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Abinger Common Fields.jpg
Looking across arable land from Abinger Common towards Abinger Hammer
Abinger is located in Surrey
Abinger shown within Surrey
Area 30.17 km2 (11.65 sq mi)
Population 1,905 (civil parish 2011)[1]
• Density 63/km2 (160/sq mi)
OS grid reference TQ1101
Civil parish
  • Abinger
Shire county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town Dorking
Postcode district RH5
Dialling code 01306
Police Surrey
Fire Surrey
Ambulance South East Coast
EU Parliament South East England
UK Parliament
List of places
51°12′N 0°23′W / 51.20°N 0.39°W / 51.20; -0.39Coordinates: 51°12′N 0°23′W / 51.20°N 0.39°W / 51.20; -0.39

Abinger is a large, well-wooded and mostly rural civil parish that lies between the settlements of Dorking, Shere and Ewhurst in the district of Mole Valley, Surrey, England. It adjoins Wotton Common on the same side of Leith Hill and includes Abinger Hammer, Sutton Abinger, Abinger Common, Forest Green, Walliswood, Oakwood Hill and some outskirts of Holmbury St Mary. More than half of the parish lies on the Greensand Ridge, while the remainder is divided between the Vale of Holmesdale and the North Downs.

St James's Church, Abinger Common


Streams and forest

The upper reach of the Tilling Bourne runs through Abinger Hammer from east to west and is joined by the Holmbury St Mary stream on the western border. In the southwest by Sutton Abinger are Pasture Wood and Oxmoor Copse, lower forested slopes of the Greensand Ridge, projections from the Winterfold/Hurt Wood forest.


Southeast the land approaches the highest point in the Greensand Ridge, climbing through Abinger Common, more than halfway up Leith Hill, reaching in the south-east corner of the parish an elevation of 248 m above sea level.[2] Similarly to the north the parish reaches the top of the North Downs, in the protruding arm of Mole Valley shown in the map above, across Abinger Roughs including the highest point before the northern boundary, in Oaken Grove, at Dunley Hill 227 m above sea level; the parish here has the 11th highest 'hill' in Surrey along part of the fluctuating North Downs scarp.[3]

Lowest elevation

The lowest point is where the Tilling Bourne flows into Gomshall at 85 m.

Unusual size

Abinger – including the much-dependent 'villages' of Forest Green and Walliswood, ranks third in size (after the two largest civil parishes): Farnham and Cranleigh.[1] Its list of localities is as set out in the introduction and altogether make up what is called a strip parish reaching to the border of West Sussex. As such this is the only parish in Surrey to reach from the North Downs to the West Sussex border.[4] The entire area is in the Surrey Hills AONB.


Only Abinger Hammer lies on the A25 Guildford to Dorking road, while the remainder of the area is served by more minor roads. No dual carriageways bisect the area.
The nearest railway station is nearby to the west at Gomshall on the Reading to Gatwick line.


Abinger Manor Motte

A mesolithic burial site on the south east of Abinger Common is testament to the long time in which the area has been inhabited. There is also evidence of strip farming.[5] Remains of a Romano-British villa, a Scheduled Ancient Monument, lie approximately 120 m east of Abinger Hall stables.[6]

Abinger is recorded in the Domesday Book as the location Abinceborne held by William de Braiose, with assets of 4 hides, 1 church, 1 mill worth 6 s, 7 ploughs, 3 acres (1.2 ha) of meadow; and woodland worth 40 hogs. The total rendered was £7.[7]

The church of the Abingers is the C of E church of St James at Abinger Common, which is a II* class listed building whose nave is 11th century, chancel and north chapel built 1220 CE, reconstructed in 1857, damaged by a V1 flying bomb in 1944,[8] and restored 1950 by Frederick Etchells.[9] The headquarters of the Lutyens Trust is based in the village at Goddards (designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens). Lutyens also designed Abinger Common War Memorial. Opposite the church is the 19th century Evelyn Hall which has recently been completely refurbished and can be hired for events. Next to the Hall is the village pub, the Abinger Hatch. To the west of the village is Oxmoor Copse which is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The church of St John the Baptist in Walliswood also has class II* listed building status.[10]

The Abinger Hatch

Sutton Abinger has a pub called The Volunteer and 0.5 miles (0.80 km) east in Abinger Common is the Scheduled Ancient Monument Motte "Castle" at Abinger Manor,[11] the grade II listed manor itself[12] and opposite St James Church, see above, are three-person stocks[13] and a public house The Abinger Hatch with a green picnic area is 17th century, Timber framed, clad in whitewashed brick with whitewashed render, shown right.[14]

