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Windlesham Arboretum - - 808786.jpg
The Arboretum
Windlesham is located in Surrey
Location within Surrey
Area22.4 km2 (8.6 sq mi)
Population16,775 (Civil Parish 2011)[1]
• Density749/km2 (1,940/sq mi)
OS grid referenceSU930635
Civil parish
  • Windlesham
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtGU20
Dialling code01276, some 01344
AmbulanceSouth East Coast
UK Parliament
List of places
51°22′N 0°40′W / 51.36°N 0.66°W / 51.36; -0.66Coordinates: 51°22′N 0°40′W / 51.36°N 0.66°W / 51.36; -0.66

Windlesham is a village in the Surrey Heath borough of Surrey, England, approximately 25 miles (40 km) south west of central London. Its name derives from the Windle Brook, which runs south of the village into Chobham, and the common suffix 'ham', the Old English word for 'homestead'. The civil parish of Windlesham has a population of 17,000 and includes the neighbouring villages of Bagshot and Lightwater.[2]

Windlesham Arboretum, which covers an area of approximately 1 km2 (0.39 sq mi), is on the south side of the M3 motorway. Access to the motorway is via junction 3 and the nearest railway station is at Bagshot.


A typical long line of Victorian houses close to the village centre. The Brickmakers Arms is visible.

The neighbourhood has yielded bronze implements, now in the Archaeological Society's Museum, Guildford, and a certain number of neolithic flints.

Windlesham was once a small community within Windsor Great Park, built as a remote farming settlement around undulating heath, similar to Sunninghill. At Ribs Down in the north in private Updown Court and adjoining gardens land reaches 99 metres above sea level with a minimum descent (notch/col) of 31 metres, ranking 35th of 36 Surrey hills listed in the national hill-climbing database and the tallest private hill in Surrey.[3]

This corner of the county appears, from absence of notice in Domesday, to have been very sparsely inhabited.[4] Of Windlesham, Malden wrote:

The old road had been the source of great prosperity in Bagshot till it was superseded by the railway. Thirty coaches a day passed through, and there were many inns, since closed. The most interesting history of the place is in connexion with Windsor Forest, and its bailiwick in Surrey. The tenure of Bagshot in the Red Book of the Exchequer is per serjentiam veltrariae, i.e. providing a leash of hounds. The later history is full of the exploits of highwaymen, who found the wild country hereabouts specially favourable for their purposes. The Inclosure Act of 1812 inclosed much of Bagshot Heath, and also inclosed the common fields of Windlesham. Inclosure had begun before, for in 1768 the lords of the manors and the freeholders gave land inclosed from the waste for charitable purposes.[4]

Windlesham Manor appears among the manors granted to Westminster by Edward the Confessor in his foundation charter. It was apparently transferred to the small local Broomhall Convent at an unknown date.

Newark Priory had a grant of land in Windlesham in 1256, and had the advowson (right to appoint the vicar) of the church. Joan Rawlyns, Prioress of Broomhall, made a voluntary surrender of the property of her house in 1522 before the 1538 Dissolution of the Monasteries. In the next year Windlesham was granted to St. John's College, Cambridge, who still held it in 1911[4]

In 1911 the village was, due to Surrey Heath, described as almost entirely modern, in much the same way as Wentworth, Surrey's landscape was tamed approximately at the turn of the 20th century, being naturally heather, gorse and fern and ideal for grass and laid out evergreen trees.[4]


The village is known for the Lilly Research Centre, built in 1967, to the north of the village. The BOC Group was based in the village, but was bought by Linde plc (Linde AG of Germany) in September 2006.

Local schools[edit]

There are four schools in the Windlesham area, two of which are in the village itself: Windlesham Village Infants School. Woodcote House School is also in the area.

Recreation and social events[edit]

Windlesham Field of Remembrance[edit]

The Field of Remembrance (WFoR) is owned, funded and run by the village community (via a board of volunteer trustees). The land was purchased from Admiral Cochrane in 1950 as a permanent memorial to the men and women of the village who lost their lives in the two World Wars. It consists of both open space and mature woodland and includes a play area. Many village events take place on the field, one of the most well known being the annual Windlesham Village Fete. The field is also used by Windlesham Football Club (Youth and Adult teams). In the summer months it is used by local cricket clubs. A Remembrance day service is hosted at the field with the Windlesham branch of the Royal British Legion. Children from Windlesham Village Infant School attend and lay a wreath, along with a member of the Royal British Legion and the Chair of the Windlesham Field of Remembrance Committee. The WFoR committee are raising funds to replace the current dilapidated pavilion building.

Pram race[edit]

Windlesham is known for its annual pram race in which teams race around the village stopping at every pub. This usually happens every Boxing Day. The race starts at 10:30am at the old headquarters of The BOC Group now Linde Group. The finish and prize giving is held at the Windlesham Club & Theatre. Funds raised though entry fees and coin collections on the day are distributed to local charities and good causes.

