Holmbury St Mary
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Holmbury St. Mary is a village near Abinger in the Mole Valley district of Surrey, England located within the Hurtwood, the largest area of common land in Surrey. Nearby to the south is Holmbury Hill, which at 857 feet (261 m) is the fourth highest point in Surrey. The village itself is named after the hill and the large Victorian church at its heart. St Mary's church, which overlooks the village green, was built in 1879 by George Edmund Street who had built himself a large house in the village between 1873-76 known as Holmdale. Holmdale later became home to Thomas Catto, the Governor of the Bank of England from 1944 to 1949.
From 1947 to 1986 the village was home to the Webb trust set up as a memorial to Beatrice Webb. Beatrice Webb House was opened by Clement Attlee and served as an important education and discussion facility for the Fabian society, Labour party and trade unions. The Fabian Window, designed by George Bernard Shaw (who co-founded the London School of Economics with Sidney and Beatrice Webb) hung in the house until it was stolen in 1978. The window was later recovered and is now on loan to the LSE.
Holmbury-St-Mary is also home to the UCL Department of Space and Climate Physics (Mullard Space Science Laboratory), a department of University College London and the UK's largest university-based space science research group. The village has three schools, Belmont School and Hurtwood House, catering for ages 2 to 13 and 16 to 18 respectively. Moon Hall School provides specialist tuition for children with Dyslexia.
There are three pubs in the village, The Royal Oak, The King's Head and the Hollybush Tavern. At weekends the village is popular with walkers, horse riders and mountain bikers.
Holmbury St. Mary has two football teams. Holmbury St. Mary 1st XI and Holmbury St. Mary 2nd XI, which both compete in the Guildford and Woking Alliance. The 1st XI are in the Premier Division and the newly formed 2nd XI are in the 3rd Division. Holmbury also has two cricket teams. The first XI plays in division two of the Surrey Downs League and the second XI play in the second division of the Village Cricket League. The village club The Hollybush Tavern also has its own cricket side which play friendly matches.
Holmbury St. Mary has its own annual bonfire and fireworks night in the Glade, made possible by local village men (The Bonfire Boys) who gather wood from the Hurtwood and put on a fireworks show on the weekend following Halloween. This is a very popular event in the village with thousands attending, and all profits are donated to charity.
Holmbury St. Mary is believed to be the basis for the fictional village of Summer Street in 'A Room With A View'. Its author E.M. Forster was a longstanding resident in neighbouring Abinger Hammer.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Holmbury St Mary|
- Panoramic picture from the pub in the centre of the village
- King's Head
- Holmbury St Mary Church
- UCL Department of Space and Climate Physics (Mullard Space Science Laboratory)
- University College London