History of Grayshott

Outline History

Records show that some of the earliest settlements were during the 12th.century, this area being around the present Grayshott Hall. The name Gravesetta and Graveschete were used and formed an outlying hamlet within the ancient parish of Headley. The remainder of the area was open land of heather, pine and gorse and generally of poor soil making agriculture difficult. ( Further information on this early period can be found in ‘Grayshott- The Story of a Hampshire Village’).
The whole future of the entire area including Grayshott started to change once the railway had arrived in Haslemere in 1859. The height of Hindhead and with its air quality declared by Professor John Tyndall ‘ as pure as that in the Swiss Alps ‘ soon brought from the late 1880s onwards a mass influx of visitors and new residents including many prominent Victorians to include Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, George Bernard Shaw and Alfred,Lord Tennyson. Grayshott rapidly expanded from 1890 to become a trading centre supplying all the needs of this new prosperity in the area.
Grayshott has always benefited from the generosity of local residents including the I’Ansons, Miss James, Lyndons, Mrs.Vertue and the Whitakers of whom all contributed much to the formation of the present village.
The village has survived and prospered for a variety of reasons based on tourism, military camps during both world wars, the housing of displaced persons after the second world war and now has become a good residential and commuting area.

Changes in population

From census records the following shows the rapid expansion of Grayshott towards the end of the 19th Century.
1841 - 114 inhabitants.
1851 - 173          “
1861 - 130          “
1871 - 127          “
1881 - 150          “
1891 - 238          “
1901 - 666          “

Chronological dates of events in Grayshott

1871 Grayshott school opened in September.
1873 First church services held at the school.
1887 First Post Office in Grayshott, Mrs. Hannah Robinson, Crossways, Haslemere Road. (now Crossways Road).
1889 The ‘Iron Room’or ‘Institute’ opened in Stoney Bottom at the expense of Miss James. (believed to have been located in the lower part of the garden of ‘Moss Know’ now ‘Ensleigh’).
1891 Iron church built at the expense of Mr. Whitaker . ( on site of present church). 
1897 127 Pupils on the register of Grayshott school.
Church Lads brigade formed in October.
Band of Mercy formed.
Flora Thompson came to work at Grayshott post office.
Cricket Club formed.
1898 Grayshott District Magazine first published.
Working  Men’s Club ‘now open every night of the week except Saturday’ at the Iron Room , (part of Archie Moore’s site, now Tesco, Headley Road).
Annual exhibition of animals to be held at The Grange  in June.
A club to be formed for young ladies who work at the laundry.
Band of Mercy show in August.
Foundation stone laid for the present St. Luke’s church.
First resident police constable in Grayshott.
The following were in existence during 1898:
Grayshott Provident Club.
Grayshott Dramatic Society.
Grayshott Choral Society.
Grayshott Orchestrial Society.
1899 The Fox and the Pelican opened.
Lecture by George Bernard Shaw at the Iron Room on Socialism
Grayshott Brass Band formed.
St. Luke’s church opened in September.
1900 The ‘iron church’ sold for £87 for use at Liphook.
St. Edmunds school moves to Grayshott.
1901 Grayshott Hall rifle club formed.
Separation of Grayshott  from Headley to form a new Ecclesiastical Parish.
Walter Chapman, post master,  murdered his wife.
Electricity installed.
1902 Grayshott formed as a new  Civil Parish as the result of an Order by the Local
Government Board. 
Wesleyan chapel opened.
Agnes Weston arrives in Grayshott.
Village Hall opened.
Mens club opened at Village Hall.
Grayshott and Hindhead Temperance Guild.
1904 Main water installed.
1905 Consecration of St. Luke’s churchyard.
Bicycle shed built at the church at the cost of £87.
Serious outbreak of diphtheria in the village.
Parish Council purchase land at Stoney Bottom for allotments, all taken in 1906.
1907 Fire Brigade formed, attended first fire at Tarn Moor, February 1908.
1909 The iron Room ( institute) sold for £17.10s. and this added to church spire fund.
Mains gas installed.
1910 Tower and spire added to the church.
St. Joseph’s catholic church built, consecrated 1911. 
Death of Miss James.
Coal club and Clothing club established.
Boy Scouts ‘patrol’ formed at Hindhead with Grayshott boys welcome,
Separate Grayshott ‘patrol’ formed in late 1911.
1911 Grayshott and Hindhead Nursing Association announce that a resident District Nurse to be installed at Grayshott.
Yew tree planted on the Lyndon green to commemorate the Coronation.
1912 Mission church built at Chase Plain, opened January 1913.
1914 War Hospital opened at the Convent in September.
Outbreak of  the Great War, from October a complete list of those serving from  the parish published in the Grayshott  Magazine.
1921 War Memorial dedicated on the village green.
Nurses Clinic built at School Road as a ‘Peace Memorial to the Great War’.
1929 Death of Hannah Robinson at the age of 93.
1932 British Legion – Grayshott   branch formed.
War Memorial moved to present location.
1947 Superior Camp turned over to social housing, closed 1962.
1958 Main drainage comes to Grayshott.

Further Reading

Earlier titles:

Hindhead – The Little Switzerland. Thomas Wright pub. 1898, second edition 1907.
My Life amongst the Blue Jackets, Agnes Weston. Pub. James Nisbet 1909.
Haslemere and Hindhead Guides. Pub. Homeland, Oliver etc. 1896 / 1970, all contain reference to Grayshott.

Current Titles, available Grayshott Bookshop and Grayshott Pottery:

Grayshott – The story of a Hampshire Village. – J.H. Smith 1978. Revised by John Owen Smith and reprinted 2002. IBSN 1-873855-38-9.
Heatherly – Flora Thompson 1979. Reprinted and published by John Owen Smith 1999. IBSN 873855-29-X. A fictional account of her early life in Grayshott.
The History of the Grayshott Fire Station. 1906 – 2007. Published Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service 2007.
St. Luke,s Church - The dawn of a new century. Published Grayshott Parochial Church Council 2000.
Richard Peskett
May 2009


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