Running club[edit]

Windlesham has a thriving running club, Windle Valley Runners, suitable for all standards of runner. The club meets every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday for group training sessions and group runs, which take place in Windlesham and the surrounding areas. Windle Valley Runners compete in the winter Thames Valley Cross Country League. They also organise a monthly 10K race for members.

Windlesham Drama Group[edit]

Windlesham Drama Group is based at the Windlesham Club and Theatre. There are usually three shows a year including a pantomime (usually end of January / beginning of February) and two plays.

Hedgehog friendly status[edit]

In April 2017, the village was set to become a hedgehog friendly village,[5] reported to be one of a handful of such villages in the United Kingdom.[6]

World War 2 Club[edit]

Led by Rory Davies, several prominent Windlesham goobers dress up in SS uniforms, goose step through Windlesham and get clean bowled by pies.


Valley End[edit]

St Saviour, Valley End, Surrey

Valley End is a hamlet and chapelry in the Borough of Surrey Heath in Surrey, England 0.5 miles (0.80 km) east of Windlesham, so similarly is about 15 minutes drive from the South West Main Line at Woking to the southeast and from Sunningdale on the Waterloo to Reading Line to the north.

Valley End has two churches, St Saviour[7] which was built in 1867[8] by the English architect George Frederick Bodley and Emmanuel Baptist Church.[9] St Saviour's is built in red and brown brick with stone dressed windows. The interior is a simple mixture of brick and stone. There is a Holy Communion service every Sunday at 9am.[10]

Valley End School was founded in 1859 by the Hon. Julia Bathurst of Hyams Hall, Windlesham.[11]

The Valley End Cricket Club was founded in 1895.[12]


See Bagshot for this developed part of the civil parish. There is the greatest concentration of shops and businesses in Bagshot compared to the other parts of the parish.


See Lightwater for this developed part of the civil parish

The Arboretum and the mansion of Updown Court[edit]

Windlesham Arboretum is connected by footpath to the edge of the village centre but on the opposite side of the M3 motorway. In July 2007, the most expensive house in the world, Updown Court, in Windlesham was valued at £75m ($138m (USD)). This 103-room mansion has 58 acres (23 ha) of gardens and landscaped woodlands.[13]

Demography and housing[edit]

2011 Census Homes
Output area Detached Semi-detached Terraced Flats and apartments Caravans/temporary/mobile homes shared between households[1]
(Civil Parish) 3,473 1,653 882 872 7 5

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) 16,775 6,892 37.0% 44.4% 2,240

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).

Notable residents[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Key Statistics; Quick Statistics: Population Density Archived 11 February 2003 at the Wayback Machine United Kingdom Census 2011 Office for National Statistics Retrieved 21 November 2013
  2. ^ "Windlesham Parish Council". Archived from the original on 2 February 2019. Retrieved 17 June 2020.
  3. ^ Database of British and Irish Hills Archived 5 August 2018 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 6 March 2015
  4. ^ a b c d e H.E. Malden, ed. (1911). "Parishes: Windlesham". A History of the County of Surrey: Volume 3. Institute of Historical Research. Retrieved 25 October 2012.
  5. ^ "Hedgehog Awareness Week: Brian May backs Windlesham's bid to become Surrey's first 'hedgehog-friendly' village". Surrey Live. 19 April 2017. Archived from the original on 17 November 2018. Retrieved 17 November 2018.
  6. ^ "The village that made itself hedgehog friendly". BBC News. 22 April 2017. Archived from the original on 26 April 2017. Retrieved 17 November 2018.
  7. ^ British Listed Buildings
  8. ^ "Chobham Village Website". Archived from the original on 19 June 2012. Retrieved 25 October 2012.
  9. ^ "Emmanuel Baptist Church". Archived from the original on 6 January 2013. Retrieved 25 October 2012.
  10. ^ "St Lawrence and St Saviour Church Diary". Archived from the original on 30 July 2012. Retrieved 25 October 2012.
  11. ^ "Valley End School History". Archived from the original on 24 March 2012. Retrieved 25 October 2012.
  12. ^ "Valley End Cricket Club History". Archived from the original on 24 March 2012. Retrieved 25 October 2012.
  13. ^ Conradi, Peter; Helen Davies (15 July 2007). "The most expensive house in Britain?". The Sunday Times. Archived from the original on 30 May 2010. Retrieved 11 April 2010.
  14. ^ "Revealed: £1.5million home Princess Beatrice and Eugenie turned down from the Queen Sarah Ferguson rejected the gift on her daughters' behalves". Hello Magazine. Archived from the original on 31 October 2020. Retrieved 30 October 2020.
  15. ^ "60 Facts". Archived from the original on 8 October 2015.
  16. ^ "BAIGENT, Edward". Rootsweb. Archived from the original on 6 March 2012. Retrieved 3 July 2011.
  17. ^ Wilson, James Oakley (1985) [First ed. published 1913]. New Zealand parliamentary record, 1840-1984 (4 ed.). Wellington: V.R. Ward, Govt. Printer. p. 181. OCLC 154283103.

External links[edit]