Normandy, Surrey

Coordinates: 51°15′27″N 0°39′20″W / 51.2576°N 0.6556°W / 51.2576; -0.6556

Normandy village war memorial 2007.jpg
Normandy war memorial
Normandy is located in Surrey

 Normandy shown within Surrey
Population 2,987 [1]
OS grid reference SU926516
District Guildford
Shire county Surrey
Region South East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town Guildford
Postcode district GU3
Dialling code 01483
Police Surrey
Fire Surrey
Ambulance South East Coast
EU Parliament South East England
UK Parliament Woking
List of places: UK • England • Surrey

Normandy is both the name of a civil parish in the borough of Guildford in Surrey, England and the name of the largest village in that parish. It lies close to the western edge of the county of Surrey close to the border with Hampshire and just north of the chalk hill known as the Hog's Back. The parish has been home to a number of notable residents, including William Cobbett.



As well as the village of Normandy situated around the crossroads of the Guildford-Aldershot Road (the A323) and Hunts Hill Road and Glaziers Lane, the parish also includes the villages of Christmas Pie, Willey Green, Wyke, Flexford and Pinewoods. With the exception of Pinewoods, the hamlets of the parish, although distinct, are strung together a continuous line of largely residential properties. Pinewoods remains separated by much open land and is close to Ash.

It lies on the A323 between Guildford and Aldershot. In the south of the parish, between Normandy village and Flexford, stands Wanborough railway station, so called because the owner of the land in which the station was built in fact lived in Wanborough, Surrey, a small village very close to Normandy but in the adjoining parish. Development locally is restricted as the village lies within the Metropolitan Green Belt. Normandy Common lies to the north of the village; to the south there is mainly arable farmland.


There is evidence on the parishes eastern border of Romano-British occupation in the form of temple remains.[2] In late Saxon England the lands were within the holdings of Earl Godwin, father of King Harold Godwinson. Later, the Domesday Book in its account of the manor of Henley (now represented only by the Henley Park manor house) records that the manor covered large parts of what is now Normandy, as well as Ash; Normandy though was not mentioned by name, the name not being known in the records until 1604. The lands remained within the ancient manor of Henley until the end of the 14th century. At this time the manor of Cleygate began to be carved out of the manor of Henley. As a manor, Cleygate is first mentioned when Henry VI granted the manor to his uterine brother, Jasper the Earl of Pembroke. After Jasper was attainted by Edward IV his lands were forfeited, but were passed back to him in 1485 when his attainder was reversed. After that, the Manor passed through a number of hands, reverting to the crown on more than one occasion.

As a parish, the history of Normandy is the combined history of its constituent hamlets which in modern times include Christmas Pie, Flexford, Willey Green, Wyke, Pinewoods and Normandy proper.[3] Wyke appeared in the Domesday Book as Wucca, a hide (approximately 120 acres) held by Godric from Earl Roger. The Domesday Book mentioned a hall which is thought to have been where East Wyke Farm now stands and where remains of Surrey White Ware pottery have been found. Names such as Wuccha, Wicca, Week and Wick have been used, some of which are preserved in place names in the hamlet (such as Weekwood).[3] Finally Wyke was settled upon, and this too is the name of the ecclesiastical parish that has covered Normandy since 1847, that of St Mark's Wyke. Flexford was once called Flaxford, itself a corruption of "flax vard", meaning flax meadows by a stream.[3] The ancient industry here was the creation of linen from flax. Christmas Pie is the name of the southwestern hamlet of the parish and is named after the Christmas family, who are named often in the court records of the Manor of Cleygate from 1513 onwards.[3] Pie is derived from the Saxon term "pightel" meaning a small piece of arable land. Prior to 1920 there was no hamlet here but there was a field called "Pie Field" near the crossroads of Westwood Lane and Flexford Lane, once owned by the Christmas famiy, hence the name of the hamlet was derived. Pinewoods developed around the beerhouse called the Nightingale in the far west of the parish in the nineteenth century. The woods from which it derives its name are only to be found to the north of the hamlet and this hamlet developed in isolation from the rest of the parish and is still separated from the other hamlets by open land.[3] The buildings of the Nightingale pub remain but now house an Indian restaurant. Willey Green is situated at the lowest point of the parish and was once prone to flooding.[3] Being so located made this area damp and ideal conditions for willow trees to grow and this is where the hamlet derives its name, as the place where willows grow. Now the easternmost part of the hamlet, until the twentieth century it was the westernmost portion of the neighbouring parish of Worplesdon.[3] Ironically, the derivation of the village name of Normandy itself is the least sure. The public house called the Duke of Normandy, built in the 1860s, is named after the village rather than a similar source to the village name. It has been suggested that the monks of the Abbey of Waverley named the village after their homeland in northern France because it resembled Normandy's countryside in appearance. However, the Abbey's lands did not extend to Normandy.[4] The court records of the Manor of Cleygate, dating from 1513, first mention Normandy in 1604 when referring to the Normandy Causeway, which had previously been called the Frimsworth Causeway. In the same year a garden in Normandy is referred to. Frimsworth was an older recorded settlement name, and had also been known as Frymsworth and Frymlesworth.[4] However, it coexisted for some time with the village of Normandy and historians are satisfied that the two names referred to different parts of the parish. Frimsworth itself no longer exists as an appellation for any area of the village, but was located between Normandy and Willey Green. Normandy originally referred to the area around Normandy Common and the manor house known as Normandy Farm, once leased to William Cobbett.[4] Local historians have suggested that Normandy Common may be the same common referred to in Cleygate records as a part of the Manor in the north and west "lately called Noebodies Common." Such an appellation would be applied because the area was on the boundary of two manors and as such might also be referred to as "No Man's Land" which they speculate has been corrupted to Normandy.[4]

