Thursley shown within Surrey
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|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Ambulance||South East Coast|
|EU Parliament||South East England|
|UK Parliament||South West Surrey|
|List of places: UK • England • Surrey|
Thursley is a small village in Surrey. It lies just west of the A3 running between Milford and Hindhead. Neighbouring villages include Rushmoor, Witley and Brook. Thursley is in south-west Surrey, in south-east England. It is near Punch Bowl Farm and the Devil's Punch Bowl.
The village's name came from Old English Þunres lēah meaning "grove or meadow" of the god Thunor or Thor (in his northern guise); it was probably a site where he was worshipped. There is a rocky outcrop near the village referred to in Victorian guides to the area as Thor's Stone. This stone, according to the Surrey Archaeological Collection (volume 88), is first mentioned in Saxon times as being "near Peper Harow", an adjacent parish with known pagan connections. The precise stone or rocks this refers to is now uncertain with some sources indicating it could be the rocky outcrop and others suggesting it may be an ancient Celtic boundary stone found on the margin of Pudmore pond on Ockley Common.
The small parish church, dedicated to St Michael, has a timber shingled spire, and a Saxon window in the chancel. The remains of a gnarled ancient tree are nearby. In the churchyard there is the gravestone of the Unknown Sailor.
Thursley is also notable for its common, a National Nature Reserve and SSSI which is one of the few surviving areas of lowland peat bog in southern Britain providing a particularly rich habitat for dragonflies and damselflies along with many other species including the endangered woodlark and Dartford warbler. In July 2006 during a heat wave that affected southern England, 60% of the common was seriously damaged by fire.
There have been several military camps in the parish. Between 1922 and 1957 there existed Thursley Camp (from 1941 renamed Tweedsmuir Camp) to the north west of the village which housed British, Canadian and American forces at various times. On the 7th November 1942 it was bombed by the German air force. After world war two it was used to house displaced Poles. To the west was Houndown Camp which was used by the British Royal Marines.
Sir Edwin Lutyens, the architect, grew up in the village and some of his earliest work is to be found there. It was whilst walking in the surrounding area that he developed his love and appreciation of vernacular buildings.
- ^ English Nature - Thursley Common Fire
- ^ Tweedsmuir Military Camp
- ^ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monica_Edwards#The_Punch_Bowl_Farm_series
- Thursley Parish 2008: Village Design Statement
- The River Wey Twins Meet Tilford to Elstead – Features and information on Thursley
- Thursley pictures – pictures and information on Thursley common
- ST. MICHAEL & ALL ANGELS, THURSLEY: PARISH PROFILE 22 MARCH 2010
- Stained Glass Windows at St. Michael & All Angels, Thursley, Surrey
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