History of Shere

This page will be updated frequently with new additions - if you would like to add, change or contribute to this or any other page, please contact me - I would love to hear from you.

Sheep Stealing

Sheep stealing was rife in the Shere district during the years 1830 to 1840. The parish constables were unable to cope and horses and sheep that disappeared in the south of the county of which most found their way to London. One of the gang's meeting places was The White Horse Inn, Shere and it was not uncommon to see a great deal of poached game on the premises as the men enjoyed themselves. They appeared immune from punishment but then two of the gang took to housebreaking at a large house at Wonersh. MORE

The cottages in Shere present a mixture of styles from the 15th to 20th centuries, but the central part of the village is still fundamentally 16th and 17th century, with many timber-framed houses. The names of the cottages in Lower Street, indicate the growth of population and increased prosperity during this period, produced by the woollen industry. Lower Street runs alongside the River Tillingbourne to the Ford. Here you can see The Old Forge, The Old Prison, Weavers House and Wheelright Cottage.

Middle Street contains a working forge and village shops and leads to the bridge across the River Tillingbourne, where the wooden Old Fire Station, dated 1885, can be seen. This was the Shere and Albury Volunteer Fire Brigade Station. In 1977, it was converted to public toilets.

The White Horse Inn, opposite Church Square, is an attractive black and white timbered building, which in 1450, was a house called, "Cripps". About 1600, a chimney with stone back-to-back fireplaces, was added. It became an inn in the late 17th century. From 1866 – 1945, it was managed by the Askew family and the inn became frequented by literary and artistic figures.

The William Bray, was once known as the Prince of Wales and formerly Cook's Beer House. It was built in the late 18th century, the frontage being an early 20th century addition.

The Church of St. James has been a place of worship since 1190. The spire, built between 1213 and 1300, is an excellent example of a brooch spire. It was covered with cedar shingles, but in 2000, these had to be replaced and handmade oak shakes were used. There are several brass plaques in the chancel dating from 1412, excellent for those who seek to take brass rubbings.

The Battle of Shere
In 1258 the Bishop of Winchester, Aymer de Valence, ordered 50 of his men to take valuables from Shere church and carry them to France. A band of local men tried to stop the theft, ands one of them was killed at the 'Battle of Shere'. The inhabitants sued the Bishop, but De Valence was able to gain a pardon for all his men. READ MORE HERE

An intriguing aspect of St. James' Church, is The Anchoress of Shere. Christine Carpenter, in 1329 made a solemn promise to devote her life to God and live in a holy place. On 14th August 1329, the Bishop of Winchester gave permission for her to be enclosed in a cell which was built in the North wall of the chancel. Food and drink was given to her through a grating on the outside wall. On the inside of the church can be seen the Quatrefoil through which she received the bread and wine of communion. Through the squint window, she could see the altar. Not surprisingly, after three years, she decided to leave her cell, but for reasons unknown, it is recorded that on 10th November 1332, the Bishop of Winchester agreed to her request to be returned to the cell so "she may be enabled to achieve her salvation". William Carpenter, her father, it is believed, lived where the Willow and Ash Cottages now stand in Lower Street. These were built about 1475.

The Lych Gate was designed in 1902 by the architect, Edwin Lutyens, who later became Sir Edwin Lutyens and designed the Cenotaph in Whitehall, London. He designed various buildings in Shere for the Bray family, who have been Lords of the Manor of Shere since 1487. These include The Manor House Lodge and Western Cottages in Upper Street and the building in Middle Street, now used as the Tea Room, "The Lucky Duck", which was formerly known as Asters Tea Shop.

Extracts taken from the 'Home' page "Shere is..."

River Tillingbourne

The River Tillingbourne (also known as the Tilling Bourne) runs along the south side of the North Downs and joins the River Wey at Guildford. Its source is near Tilling Springs to the north of Leith Hill at grid reference TQ143437 and it runs through Friday Street, Abinger Hammer, Gomshall, Shere, Albury, Chilworth and Shalford. The source is a semi-natural uninhabited area. The catchment is situated on sandstone which has a low rate of weathering. The Tillingbourne is 18 km (11 mi) in length.

The Tillingbourne initially flows northward for 4 km (2.5 mi) down the northern slopes of Leith Hill over a series of weirs and cascades, before turning west to run for 14 km (8.7 mi) through Abinger Hammer and Chilworth towards the River Wey at Shalford. The river is classified as a subsequent stream, since its course is determined by the direction of the stratum of softer rock for the majority of its length.

The river has four principal tributaries: the Friday Street stream joins at Wootton House; the Holmbury St Mary stream joins at Abinger Hammer; the Sherbourne Brook drains the Silent Pool and Sherbourne Pond and the Law Brook joins near Postford.

The river used to power a number of gunpowder, paper and flour mills in the area. The gunpowder mill was at Chilworth. Present day users include a trout farm, watercress beds,a business growing reeds and is often studied by students from nearby field studies centres, such as Sayers Croft.

The River Tillingbourne supports a healthy fish population of both wild brown trout and coarse fish. The Environment Agency has been working with local fishermen to improve the habitat for these fish by recreating a pool and riffle habitat and by cutting back overhanging vegetation.

 

1258 - The Battle of Shere

In 1258 the Bishop of Winchester, Aymer de Valence, ordered 50 of his men to take valuables from Shere church and carry them to France. A band of local men tried to stop the theft, ands one of them was killed at the 'Battle of Shere'. The inhabitants sued the Bishop, but De Valence was able to gain a pardon for all his men. READ MORE HERE

1329 - Anchoress of Shere

On the north side of St' James' Church is where Christine carpenter was immured for several years in the 14th Century.

