Grayshott is a village in Hampshire, England which has a RICH and interesting history

From WikipediaThe earliest reference to Grayshott found by Jack Hayden Smith, a Grayshott inhabitant and local historian, is in Winchester Bishopric records as Gravesetta (1185) and Graveschete (1200). In 1533 it was called Graveshotte, and the named changed to its current spelling probably in the 18th century. The shott suffix in local names refers to springs flowing from the sandstone rock strata.

You can find extensive information on the history of Grayshott at the Grayshott Village Archive website.


History of Grayshott

You can find extensive information on the history of Grayshott at the Grayshott Heritage website.

Records show that there was a sparse settlement here from the 12th Century but it was not until the Victorian era 150 years or so ago that we see the emergence of a village.

St. Luke’s Church has passed its centenary, as have the Village Hall, the School, the Fox & Pelican and the laundry building (now Grayshott Pottery). These and many other amenities were created by the generosity of local landowners and have been well supported over the decades by the villagers.

The attractiveness of Grayshott has increased its popularity and has drawn residents, commerce and trade.


Pre-Victorian Period

Until the railway arrived at nearby Haslemere in 1859, Grayshott, or ‘Graveshotte’ (signifying ‘a clearing in the woods’) was never more than a hamlet of small farms, broomsquires’ cottages and a haunt for notorious brigands. As recorded in the Domesday Book, Grayshott was within Headley Parish and part of the ‘Waste of the Manor’ of Sutton. Ownership was passed from King Stephen (1135 – 1154) to his brother Henry of Blois, Bishop of Winchester. Later, when that manor was divided, Grayshott became part of the Manor of Wishanger. ‘Wakeners Wells’ (now known as Waggoners Wells), was created in the 17th century by the Hooke family of Bramshott. Some traces of this early period remain in the broomsquires cottages of Stoney Bottom and Whitmore Vale, in the outlines of holding pens for livestock along the drovers’ road in Stoney Bottom and in dry sandstone walls and boundary banks. The sites of some original farms are known: for example Grayshott Farm and Bull’s Toft, now known as Grayshott Hall and The Old Farmhouse (Headley Road). Many of Grayshott’s footpaths and bridleways, so much a feature of the village, were established in those days.


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.

Three times ‘Hampshire Village of the Year’ and National winner of ’Business in the Community’

If you would like to learn more about the various awards Grayshott has won, please see this section on the archive version of The previous website can be found at "". 

2002 Hampshire Village of the Year

Grayshott competed against 40 other villages and the fact that Grayshott won reflects the amount of involvement, hard work, commitment and enthusiasm shown by it’s organisers and residents.


2002 Business Village of the Year for Southern and South East England

Grayshott was the first village to win this special award also winning the regional business village of the year award for Southern and South East England. 


2002 Business in the Community Award Winner for England and Wales

A winners plaque is presented by HRH Princess Anne. Dick Smith and Phil Bates receive the award on behalf of BIG at a special award ceremony in London hosted by BBC presenter John Humphry.

2005 Hampshire Village of the Year

Grayshott enters for the second time in 2005 Grayshott wins the Hampshire Village of the Year award for the second time running Grayshott is chosen to host the awards ceremony.


2005 Grayshott Hosts Hampshire Village of the Year Awards Ceremony

A proud day for Grayshott as we host the 2005 award ceremony at Grayshott Village Hall and Grayshott receives the winners plaque. View photos of the day on Flickr.


2005 Best Village Award for Business in the Community South England

Village of the year judges were invited to a BIG reception at Grayshott Social Club Grayshott was presented with the winners certificate by Alan Titchmarch Dick Smith, Phil Bates, Peter Hatch receive the award.


2007 East Hampshire Village of the Year

For an unprecedented third time, Grayshott has won “Best Village” award in the 2007 ‘Love Your Village’ Calor Hampshire Village of the Year Competition.


2008 Best Business in the Community Award

The Buy In Grayshott Group (BIG) have won yet another prestigious award Scooping “The Best Business In The Community Award” In The Hampshire Village Of The Year Competition.


2010 Hampshire Village of the Year Runners up

Grayshott has once again been chosen as runners up In the Hampshire Village of The Year competition Received a certificate on Saturday the 23 of Oct 2010.


2011 Business and Community Together

Grayshott is recognised for the fourth time In The Hampshire Village of the Year Competition For Putting Business In The Community together.


2014 Regeneration & Improvement of Community Facilities & Infrastructure

Grayshott is joint winner for this special category and comes 3rd Overall in The Hampshire and Isle of Wight Village of the Year Competition.


2016 Grayshott announced as Champion of Champions!

Grayshott was honoured with the title Champion of Champions after another raft of awards in a competition for Hampshire communities.


The Village Awards Plaques

These can be viewed on the outside front wall of the Fox & Pelican.