The interior of the Great Barn, Wanborough
Barley growing in fields in Wanborough
Wanborough shown within Surrey
|Area||7.57 km2 (2.92 sq mi)|
|Population||335 (Civil Parish)|
|- Density||44 /km2 (110 /sq mi)|
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Ambulance||South East Coast|
|EU Parliament||South East England|
Wanborough (// or //) is a rural village and civil parish in Surrey approximately 6 km west of Guildford on the northern slopes of the Hog's Back. Wanborough lies between Puttenham and Normandy which includes the larger community around Wanborough railway station named Flexford. Wanborough grew around and to service Wanborough Manor which is on the site of ancient springs.
According to a local publication Wanborough and its Church, early man travelled along the Hog's Back, found the spring in the village and had settled there by 8000 BC. The Saxon name of Wenberge means bump-barrow, this barrow was on the southern border of Wanborough on the top of the Hog's Back.
An Iron Age temple gave the Wanborough Coins as finds in 1983 (see right).
Wanborough appears in Domesday Book of 1086 as Weneberge held by Goisfrid (Geoffrey) de Mandville. Its assets were: 3 hides; 1 church, 9 ploughs, 6 acres (24,000 m2) of meadow, woodland worth 30 hogs (per year). Its people rendered £7 per year to their overlords. It also states that it had been held before the Norman conquest by two thegns, Sweign and Leofwin, who may have been brothers of King Harold.
In 1130 the Manor was sold to Waverley Abbey for £80 and put to use in great part to farm sheep to feed, clothe and endow the Cistercian community. The present Great Barn was built in 1388 and was used for storing and processing crops (threshing and winnowing). Having been built for the Cistercian Abbey, the barn was not a tithe barn as it would have stored the entire manor crop. The barn is made from massive oak timbers and is an aisled barn with large doors on either long side to permit entry by carts. It was extended in 1705. The dates have been obtained using tree-ring dating techniques.
In 1536, Waverley Abbey was dissolved and the manor passed into secular ownership. St Bartholomew's Church was in regular use until at least 1675, but by the 18th century the Quaker Birkbeck family were farming the hamlet innovating with 'modern techniques' and they used the church as a wood store and barn. The church has the highest architectural importance, reflected in its Grade I listing.
Whilst nearby Puttenham church was closed for repairs its Rector, the Rev. W A Duckworth, decided to hold services in Wanborough's church. He arranged and paid for the restoration of St Bartholomew's by architect Henry Woodyer. It was rededicated in 1861.
From 1880, Sir Algernon West lived at the manor. He was Principal Private Secretary to Prime Minister W. E. Gladstone. West entertained many political figures at the manor, including Gladstone, Queen Victoria and Bismarck. He was also a director of the South Eastern Railway and was responsible for the opening of Wanborough Station (in nearby Normandy) in 1891. In 1900, the manor passed to Asquith who lived there until he became Prime Minister. In 1908 West returned and stayed until his death in 1921.
World War II
During World War II the manor was used as a training centre for Special Operations Executive agents. The manor was designated Special Training School 5, and handled the first three phases of agent training. It operated from spring 1941 to March 1943 under the command of Major Roger de Wesselow, who had been a Coldstream Guards officer in World War I. Many agents in 'Section F' (France) passed through STS5 and courses lasted 3 weeks. Each course was specific to one country and all conversation during the course was in the target language. Trainees were taught theoretical and practical subjects including physical training, shooting, explosives, sabotage, map-reading, Morse code, and observation skills.
One of the tests in the course was to invite beautiful women to seduce the agents through alcohol and flirtation and try to get them to divulge secrets. But the test was dropped, as almost all the agents appear to have failed to keep sensitive information to themselves.
In the 1950s the Manor became a country club and restaurant. It acquired a reputation amongst the taxi drivers of Guildford who would be called to collect girls from Guildford station at weekends and then drive them back up to London for an early train on Monday morning.
Since the 1960s development has been constrained by its rural isolation and protected status of much of its land, Wanborough has gradually become a mixture of a commuter and retirement settlement. Principal employment areas are the Aldershot Urban Area, Guildford and London.
Education and Community outreach
The Normandy Youth Centre serves the area by sponsoring community-based programs targeting youth in the area (especially marginal groups and minorities) for the purpose of increasing exposure to educational opportunities and building a stronger community.
St Bartholomew's Church
The village church is small, only 13.5 m by 5.5 m internally. It was originally built around 1060 replacing an earlier wooden Saxon church. It was rebuilt in the 13th century and restored in 1861. Thus the various walls and windows have significantly different heritage. The Victorian west brick wall now supports an external bell.
Demography and housing
|Output area||Detached||Semi-detached||Terraced||Flats and apartments||Caravans/temporary/mobile homes||shared between households|
The average level of accommodation in the region composed of detached houses was 28%, the average that was apartments was 22.6%.
|Output area||Population||Households||% Owned outright||% Owned with a loan||hectares|
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).
The nearest railway station is Wanborough in the large, generally 20th century neighbourhood of Flexford in Normandy, to the North, served by South West Trains who manage the station and by First Great Western. It is on the Ascot to Guildford/North Downs Line.
||Wyke||Normandy||Wood Street Village|
|Ash Green in Ash||Guildford|
|Seale and Sands||Puttenham||Compton|
- Key Statistics; Quick Statistics: Population Density United Kingdom Census 2011 Office for National Statistics Retrieved 21 November 2013
- English Heritage. "Details from listed building database (1029614)". National Heritage List for England. Wanborough Manor
- Anon Wanborough and its Church (available from the church)
- Portable Antiquities Scheme Wikimedia Commons photographs of finds
- Surrey Domesday Book
- English Heritage. "Details from listed building database (1287038)". National Heritage List for England. St Bartholomew's Church
- Award for Mother Who Transformed Her Village; 18 October 2010 article; at Get Surrey, website of the Surrey Advertiser; retrieved 30 January 2013.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Wanborough, Surrey.|
- Great Barn
- Detailed historical record about the Great Barn, Wanborough
- Wanborough Barn
- Stained Glass Windows at St Bartholomew, Wanborough, Surrey