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a Above two photos - © Alison Avery

On the north side of Shere's church is where Christine carpenter was immured for several years in the 14th Century.

aphoto ©
Quatrefoil and squint inside St. James' Church
She would receive the Blessed Sacrament through the Quatrefoil and could watch the mass through the squint.
Food was put in by her friends and family through a grating in the outside wall.
Squints were not uncommon in many mediaeval churches where they were used by lepers who could not enter the church itself.

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Four page leaflet: Christine Carpenter, Anchoress of Shere - Available from St James church

 

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Read the Story

 

St James' Church, Shere, was built in 1190 (but its lychgate was designed by the architect Edwin Lutyens). It is a rare example of a church in the Early English Transitional Style (with the round Norman arches giving way to pointed ones). The nave pews have numbers - at one time people paid rent to the church for them.

The Alms Chest in the church dates from about 1200 and was used to collect money for the crusades fought in the Holy Land.

1671 - Shere Cricket Club

CLUB HISTORY - THE EARLY YEARS

"Why doesn't glue stick to the bottle?", "Whose idea was it to put an "S" in the word 'lisp'"? and "From where and when did Cricket originate?" are just three of life's unanswerable questions. In an attempt to answer the third, some aficionados will point you towards the first recorded game played at the Royal Grammar School in Guildford, in 1550. It must have been a particularly long game, as the next definitive reference to a local match crops up in 1671. In the same year that saw King Charles II pardon Colonel Thomas Blood for attempting to pinch the Crown Jewels, a similar criminal was at work on the Sabbath, playing Cricket for Shere. His name was Edward Bound - and he too was pardoned. It should be pointed out that over recent years there have been a number of team performances which can only be described as 'criminal'. However, in a cloth-cap tipping homage to our distant forefathers, the current team also got away with it - without even an ASBO.

Moving swiftly on, the next notable entry can be found in the astonishingly-long diaries of William Bray (1736-1832).

READ MORE

 

"The White Horse was built in 1475 as a farmhouse. It stood in two acres of ground known as Marysee. Made of timbers the inglenook fireplaces were added in the 1600s. It became an inn in the 1700s which coincided with the expansion of Shere into a township (sic) an increase in prosperity from wool and sheep. The inn had its own brewhouse and grew its own hops.

"The area was one of the wildest in Surrey with sheep stealers, smugglers and poachers who all found refuge in the hills. Local legend linked the White Horse with the smugglers. This was confirmed in 1955 when a hidden cellar was discovered filled with casks of brandy dating back to 1720.

"In Victorian and Edwardian times it was a meeting place for writers and artists. J.M Barrie and Sir Alfred Gilbert (1) are among the many famous names. We also have our own ghost - a young girl whose body was found in the chimney during the 1955 refit."

(1) JM Barrie (1860 - 1937) author of Peter Pan. Sir Alfred Gilbert (1854 - 1934) sculptor who created Eros statue at heart of Piccadilly Circus, London

 

1777 - The Workhouse

A parliamentary report of 1777 recorded three parish workhouses in operation in Guildford — Holy Trinity (for up to 20 inmates), St Mary (24), and St Nicholas (20). There were also parish workhouses in Albury (18), West Clandon (4), Godalming (76), Pirbright [Purbright] (30), Send and Ripley (4), Shiere [Shere] (40), Wisley (8), and Wokeing [Woking] (40).

Shere had a "parish house" — a 17th century cottage known as "Allens" — which was in trust for the use of the poor between 1697 and 1802.

In 1784, the running of the Shere workhouse was contracted out under a system known as "farming the poor". Thomas Hornsby was paid around 2s.6d. per week for maintaining each of the inmates who numbered between twelve and twenty. The experiment appears not to have been successful as the following years, Mrs Pellate resumed as governor. However, a new contractor, James Gadd, was employed from 1786 to 1789 and paid 2s.3d. per head per week. The farming system continued, with a succession on contractors being employed. In the early 1800s, the numbers in the house rose steadily and reached a very overcrowded peak of 44 in 1819.

Conditions in the Shere workhouse were generally comfortable. An 1836 inventory includes "stump" bedsteads (i.e. no headboards), feather beds, flock mattresses, sheets, rugs, bolsters, oak chests, "earthen chambers". A large 15 foot dining-table was used for communal meals which were eaten off wooden trenchers with spoons. The workhouse also had its own bakehouse and brewhouse.

Read More

OTHER REFERENCE: Book by: Noyes, Anne (1996) Shere Poverty (Twiga Books)

1830 - Policing the Victorian Countryside

The Early Years

1830-1840: Sheep stealing was rife in the Shere district during the years 1830 to 1840. The parish constables were unable to cope and horses and sheep that disappeared in the south of the county of which most found their way to London. One of the gang's meeting places was The White Horse Inn, Shere and it was not uncommon to see a great deal of poached game on the premises as the men enjoyed themselves. They appeared immune from punishment but then two of the gang took to housebreaking at a large house at Wonersh.

A constable from Godalming believed to be Biddlecombe traced the men concerned to an inn in Sussex. Enlisting the help of local harvesters they came across the suspects and joked with them and somehow Biddlecombe persuaded them to allow him to handcuff them. Once handcuffed the men were arrested for breaking into Squire Spark's place, taken to Guildford where they were convicted.

In addition to the Shere mob there were gangs at Elstead and a team known as the Hut Men at Peper Harow which were broken up soon after the Surrey Constabulary was formed.

