WONERSH
© Wonersh History Society - www.wonershhistory.co.uk (WHS)
HISTORY SOCIETY
1851 - The year of the Great Exhibition A small village of well under a hundred households, Wonersh has remained a virtually self-contained village with relatively little change ever since the collapse of the West Surrey wool trade at, or just after, the end of Elizabeth the First’s reign. It consisted only of the single street with Wonersh House, extended in the 18th century, on the site of the present Church Green. There are also groups of cottages in enclosures north along the Common and the older large houses (the Tangleys, Lostiford Mill) with associated farm buildings and cottages.
1897 – Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria Wonersh started expanding in the 1870s with the construction of the Lawnsmead Cottages for workers in the Chilworth tanneries. Travel outside the village to work would otherwise probably still have been unusual, though the railway through Bramley will have provided the impetus for wealthier professional people to live in the village and work in Guildford or even London.
1935 – Silver Jubilee of George V Increasing mobility for the rich by car, for the less well off by train or the now ubiquitous bus allowed people to live further from their work and Wonersh continued to grow, albeit slowly by later standards. The original Wonersh (Park) House had been demolished in 1929 and the Church Green built and given to the village. The Memorial Hall had been built as a practical memorial to those killed in the First World War.
1952 – Accession of Elizabeth II In a short 17 years, including the six years of the Second World War, Wonersh virtually doubled in size. The desire and ability, given cheaper travel, to live in an attractive village made it possible for large areas of land to be sold and developed very rapidly; these were Wonersh Park and the former Seminary playing fields (between Barnett Lane and the Common). As after the First World War, the village’s memorial to the Second World War was a practical one the construction of the Recreation Ground on a piece of wooded and boggy common land near the centre of the village.
1977 – Silver Jubilee of Elizabeth II The past 25 years have seen, compared with the previous 17 years, relatively small additions to the village the establishing of control over development by Town and Country Planning, including limitation of village expansion in the area, limits additions to the ‘completion’ of development in the north-east corner and infilling elsewhere. The increase in car ownership, amongst other reasons, leads to the Guildford-Horsham railway following the Wey-Arun Canal into oblivion.
THE DEVELOPMENT OF WONERSH
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