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Thursday June 29th 2017

History

Bletchingley can be traced back as far as Saxon times and was subsequently mentioned in the Domesday book. It is still possible to find signs of this long history today, parts of the Church date back to 1100 with considerable enlargements in the 13th century. This distinctive Norman church, St Mary’s, can be found to the east of the village.

In 1225 there is mention of Bletchingley as a borough. In the middle ages a borough was created either by the King or one of the Lords as a potentially profitable element in the development of their estates.

It appears that after the 14th century Bletchingley began to lose its importance as a borough, perhaps losing out to the market town of Reigate. However, at one point it managed to acheive the status of a rotten borough! Parliamentary elections were held in what is now the White Hart.

A number of public footpaths and bridleways can be found both to the north and south of the village which not only allow access to the countryside but also provide the opportunity to stumble across some other interesting buildings.

The house at Place Farm formed the gatehouse of Blechingley Place; a great Tudor house, which Anne of Cleves occupied after her marriage to Henry VIII, was annulled.

This long history means that it is still possible to see several buildings that date back to around 1500 in the High Street area. Also to the north can be found Brewer Street Farm (15th century) and the Old Rectory (1786).

Bletchingley today still manages to keep in touch with its medieval roots and strives to maintain the character of the village. The central part of the village is a conservation area and is set in a designated area of outstanding natural beauty.

Visitors can enjoy one of the many walks in the area and have the choice of four pubs in the village to take some refreshment.

Further History links:

The old School in Bletchingley

Hawthorns School 

Bletchingley War Memorial 

Buses 

Pubs of the past

Bletchingley Castle

 

 

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