Bisley shown within Surrey
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Ambulance||South East Coast|
|EU Parliament||South East England|
|UK Parliament||Surrey Heath|
The name 'Bisley' was first recorded in the 10th century as 'Busseleghe'. It is derived from the old English words 'Bysc', meaning bushes, and 'Leah', a clearing. Therefore, it means the 'clearing where bushes grow'.
In medieval times, the village lay on the edge of the Chertsey Abbey estate. The 13th century church, St John the Baptist, was donated to the village by the Abbey monks over 600 years ago. The church features a medieval bell and a 15th-century porch which is said to have been built from a single oak tree. A nearby spring was once known as the 'Holy Well of St John the Baptist', and was said to have medicinal powers. Its waters were used for local baptisms until the early 20th century.
Bisley is also home to Bisley C of E Primary School. This school is situated in the centre of the village and its logo is a frog. It was described as delivering a good education to students in its recent Ofsted report.
On Queen's Road, near Snowdrop Way, is the largest manufacturer of office furniture in the U.K. and one of the largest in the European Union, Bisley Office Furniture. Founded in 1931 by Freddy Brown, a tradesman sheet metal worker, who started his one man business repairing damaged cars in a garage in St Johns, Woking, Surrey. In 1941 the company moved to its present site in Bisley, Surrey when a 400 square metre manufacturing facility was built and various wartime defence contracts were undertaken. It was responsible for designing and manufacturing the first containers to be dropped by parachute, which were widely used by airborne forces throughout the war.
Bisley is now a thriving village and house prices are high. This includes on the Flowers Estate development (the road names are flower names, with one for each letter of the alphabet) which benefits from a very big playing field.
National Shooting Centre
In 1890, the village became the location for the UK's National Rifle Association Championships which moved there from Wimbledon. The competition is hosted by the NRA on its Bisley ranges - land owned by the Ministry of Defence. Bisley hosted most of the shooting events in the 1908 Olympic Games, and all the shooting for the 2002 Commonwealth Games. During the 2012 Olympic Games the shooting was held at the Royal Artillery Barracks, Woolwich.
As well as the rifle ranges, there are two clay target shooting complexes; The National Clay Shooting Centre, which caters for 'trap' disciplines such as Skeet and DTL, and Bisley Shooting Grounds, which caters for 'sporting', or simulated game shooting. Bisley is famous within shooting circles and has a long history. Some of the buildings within the grounds are from the Victorian era, having been transported there in the re-location from Wimbledon Common. The camp also once had its own railway branch line which ran from nearby Brookwood station, and was known as the 'Bisley Bullet'.
In 1894 Colt, the US firearms manufacturer, introduced and sold the Bisley Model of its famous Single Action Army revolver specifically designed for target shooting. This revolver featured a longer grip, a wider hammer spur, a wider trigger and adjustable sights. It was offered in a variety of calibers including .32-20, .38-40, .45 Colt, .44-40.
Bisley is home to Bisley All Stars FC, who are currently a Sunday League club playing in the Surrey & Hants Border League Division 3. They play their home matches at Bisley Recreation Ground
At the Lord Roberts Centre (upstairs) is a purpose built Inline Inline Hockey Rink which is used for league and national events by BiSHA and BiPHA.
- Rosemary F. Cooper St. John the Baptist Church, Bisley: A Guide and Short History
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Bisley, Surrey.|
- Bisley 'Parishes: Bisley', A History of the County of Surrey: Volume 3 (1911), pp. 398–399.
- The National Shooting Centre at Bisley
- Old pictures
- Bisley church
- Stained Glass Windows at St. John the Baptist, Bisley, Surrey
- Bisley All Stars FC Website