Read More

1843 - Sir Henry Cole - The Man who Invented the Christmas Card

Sir HENRY COLE (1808 - 1882) - The man who invented the Christmas card

VISIT THE HENRY COLE WEBPAGE

1851 - William Biddlecombe - Surrey's First Detective

Surrey Constabulary History
In the time just before Biddlecombe arrived in the county Godalming Borough Police were responsible for an area larger than the town and included villages as distant as Shere. Sheep stealing was rife in the Shere district during the years 1830 to 1840. The parish constables were unable to cope and additionally horses and sheep disappeared in the south of the county of which most found their way to London.

One of the gang’s meeting places was The White Horse Inn, Shere and it was not uncommon to see a great deal of poached game on the premises as the men enjoyed themselves. They appeared immune from punishment but then two of the gang took to housebreaking at a large house at Wonersh. A constable from Godalming believed to be Biddlecombe traced the men concerned to an inn in Sussex. Enlisting the help of local harvesters they came across the suspects and joked with them and somehow Biddlecombe persuaded them to allow him to handcuff them. Once handcuffed the men were arrested for breaking into Squire Spark’s house, taken to Guildford where they were convicted.

READ MORE

1856 - Charles Goodwin Norton

(1856 - 1940)

British lanternist, filmmaker, projectionist

C. Goodwin Norton was born 8 April 1856 in Shere, Guildford, Surrey and in 1899 made a film:

Fire Brigade turn-out in the Country (c. 1899)

Volunteer firemen at Shere, Surrey, harness a fire engine and ride away.

Archive format 35MM

Original format 35mm Film

Thanks to Don Longhurst for the information - Cheers Don

VIEW FILM - Fire Brigade turn-out in the Country (c. 1899)

CHARLES GOODWIN NORTON - READ MORE

June 1867

Saturday June 8th - Surrey Ad

 

Surrey Ad - © The BNPA

1875 - The Oldest open air pool in Britain?

In 1875 Lady Arthur Russell had a swimming pool built in the middle of Shere so that her six sons could learn to swim. Later she presented it to the village so that the local boys and girls could also learn to swim. Members of the Russell family still live just outside Shere. In 1899 the pool was handed over to the Parish Council which continues to be responsible for it to the present day. It was then used as a public pool, said to be the first public open air pool in Britain.

n 1954 it was greatly modernised with filtration and a new surround. It also acquired a lifeguard. It continued to be a popular venue, not only for recreation but also helping hundreds of children and adults to learn to swim. Unfortunately by the late eighties the Parish Council found the pool increasingly difficult to run and finance and a lifeguard proved impossible to find. It looked as if the pool would have to close. The village rallied round and raised a considerable sum of money but not nearly enough to run the pool and employ a lifeguard.

In 1989 a local resident, Margaret Ellenger, got together a team of people to save the pool and much hard work was done to replace aged equipment and clean everything up. A lease of the pool was negotiated with the Shere Parish Council. A public pool must have a lifeguard in attendance but this would have be an impossible financial burden so it was decided to operate as a private club. Shere Swimming Pool Club was formed. The Club is non-profit making and charges the lowest practicable subscription so as to remain accessible to all in keeping with Lady Russell's intentions. There is currently a membership in excess of 800 (members and families). The members are welcome to bring guests for a nominal fee. An elected Committee run the Club and all routine maintenance is carried out on a voluntary basis.

Shere Swimming Pool Club has proved immensly popular with a large mainly local membership and also some from further afield. The membership is nearly always full with a waiting list and so the pool is enjoyed by very many people throughout the season from May until the end of September. It is a unique and much loved asset to the Parish of Shere.

Chris Osborn
October 1996 - copyright Shere Swimming Pool Club

VIEW Shere Swimming Pool Club website

 

But one of the oldest in the county has survived and it can be found in the centre of Shere. It was built by Lady Arthur Russell in 1875 so that her six sons could learn.

Later she presented it to the village so that the local boys and girls could also learn to swim. In 1899 the pool was handed over to the parish council and for the next 90 years it remained a public pool.

Sadly though it became too difficult and costly to run as a public amenity and it only survives today as a private club mostly for local residents.

© June 2013 - READ MORE

 

Searching for Lady Arthur Russell, I discovered this:

Extract taken from the following publication:

BUY this book in print.

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Lord Arthur John Edward Russell  (1825-1892)
Liberal politician; MP for Tavistock; brother of 9th Duke of Bedford

Drawing: Lord Arthur John Edward Russell
Sits in the National Portrait Gallery, drawn by George J. Stodart, after Henry Tanworth Wells, stipple engraving, 1888 or after
NPG D20734

© National Portrait Gallery, London

DETAILS
born: June 14th 1825, died April 4th 1892
Son of Major-General Lord William Russell and
Elizabeth Anne Rawdon 

Wkipedia details for Lord Arthur Russell


Wife: Laura Russell (de Peyronnet), Lady Arthur Russell
born: 1836, died: 1910
Daughter of Paul Louis JULES de Peyronnet and
Georgiana FRANCES de Peyronnet 

Mother of 
Harold John Hastings Russell
Flora Magdalen Isabel Russell
Sir Claud Frederick William Russell
Caroline DIANA Rosalind Russell
Maj Gilbert Byng Alwyne Russell and 1 other 

To be updated...

1882

Surrey Mirror - Saturday 07 January 1882

First Road Accident recording in Shere

Full page view

Images © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


1882 - Shere and its neighbourhood

THE ART JOURNAL - May 1882

This 130 year old 4-page article makes interesting reading, published in the Victorian publication, The Art Journal. Exciting also to see sketches of Shere Mill (Netley Mill), Shere Village (The Square and Lower Street).

