In Brief

From the Headley Archives

The church tower is probably the oldest building in the parish, dating back to the 14th century. The rest of the church was rebuilt in 1859, though "many original features were preserved from the ancient fabric".

Since 1894, when civil parish councils were first introduced in this country, the boundaries of church parish and civil parish began to diverge. So when you ask about Headley Parish, you have to add 'which Headley parish'. Some notable differences between church and civil parish boundaries in Headley are as follows: Lindford, Frensham Pond Hotel, and the strip of land along Grayshott Road where the 'natural' burial site is, are in the church parish of Headley, but not in the civil parish. Trottsford Farm and the old New Inn at Sleaford, and an area bordered by Gentles Lane and Hurland Lane are in the civil parish of Headley but not in the church parish. The Ordnance Survey holds details of civil parish boundaries, but not of church parish boundaries.

The father of Sir Richard Branson was born in Wishanger in March 1918. Branson Road in Bordon is named after James Reddy Beadon Branson, the great-uncle of Sir Richard, who bought Headley Mill Farm early in 1915 and was a rather eccentric benefactor to the local community for many years. During WW2 he wrote books about eating grass 'for victory'!

The group Fleetwood Mac lived in 'Benifold' on Headley Hill Road during the early 1970s and made four albums during their time here. They left for California in late 1974. Prior to their tenure 'Benifold' had for 7 years been an Ecumenical House of prayer!

Headley Grange in Liphook Road was originally built in 1795 as the Workhouse for the parishes of Bramshott, Headley & Kingsley, and was famously sacked during the Swing Riots of 1830. It became a private house in 1870, and in the early 1970s was used as a recording studio for such bands as Genesis, Led Zeppelin, Bad Company, The Pretty Things, Ian Dury and others.
More recently in 2014, Chad Smith, (the drummer from Red Hot Chilli Peppers), Roger Taylor (Queen), Andy Gangadeen (Chase and Status amongst others) have all been recording drum samples in the Grange. Links to the sessions on the Headley Grange website

The house now called Cranborne (once The Ooks) at the bottom of Barley Mow Hill is named after Lord Robert Cecil M.P., who became Viscount Cranborne in 1865 while a resident here. He later became third Marquis of Salisbury, and then prime minister both in 1885 and again during the Boer War.

The house called Belmont in the High Street was built in 1888 for the rector Mr Laverty's parents-in-law. It was bought by the War Department in 1903 (& marked then by four WD boundary stones ... one remains visible at the roadside), and the first Brigade Major to live there was a Fitzclarence, grandson of William IV. His wife was a Churchill, first cousin to the Duke of Marlborough. It has been a private house again since 1978.

There was once a Congregational chapel in Long Cross Hill, built in 1860 with 100 'sittings'. A recreation room ('The Institute') was added later and used as a school room. The Chapel was active until after the Second World War, when rising costs forced it to be sold. It was then used as a doctor's surgery until he retired, after which the building was demolished in 1947.

The chestnut tree on the triangle in the High Street was planted in September 1891 on the site of the old stocks by Frederick Wakeford (the butcher), Mr W.H. Laverty (the Rector) and Mr J Kenyon (the licensee of the Holly Bush).

The Bridleway (No.36) from Headley Park towards Alice Holt (now part of the Shipwrights Way) has the name Cradle Lane. Mr Laverty, rector 1872-1928, said that the name was given because the gypsies used a copse along it for their winter quarters, and the women gave birth to their babies in the Spring before setting out on their Summer travelling.

Headley has been spelt in a variety of ways in the past: Hallege (11th century); Hertelegh (13th), Hedle and Hetlegh (14th), Hedley (15th), Hethle and Hethelie (16th), Hedleigh (17th) and Heathley (18th).

Headley Village Hall was gifted to the community by Mr McAndrew of Headley Park. It was built in 1925, primarily so that the Headley Wl should have a pleasant place in which to meet. The site had originally been a gravel pit and, after a few years, buttresses had to be built along the side walls to prevent subsidence.

Spelling counted for very little in the names of people and places prior to the 1800s. For example, Pickett and Piggott were the same family -it just depended on how you said it and who was transcribing.

In his 'A Souvenir of Headley' in 1896, Charles Beck wrote: 'There are eight inns'. He does not name them, but the following were in Headley parish at the time: The Crown (Arford), Holly Bush (High Street), The Wheatsheaf (Arford); The White Horse (or Frensham Pond Hotel); The New Inn (Sleaford); The Royal Exchange (Lindford); The Robin Hood (Standford); The Royal Oak (Hollywater). Of these, the Wheatsheaf was destroyed by fire and the site redevelopmeed as houses, the New Inn transformed to a private house, and the Robin Hood become a restaurant for a short while (Whiteleys), and is also now being redeveloped.

Bilford (Billeford, Billyford): Name of an area which appears in the Winchester Pipe Rolls from 1211 onwards, the 1774 Rent-roll of Headley and other lists - located at the junction of The Hanger and Frensham Lane, but the name is not used today.

Bilford Farm: Mentioned in the 1822 Valuation at the junction of The Hanger and Frensham Lane - the farmhouse seems to have disappeared now.

In 1878 : 

  • The Allotments started near The Grange 
  • A list of Epitaphs in All Saints churchyard printed 
  • The main schoolroom enlarged - chairs bought 
  • Bye Laws made for the Parish of Headley by the School Attendance Committee of the Alton Poor Law Union made attendance of children aged 5 to 13 compulsory - this was announced in The London Gazette as "approved by the Queen"

In 1928:

A small amount of Glebe land was sold to the Holly Bush (to the North and East of the pub) in compensation for demolition of their stable block which had been where what is now the middle of the road on the bend. The building had also housed the letterbox, and that was replaced with one on a telegraph pole in the High Street, but was much smaller and "one had the utmost difficulty in putting letters into the box"