News & Events

A Major New Exhibition at Haslemere Educational Museum

Anyone with half an hour or so to spare in the coming weeks would be well advised to see Haslemere Educational Museum’s stunning new exhibition, Haslemere Artists 1859 – 1914 – a Golden Era which runs from 9th May until 24th June. It will be exhibiting artworks by over thirty of the artists who flocked to this area after the arrival of the railway in 1859 and gives a fascinating insight into their ‘golden era’ here.

An oil-on-canvas poster for the Haslemere Society of Artists early exhibitions, which it’s thought would have been framed and hung at the main entrance to their exhibitions.

The exhibition features works from the different phases of the period. Starting with those by the first artists to venture here, it goes on to feature work by the watercolourists, for whom South West Surrey’s picturesque countryside and abundant wildlife provided perfect material both for their popular pastoral scenes and ornithological subjects. Completing the picture are some excellent examples of works by the illustrators for whom easy access to London made living here possible.

Artists featured include James Clarke Hook RA, whose fine coastal scenes fetched sky-high prices, famous watercolourists, Myles Birket Foster RWS, Helen Allingham RWS and Walter Tyndale RWS and the celebrated illustrators, Charles Keene, who illustrated for Punch for forty years along with Kate Greenaway RI and Randolph Caldecott RI, both of whom became household names illustrating children’s books.

Artworks by artists who lived in the Grayshott/Hindhead area include William Biscombe Gardner, illustrator and watercolourist, Frank Craig whose promising career as a painter in oils was cut short by TB, Juliet Williams who painted mostly watercolours and amateur artist, Samuel Marshall Bulley. Bulley and his family lived at West Down with Miss Marian James while Williams lived with her mother at The Chalet, a house lent to them by Miss James.

By Jul;iet Williams, circa 1895-1905.

By 1894 the Haslemere area’s thriving artistic community was strong enough to establish an art society, The Haslemere Society of Artists and work by some of their earliest members will be showing, including ones by Gardner, Craig, Williams and Bulley. Reviewing the Society’s first exhibition, the Westminster Gazette’s commentator wrote:

“Not many a country town of two thousand souls could produce so fair a show of talent.”

A generous donation for some new art acquisitions and some loans from private collections have allowed the Museum to assemble a most impressive range of oil paintings, watercolours, etchings and illustrations which are displayed across two exhibition rooms.

Related events:
Guided tours (£7.50) of about 45 minutes, see website for dates.
Talk by a Sarah Reynolds, a Christie’s 19th Director, on 8th June at 7.30pm. (£15.00 inc glass of wine)
‘Tea & Talk’ given by Sarah Bain, Hon. Vice-president of Haslemere Museum on 18th April at 2.30pm (£3.00)
Haslemere Festival lecture on the artworks on display by Sarah Bain on 16th May at 11.00am (£5.00).
A Museum publication, Artists of the Haslemere Area – A Golden Era 1859 – 1914,will be on sale at the Museum from 9th May (£7.50).

For more information, see

Afternoon Tea at Bulls Farm, Wednesday 5th July

This year’s Afternoon Tea is scheduled for Bulls Farm on Wednesday 5th July. Please note that this is a change to our previously advertised date due to work commitments. This is a members only event, with members’ guests by special arrangement. It will be the usual formula – an outdoor setting with light refreshments and soft drinks, a compulsory short talk on the venue’s history and the chance to explore the garden. There will be plenty of seats and tables. Access is quite easy and suitable for those less mobile, for whom there is some parking on site. Otherwise parking is nearby, on a safe road. The venue is about a mile west of Grayshott city centre, beyond Applegarth. It’s walkable on pavement all the way, beside the B3002.  There’s a limit of thirty visitors. You can sign up at our Friends’ Evening on Tuesday 16th May, or contact us directly here. Please do book your place well ahead so we can ensure adequate cake! Gates will open at 2pm, and close at 4pm. As usual, it’s free for members and £5 for guests.

UPDATE – now fully booked, but we are taking names for a reserve list in case of cancellations.

Join us here for afternoon tea on July 5th.

Meanwhile,  a reminder below of last year’s event.

Last summer’s star event was without doubt our Afternoon Tea at Bowes Cottage on 21st June. Cheryl and Jon Jackson most generously opened their garden and doors to about 50 Friends, and the weather responded in the form of a perfect midsummer day. There was a talk about the history of the house and its varied inhabitants, followed by tours of the cottage and garden, glasses of water drunk straight from the well, and a tremendous selection of cakes and pastries provided by the Grayshott Heritage Catering Corps. It really was an immensely privileged opportunity to relax and socialise in a most beautiful and secluded setting, which few of the motorists who grind up the lane from Whitmore Bottom even realise exists.

