The Great Pond at Frensham Common
|Frensham shown within Surrey|
|Area||16.21 km2 (6.26 sq mi)|
|Population||1,689 (Civil Parish 2011)|
|• Density||104/km2 (270/sq mi)|
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Ambulance||South East Coast|
|EU Parliament||South East England|
Frensham is a village in Surrey, England, next to the A287 road, 13 miles (20.9 km) WSW of Guildford, the county town. Frensham lies on the right bank of the River Wey (south branch), only navigable to canoes, shortly before its convergence with the north branch. Farnham is the nearest main town which is 3.5 miles (5.6 km) north.
The majority of the land of Frensham parish is within the Metropolitan Green Belt and the substantial green buffer in the parish is Frensham Common which is owned by the National Trust and is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). The non-agricultural land surrounding the village is mainly open heathland and birch woodland. The Common covers about 1,000 acres and comprises heathland, together with some coniferous and mixed woodland. There are two large ponds, known as Frensham Great and Little Ponds, which were built in the Middle Ages to provide fish for the Bishop of Winchester's estate and today are the backdrop for a hotel and are used for fishing and sailing.
Before the English Reformation
Mesolithic camp or living sites have been discovered around Frensham. Hundreds of Bronze Age arrowheads have been found around Frensham and there are several tumuli (burial sites). In 688 AD, King Caedwalla of Wessex made a charter conveying to the Catholic church 60 hides of land that included Farnham, Frensham and Churt. This became the property of Hedda, Bishop of Winchester.
The origins of the name Frensham come from 'Frena's ham'. Frena was the name of either a Danish Earl who was killed in the battle of Ashdown in the year 871, or of a Saxon who was driven south from Northumberland by the Danes in 993. The second part 'ham' means 'settlement', and is also from where we get the word 'home', so Frensham is 'Frena's settlement'.
In 1348, Frensham suffered from the plague. Before it ceased in 1350, fifty-two area farms had become desolate.
Locally clay was extracted from around Frensham for Farnham Pottery. The Bishop of Winchester managed to retain ownership of most of his historic Farnham estate including most manors in the south until the 19th century.
Having been drained in World War II the lakes in the common were transformed into a leisure destination and in the late 20th century they were used as film locations for the 1999 film The Mummy Actress Liza Goddard was a Frensham resident.
St Mary's Church
Originally a chapelry of Farnham, the present St Mary's church was dedicated in 1239, having been moved from its previous site on low ground beside the River Wey. The move was probably due to the massive storms of the 1230s which flooded Waverley Abbey (3.7 miles or 6 km downstream) to a depth of 5'8" or 1.75 m.
The chancel is the oldest part of the church, its walls being those of the original building, the 13th century niches, piscina and aumbry. The tower is 14th century, with massive diagonal buttresses and eight bells dated between 1627 and the 19th century. The porch is restored but is believed to be 15th century. The north aisle was built in 1827, and the whole church was subject to a major restoration in 1868.
The font, of Purbeck Marble, is early medieval but its carvings are nearly obliterated. The organ was installed in 1871 with subsequent modernisations. The exterior of the building is of local sandstone, flint and rubble, with evidence of endless repair and reconstruction.
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).
Frensham post office and village shop is a community run shop and celebrated its tenth anniversary in January 2006.
More house is one of the largest special schools in the country, which caters for pupils with dyslexia, dyspraxia, ADHD, discalcula and autism among other conditions.
Frensham Great Pond, lying within Frensham Common, extends over 100 acres (0.40 km2) and is a centre for sailing activities. In the summer, Surrey County Council provides a lifeguard to supervise the swimming area. However, the pond sometimes suffers from eutrophication possibly due to run-off of excess nitrate fertilisers from nearby arable land. The occasional presence of blue-green algae means that official advice regarding swimming varies, as indicated by notices at the water's edge. The smaller Frensham Little Pond is a scenic area for picnics - neither swimming nor sailing is allowed there.
There are two active sports clubs in the village - Frensham Cricket Club and the Frensham RBL Bowls Club. The cricket club (2013) has two grounds, and plays in the I'Anson league with local villages. The bowls club have a very busy friendlies schedule as well as playing in the West Surrey Men's League, the Three Counties Bowl Fellowship and the Farnham and District league.
- Key Statistics; Quick Statistics: Population Density United Kingdom Census 2011 Office for National Statistics Retrieved 21 November 2013
- Waverley Borough Council: Frensham Common
- Extracts from 'A Frensham History' by Robert Hickling
- William Henry Page (editor) (1911). "Parishes: Crondall". A History of the County of Hampshire: Volume 4. Institute of Historical Research. Retrieved 28 October 2013.
- H.E. Malden (editor) (1906). "Parishes: Frensham". A History of the County of Surrey: Volume 2 pp.608-16. The Internet Archive. Retrieved 25 November 2013.
- http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120616/locations Filming locations for The Mummy] from IMDb
- St Mary's Church
- "The Fairy Mythology: Great Britain: The Fairies' Cauldron". Internet Sacred Text Archive. Retrieved 4 August 2014.
- A Vision of Britain through time.
- Census Data
- BBC Guide to Surrey
- Frensham RBL Bowls Club
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