Chobham war memorial and cannon
Chobham shown within Surrey
|Area||23.13 km2 (8.93 sq mi)|
|Population||3,799 (Civil Parish)|
|– density||164 /km2 (420 /sq mi)|
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Ambulance||South East Coast|
|EU Parliament||South East England|
|UK Parliament||Surrey Heath|
The village has a small high street area, specialising in traditional trades and motor trades. The River Bourne and its northern tributary, the Hale, Mill Bourne or Windle Brook run through the village.
Chobham lost a large minority of its land to West End, in 1968, which has a higher population and was long associated with another parish. Chobham has a wide range of outlying businesses, particularly plant growing and selling businesses, science/technology and restaurants.
- 1 History
- 2 Economy
- 3 Amenities
- 4 Sports and Leisure
- 5 Geography
- 6 Demography
- 7 Localities
- 8 Notable residents
- 9 References
- 10 External links
Neolithic flints have been found and there are several round barrows on the heaths; such as the Bee Garden in rolling Albury Bottom, a scheduled ancient monument and the "Herestraet or Via Militaris" of the Chertsey Charters ran through Chobham parish. In 1772 Roman silver coins of Gratian and of the time of a Valentinian, and copper coins of a Theodosius, Honorius, and another Valentinian, a spear-head and a gold ring, were found near Chobham Park in the parish.
Chobham appears in Domesday Book as Cebeham held by Chertsey Abbey, as it was at the time of the conquest, with interests also acquired by the time of its survey, 1086, by two minor Norman figures, possibly bishops, Corbelin and Odin. Its Domesday assets were: 10 hides; 1 church, 1 chapel, 16 ploughs, 10 acres (40,000 m2) of meadow, woodland worth 130 hogs. It rendered £15 10s 0d per year. Chabbeham is the version written in Chertsey Charter, and Chabham was the version recorded in the 13th century Patent Rolls.
St Lawrence Church is on the High Street. Its earliest parts date from about 1080 although there may have been an earlier church on the site. It is dedicated to St Lawrence, who was martyred in Rome in 258.
Until the 19th century almost entirely surrounded by Chobham Common, which was heathland of little agricultural value compared to its central fertile belt, the village was isolated. During mediaeval times, Chobham remained part of the Chertsey Abbey estates. As across the whole hundred which he dominated, the power of the Abbot of Chertsey Abbey was considerable.
When the railways were built in the 19th century, lines running east-west went north and south of the village, passing through the nearby then smaller villages of Sunningdale and Woking. Thus Chobham remained largely undeveloped during the Industrial Revolution and 20th century meanwhile Woking has grown into a large town on the South West Main Line. In the 19th century peat was cut from the soil all around the village, which provided a cheap and reliable fuel source for heat, smelting and cooking.
- Chobham Place or Manor
No land in the parish was bestowed with as much land as a medieval manor would have been, as the dues of the whole parish before the English Reformation were owned, as chief landowners, to the (Roman Catholic) church. This increasingly expanded building and modest farming estate nonetheless was the chosen home of two lines of baronets: the Abdy baronets and Le Marchant baronets. The building and estate no longer survive.
After John Cordrey, the last Abbot of Chertsey Abbey presenting Henry VIII being presented with this land, by succession, in July 1558 it was sold by Queen Mary I of England to Nicholas Heath her chancellor, Archbishop of York, for £3,000. The land was inclosed by a pale, whence it was called a park, and is marked as such in Norden and Speed's map of 1610. This grant was confirmed by Queen Elizabeth, but as Heath had been deprived for refusing the oaths to the queen, the nominal possession was conveyed to his brother William in 1564. The ex-archbishop continued, however, to reside when his nephew Thomas forfeited his new lands in 1588, but was restored, and in 1606 conveyed them to Francis Leigh. Cope, Hale and Henn families held it until 1681. Martin and Crawley families held it until Mr. Revel, M.P. 1734–52, who is said to have owned it. His daughter and heiress married Sir George Warren, a later owner, in 1758, and their daughter married Lord Bulkeley in 1777. The latter died in 1822, having left it to Sir Richard Bulkeley Williams, after which, already reduced in area, it was acquired by the Le Marchant baronets.
- Chobham House, Aden, or Ardern Manor
By 1911, Chobham House, which came to rise in the 16th century as the home of minor local gentry, was only represented by a small farm-house. A John Ardern held land in Chobham in 1331 and this was held by John Danaster 'seized of the manor', baron of the Exchequer in 1540, his heiress daughter married a son of the wealthy Sir Edward Bray of Shere, a name later significant in local events and architecture.
- Penny Pot or Pentecost
A court roll of the time of Charles II mentions 'Stanners' and 'Pentecost' as tythings (presenting tythingmen). Pennypot Cottage on the significantly long local lane (Pennypot Lane) is listed, albeit, at Grade II and dates to the 17th century.
- Brook Place
Brook Place is a Grade II*-listed building also called Malt House is dated "W B[ray] 1656" and was built in the Artisan Mannerist style and was mentioned as fine architecture in the History of Surrey in 1809 by Manning and Bray. In 1648 this house's predecessor was the property of Edward Bray, a descendant of the Shiere family, who paid composition for his estate as a Royalist. It belonged to the manor of Aden (locally always pronounced Ardern) linked to Worplesdon but was not the manor house.
