Wonersh is a village and civil parish in the Waverley District of Surrey, England. The parish spans an area 3 to 6 miles SSE of Guildford. Located in the outer London commuter belt, the village is 28 miles (45 km) southwest of central London. Wonersh's economy is predominantly a service sector economy. It had a population of 3,412 in the UK census of 2011.
Based on foundations and core of the church, a settlement has existed in Wonersh village centre since Anglo-Saxon times.
An ilex (holly) tree stood in the garden of Green Place and estimates of its age ranged up to 1200 years. This certainly appears to support the existent of an ancient settlement in the area, as the ilex is not an indigenous species.
Wonersh is not named in the Domesday Book of 1086. All the six manors: Tangley or Great Tangley; Little Tangley; Halldish; Losterford/Lostiford (above the intact mill and mill house by the village); Rowleys and Chinthurst (partly in Shalford) were later built on lands then in Bramley and Shalford. Great Tangley Manor in 1582 became the residence of John and Lettice Carrill and descended to their grandson John Carrill (d. 1656) and his widow Hester, who secondly married Sir Francis Duncombe.
The church of Wonersh was formerly a chapel (of Shalford), and as such the advowson (right to appoint the vicar) was in the presentation of the King who later transferred it to the church of St. Mary without Bishopsgate in London; after this it was held by a line of nobles until bought in the 19th century by the lord of the manor. As a chapel, the great tithes were commuted for £700 and the lesser for the vicar for £17.
Until the Charity Commission amalgamation in 1908, Wonersh had charity endowments paying out for its poor: John Austen of Shalford left money for poor relief in 1620. Henry Chennell of Wonersh left land whose produce was to be devoted to putting six poor boys to school from 1672. A Mr. Gwynne of London gave land and bank stock in 1698 to put four poor boys to school and to distribute bread to fifteen poor persons every Sunday after service. Manorial fortunes became more muted from 1700-1900 during the Industrial Revolution.
Wonersh was one of the flourishing seats of the clothing trade in West Surrey. The special manufacture was blue cloth, dyed, no doubt, with woad; licence to grow was requested in the neighbourhood in the 16th century.
Wonersh Park, a 17th-century mansion, was demolished in 1935. The original owner was Richard Gwynn, who died in 1701, and it passed by issue's marriage to Sir William Chapple, serjeant-at-law and later judge in 1710 who probably rebuilt it. The mansion passed in 1741 to Fletcher Norton, 1st Baron Grantley of Grantley in Yorkshire, a leading government lawyer created Lord Grantley in 1782. His family held Wonersh Park until 1884 on a sale to Mr. Sudbury.
In 1848 the Cranleigh Water here was used for coal, building materials and agricultural produce as part of the Wey and Arun Canal and the west boundary formed an economic draw of the village. The Northbrook's mill, used for dressing leather and manufactured saddles, straps, bags and garments. Shamley Green was formed into an ecclesiastical parish from Wonersh in 1881.
Settlements in the parish
Blackheath is often called "Blackheath Village" in order to distinguish it from Blackheath in southeast London. Blackheath Hundred was an administrative area, where local leaders met about once a month. Blackheath is architecturally a Victorian heathland settlement with pioneering Arts and Crafts movement buildings by Harrison Townsend. Its church, which has remarkable stained glass is a listed building. It is a lightly wooded east-west lineal settlement in the elevated, wooded heath.
Shamley Green is a village between Wonersh and Cranleigh. It is bordered on the east by Blackheath and in the west by the Cranleigh Water.
Great Tangley had its origins in one of the six manors located in Wonersh parish.
Surrey Research Tips
Administrative boundaries of the county of Surrey (Surrey History Centre. The centre has a website with a number of useful indexes--titheholders in various parishes, deaths at the county gaol, etc.)
The website GENUKI provides a very comprehensive list of reference sources for the County of Surrey. It includes: