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Coordinates: 51°09′46″N 0°47′56″W / 51.1627, -0.799

Surrey UK location map
Red pog.svg

Red pog.svg Frensham shown within Surrey
Population 1,677 [1]
OS grid reference SU840410
District Waverley
Shire county Surrey
Region South East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town Farnham
Postcode district GU10
Dialling code 01252
Police Surrey
Fire Surrey
Ambulance South East Coast
EU Parliament South East England
UK Parliament South West Surrey
List of places: UK • England • Surrey

Frensham is a village in Surrey, England, beside the A287, 13 miles (20.9 km) south west of Guildford. Neighbouring villages include Millbridge, Shortfield Common, Dockenfield, Spreakley, Batt's Corner and Rushmoor. Frensham lies on the River Wey. Farnham is the nearest main town and it is 3.5 miles (5.6 km) to the north. The majority of the land around Frensham is located in a green belt. The non-agricultural land surrounding the village is mainly open heathland and birch woodland.

Planning permission is being discussed for a potential mineral zone for the extraction of sand and gravel near Frensham Manor.[2]

Frensham Common is owned by the National Trust and is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). It covers about 1,000 acres[3] and comprises a large area of heathland, together with some coniferous and mixed woodland. There are two large ponds, known as Frensham Great and Little Ponds, which were built in the Middle Ages to provide fish for the Bishop of Winchester's estate.

History Edit

Mesolithic camp or living sites have been discovered around Frensham.[4] Hundreds of Bronze Age arrowheads have been found around Frensham and there are several tumuli (burial sites). In 688 AD, King Caedwalla of Wessex made a charter conveying to the Catholic church 60 hides of land that included Farnham, Frensham and Churt. This became the property of Hedda, Bishop of Winchester.

The origins of the name Frensham come from 'Frena's ham'. Frena was the name of either a Danish Earl who was killed in the battle of Ashdown in the year 871, or of a Saxon who was driven south from Northumberland by the Danes in 993. The second part 'ham' means 'settlement', and is also from where we get the word 'home', so Frensham is 'Frena's settlement'.

In 1348, Frensham suffered from the plague. Before it ceased in 1350, fifty-two area farms had become desolate.

Locally clay was extracted from around Frensham for Farnham Pottery.

In the 17th century, farmers focused primarily on hop growing and sheep rearing.

During the Second World War, tanks based in the Headley area used Frensham Common for training,[5] whilst Canadian soldiers used to gallop across the Common.[6] At this time, Frensham Great and Little Ponds were drained as otherwise they would have provided markers for German bombers.[7] In the 1960s boxy little rowing boats were available for hire on the Little Pond from a boathouse near the road.

St Mary's ChurchEdit

Originally a chapelry of Farnham, the present St Mary's church was dedicated in 1239, having been moved from its previous site on low ground beside the River Wey. The move was probably due to the massive storms of the 1230s which flooded Waverley Abbey (6 km downstream) to a depth of 1.75 m.

The chancel is the oldest part of the church, its walls being those of the original building, the 13th century niches, piscina and aumbry. The tower is 14th century, with massive diagonal buttresses and eight bells dated between 1627 and the 19th century. The porch is restored but is believed to be 15th century. The north aisle was built in 1827, and the whole church was subject to a major restoration in 1868.

The font, of Purbeck Marble, is early medieval but its carvings are nearly obliterated. The organ was installed in 1871 with subsequent modernisations. The exterior of the building is of local sandstone, flint and rubble, with evidence of endless repair and reconstruction.[8]


The population of Frensham in 1851 was 714.[9] Today the area of Frensham, Dockenfield and Tilford has a total population of 3,961.[10]


Frensham post office and village shop is a community run shop and celebrated its tenth anniversary in January 2006.

There are four local schools: St Mary's Church of England Infants' School, Frensham Heights, Edgeborough and More House.

Frensham Great Pond, lying within Frensham Common, extends over 100 acres (0.40 km2) and is a centre for sailing activities.[11] In the summer, Surrey County Council provides a lifeguard to supervise the swimming area. However, the pond sometimes suffers from eutrophication due to excess run-off of nitrate fertilisers from nearby arable land. The occasional presence of blue-green algae means that official advice regarding swimming varies, as indicated by notices at the water's edge. The smaller Frensham Little Pond is a scenic area for picnics - no swimming or sailing is permitted here.


  1. ^ Census data
  2. ^ Surrey Planning Department Notice (downloaded 8/12)
  3. ^ Waverley Borough Council: Frensham Common
  4. ^ Extracts from 'A Frensham History' by Robert Hickling
  5. ^ BBC WW2 People's War Stories
  6. ^ BBC WW2 People's War Stories
  7. ^ BBC WW2 People's Stories
  8. ^ St Mary's Church
  9. ^ A Vision of Britain through time.
  10. ^ Census Data
  11. ^ BBC Guide to Surrey

External linksEdit

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Frensham. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.

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