Abinger Hammer contains two grade II* listed buildings, Paddington farmhouse, which is 15th century, listed as possibly earlier, extended in the 16th century, which is also whitewashed; and Crossways farmhouse built 1610, clad in sandstone blocks with brick dressings with a panelled 17th century door.[14][15] Crossways is the setting for George Meredith's 1885 novel, Diana of the Crossways.[8]

Fulvens House which also lies between the Abingers actually over the western border[16][17] and it may date back to 1628.[18]

Demographics, economy and housing[edit]

In 2001, Abinger had a population of 1,858 in 717 households. Abinger covers an area of 30.17 square kilometres (11.65 sq mi).[1] Of the population 12.2% were aged over 65; 3.8% of the population were in full-time further education; 85.1% of all men were economically active whereas 2.8% were unemployed, 6.1% worked part-time; 60% of all women were economically active whereas 2.7% were unemployed, 34.6% worked part-time.[19]

As to ethnicity, 99.94% of the population identified themselves as being white, 6 residents identified with one of the other main categories.[19]

In terms of religion, 77.7%% of the population responded as being Christian, 0% as Muslim, 0.8% other religions, 13.7% as atheist and 8.2% declined to answer.[19]

Abinger's economy is predominantly one in the service sector reflected by a low concentration at one end of the official categorisation table of occupation stated, compiled from the 2001 census:

Category Number of adults in category in 2001 Percentage of those aged 16–74
Lower supervisory and technical occupations 79 5.9%
Semi-routine occupations 99 7.4%
Routine occupations 71 5.3%[19]

Whereas 25.5% of the population worked in lower managerial and professional occupations and 9.2% in higher professional occupations.[19]

Housing and home ownership[edit]

2011 Census Homes
Output area Detached Semi-detached Terraced Flats and apartments Caravans/temporary/mobile homes shared between households[1]
(Civil Parish) 399 246 39 51 2 2

The average level of accommodation in the region composed of detached houses was 28%, the average that was apartments was 22.6%.

2011 Census Key Statistics
Output area Population Households % Owned outright % Owned with a loan hectares[1]
(Civil Parish) 1,905 739 37.1% 34.2% 3017

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).


Abinger Common First School merged with Westcott School in 2010 to become a two-site all-through primary school.[20]

Sport and amenities[edit]

The Volunteer
Cricket at Abinger Hammer

Cricket is played across the parish, with a notable team at Abinger Hammer.

There are three village halls with activities and events and three playgrounds across the parish.[21]

Other than the public houses listed above, there is also the Abinger Arms (see Baron Abinger in Abinger Hammer) and a pub in Walliswood.

People associated with Abinger[edit]

(Arthur Brooke) Brooke Bond tea founder lived in Abinger Common

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Key Statistics; Quick Statistics: Population Density United Kingdom Census 2011 Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
  2. ^ "Elevation tool finder". Retrieved 5 May 2012. 
  3. ^ Database of British and Irish Hills Retrieved 6 March 2015
  4. ^ "Home page". Abinger Parish Council. Retrieved 5 May 2012. 
  5. ^ Surrey Archaeology
  6. ^ Historic England. "Details from listed building database (1019640)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 6 May 2012. 
  7. ^ Surrey Domesday Book Archived 15 July 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
  8. ^ a b Hadfield, John; Jenkins, Alan, eds. (1980). The Shell Book of English Villages. London: Michael Joseph. p. 71. ISBN 0 7181 1900 2. 
  9. ^ Historic England. "Details from listed building database (1378082)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 6 May 2012. 
  10. ^ Historic England. "Details from listed building database (1028844)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 6 May 2012. 
  11. ^ Historic England. "Details from listed building database (1012579)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 6 May 2012. 
  12. ^ Historic England. "Details from listed building database (1028827)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 6 May 2012. 
  13. ^ Historic England. "Details from listed building database (1028840)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 6 May 2012. 
  14. ^ a b Historic England. "Details from listed building database (1378083)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 6 May 2012. 
  15. ^ Historic England. "Details from listed building database (1189524)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 6 May 2012. 
  16. ^ Fulvens House photo
  17. ^ Properties from Times On Line
  18. ^ Historic England. "Details from listed building database (1294281)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 6 May 2012. 
  19. ^ a b c d e Surrey County Council 2001 collated census statistics
  20. ^ About us Archived 29 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine.
  21. ^ "Various minutes of parish council meetings". Abinger Parish Council. Retrieved 6 May 2012. 

External links[edit]