WONERSH
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HISTORY SOCIETY

THE GRANTLEY ARMS

According to the pub’s sign, The Grantley Arms was established in 1590 although British Listed Buildings describe it as a 15th Century building. WHAT’S IN A NAME? The Grantley Arms has changed its name a number of times: in 1687 it was called The Hector Inn; in 1719 it became The George; in 1723 it was back to being The Hector Inn again. The name ‘The Grantley Arms’ cannot be any earlier than 1782 because it was then that Fletcher Norton became a peer and took the title Baron Grantley of Markenfield. LICENSEES When the photograph opposite was taken, the landlord was William May. At the time of the first Grantley sale in 1884 (when Wonersh Park was sold to John Sudbury) it was George Bird, said to have been Lord Grantley’s butler. Rumour has it that he either won the pub from Lord Grantley in a gambling game or that the pub was given to him in lieu of wages. No later than 1898 W C Callingham was licensee. Various photographs show that the pub has been altered considerably over the years - windows have been added and enlarged; doors have been put in, taken out and put in again. CARRIAGES FOR HIRE A board underneath the left-hand window in this photograph advertises open and closed carriages for hire. It appears The Grantley Arms did a good trade in carriage hire and had considerable stabling at the back, much of which survives although altered. THINGS THAT GO BUMP IN THE NIGHT In the History Society Bulletin of Autumn 1999, Vivien Cockran of The Grantley Arms told of two ghosts. One was a lady in grey who haunted the bakery part of the restaurant, originally a bottle store, and the other a man, said to be a traveller spending the night who was murdered for his money. A restaurant customer, a Mrs Washington who lived in one of the Grantley Cottages, stayed at the Grantley during the war and said a ghost used to lift the latch on her bedroom door and pull her bedclothes off. She was interviewed by the Surrey Advertiser when they were writing an article in 1958/59 about the disturbances at the Grantley at Christmas. One evening Vivien Cockran and several customers witnessed a big Christmas tree thrown across the room and customers in the bar were astonished to witness the glass shelves and bottles in the cocktail bar thrown across the bar to land on the other side. Spooky!