READ ARTICLE:
Cover | Page 129 | Page 130 | Page 131 | Page 132

1883

The Illustrating Sporting and Dramatic News - January 27th 1883
A Surrey Village in Winter - LARGER VIEW

A Surrey Village in Winter Description - LARGER VIEW

1884

November 21st 1884 - The Building News

View Detail

1886


© photo copyright

There is a small Drinking Fountain situated opposite the Post Office in Middle Street, Shere.

This was given to the village in 1886 by two maiden ladies (Misses Spottiswoode of Drydown). They were very religious and saw alcohol as the devil. They wanted visitors to the nearby White Horse Pub to have an alternative 'local' drink and thought water was a good option.

The well, 286 feet in depth. A plaque states that water flowed here until the 1970s, when Thames Water sunk fresh bore holes in the area, thus lowering the water table 18 inches. and stopping the spring.

In 1984 many local people subscribed to the refurbishment of the well as an ornamental asset to the village and its many visitors.

1893 - The Pilgrim's Way

Title: 'SHERE'

Print measure 9 inches by 7 inches.  

The art is by the highly acclaimed and hugely prolific artist, A. R. Quinton.

Source: The Pilgrims' Way, 1893. 

BOOK PLATE - 1893

1898

Shere Parish Hall in Surrey, which was built to commorate Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee in 1898.

When the men of Shere returned from serving in the First World War the Parish wished to honour them, by building and completing the present Village Hall in 1922 (the white building in photo above). The then Original Parish Hall (the current location of the Shere Museum), was built to commemorate Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee in 1898 then became available for The Shere Working Men's Club. The Shere Working Men's Club closed in 1997 and the hall lay empty until 2006

Shere Museumwhen a team of volunteers started work on converting the building to house the museum collection.

1904 - Train Crash

20th February 1904: A serious railway accident occurred as a troop train was passing through Gomshall Station. Although the engine and two coaches were overturned and smashed after the engine had left the rails, no one was killed but several soldiers and the driver and fireman of the train were severely injured.

MORE PHOTOS - Train Station webpage

1906

THE TATLER - June 6th 1906

Photo 3: A view of Shere Church, a few miles from Guildford. This photograph is typical of the rural beauty of this neighbourhood

1906

The Builder - April 14 1906
This issue has a double-page centrefold showing four views of St. James' Church :
View from South East (top left)
North Jamb of arch at east end of south aisle (top right)
View from West (bottom left)
South arch under tower (bottom right)

The Builder (1st edition shown)  

 

The Builder was a weekly magazine which began publication in 1843. It absorbed another journal titled "Architecture". In 1966, the journal ceased publication, and was continued by a journal named "Building".

20th February 2017

1908 - London Olympic high jump and hurdles

Edward Eastlake Leader was the son of celebrated artist
Benjamin Williams Leader and brother to Capt. Benjamin Eastlake Leader - both Benjemin's details/artwork can be found on the PAINTINGS PAGE but it was Edward Eastlake Leader who represented Great Britain in the 1908 London Olympic games.

Born. 28 Aug 1882 in  Whittington, Lodge, Whittington, Worcestershire ,
Edward represented Great Britain - Olympic Games 1908 - High Jump and Hurdles. The United Kingdom was the host nation of the 1908 Summer Olympics in London, 104 years before we were to host again at the 2012 London Olympics. In 1908, the UK was ranked first with a total of 146 medals: 56 Gold, 51 Silver and 39 Bronze medals

After winning the high jump for Cambridge vs. Oxford in 1904, Edward Leader shared second place in the Oxbridge vs. Harvard/Yale match. The following year, he finished second at both the Oxbridge Sports and at the AAAs. Although he did not win a blue as a hurdler, he was chosen to represent Britain in the 110 hurdles at the 1908 Olympics. He was Called to the Bar in 1908 and practiced as a barrister - source

REPORT: Athletics at the 1908 London Summer Games
Men's High Jump - Venue: White City Stadium, London
Date Started: July 21, 1908 - Date Finished: July 21, 1908

Edward Leader finished 10th position with a height of 1.77m
Con Leahy for Great Britain won a silver at this event BUT not after some controversey: The Official Report makes no mention of qualifying conditions but there were eight scheduled qualifying sections, which were consolidated into four pools. After Pool One had been completed at the South End of the Stadium, the officials decided that the slippery conditions were unsuitable and moved the remaining three pools to another jumping area at the North End of the Stadium. [Herbert Gidney] (USA), who had not qualified in the first pool, then lodged a protest, claiming that the original results of the first pool should be declared void and the competition held again under more favorable conditions at the North End. Despite the fact that all the competitors had been equally affected by the original adverse conditions, the judges, rather surprisingly, upheld Gidney's protest.

