Effingham is an English village in the Borough of Guildford in Surrey, bordering Mole Valley. There is a railway station at Effingham Junction (actually in the parish of East Horsley), at the point where a branch of the Sutton & Mole Valley Line joins the New Guildford Line - these are both routes between London Waterloo and Guildford.
The house and lands which Effingham Golf Club is now based passed through many distinguished hands until in 1815 the house and of land came into the possession of Sir Thomas Hussey Apreece. It was in 1927 when the Surrey Land and Development company negotiated a lease for a group of people wishing to build a golf course. Effingham Manor Golf Club was formed with the artisan club house using what are now greenkeepers' cottages situated near the third tee area. Also by the third tee is one of the largest man made lakes in the county which is used to water the golf course during drought's.
The club house, previously known as Effingham House, is Georgian in style and was reconstructed by David Burnsall in about 1770. A feature of the club house today is an ancient cedar tree believed to be over 400 years old which give rise to the club emblem. The course is known as one of the finest in the south and used to hold the qualifying rounds for the Open Championship. The Effingham Golf Course was designed by Harry S. Colt who was renowned for his skill in modelling and landscaping. During his architectural career he was involved in either the construction or improvement of over 300 courses in the UK and Europe.
"EFFINGHAM, a village, a parish, and a hundred in Surrey. The village stands 3¾ miles SW of Leatherhead r. station, and 4¼ NW by W of Dorking; has a post office under Leatherhead; was formerly a place of some importance, said to have contained sixteen churches; and gives the title of Earl to the Howards of Grange. The parish, with the village, is in Dorking district, and comprises 3, . Real property, £4, 094. Pop., 633. Houses, 122. The property is much subdivided. Effingham Hall is the seat of the Stringers. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Winchester. Value, £370.* Patron, Andrew Cuthell, Esq. The church is ancient, has stalls, and is good. There is a Wesleyan chapel. The hundred contains also two other parishes. Acres, 7, 347. Pop., 1, 958. Houses, 373."
Famous Effingham villagers include Sir Barnes Wallis, inventor of the bouncing bomb which breached the Eder and Mohne dams in the Second World War. He also designed airships including the R100 and applied the geodetic construction methods to aeroplanes.
Wallis lived with his wife Molly in the village for 49 years. Their former home north of the village centre in Beech Avenue was called White Hill House but is now renamed Little Court and looks over Effingham Golf Club's 17th fairway. It is said early 'bouncing bomb' experiments were carried out in his garden using the family washtub and his children's marbles.
Barnes Wallis joined the Parochial Church Council of St Lawrence Church, Effingham in 1932 and served as their secretary for eight years until 1940.
In 1946 Barnes Wallis became an Effingham Parish Councillor and served as Chairman of Effingham Parish Council for 10 years. He was also the Chairman of Effingham Housing Association which helped the poor and elderly of the village with housing.
Knighted in 1968, Sir Barnes Wallis was instrumental in the founding days of the KGV playing fields at Effingham. He was Chairman of the KGV Management Committee and negotiated the landscaping of the "bowl" cricket ground. As a fanatic cricket fan he was keen to see a first class ground in his village; the County Council wanted to improve the line of the adjacent A246 Guildford road and Wallis persuaded them to cut and fill the sloping playing field to achieve the current superb flat cricket ground. At one stage it was the back-up ground to The Oval. He was the first Chairman of the Effingham Housing Association, a charity which built homes for local people; the most recent development, Barnes Wallis Close, was opened by two members of his family in 2002.
In 1967 on Barnes Wallis 80th birthday the village presented him with an album about the history of Effingham in recognition of his national and village contributions.
Sir Barnes Wallis died on 30 October 1979 and was buried in St Lawrence Churchyard, just a few yards from KGV fields. During the funeral an Avro Vulcan bomber from 617 Squadron (the Dambusters) flew overhead as a mark of respect.
On 3 July 1944 a V1 flying bomb fell on Beech Avenue and hit the ground close to a house called Orchard Walls which was damaged.
On 10 July another V1 flying bomb scored a direct hit on a cottage called “little thatch”. It killed the owner and injured his wife and child. This was the only civilian casualty of World War 2 in the village. The cottage was rebuilt and renamed Phoenix Cottage which survives to this day on Effingham Common Road.
The Royal Army Service Corps were stationed in Effingham with Canadian soldiers encamped and headquartered in High Barn, Beech Avenue, close to where Barnes Wallis lived.
Effingham featured in the 1971 comedy film She'll Follow You Anywhere.