West End may have obtained its name because it was the west of Chobham, 2 miles (3.2 km) ENE. The 1845 map reproduced by EJ Willson provides boundaries at that date. Its direct predecessor named Westend was in 1870-72 described by John Marius Wilson in his Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales of 1870-72 as "a tything in Worplesdon parish, Surrey; 3¼ miles NW of Guildford. Population: 341." A dependency on Worplesdon church, as its tything, is attested in the medieval period until the late 19th century, after which the area formed part of the parish of Chobham.
The village was, until the mid 20th century, made up of scantily farmed smallholdings amid substantial common land - West End Common to the west is comparable in size to Chobham Common to the north; both dwarf the built-up heart of the village. West End Common includes training ranges of the British army and is separated by a smaller public area, Brentmoor Heath, which shares in naturally wet, acid heathland, a rare soil type. In geology, the Bagshot Formation is apparent in parts of the village.
West End lies between Bagshot and Brookwood railway stations, each 3 miles (4.8 km) away. The River Bourne runs through the village from its sources to the immediate west. West End and Bisley have little commerce and industry compared to adjoining settlements, with parks, grassland areas and separated by Green Belt buffers. A golf course, plant nurseries and farms adjoin the clustered village centre.
The "parish church", i.e. Church of England church, of Holy Trinity, West End serves a similar area ecclesiastical parish and is a small building consisting of a chancel consecrated in 1890, nave consecrated in 1842, and a vestry built in 1906. The material is stone and the style is 13th century. Over the west end is a small bell-turret with a square spire above the entrance. Recognising rising population and housebuilding, the village gained its ecclesiastical parish standing in 1895.
In the 20th century many houses were added to the village, during which period books on the county and subject of nurseries show it to be a significant economic centre of nursery gardening. The modern civil parish was created in 1968, but it is listed as a "parish-level unit" under Bagshot Rural District in A Vision of Britain through Time
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