Otto Monsen (NOR) and Edward Leader (GBR) had shared first place in the original competition, but Monsen refused to take part in the re-scheduled event, while Leader failed to match the height he had achieved in the less favorable conditions. The only beneficiary of the protest was Gidney himself - Source


Men's 100m Hurdles - Venue: White City Stadium, London
Date Started: July 21, 1908 - Date Finished: July 25, 1908
Edward Leader just lost out in his heat by 0.3 second to progress to the semi finals with a time of 16.1 seconds.
In the FINAL, it's interesing to note fourth place time as being 16.0 seconds. Who knows how close to a medal Edward woud have come and unfortunately as Edward didn't progress past his heat, his final position was ranked 21st, a position that clearly was not representational. A World Record was set for first position:

Place Name Nation Time
1 Forrest Smithson  United States 15.0 seconds WR
2 John Garrels  United States (15.7 seconds)
3 Arthur Shaw  United States (15.8 seconds)
4 William Rand  United States (16.0 seconds)

© source

1908 / 1909

Extract from Highways and Byways in Surrey
Shere - The village groups itself with the little brook running through the middle: a low bridge crosses the stream, villagers sit on the bridge,
white ducks paddle about the current and stand upside down among the weeds: beyond the brook are the tiny village green and the shade of
elms; on one side of the village green is the old inn, the White Horse; and on the other the grey tower and the quiet of the churchyard. But it is
the sparkle and the chatter of the Tillingbourne which are the first charm of all.

The White Horse is a pattern of an old village inn, with panelled rooms and dark beams over its ceilings, and a parlour hung with oil paintings,
with the air of the Surrey countryside blowing through them. Your host is the artist, and fellow artists come to the White Horse to sketch with
him. It is the only inn in Surrey I know which also sells a guide to the neighbourhood, and a good guide too, so far as directions for finding
walks among the hills and woods can make a guide-book. Mr. Marriott Watson has written an introduction to it, of which the sum is that all
walks start from the White Horse, and all walkers come back to it.
READ MORE

1910

Published just over 100 years ago in 1910

 

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Bailey's Magazine - The Sportsman's Library - 1910

Roll over the image to take a closer look

1910 - Map

Old 1910 Map showing Guildford to Dorking with Shere in the centre

1914 - Wedding

Wedding outside St.James' Church

Thanks to a reader of this website, who sent in the photo - anyone know who the happy couple are?

1914/18

Shere village war memorial consists on a 'nameless' stone cross to the west of the St James's Church, and a bronze plaque bearing the names of the fallen on the inner northern wall of the church.

It features 33 names. In the 1800's the parish of Shere also encompassed Gomshall and Peaslake, hence some men on the Peaslake War Memorial being referred to as born or resident in Shere.

Above is a stained Glass Window depicting St George.
A dedicatory inscription within the glass at base.
Inscription: To the glory of God and to the honour of the men of this parish who fell in the Great War.


1914 Spy Scare

© The BNPA

1914 August

© The BNPA

1914 October

© The BNPA

1916 Magazine Cover

The front cover of a September 1916 Light Car & Cyclecar magazine. The vehicle passing underneath the footbridge is a period Morris Cowley, registered and manufactured in Oxford.

The Light Car & Cyclecar magazine was first issued in November 1912.

Many thanks to Peter Card - More info on the:

Historic Footbridge Website

12th October 1916

photo©BNPS

Sadly news comes of Capt. Benjamin William Leaders eldest son, also a celebrated artist and known as exhibitor at the Royal Academy.

Source

Details: Capt Benjamin Eastlake Leader - Queen's (Royal West Surrey Regiment) - 3rd Battalion
Burial: Thiepval Memorial  Thiepval Departement de la Somme Picardie, France. Plot: Pier and Face 5 D and 6 D.

The above painting titled "An English Hayfield" was by his father in Benjamin Williams Leader in 1879 and in the artist notes he figures were posed for by his wife, their young son Benjy (Benjamin Eastlake Leader) who was two years old at the time and their baby daughter Ethel. The scene depicts a hayfield at Whittington, the village in Worcestershire where Leader resided between 1862 and 1889 before moving to Burrows Cross, Shere.

Benjamin Eastlake Leader's son, also named Benjamin, 116403 Pilot Officer Benjamin John Leader, served in the RAF (Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve) in the Second World War and lost his life on the 4th August 1942 aged 28. READ MORE under the 1942 section below.

Benjamin Eastlake Leader Siblings:
His sister, Ethel Leader born 23 Jul 1878 in Whittington Lodge, Whittington, Worcestershire - Died 1 Dec 1974 in North Walsham, Norfolk. Married Roland James the year before her brother died on May 8 June 1915 in St. James' Church, Shere.

Sister Margaret Isabella Leader born March 1896 in Guildford, Surrey England died 12 Oct 1910.

Sister Mary Eastlake Leader born 19 Nov 1880 in Whittington, Pershore, Worcestershire.
Married  Archibald Montgomery Tringham 17 February 1906 at St. James' Church, Shere.
Mary died 13 May 1977.

Sister Beatrice Leader (unmarried) - Born 28 Nov 1879 in Whittington, Lodge, Whittington, Worcestershire.
Death 16 Sept 1975 in Surrey, aged 95 years.

WE HAVE AN OLYMPIAN connection
Brother Edward Eastlake Leader
born. 28 Aug 1882 in  Whittington, Lodge, Whittington, Worcestershire  died 22 April 1959.

1908 - London Olympic high jump and hurdles

Edward represented Great Britain - Olympic Games 1908 - High Jump and Hurdles. The United Kingdom was the host nation of the 1908 Summer Olympics in London, 104 years before we were to host again at the 2012 London Olympics. In 1908, the UK was ranked first with a total of 146 medals: 56 Gold, 51 Silver and 39 Bronze medals

After winning the high jump for Cambridge vs. Oxford in 1904, Edward Leader shared second place in the Oxbridge vs. Harvard/Yale match. The following year, he finished second at both the Oxbridge Sports and at the AAAs. Although he did not win a blue as a hurdler, he was chosen to represent Britain in the 110 hurdles at the 1908 Olympics. He was Called to the Bar in 1908 and practiced as a barrister - source

For the Full Olympic Report and how Edward Eastlake Leader got on representing Great Britain, scroll up to the 1908 - London Olympics.

