Wanborough, Surrey

Wanborough, Surrey

infobox UK place
country = England
latitude= 51.2317
longitude= -0.6625
official_name= Wanborough
map_type= Surrey

static_image_caption=The interior of the Great Barn, Wanborough
population = 319 [ [http://neighbourhood.statistics.gov.uk/dissemination/LeadTableView.do?a=7&b=800078&c=GU3+2JW&d=16&e=15&g=490449&i=1001x1003x1004&m=0&enc=1&dsFamilyId=779 Census data] ]
shire_district= Guildford
shire_county = Surrey
region= South East England
constituency_westminster= Guildford
post_town= Guildford
postcode_district = GU3
postcode_area= GU
dial_code= 01483

Wanborough is a small hamlet in Surrey approximately 6 km west of Guildford on the northern slopes of the Hog's Back. Neighbouring villages include: Puttenham and Christmas Pie. Wanborough has grown up around and to service "Wanborough Manor".



According to a local publication "Wanborough and its Church" ["Wanborough and its Church"] , early man travelled along the Hog's Back, found the spring in the village and had settled there by 8000 BC. The Saxon name of "Wenberge" means "bump-barrow", this barrow was situated south of Wanborough on the top of the Hog's Back.

Wanborough appears in Domesday Book of 1086 as "Weneberge". It was held by Goisfrid (Geoffrey) de Mandville. Its domesday assets were: 3 hides; 1 church, 9 ploughs, convert|6|acre|m2 of meadow, woodland worth 30 hogs. It rendered £7. [ [http://www.gwp.enta.net/surrnames.htm Surrey Domesday Book] ] It also states that it had been held before the Norman conquest by two thegns, Sweign and Leofwin, who may have been brothers of King Harold.

In 1130 the Manor was sold to Waverley Abbey for £80 and put to use to farm sheep to supply the Cistercians. The present Great Barn was built in 1388 and was used for storing and processing crops (threshing and winnowing). Having been built for the Cistercian Abbey, the barn was not a tithe barn, and would have stored the entire manor crop. The barn is made from massive oak timbers and is an aisled barn with large doors on either long side to permit entry by carts. It was extended in 1705. The dates have been obtained using tree-ring dating techniques.

In 1511 the Abbey obtained the right to hold an annual fair at Wanborough for 3 days from August 23. By 1536 the fair was making £35 for the abbey and had a pie poudre court to try trading offences.


In 1536, Waverley Abbey was dissolved and the manor passed into secular ownership. St Bartholomew's Church was in regular use until at least 1675, but by the 18th century the Quaker Birkbeck family were farming the hamlet innovating with 'modern techniques' and they used the church as a wood store and barn.

The present manor house was built starting in about 1670 by Thomas Dalmahoy, MP for Guildford for most of the reign of Charles II.

Whilst nearby Puttenham church was closed for repairs it was decided by their Rector, the Rev. W A Duckworth, to hold services in Wanborough's church. He thus arranged and paid for the restoration of St Bartholomew's by architect Henry Woodyer. It was rededicated in 1861.

From 1880, Sir Algernon West lived at the manor. West was Principal Private Secretary to Prime Minister Gladstone. West entertained many political figures at the manor including Gladstone, Queen Victoria, and Bismarck. West was also a director of the South Eastern Railway and he caused a new station, named Wanborough but actually in Normandy, to be opened in 1891. In 1900, the manor was passed onto Asquith until he became Prime Minister. In 1908 West returned to stay until his death in 1921.

World War II

During World War II the manor was converted into a training centre for Special Operations Executive agents. The manor was designated "Special Training School 5" and handled the first three phases of agent training. It operated from spring 1941 to March 1943 under the command of Major Roger de Wesselow, a Coldstream guards officer in World War I. Many agents in 'Section F' (France) passed through "STS5" and courses lasted 3 weeks. Each course was specific to one country and, during the course, all conversation was in the target language. Trainees were taught theoretical and practical subjects including physical training, shooting, explosives, sabotage, map-reading, Morse code, and observation skills.


Wanborough has gradually become a commuter-suburb for Guildford and London.

St Bartholomew's Church

The village church is small, only 13.5 m by 5.5 m internally. It was originally built around 1060 replacing an earlier wooden Saxon church. It was rebuilt in the 1200s and restored in 1861. Thus the various walls and windows have significantly different heritage. The Victorian west brick wall now supports an external bell.

Transport links

The nearest railway station is Wanborough, which is served by South West Trains, who manage the station, and by First Great Western. It is situated on the Ascot to Guildford line and the North Downs Line.

The A31 runs along the top of the Hog's Back.


External links

* [http://www.atrk01.dsl.pipex.com/GreatBarn.htm Great Barn]

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