History of West End by J E Smith

Iron Age West End by G Consterdine

 

Prepared by J E Smith West End History Project

Evidence of Bronze Age occupation has been found including four barrows on New England Hill. Excavations during the construction of the M3 motorway in the 1970's revealed a minor Roman road which is thought to go through Turf Hill Park to Worplesdon and Farley Heath. In 666 AD Erkanwald, Bishop of London built the Benedictine Abbey at Chertsey and much of West End's history is linked with this Abbey. In 1065 Edward made a grant of Windsor and Staines and all surroundings to the Abbey of Westminster but this was given to William the Conqueror as a hunting ground and the Royal Forest of Windsor came into being, which included Chobham and West End.

Being close to London the 16th, 17th and 18th century's century saw a great deal of development in West End. An early map of 1748 shows a small concentration of buildings around Fellow Green. By 1762, 65 houses and barns are shown in West End. After the Napoleonic Wars, Donkey Town began to be developed. In 1879 most of West End Common was enclosed by the Army. West Enders lost their common rights and many ancient timber framed buildings were demolished. Demolition of older buildings in West End continues to the present day. There are 52 listed buildings in West End of these 23 are Grade II and 25 are Local.

 

Listed Buildings in West End

Bagshot Road, West End, Bourneside. Grade II
Bagshot Road, West End, Brook Place. Grade II
Bagshot Road, West End, Wall to front of Brook Place. Grade II
Bagshot Road, West End, Maltmans. Grade II
Bagshot Road, West End, Pankhurst. Grade II
Bagshot Road, West End, Penny Cottage. Grade II
Beldam Bridge Road, West End, Beldam Bridge Farm House. Grade II
Beldam Bridge Road, West End, Barn 20 yards east of Beldam Bridge Farm House. Grade II
Benner Lane, West End, Malthouse Farm House. Grade II
Benner Lane, West End, Granary 25 yards east of Malthouse Farm. Grade II
Blackstroude Lane East, West End, Brooklands Farm House. Grade II
Blackstroude Lane East, West End, Barn 30 yards to South of House. Grade II
Brentmoor Road, West End, Brentmoor Dene House, [listed under Brentmoor Lane]. Grade II
Fellow Green, West End, 19 Rose Cottage. Grade II
Guildford Road, West End, 89 Fellow Green House [listed as Feltons]. Grade II
Guildford Road, West End, 124 & 126 [Fellow Green Cottage and the White House. Grade II
Hookstone Lane, West end, Hookstone Farm House. Grade II
Hookstone Lane, West End, Barn 20 yards from Hookstone Farm House. Grade II
Lucas Green Road, West End, Manor Cottage. Grade II
Lucas Green Road, West End. Lucas Green Manor House [including Barn to right end]. Grade II
Lucas Green Road, West End, Barn 2 yards east of Lucas Green Manor House. Grade II
Lucas Green road, West End, Granary & Dovecot 20 yards south west of Lucas Green Manor. Grade II
Pennypot Lane, West End, Hatchgate Farm House. Grade II
Willow Green, West End, Fellow Green. Grade II

 

 

List of Structures of Local Significance in West End

Bagshot Road, West End, Bramble Cottage. Grade Local
Bagshot Road, West End, Coldharbour. Grade Local
Bagshot Road, West End, Hawthorn Cottage. Grade Local
Bagshot Road, West End, Gordon's School [to include Statue of General Gordon on Camel]. Grade Local
Bagshot Road, West End, Mulberry House. Grade Local
Bagshot Road, West End, Penny Fields. Grade Local
Bagshot Road, West End, Timbers. Grade Local
Bagshot Road, West End, The Old Forge. Grade Local
Bagshot Road, West End, White Down Cottage. Grade Local
Beldam Bridge Road, West End, Queens Lodge. Grade Local
Benner Lane, West End, The Inglenook, 67. Grade Local
Brentmoor Road, West End, Brentmoor. Grade Local
Brentmoor Road, West End, Burntstubb Farm. Grade Local
Brentmoor Road, West End, Hagthorne. Grade Local
Brentmoor Road, West End, Stone Cottage. Grade Local
Church Road, West End, Holy Trinity Church. Grade Local
Fenns Lane, West End, Fenns Farm. Grade Local
Fenns Lane, West End, Heathermead. Grade Local
Ford Road, West End, Lucas Green Cottage. Grade Local
Guildford Road, West End, 164, Newbridge Cottage. Grade Local
Halebourne Lane, West End, Halebourne House. Grade Local
High Street, West End, 5, Vine Cottage. Grade Local
Lucas Green Road, West End, furze Farm [off] Lucas Green Road. Grade Local
Lucas Green Road, West End, Glencroft. Grade Local
New England Hill, West End, Heather Hills. Grade Local
New England Hill, West End, Ivy Dene. Grade Local
Red Road, West End, High Lodge. Grade Local
Street’s Heath, West End, 26, Walnut Tree Cottage. Grade Local

 

The parish of Chobham was divided into three areas the North, West and Chobham itself, our village has always been called West End. [Its worth noting that for the 1831 census Chobham Parish was divided into four, Valley End, East End, West End and Folley End and until late in the 20th century part of Sunningdale was still in the Parish of Chobham]. This name first appears in 1680 on a County map of Surrey and was spelt as Westend until circa 1920.

