Merrow, Surrey

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For other uses, see Merrow (disambiguation).
Merrow
Merrow is located in Surrey
Merrow
Merrow
 Merrow shown within Surrey
Population 7,706 [1]
OS grid reference TQ022508
District Guildford
Shire county Surrey
Region South East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town GUILDFORD
Postcode district GU1, GU4
Dialling code 01483
Police Surrey
Fire Surrey
Ambulance South East Coast
EU Parliament South East England
UK Parliament Guildford
List of places
UK
England
Surrey

Coordinates: 51°14′47″N 0°31′40″W / 51.2463°N 0.5279°W / 51.2463; -0.5279

The village of Merrow, in Surrey, England, lies on the north-east corner of Guildford. It is about two miles from the town centre, right on the edge of the ridge of hills that forms the North Downs. Although now a relatively anonymous suburb, the village can trace its origins back many hundreds of years. According to the Institute for Name-Studies, Merrow means 'fat', literally, "probably referring to the high fertility of the land".[2]

Merrow is separated from Burpham (to the north-west) by the New Guildford Line, the railway line between Guildford and Effingham Junction.

History[edit]

The village grew up around a crossroads: where what is now the A25, the road between Guildford and Leatherhead, crossed the original road (Merrow Street) from Burpham to Dorking.

The oldest houses in the village can still be seen along these two roads, together with St John's Church and the Horse and Groom, a 17th-century coaching inn next door. The old Dorking road squeezes between the church and the inn, creating a significant bottleneck for modern motor traffic.

To the north is Clandon Park, once the home of the Onslow family, and now a National Trust property. The Onslows provided some of the earliest Speakers of the House of Commons, such as Arthur Onslow who held this post through the reign of George II.

Merrow remained a relatively small settlement right up to the 1950s, when the Bushy Hill estate was built. This development of several hundred houses was originally all council-owned, but since the 1980s, many have passed into private ownership.

Further expansion occurred in the mid-1980s. In the green-field site bordered by Burpham, the Bushy Hill estate and Clandon Park, the Merrow Park development was built, completely surrounding the old houses on Merrow Street. Comprising several hundred houses and flats, Merrow Park is often considered a suburb in its own right and has its own shops, school and doctor's surgery.

St John's Church[edit]

St John's Church, viewed from the south (non-road) side.

The parish church of St John the Evangelist was built in the mid 12th century and a few early features have survived later additions, such as a Norman arch and a 13th-century chapel.

The churchyard is the burial place of the Onslow family.

There is a war memorial in the churchyard, dedicated to those who lost their lives in the First and Second World Wars. This was re-dedicated in 2002 following a restoration and research project part-funded by a Heritage Lottery Fund grant.

The church hall (The St. John's Centre) is a focal point for the community and was reopened in 2001 following a major refurbishing and enlargement project.

Schools[edit]

St Peter's School also has a sixth form college.

Churches[edit]

Sport and leisure[edit]

Merrow is situated right on the edge of the North Downs. Guildford Golf Club, the oldest Golf Course in Surrey, is located on the Downs. A short walk from Merrow is Newlands Corner, a popular beauty spot in the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Merrow has a non-league football club (Merrow F.C.), a tennis club and a cricket club, as well as a fitness club (which was formerly known as "Dragons").

Merrow Dramatic Society is claimed to be the oldest amateur dramatic group in Guildford, having been in existence for over 80 years. Each year, the Society produces two plays, performed at the Electric Theatre in Guildford, and a traditional pantomime, put on at Merrow Village Hall (built 1909). They also take part in Drama Festivals (winning recently at both Guildford and Woking) and host their own variety evenings.

Merrow F.C.[edit]

Main article: Merrow F.C.

The non-League football club, Merrow F.C., nicknamed "The Robins", was established in 1922. Their home ground is The Urnfield, Downside Road, in Merrow (51°14′14.72″N 0°32′11.69″W / 51.2374222°N 0.5365806°W / 51.2374222; -0.5365806). The club was among the founding members of the Surrey Premier League in 1982.

In the 2012–13 season the club achieved a league-and-cup double when they finished top of the Surrey County Intermediate League (Western) Premier Division, and won the Surrey Intermediate Cup.[3][4] The club were promoted to the Surrey Elite Intermediate League for the 2013–2014 season.

Transport[edit]

Merrow park and ride.

Merrow is on several bus routes that start or finish in Guildford.

A park and ride facility was built to the east of the village, construction starting in Autumn 2006, which opened on 29 September 2008. This service, operated by Safeguard Coaches on behalf of Guildford Borough Council and Surrey County Council, was introduced to reduce the traffic levels between Merrow and the town centre.

There have been several proposals to build a railway station on the Guildford to Effingham Junction line, the most probable site being the Surrey County Council depot near Burpham. As yet the funding has not been forthcoming to develop this further, although a feasibility study was carried out.

Literature[edit]

Merrow Downs in prehistory is the setting for two of the Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling: "How the First Letter was Written" and "How the Alphabet was Made".

Trivia[edit]

  • Residents of Merrow are known as Merrovians.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Census data
  2. ^ "Merrow, Surrey". A Key to English Placenames. Institute for Name-Studies, School of English Studies, University of Nottingham. Retrieved 10 September 2014. 
  3. ^ "football.mitoo". football.mitoo. Retrieved 2013-05-23. [dead link]
  4. ^ "football.mitoo". football.mitoo. Retrieved 2013-05-23. [dead link]

External links[edit]

History[edit]

Churches[edit]

Community[edit]