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Bowlhead Green

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Title: Bowlhead Green  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Thursley
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Bowlhead Green

Coordinates: 51°08′56″N 0°42′26″W / 51.149°N 0.7073°W / 51.149; -0.7073

Population 654
OS grid reference SU905396
District Waverley
Shire county Surrey
Region South East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town Godalming
Postcode district GU8
Dialling code 01252
Police Surrey
Fire Surrey
Ambulance South East Coast
EU Parliament South East England
UK Parliament South West Surrey
List of places

Thursley is a small village in Surrey. It lies just west of the A3 running between Milford and Hindhead. Neighbouring villages include Rushmoor, Bowlhead Green and Brook. Thursley is in south-west Surrey, in south-east England. It is near Punch Bowl Farm and the Devil's Punch Bowl.

The village's name came from Old English Þunres lēah meaning "grove or meadow" of the god Thunor or Thor (in his northern guise); it was probably a site where he was worshipped. There is a rocky outcrop near the village referred to in Victorian guides to the area as Thor's Stone. This stone, according to the Surrey Archaeological Collection (volume 88), is first mentioned in Saxon times as being "near Peper Harow", an adjacent parish with known pagan connections. The precise stone or rocks this refers to is now uncertain with some sources indicating it could be the rocky outcrop and others suggesting it may be an ancient Celtic boundary stone found on the margin of Pudmore pond on Ockley Common.

The small parish church, dedicated to St Michael, has a finely carved Anglo-Saxon font and two surviving Anglo-Saxon windows in the chancel, which exceptionally retain their original wooden frames. Its small wooden shingled belfry is strangely underpinned by an unnecessarily large and sturdy late medieval framework of heavy timber. The remains of a gnarled ancient tree are nearby. In the churchyard there is the gravestone of the Unknown Sailor.

Thursley is also notable for its common, a National Nature Reserve and SSSI which is one of the few surviving areas of lowland peat bog in southern Britain providing a particularly rich habitat for dragonflies and damselflies along with many other species including the endangered woodlark and Dartford warbler. In July 2006 during a heat wave that affected southern England, 60% of the common was seriously damaged by fire.[1]

There have been several military camps in the parish.[2] Between 1922 and 1957 there existed Thursley Camp (from 1941 renamed Tweedsmuir Camp) to the north west of the village which housed British, Canadian and American forces at various times. On the 7th November 1942 it was bombed by the German air force. After world war two it was used to house displaced Poles. To the west was Houndown Camp which was used by the British Royal Marines.

Notable residents

Sir Edwin Lutyens, the architect, grew up in the village and some of his earliest work is to be found there. It was whilst walking in the surrounding area that he developed his love and appreciation of vernacular buildings.

The children's novelist Monica Edwards lived at Punch Bowl Farm from 1947 to 1970. Thereafter she and her husband lived in a retirement bungalow built in one of the farm fields.


External links

  • Thursley Parish 2008: Village Design Statement
  • The River Wey Twins Meet Tilford to Elstead – Features and information on Thursley
  • Thursley pictures – pictures and information on Thursley common
  • Stained Glass Windows at St. Michael & All Angels, Thursley, Surrey
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