Victorian and Edwardian Period
The sale of land following the Acts of Enclosure of the 1850s defined the limits and shape of the village. Wealthy families were attracted to the area, which became known as ‘Little Switzerland’ due to the healthy air and beautiful scenery. Its accessibility from the railway at Haslemere established Grayshott as a working village and a holiday destination. Early residents included Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (See Undershaw below), George Bernard Shaw and Flora Thompson (author of ‘Lark Rise to Candleford’ and ‘Heatherley’). This period established the pattern of the village with the valued balance of residential and commercial premises at its core.
Grayshott is fortunate in retaining a number of Victorian shopfronts which add to the character of the village and this period gave the village some fine examples of Victorian and Edwardian architecture, many of which are included in the conservation area.
Grayshott was counted as part of Headley parish until 1901 (ecclesiastical parish) and 1902 (civil parish). It is now the basis of Grayshott civil parish, which is part of East Hampshire District.
St. Luke’s Church, which is a part of the Guildford diocese, and Grayshott Primary School; both of these trace their origins to the 19th century. The National School was founded in 1871 on land provided by the architect Edward I’Anson, who had moved to the village ten years earlier. His descendants maintained a close connection to the area, his son made funds available for the construction of the church; many of these are buried and memorialised in its churchyard.
There was a steady growth in the number of attractive smaller properties examples of which can be seen in the area of Grayshott School, such as Beechanger Cottages and Whitmore Hill Cottages.
The residential area of Grayshott was significantly enlarged by the Kingswood Firs and Waggoners Wells estates in the 1960s, with their own characteristics of low-density housing, wide verges, many trees and narrow roads.