The area known today as Surrey Heath, formed in 1974, is made up of the villages of Chobham, Bisley, Bagshot, Windlesham, Sunningdale, Lightwater, West End, Frimley, Frimley Green, Deepcut, Mytchett and Camberley. Historically, Chobham was the largest of the four original villages, together with its West End and northern settlements of Burrow Hill and Valley End; Windlesham was predominantly a farming community with a more commercial area in Bagshot; Frimley included South End, or Frimley Green, and the southernmost area, known then as Mitchet; while Bisley village was the smallest. Each settlement was an oasis of reasonably productive farmland surrounded by the heath which shaped the lives of generations of people who lived and worked here. The constraints and influences which the heath imposed had a major bearing on the way in which opportunities for much-needed additional work developed.
The lack of a large river, the nature of the soil and, especially, the vast acreage of unproductive heathland created a region which was slow to develop economically, the low population numbers relying on a traditional way of life until enclosure of the heathland in the early 19th century brought the first changes. This book examines the period during which the use of the heathland harvest changed, from the time before the 19th century, when smallholders, weavers and potters were prominent, up to the post-enclosure arrival of the army and the nursery trade. It considers the businesses which flourished to meet the needs of those who travelled on the turnpike road, and their subsequent decline with the introduction of the railway, and also features the schools, institutions and large estates that came to the area to make use of the allotments of former heathland, along with the industry which grew up around the local fir plantations and the health benefits they brought. Beautifully illustrated throughout, it provides the perfect introduction to the history of a unique and special a
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(248mm x 172mm x 10mm)
Phillimore & Co Ltd
Publisher: The History Press Ltd
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