Abinger Hammer

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Abinger Hammer
Abinger Hammer general store
Abinger Hammer is located in Surrey
Abinger Hammer
Abinger Hammer
Abinger Hammer shown within Surrey
OS grid reference TQ095475
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°13′00″N 0°25′58″W / 51.2166°N 0.432853°W / 51.2166; -0.432853Coordinates: 51°13′00″N 0°25′58″W / 51.2166°N 0.432853°W / 51.2166; -0.432853

Abinger Hammer is a village or small community in a narrow part of the Vale of Holmesdale where it forms the valley of the Tilling Bourne and mainly on the parallel A25 in Surrey, England. Its homes, land and its parent civil parish are in the Surrey Hills AONB. It is approximately midway between the market towns Dorking and Guildford — Guildford is the county town, just over 6 miles (10 km) west. It is named after its mill which powered an iron forge.

Much of its population do not commute routinely to Central London as it is approximately 1 mile (1.6 km) east of Gomshall railway station on an east-west railway line between Redhill and Guildford.


Abinger Hammer lies within the parish of Abinger which includes Abinger Common and Sutton Abinger. Other neighbouring villages are Wotton and Gomshall.

The River Tillingbourne flows through the village. Brown trout swim in the stream, which is their natural habitat; the occasional larger rainbow trout can be sighted. These may have escaped from the fish farm further downstream towards Gomshall.


Abinger Hammer was a focus for forges
Abinger Hammer Clock

The Tillingbourne was impounded in the 16th century into a hammer pond, providing water power for Abinger Hammer Mill, also called Abinger Forge, the Hammer forge or Shere forge, which worked Sussex-sourced iron.[1] It has long since been adapted to grow watercress.[2][3]

The hammer mill was in operation during the second half of the 16th century although the reputed manufacture of guns for use against the Spanish Armada has no basis in fact, forges being incapable of casting iron. The waters of the Tillingbourne powered the water wheel which drove the massive, 400 kg, hammer of the forge. The forge closed in 1787 despite attempts to save or convert it.[3]

The clock which overhangs the main road portrays the figure of "Jack the Blacksmith", who strikes the hour with his hammer. The clock bears the motto "By me you know how fast to go". The clock was given in memory of the first Lord Farrer of Abinger Hall who died in 1899. The clock represents the iron industry and the role played by the county of Surrey in the industrial past.[4]


The 2012 Women's Olympic Cycle Race passing through Abinger Hammer on its way to Box Hill

In summer the village green in Abinger is popular with locals and tourists who like to picnic on the grass whilst watching a game of cricket in surroundings which are quintessentially English. The cricket pitch borders the Tillingbourne - the Post Office sells nets for children to "fish" in this shallow and sandy stream. Annie's tearoom is next to the Post Office and offers lunches and teas seven days a week.


Abinger Hammer village school was a state school but after the LEA closed it in 1982, the local community took over the running of it. As of 2008 the school had only sixteen students. A small group of trustees worked to raise funds to maintain the building and to pay the staff. The number of students has since reduced until the school was forced to close in July 2009.[5]


Oxmoor Copse is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty recognised earlier than the parent AONB covering all of the surrounding area, the Surrey Hills AONB for its plant species and its aethetic quality. It is south of the village.


During the years 1925 to 1945, the novelist E. M. Forster lived with his mother Alice Clare (Lily) in West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer in a house designed by his father, the architect 'Eddie' Morgan, and previously occupied by his aunt Laura.[6] Forster was obliged to leave this home in 1946 as the landlord refused to renew the lease.[7]

Edward Wilkins Waite (1854–1924), landscape painter, lived for a time at Abinger Hammer. He was born in Leatherhead, Surrey, and much of his work depicted rural scenes in the county - including at least one painting done in the vicinity of the village (see "Old Willows").

David Nobbs gave Abinger Hammer as the location of Uncle Percy Spillinger, played by late actor Tony Sympson, in Episode 4, Series 1 of ' The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin.

The actor John Gordon Sinclair lives in Abinger Hammer.


  1. ^ Pearce, H, Hammer and Furnace Ponds, Pomegranate Press, 2011
  2. ^ http://www.hammerpond.org.uk/Gazetteer/Surrey/surrey.htm
  3. ^ a b Abinger Hammer Mill at www.tillingbournetales.co.uk. Retrieved 30 Apr 2017.
  4. ^ UK attractions Archived December 31, 2006, at the Wayback Machine. retrieved 6-1-07
  5. ^ Department for Education website retrieved 25-2-15
  6. ^ [1] Archived March 4, 2016, at the Wayback Machine.
  7. ^ Furbank, P. N. E. M. Forster, A Life. vol 2. London: Secker and Warburg, 1978.

External links[edit]

Media related to Abinger Hammer at Wikimedia Commons