In the late 1800s West End was mostly surrounded by lowland heath with views across the common towards Frimley. Buildings were concentrated around Fellow Green with shops and the Post Office established around 1860 until the late 1800s at the White House in Lucas Green now 124 Guildford Road, next to this on the south is 126 and then West Side. By 1919 the Post Office and most of the shops and were concentrated in Brentmoor Road, west of the Hare and Hounds, the High Street and South of the Wheatsheaf along the road to Bagshot and Guildford. William Brooker, aged 46 was listed in the 1881 census as a Beer seller at the Wheatsheaf. Close by was Holy Trinity Church and the Church Hall. The Institute was built in 1886 and the Gordon Boys Home in 1887. A further selection of small shops were scattered around the village.
The village green also known as the Cricket ground was opposite the Hare and Hounds formerly known as the Titch Tavern in Brentmoor Road. The Whitsun fair was held their at least from the early 1800s until the early 1960s, the site is now a nature reserve. In 1947 a new Recreation Ground was built on Streets Heath which initially covered seven acres, half its present size, until being extended in 1974. Prior to this development Street's Heath was a valuable "wetland".

Development at Donkey Town commenced in 1815 following the signing of an agreement by the Lord of the Manor the Right Honourable Earle Onslow. From the late 19th century, house building gradually increased and the first Council houses were built in Church Road 1917. Birch Lane was developed in 1930s, Meadow Way in 1946 and in the same year, 4 buildings, Swedish Style prefabricated buildings, [a gift from the Swedish Government?] were erected in Fenns Lane {known as Holly Ridge] as part of a Council building program. Apparently this method of building is currently being reinvented as an economic and green method of construction, followed by Common Fields, Sefton Close, Jenner Drive, Benner Lane, Barnsford Crescent and Willow Green in the 50s and 60s, plus many other smaller developments around West End. Gosdens Farm was demolished circa 1998 to make way for the Nursery Green Estate which was built on the site of the farm and Surrey Rose Nurseries.

In 1762 there were at least 65 buildings in West End. By 1921 239 households with a population of approximately of 1400 and by 1992 there were 1100 dwellings in the village, increasing to 1713 by December 2008.

The figure for 2008 broken down to Council Tax bands is as follows, Band A 16, Band B 37, Band C 87, Band D 284, Band E 581, Band F 440, Band G 251, and Band H 17. There is now the possibility of another 400 houses in the near future bringing the total to over 2100.

Businesses' in West End have changed with the times. Up to the mid 19th century farming was the predominate industry. As this declined, some turned to dairy farming, chicken farms, market gardening and to growing Rhododendrons and evergreens leading to the establishment of many nationally known plant nurseries. Sadly by the end of the 20th century most of these nurseries have closed. There are two garages in West End one selling fuel and food the second has a repair workshop and car sales showroom. By the beginning of the 21st century many light industrial units have become established in and around West End and two small office blocks have been built, most West Enders now work outside the village.

Iron Age West End  - Guy Consterdine

An Iron Age settlement in West End was discovered in August 2017. It came to light during an archaeological survey and subsequent rescue dig in fields around Malthouse Farm, Benner Lane, prior to developer Martin Grant Homes building 95 dwellings there.The findings consisted of two Iron Age roundhouses, a granary store, pottery, and a field system. These were tentatively dated to about 500 BC. 

There is a strong possibility that more roundhouses had stood in the area. Even a single Celtic family might need more than two buildings and a granary store, and a small tribe would certainly need more. If so, the remains may be in nearby unexcavated areas. It is probable that the Iron Age fields which archaeologists identified were only a small part of a field system which extended over a much wider area in the vicinity of Benner Lane and Fairfield Lane.

The archaeologists, from specialists Cotswold Archaeology, removed soil samples from the Iron Age ditches, distributed across the large excavation site. Analysts will be looking for evidence of what crops were grown, animals bred, what the landscape was like (presumably heathland), the local flora, and what the Celtic people ate. They will also be trying to determine a more precise dating for the finds, narrowing it down from the whole Iron Age period which in Britain is defined roughly as 800 BC to about 100 AD.

The roundhouses would probably have been much like the reconstructions which can be seen today at the Stonehenge visitor centre: a circle of wooden posts supporting walls of wattle and mud, with a conical roof made of material such as reeds, straw, furze or gorse. Our two roundhouses were of different sizes: one was approximately 28 feet in diameter while the other was approximately 40 feet.

Another discovery nearby was a Bronze Age storage pit which contained pieces of pottery. It may be up to 5,000 years old. No other Bronze Age traces have been found there, but it’s unlikely that a storage pit would be completely isolated. There’s an implication that some sort of scattered dwellings might have existed within a few hundred yards of the pit – though all traces could well have vanished after 3000 - 5000 years. Many decades ago four Bronze Age burial mounds were identified on Brentmoor Heath, West End; such burials were typically built at a distance from the main settlement area, often to serve as boundary markers between different families or tribes. The newly discovered storage pit is at the right kind of distance from the (possibly) boundary-marking burials to be the location for a family’s homes, which reinforces the notion of there being a Bronze Age settlement somewhere in the vicinity of Benner Lane.

Full records of the excavation site were made, prior to house-building taking over the land: modern 21st century homes where roundhouses had stood 2,500 years ago!

Cotswold Archaeology and Martin Grant Homes have undertaken to give a public lecture in West End to describe in full the excavation results, when the laboratory analysis has been completed and the report written. This will probably be around May 2018.

Meanwhile we can already see a pattern of continuous occupation for about 3000-5000 years in West End: a Bronze Age community, possibly dating back to about 3000 BC; an Iron Age family or tribe; the Romans, and the Romanised-Britons, who built a road through West End (discovered during construction of the M3 in the 1970s); through to recorded history up to the pre

 

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