 28%, the average that was apartments was 22.6%.

2011 Census Key Statistics
Output area Population Households % Owned outright % Owned with a loan hectares
(Civil Parish) 16,826 6,899 35.8% 37.6% 2,327

The proportion of households in the civil parish who owned their home outright compares to the regional average of 35.1%. The proportion who owned their home with a loan compares to the regional average of 32.5%. The remaining % is made up of rented dwellings (plus a negligible % of households living rent-free).

There are more than 100 listed buildings in Haslemere.

Images for kids


Haslemere Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.