Chobham gained an economic sobriquet via its tank factory and testing ground that was carved out of Chobham Common and created Chobham armour. However here were also developed in the 19th century reputed "treacle mines" (where it is said soldiers buried their treacle tins before going off to the Crimean war). Queen Victoria visited their camp.
Only 1% of the population at the 2011 census (15 people) were employed in agriculture, forestry and fishing sector in 2011. The largest sectors of employment were Wholesale and Retail Trade; Repair of Motor Vehicles and Motor Cycles and Professional, Scientific and Technical Activities at 15% and 11% of the population respectively. Construction, manufacturing, education and health or social work, closely compete for 8% of the labour force. With fast access to the M3 and M25 motorways and the expansion of Heathrow Airport more agricultural land has been made available in the early 21st century for industry and housing. This has increased the traffic that the village is required to bear.
The array of shops, repair garages, motor outlets and leisure services is diverse, however most international branded clothes shops and larger supermarkets are further afield. The following types of outlets are well-represented:
- Antiques Shops
- Car dealerships
- Motorbicyle dealerships
- Boutique ladies-wear
- Garden/outdoor living centres and seed stores
- Farriers Supplies store - Burrow Hill Green
- DIY supplies stores
- Garden and allotment plant nurseries
Dining and Entertainment
The six 'pubs & clubs' in the civil parish (see English public house) are:
- Chobham Social Club, Windsor Road, with a large free hire function hall, snooker tables, darts & entertainment
- The Castle Grove (now renamed The Grove), towards Knaphill, with a public bar and a saloon bar, holds regular live music and karaoke.
- The Red Lion, Burrowhill, recently renovated and over 21-year-olds only.
- The Sun Inn, the last remaining pub in the High Street - saved by local villagers who bought it to prevent it being converted to a restaurant.
- The Four Horseshoes, at Burrowhill - classical English village green setting, complete with a farrier. This has an area to sit outside in warmer months.
- Chobham Rugby Club, regular live sport and a large modern clubhouse and grounds for hire. The 1st XV play in London Division 1 South.
Sports and Leisure
Chobham also has a thriving Cricket club that run 3 League teams on a Saturday and a social side on a Sunday, both playing at a good standard of cricket. This year the club captain is Matt Morrison. The Cricket club also has a fast-growing colt section and run teams at U9 level through to U17. All ages groups are competing in West surrey youth cricket league and has representatives at west surrey colts teams.
Chobham & District Rifle Club is celebrating its centenary this year (2009). Throughout its 100 years of shooting the Club actively enters teams and individuals in County and National Club league competitions and all members are encouraged to shoot competitively. Many members actively participate in Open Meetings organised by other clubs across the south-east. These Open competitions are held at weekends, throughout the summer months, for .22 prone rifle over 50 yards/meters and 100 yards outdoors. The highpoint of the shooting year is in August when the British Championships are held at Bisley - shooters of any ability can enjoy the atmosphere of an international competition and compete in a week full of events.
Soil and Elevation
The village and hamlets are chiefly on the gravel and alluvium of the stream beds, but the rest of the pre-1968 drawn parish of 9,057 acres (3,665 ha) is on the Bagshot Sands ('Formation'), with extensive peat beds.
The River Bourne and its northern tributary, the Hale, Mill Bourne or Windle Brook run through the village. These can flood small but well-developed parts of the village in extreme localised rainfall.
The rolling basin below reaches lowest elevations of between 30 metres in the centre of the west and 20 metres AOD where the rivers join in the centre of the east. The rivers at the western point are less than 100m apart; to the east end of the parish where the parish adjoins the landscape of the McLaren Technology Centre the rivers are finally merged along that boundary.
It is not accurate to compare pre 1961 and post-1971 sets of statistics due to different borders, excluding principally West End, Surrey but also other minor neighbourhoods, smaller than villages, which left the civil parish during that period.
In 2011 the population lived in 1,616 households compared to 20 fewer in 2001, however the population had declined by one, which contrasts with the increase in the historic, more heavily populated part of the parish which seceded in 1968 from Chobham. This involved 1,454 acres (588 ha), leaving Chobham with, in 2001, for example 2,313 acres (936 ha).
The average level of accommodation in the region composed of detached houses was 28%, the average that was apartments was 22.6%.
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).
Burrowhill the neighbourhood of the north of the village broken up from the village centre by Wishmore Cross School but is linked to it by two residential roads, one of which is a local through road from Chobham to Sunningdale.  Next to Forge Cottage Burrowhill has an active forge which provides Farriers Equipment to the trade and local Farriery services.
Coxhill Green or Mimbridge
This south-eastern hamlet has a network of roads with fewer properties than Burrowhill but is separated by a wider buffer, and adjoins Horsell Common, which is a wooded and open space separating it from the well-developed and former village suburb of Woking, Horsell which has a longer and wider parade of shops than Chobham.
Penny Pot, Broadford and Castle Green
These south-western and southern lightly populated linear settlements are narrowly separated from the village centre by a farmed field. As set out in the history of the late estates of Chobham, all dating independence from the church to the Tudor period, the former name of the first hamlet was Pentecost.
Castle Green has overflowed along Guildford Road, which splits off from the old road to the Fellow Green part of West End, in the Borough of Woking.
Most of the land of this northernmost hamlet lies north of the M3 motorway which bisects it and its church and main cluster of buildings is on the opposite side. Its church is currently described by the Church of England as 'the church off the beaten track'. This is Grade II listed, built in 1867 from designs by G.F. Bodley and built in red and brown brick with stone dressed windows.