The Villages of The Surrey Hills
Sheltering within the hills and valleys of The Surrey Hills are villages and hamlets an important ingredient the character of this area. Every village is different, but there are certain common characteristics associated with the archetypal English village. The village church, for example, some of which date back to Norman or early medieval times much of the history of the community it serves. The village green is another feature, often a survival of the days when it was common land with rights for villagers to graze their animals. Improperly grazed animals were impounded and the village pound still survives in Westcott and Brockham. The picturesque village pub is another important feature; a welcome site for many visitors and walkers.
The village centres today are designated conservation areas in recognition of the historic and architectural importance of their buildings. Their characters often reflect the local and traditional building materials and traditions. As an introduction to the villages of The Surrey Hills the following pages look at groups of villages:
- The villages of Mickleham, Westhumble and Headley of the chalk Downs.
- The villages of Betchworth, Brockham and Buckland within the Holmesdale Valley, east of Dorking.
- The villages of The Weald: Charlwood,Newdigate, Capel, Ockley and Leigh.
- The villages of the Greendsand Hills:Holmbury St Mary, Shere, Wotton, Abinger Hammer, Abinger Common and Westcott.
Many villages now have their own websites; villagesonline.com aims to co-ordinate links to these sites