Bowes Cottage as photgraphed in 1915. Note the parrot in cage, black cat in the background and presumably rabbit hutches on the right. The caption of ‘Whitmore Vale Farm’ is incorrect.

The same spot in June 2022, minus parrot, cat and rabbits but with Cheryl and Jon Jackson, plus dogs.

Our most sincere thanks are made to Cheryl and Jon, the Catering Corps and all others who helped on the day and during its preparation.

Friends’ Evening, 16th May 2023

Our spring Friends’ Evening is booked for Tuesday 16th May, 2023, at the Village Hall. There will be the regular format of table seating, refreshments, raffle, and socialising, with complimentary wine and soft drinks served with the refreshments. Doors will open at 7pm and proceedings commence at 7:30.

This time we have a talk from John on the history of Grayshott Hall, and Richard will be the presenter for our ever-popular ‘Have I Got News For You’ feature. As always, entry is free for Friends, and please remember that subscriptions will be due. Guests are welcome, from whom we ask a donation of £5 towards our costs.

We’ll have the display tables out so please do bring along anything at all that you think people will be interested in – local history, crafts, family history, general old clutter etc, etc….

If anyone has suggestions for future evenings, or how we can improve things, please get in touch through the Contact page.

Hidden Gardens of Grayshott

This year’s Hidden Gardens event is on Sunday 28th and Monday 29th of May. It’s a fantastic two days and even if you’re not a gardener there are several non-gardening attractions. Full details are on the event’s website here. Grayshott Heritage will be having a stand on Applegarth Meadow. Please do pay us a visit, especially if you come bearing gifts of cake or beer to help keep our team tame.

Archaeology Comes To Grayshott!

Well, to Ludshott anyway. The Council for British Archaeology’s Festival of Archaeology incorporates hundreds of in-person and virtual events delivered by community groups, heritage organisations, universities, commercial units, and more across the UK.  This year, Haslemere Museum is coordinating two Ludshott Archaeology days to showcase and explore the common. The Museum, along with Liss Archaeology, National Trust and Grayshott Heritage will have stands on the common, probably on the concrete track towards the south end of the Superior Camp Site. The dates are Wednesdays 19th and 26th July, 10am to 4pm (to be confirmed). There will be exhibitions of the common’s history, displays of artefacts and guided walks.  Check back here occasionally for updates.

Annual General Meeting – 2022

In November we again ran a virtual AGM, which seems to work well. Thank you all to those who responded, and for your kind comments.

Parish Council Office Display Board

Grayshott Parish Council has very kindly made two display boards available for our use in their new office on the playing field. They are available for anyone to view whilst the office is open, which is Tuesday and Thursday mornings between 10:00 and 12:00. You can just pop in, you don’t need to be on official council business. We intend to use them to exhibit themed displays which will rotate on a regular basis. The current display features Grayshott’s Fire Brigade, and general village history, and will be running until summer.  Next, we’ll have a display about Grayshott Hall. The council has also awarded us a grant towards the cost of providing display materials and preserving them for re-use at subsequent events. Our thanks to the Parish Council for their generosity and support.

Village Walks

We have finished our guided walk programme for the moment. According to demand, we will run some more this summer – the current walks being Village Centre Shops and Houses, Village Centre Trees, Applegarth and A Walk on the Wild Side.

Through the next several months we’ll be concentrating on the series of Boundary Walks, produced by the Grayshott Green Spaces group. The first walk, Kingswood and Stoney Bottom, may still be available in print form at various outlets around the village (Pottery, Parish Council Office, Business Connections, Red Rose Cafe, Co-op, Social Club, Fox & Pelican, Post Office, The Counter), as well as directly from ourselves, although due to high demand copies are now scarce. It’s also available in pdf form, to download or print yourself, here.

The second walk, the Medieval Hamlet, is also available. You can pick up free print copies at the places listed above, and a pdf here.

Hot off the press, our third walk, Flat Wood and the Southwater, has just been published. Pick up your copy promptly because we find that they do get quickly taken up.  The pdf copy is here.

All walks are also available in pdf form on Grayshott Parish Council website here.

As a special bonus you can now also access a pdf copy of our Tree Walk booklet here.

New Finds – Additions to the Archive

We continue to acquire New Finds:
– Mike Garner from New Zealand has sent us many wonderful photos and memories of his family’s time in Grayshott. We will publish them in due course.
– Bob Willis has uncovered the remains of a signwritten shop front from about 1925.
– John has found, and is transcribing, several 16th century wills and inventories.
– One of our members acquired at auction a view of Kingswood Firs from Apley House, painted by its original owner Edgar Leuchars.
– We have obtained a series of LiDAR images (aerial laser pictures) which show up many features of Grayshott’s landscape.

