Abinger Hammer Post Office and general store
Abinger Hammer shown within Surrey
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Abinger Hammer is a village situated on the A25 between Dorking and Guildford in Surrey, England. It lies with the parish of Abinger which includes Abinger Common and Sutton Abinger. Other neighbouring villages are Wotton and Gomshall.
The clock which overhangs the main road portrays the figure of "Jack the Blacksmith", who strikes the hour with his hammer. The clock bears the motto "By me you know how fast to go". The clock was given in memory of the first Lord Farrer of Abinger Hall who died in 1899. The clock represents the iron industry and the role played by the county of Surrey in the industrial past.
The River Tillingbourne flows through the village where it was impounded in the 16th century into a hammer pond, providing water power for Abinger Forge which worked Sussex sourced iron. It has long since been adapted to grow watercress. Brown trout swim in the stream, which is their natural habitat; the occasional larger rainbow trout can be sighted. These may have escaped from the fish farm further downstream towards Gomshall. The village is also home to the Michelin-starred Drakes on the Pond restaurant.
In summer the village green in Abinger is popular with locals and tourists who like to picnic on the grass whilst watching a game of cricket in surroundings which are quintessentially English. The cricket pitch borders the Tillingbourne - the Post Office sells nets for children to "fish" in this shallow and sandy stream. Annie's tearoom is next to the Post Office and offers lunches and teas seven days a week.
Abinger Hammer village school has been threatened with closure but due to public support it has remained open. It was a state school but after the LEA closed it in 1982, the local community took over the running of it. It is now an independent non-fee-paying school and as of 2008 has only sixteen students. A small group of trustees work tirelessly to raise funds to maintain the building and to pay the staff.
During the years 1925 to 1945, the novelist E. M. Forster lived with his mother Alice Clare (Lily) in West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer in a house designed by his father, the architect 'Eddie' Morgan, and previously occupied by his aunt Laura. Forster was obliged to leave this home in 1946 as the landlord refused to renew the lease.
Edward Wilkins Waite (1854–1924), landscape painter, lived for a time at Abinger Hammer. He was born in Leatherhead, Surrey, and much of his work depicted rural scenes in the county - including at least one painting done in the vicinity of the village (see "Old Willows").
- UK attractions retrieved 6-1-07
- Pearce, H, Hammer and Furnace Ponds, Pomegranate Press, 2011
- Abinger Hammer village school retrieved 6-1-07
- Furbank, P. N. E. M. Forster, A Life. vol 2. London: Secker and Warburg, 1978.
Media related to Abinger Hammer at Wikimedia Commons