The London Gazette shows Edward's rank in the first World war, sadly ten months before his brother, Benjamin Eastlake Leader, is killed - see above.

Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve
Source

Both Benjamin Eastlake Leader and Edward Eastlake Leader are mentioned on the Charterhouse school website:

Benjamin: Captain / The Queen's (Royal West Surrey Regiment),3rd Bn. attd. 2nd Bn. Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regiment), Infantry - Died on 12 October 1916

Biography:

He was the eldest child and first son of Benjamin W. Leader, R.A., landscape painter, and Mary Alexandra Leader (nee Eastlake) of Burrows Cross, Gomshall, Guildford. He had four sisters and a brother. He was married in 1910 to Isabella (Belle) (nee Anderson), of Rosemerryn, Bude, Cornwall, with whom he had two children.

He was a talented artist as a schoolboy and was awarded the Leech prize for drawing 1895; several of his drawings were published in ‘The Greyfriar’ magazine. He went up to Trinity, Cambridge and afterwards became an artist, specializing in landscapes, and a member of the artists’ colony at Lamorna.

He served with the Expeditionary Force in Flanders from 14 January 1915 and was killed in action at Le Transloy.  He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, and also at St Buryan’s Church, Cornwall.

Edward: His younger brother Edward Eastlake Leader, was in Pageites 1896-1900; he competed at the Olympics in 1908 in high jump and hurdles. He became a barrister, survived service in the RNVR and died in 1959.  Charterhouse Roll of Honour, a website commemorating all those Old Carthusians and members of staff who perished in the First World War © 2017 Charterhouse

Charterhouse school is an independent day and boarding school in Godalming, Surrey. Founded by Thomas Sutton in 1611 on the site of the old Carthusian monastery in Charterhouse Square, Smithfield, London

 

July 1917

© The BNPA

September 1917

© The BNPA

November 1917

© The BNPA

1918 - World War I Gun and shell

This Gun and shell sat next to the tillingbourne in Shere until World War II where it was taken and melted down for the war effort - The gun can be viewed in many old postcards leading up to this time.

November 1920 - Shere War Memorial design

The Graphic - November 13th 1920 - READ

Interesting to see that Edwin Lutyens was invited to design our Shere War Memorial and a couple of days earlier the "The Cenotaph, Whitehall" in London was opened a couple of days earlier (11th November 1920) which was also designed by Lutyens. The villagers of Shere however decided to turn their back onto the famous designer, who had designed various buildings in and around Shere:

1892 - Summers’ Barber’s Shop (now "The Lucky Duck" tea rooms) - designed for Charles Summers, Barber & Shoemaker.

1892 - Lutyens’s cottages (Shere cottages) in Upper Street.

1894 - East Lodge with its prominent green gable.

1902 - Lych gate at St James Church

Two months later the War Memorial was unveiled in Shere - see below

Feb 1921 - Shere War Memorial Cross

Unveiled on February 1921

First World War: 1914-1918
Second World War: 1939-1945 (South East Asia 1945-1946)

Floriated Maltese cross on cylindrical shaft, circular plinth and five stepped base

Located in The Square,
Shere,
Guildford,
GU5 9HG
OS grid: TQ 07443 47785

Benjemin Williams Leader - 1923

Benjemin Williams Leader died at his home "Burrows Cross House" on the 22nd March 1923. "Burrows Cross House was designed by Richard Norman Shaw in 1885 for Frank Roll and extended in 1889 by him for B.W. Leader. - © photo above of Benjemin and his wife, Mary Eastlake

Benjamin Leader was commercially successful during his lifetime, and had exhibited approximately 216 paintings at the Royal Academy over 69 years from 1854 to 1923.  In addition to other London venues, Leader exhibited his works in exhibitions held in Worcester, Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool and Glasgow (UK) as well as in international exhibitions in Paris (France), Canada and the United States.

"Benjamin William Leader was to become one of the most acclaimed Victorian landscape painters during his lifetime. He was born in Worcester in 1831 and he was the eldest of eleven children. His father, Edward Leader Williams was a civil engineer and staunch non-conformist whilst his mother Sarah Whiting was a Quaker.  However after the two of them married in an Anglican church the Quaker establishment disowned them.  Benjamin was actually born as Benjamin Williams but in 1857 he added the surname, Leader, which was his father’s middle name, to distinguish himself from the rest of the Williams clan. His father Edward was a keen amateur artist and was on friendly terms with John Constable.  Benjamin would often accompany his father on his painting expeditions along the Severn valley and soon he developed a love of art.  He attended the Royal Grammar School in Worcester and when he completed his schooling in 1845 was apprenticed as a draughtsman in his father’s engineering office.  However Benjamin never gave up his fondness for apinting and drawing and after many discussions with his father he was allowed to leave the world of engineering and follow his love of art.  His father gave his son one year to prove himself artistically.  Benjamin enrolled at the Worcester School of Design and one year later had achieved the position of “probationer” at the Royal Academy Schools.  A year on, and quite exceptionally for a first year student, he exhibited his first painting, Cottage Children Blowing Bubbles, which was bought by an American.  From then on he exhibited in every Summer Exhibition of the Royal Academy up until 1922 when he had reached the fine old age of 91.