We send our thanks to those who donate to our archive or make their personal material available, the like of which we rely upon heavily to enrich our archive. Some of them are real treasures and we’ll have to scratch our heads a bit to work out how to present them for you. We do have a stack of New Finds awaiting publication, but to be honest have fallen a bit behind what with the glorious weather this summer. We’ll try to catch up over the winter! Take a look at the New Finds page to see the latest feature and the full back-series.

Fox and Pelican Booklet

Our booklet commemorating the 120th anniversary of the Fox and Pelican is still available. Written by Richard Peskett, it describes how the pub came into existence and became an enduring part of village life. The official launch was conducted at the F&P on Thursday 19th December, attended by an honorary guest in the form of George Bernard Shaw, and several Friends. The booklet is available free of charge in the F&P itself and at various outlets around the village. Projects like this are funded entirely by subscriptions and donations, and we make our sincere thanks to all of you who’s support makes them possible.

Fox & Pelican Booklet Cover

The Fox and Pelican booklet, written by Richard Peskett.

Some New Articles

Residents of Grayshott may have seen our series of articles in Grayshott Today magazine. For those further afield, we have put them onto our website on a new page called Grayshott Through the Ages. You will also find some of them on the Do You Know page.

Latest Loss – The Golden Hind

The latest building to succumb is the Golden Hind Cafe at Hindhead, more recently known as Cooper Brothers furniture shop. Time and decades of pounding from recent traffic had taken its toll, and the building was sadly beyond economic repair. It was demolished in May 2018

The ‘Golden Hind’ café 1920's

The ‘Golden Hind’ café north of the crossroads in the 1920s, one of the many such establishments along the A3.

Latest Newsletter: Number GH16, June 2019

Our first evening of 2019, a Grayshott Heritage Pub Quiz at the Fox and Pelican, was a great success and enjoyed by over 40 friends.  Thanks to the Fox & Pelican for hosting the event, Ann Myers for the raffle, Jan Bebbington & friends for cakes and not forgetting some great questions from John Childs and Richard Peskett.

The Autumn Friends’ Evening will be on Tuesday October 22nd in the Village Hall and the theme will be ‘Grayshott in 1939‘.  This evening will incorporate our AGM.

We are planning a visit to Huntington House but await a date from the owners.  Huntington House is one of the substantial original local houses and grounds, now restored.  The visit will comprise of a tour of the restored house, a walk around the grounds followed by refreshments.  As soon as a date is confirmed we will contact you with further details.

On August 23rd this year the Fox and Pelican will be celebrating 120 years of serving the village with suitable refreshments.  We hope to produce a small booklet about the history of the pub to mark this occasion.  Our regular feature in ‘Grayshott Today’ in the September issue will also be about the pub.  We hope the pub that will celebrate its birthday in a suitable fashion and will let you know further details when they become available.

Please take time to look at our website, there is often news and new items of interest to look at.  Also, we would be very pleased to receive any offers of articles and other suitable news, finds etc. that can be included.

We have just acquired, from eBay, an original indenture dated 1812 regarding land at Bulls Farm. This is one of the oldest original documents we know of outside Hampshire Records Office. We will put it on the website soon.

We continue our regular monthly presence in ‘Grayshott Today’, highlighting a different aspect of Grayshott history every month.

We are pleased to welcome Helen Vyner as our new representative from the Parish Council.  Ann Myers, the previous representative, has retired after 18 years on the Parish Council but we are very pleased that she has decided to continue as a member of Grayshott Heritage committee.

We are still looking for someone to help us by taking minutes at our meetings.  Please contact us if you can help, we would love to hear from you.

John Childs led a very interesting tree walk around the village on Sunday 26th May as part of Hidden Gardens.  He and his wife Annie also produced a beautiful “Grayshott Village Tree Walk” booklet which was funded by Hidden Gardens of Grayshott.  The booklet is available free of charge at several village shops, the Post Office and the Fox & Pelican.  It has a map, which is easy to follow, for a self-guided walk around the village.

John is planning to do another tree walk in the autumn if there is enough interest. There are also plans for ‘A Walk on the Wild Side’, an energetic scramble around some hidden corners of our woods to explore their nature and history.  Please contact John Childs through our website to register interest in either of these walks:

Following an introduction from Huntington House, Richard Peskett has met with Lizzy Butler (Public Relations, Stepping Stones School) at Undershaw.  They are keen to become more involved with the local community and there are plans for them to host an evening on local history open to our Friends and other local residents.  We hope that through this contact we will be able to become more involved with Hindhead and its history.  We will update you on developments.

Richard Peskett, (Chairman)

Tel: 01428 604862

Liz Cross (Friends’ Secretary)

01428 607169