By the time the final part of the Manor of Cleygate was sold to the War Department in 1876, most of the Manor had been sold to private individuals, and that included much of what is now the parish of Normandy. The three private estates making up the parish were those of Henley Park, Westwood and Normandy Park. Normandy Farm was the final home of the early 19th century radical reformer and agrarian William Cobbett, the author of Rural Rides.

Into the twentieth century Normandy retained is agricultural base. The locality of Normandy was considered for the site of a "New Town" to be called "New Norman" in the 1943 Town and Country Plan produced by the Surrey Federation of Labour Parties.[5] However, this did not come to pass and the village into the twenty-first century remains protected within London's green belt.

Foot-and-mouth outbreak

On 3 August 2007 the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) confirmed that cattle on farmland within the parish were found to be infected with foot-and-mouth disease. This was the first outbreak of its kind in the U.K. for six years.[6][7]

Within Normandy

Normandy with its rural setting has many footpaths, bridleways and other small roads suitable for horse riding, cycling and walking. It is the start point of the Christmas Pie trail which leads you into Guildford via a trail through woods, commons and meadows. Normandy also has many things to do with many clubs (especially sport) set up throughout the Village. This includes: Normandy Tennis Club, Normandy Train Club, Normandy Historians [1], Normandy Cricket Club, Normandy Football Club, Normandy Scouts [2] and Normandy Archery. Normandy lacks any shops for the purchase of food and other essentials, following the closure of several village shops in 2002. However, the village is home to one pub, the 'Duke of Normandy' [3] and also boasts a professionally-renowned music and lighting shop, Session Music [4], billing themselves as "the UK's No.1 karaoke specialists", as well as a Hyundai car dealer, 'Normandy Garage' [5].

Events in Normandy

Normandy has an annual Guy Fawkes Night firework display located in a field [6] at the back of The Elms Centre on Glaziers Lane. Car parking is available at The Elms Centre car park during this time. The event usually takes place on the 5th November every year. During the event, volunteers would parade down a bridleway next to the field holding torches, and would throw the torches onto the large bonfire to light it. The fireworks are all set off by hand, not by electronics.


Wyke Primary School, founded in 1875, is a school for boys and girls aged 4–11. It is situated on the outskirts of Normandy village and welcomes children from the local community and from the surrounding areas.


Normandy falls within the Woking parliamentary constituency. Since 2010 the MP has been Jonathan Lord, a Conservative.[8] For the purposes of borough council elections (also known as district elections) Normandy is a ward in the Guildford Borough Council area. Since 1999 the borough councillor has been Diana Lockyer-Nibbs, a Conservative, who was re-elected in May 2011.[9] In the Surrey County Council Normandy's representative is Nigel Sutcliffe, also a Conservative.[10] There is also an elected Normandy parish council comprising seven members.

In May 2011 an Independent Candidate David Bilbé stood for election to the Borough Council. He gained 516 votes, thereby reducing the Conservative majority from 590 in 2007 to 15 in 2011.[11] Bilbé stood on a wide range of local issues including Infringement of Green Belt, local village amenities and the impact of the Localism Bill.[12]


External links

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