Leader married fellow artist Mary Eastlake in 1876.  She was an artist whose subject speciality was flowers.  She came from an artistic background being the grand-niece of Sir Charles Locke Eastlake who was President of the Royal Academy between 1850 until his death in 1865.  The marriage of the couple did not find favour with her family as Benjamin Leader was twenty-two years older than their daughter and whereas the Eastlake family came from a long line of Plymouth gentry, Benjamin’s family where  mere “trades people”.  However as is often the case, the noble Eastlake family had seen better financial days whereas Benjamin Leader, with the sale of his many paintings,  was financially sound.  They did marry and went on to have six children, one of whom Benjamin Eastlake Leader, became an artist but was sadly killed in action during the First World War." - source, My daily art display - continue READING

His son represented Great Britain at the 1908 London Olympics - See 1908 entry above.

Shere Football Club Winners - 1924

VIEW LARGER IMAGE | VIEW REAR OF PHOTO CARD

1923-1924 Winners of the Guildford & District League - Five years after World War 1, these young men played for the Shere Football Club and were District league winners:

Back row - left to right:
F. Minns, H. Fry, P. Hoad, R. Dowling, N. Arthur, A. Overington, J. Minns

Front row - left to right:
F. Baldero, Y. Fry, G. Goddard, E. Woods, E. Overington

Shere Football Club logo


PREVIOUS FOITBALL RELATED ARTICLE - Sixty years on:
The Shere Tigers Football Team 1983

1926 - Agatha Christie

AGATHA CHRISTIE - The undisputed queen of crime, Agatha Christie has sold millions of books across the world. But in a bizarre case of life imitating art, the strangest story of all concerns the night that she faked her own death at Newlands Corner in December 1926, near Shere, and vanished into thin air...
READ MORE

10th December 1926

Daily Mail - Friday 10th December 1926

View

1937 - Gomshall and Shere Railway Station

This photo was taken on 24th July 1937

Closer shot on the Station Platform

Visit the Gomshall and Shere Train Station webpage

1940-45

Does anyone know anything about the following story, posted HERE

Crash at Gomshall, Surrey - 2nd World War?

My Uncle was a fireman on the Southern Railway. I have a photograph of a smashed up locomotive. The story that has been past down to me over the years is roughly as follows: My Uncle was on the footplate of a freight train, carrying shells in a southern direction through Gomshall station. I am lead to believe an express passenger train was given priority and my Uncle's train was diverted off the main line and crashed into a siding at Gomshall. I have trawled the internet and can only find a record of a crash at Gomshall in 1904. This has lead to me questioning the story behind the photo I have in my possession. If anyone has any information on the authenticty of this accident I would love to hear from them, and if there is a possible line of investigation I will download a copy of the photo to aid any research.

Visit the Gomshall and Shere Train Station webpage

1942 - Benjamin John Leader (a- 1942)

MORE DETAIL from October 1916 entry above

Benjamin Eastlake Leader's son, also named Benjamin,

Benjamin John Leader's grave stone Location of Benjamin John's grave - Bude Haven (St. Michael) Churchyard

was 116403 Pilot Officer Benjamin John Leader, serving in the RAF (Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve) in the Second World War until he lost his life on the 4th August 1942 aged 28.. Benjamin John was only two years old when his father, Benjamin Eastlake Leader, lost his life seving our country in the First World War.

December 1942

Surrey Ad - © The BNPA

Shere Garage February 1945

Surrey Ad - © The BNPA

1948 - series of 4 photos

Old Houses at Shere
Looking down Gomshall Lane towards the Village Hall

The Tillingbourne flows through the village
Looking towards the 'Lower Street'

Cottages of Charm - The Square
"Grovers" (later to be Collins - see previous News item below)

The Square
Flowers of Memory

The above four photo's have been taken from the book,
"The Surrey Hills" by W.A. Poucher
(Chapman & Hall, 1949) PURCHASE

You can click on the photo's above to see a larger view

1952

Front cover photo - St. James' Church

Locating magazine - will post any updates

1953

Here is a taste of life back in the early fiftees, as featured in the County Magazine



Surrey County Journal - Portrait of Shere

VIEW PDF of the 'Portrait of Shere' - Published January 1953

1950s

Farming in the 1950s

The Second World War had left its legacy of food rationing and a shortage of houses. It had also altered the way the Surrey Hills
were farmed. There was an ethos of utilitarianism and a continuing sense of urgency driving food production.
Frivolous niche crops like lavender, grown at Shere before the war for essential oils and dried flowers, were jettisoned in favour of food crops. The huge acreage given over to oats – the original bio- fuel powering the thousands of working horses keeping farms going
– was no longer necessary as the tractor took over.

more

July 1953 - Traffic Problem

 

12th July 1953 - BRITISH PATHE news - London in comparison to Shere

View

 

1955 - White Horse Pub

During a re-fit, a young girl's body from the Victorian era was found inthe chimney. Thought to be Emma Vincent, a maid who worked in the White Horse. Mystery surrounds her and a room has been named after her - 'Emma's Room'.

A hidden cellar containing casks of brandy, some dating back to 172, was also found. This confirmed that the White Horse was part of the smuggling activity in the area.

White Horse Inn webpage

1964 - SURREY TODAY

Cover issue February

View - larger image

1964 - Steam Train in December

Nº7829 Ramsbury Manor approaching the staggered platforms at Gomshall and Shere on 28th December 1964

Visit the Gomshall and Shere Train Station webpage

1966 - Country Life

20th October 1966 - Motorshow Number - Cover photo titled "12th-Century Church, 20th-Century Car: Shere, Surrey"

View - larger image

1967 - Country Life

13th April 1967 - Cover photo titled
"Daffodils Under the Willows: Shere, Surrey"

View - larger image

1968 - July 4th Country Life

View FULL ADVERT

1984 - Pram Race

The website "For Those who policed Surrey" has some amazing stories by the Police in Surrey and makes for some
really interesting reading as well as building a great picture of the past events and life experiences.

In the old days Shere staged an annual Pram Race to raise funds for good causes. It hasn’t been held now for many years.
However, we did manage to get Geoff Breckles permission to enter one year. At that time we had an office cleaner called Jenny Renshaw who sadly died at a very early age from a heart attack. She assisted in the procurement of a pram and the rest of the officers at Shere created what you see before you with Police signs etc. The team were myself, then Pc 43 together with ex Pc 625 Merv Young the Gomshall Pc, Micky Finch who was at Shalford and a guest appearance from
Mark Hampshire then at Guildford. Jenny is in the pram. The picture was shot as we went through the River Tillingbourne at Shere at the start of the race and appeared in the Surrey Advertiser. - Jon Smith

View WEBSITE

1984 - Shere Museum

Shere Museum opened in the Old Malt House as a one-day event in 1984, part of Shere’s annual “Fair in the Square”. The core of the exhibition came from an accumulation of domestic and agricultural items left by the previous owners. In 2009, after 25 years as a collection in a private house, the museum was moved to new premises converted from the former Working Men’s Club.

Shere Museum is now housed in the original Shere Parish Hall in Surrey, which was built to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1898. When the men of Shere returned from serving in the First World War the parish wished to honour them, by completing the present Village Hall in 1922, the Parish Hall became available for The Shere Working Men’s Club. The Shere Working Men’s Club closed in 1997 and the hall lay empty until 2006 when a team of volunteers started work on converting the building to house the museum collection.

1988

1988 Shere Pottage

Stapled booklet with 44 pages. Illustrated with b/w photos of local scenes & characters. Collection of Local history with recipes.

1994

1894 to 1994 - A Pictorial Record

This book was pblished to celebrate the centenary of the formation of Parish Council's in general and Shere Parish Council in particular.
The major part of the book comprises old photographs of local scenes together with their modern equivalents

Can be purchased from the Shere Museum - Highly recommended as its packed with over 80 pages.

2000

St James' Churchyard

a

Given to the village by the Bray Family, Lords of the Manor of Shere

Roll over the image to take a closer look

Do all the good you can
By all the means you can
In all the ways you can
At all the times you can
As long as ever you can.

John Wesley's Rule 1703 - 1791

 

2003

A great source, reference and enjoyable read, these suite of three Historical books

Can be purchased from various locations in and around the villages - All revised and reprinted in 2003

Old Houses in the Parish of Shere
First published 1976
Reprinted 1977
Revised and Reprinted 1981
Reprinted 1985, 1992, 1993
Revised and Reprinted 1995
Reprinted 1997
Revised and Reprinted 2003
Reprinted 2005, 2008

Shere, Gomshall and Peaslake - A Short History
First published 1981
Reprinted 1984, 1988, 1989, 1993
Revised and Reprinted 1997
Major revision 2003
Reprinted 2005, 2008

The Tillingbourne Story
First published 1984
Revised and Reprinted 1998
Revised and Reprinted 2003
Reprinted 2006
Reprinted 2010

 

First published version (reprinted 1985 version)

 

First published version (1984)

2004

The Medieval Combat Society

September 2004 - VIEW LARGER COPY

2007 - August

East Lodge covered in Ivy

photo © Copyright Colin Smith and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

2008 - 12th January

Shere Swimming Pool

photo © Copyright Colin Smith and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

2009 - December

Bill and Ben - creation of Ron Chapman

photo © Copyright Colin Smith and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Many thanks to Colin Smith for so many wonderful photo's, recording life around Shere Village. All rights reserved, © Colin Smith

 

2009 Shere Museum

a

A great and fun place to start finding out more about the village history is by visiting the 'Shere Museum'.

"The extensive displays include objects of daily life - tools, toys, domestic items, wartime and leisure - mainly from Victorian times to the 1950s and some surprising finds from earlier periods. The collection covers all aspects of the history of the parish of Shere, which encompasses the villages of Shere, Gomshall, Peaslake, Holmbury St Mary and parts of Abinger. Visitors can browse the collection in a friendly and informal atmosphere; children are particularly welcome, volunteers are always on hand to answer any questions you may have" - Shere Museum

Shere Museum is now housed in the original Shere Parish Hall in Surrey, which was built to commemorate Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee in 1898 - see 1985 entry above

Shere Museum
Gomshall Lane
Shere
Surrey
GU5 9HE

Tel: 01483 202769 | WEBSITE

The first Reffell brewery was at nearby Gomshall, and was located behind the Black Horse and originates from 1817.
The currently closed Shere Museum is located in an old Malt House that dates from about 1830 and was used in the preparation of
the ingredients for the beer that was brewed at Gomshall.

There are currently two public houses in Shere; the White Horse and the William Bray (previously the Prince of Wales and before
that Cook's Beer House), both of which were at one time supplied with beer from the Gomshall Brewery.

MORE AT THE REFFELL FAMILY HISTORY WEBSITE

 

Other links / contacts

 

Local History Society

Contact - Keith Childs

 

Listed Buildings in Shere

WEBSITE

 

Exploring Surrey's Past

exploring surrey's past - Shere

 

British History On-line

Shere | British History online


Special Thanks...

...to Shere Museum for access and permission to publish some of the older photographs from their archives - Please visit and support the Village Museum on Gomshall Lane, Shere.