Peper Harrow
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Peper Harrow

Peper Harow
Peper Harrow House
Peper Harow is located in Surrey
Peper Harow
Peper Harow
Location within Surrey
Area5.34 km2 (2.06 sq mi)
Population185 (Civil Parish 2011)[1]
Density35/km2 (91/sq mi)
OS grid referenceSU932444
Civil parish
  • Peper Harow
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townGodalming
Postcode districtGU8
Dialling code01483
AmbulanceSouth East Coast
UK Parliament

Peper Harow is a rural village and civil parish in south-west Surrey close to the town of Godalming. It was a noted early cricket venue. Its easternmost fields are in part given up to the A3 trunk road.

Location and history

The name "Peper Harow" is very unusual and comes from Old English Pipers Hear(g) perhaps meaning, approximately "The pagan stone altar of the pipers"; however, hearg can also be haeg meaning more prosaically hedged enclosure (of the pipers), or even hay meadow. Pipers might mean musicians, or sandpipers (the green sandpiper and wood sandpiper are migrants to marsh and swampy ground - as this is).

Peper Harow appears in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Pipereherge. It was held by Girard (Gerard) from Walter, son of Othere. Its domesday assets were: 3 hides. It had 3 ploughs, 1 mill worth 15s, 7 acres (2.8 ha) of meadow. It rendered £5 per year to its feudal overlords. Later documented forms are: Pipereherge (11th century); Piperinges (13th century); Pyperhaghe (14th century).[2]

In the graveyard of St. Nicholas's Church (dating to 1301) is an ancient yew tree which has been dated to being 800 years old which could stand on the site of an old pagan site.[] Close to Peper Harow at Bonville Hanger Wood is a Holy well called Bonfield Spring that is also thought to have held pre-Christian religious significance.[]

Descent of the manor

Denzil Holles (who had no issue) died in 1694, and the manor reverted to John, Duke of Newcastle, his male heir who sold it in February 1699 - 1700 to Philip Frowde, who in 1713 sold it to Alan Brodrick, who was elevated to the Viscountcy of Midleton.

In 1725 this Viscount Midleton was 'expected to reside [in the manor] shortly, and was patron (sponsor) of the church, whose son died 1747. In the son's time his first cousin Vice-Admiral Thomas Brodrick also lived at the estate. George Brodrick, the third viscount died holding it in 1765. He was succeeded by his son George, created Baron Brodrick of Peper Harow in the Peerage of the United Kingdom, who died 1836. His son George Alan was succeeded in 1848 by his cousin Charles, grandson of the third viscount, who died in 1863. The manor passed to his brother, the Very Rev. W J Brodrick, who dying in 1870 was succeeded by his son William, appointed (for the year term) Lord Lieutenant of Surrey. This Viscount Midleton died in 1907, and was succeeded by his eldest son.[2]

21st-century history

St. Nicholas's church was almost destroyed by fire in December 2007.[3] The yew was unharmed and the church has been restored. Parts of the village are privately owned with restricted access.


Playing cricket at Peper Harow

Cricket has long been played here, with evidence of rules and matches dating to 1727.[4] In the 1720s, Peper Harow was the seat of Alan Brodrick, 1st Viscount Midleton who was succeeded by his son Alan Brodrick, 2nd Viscount Midleton in the viscountcy on 29 August 1728. Before succeeding, the latter made his mark as a cricket patron by arranging major matches against his friend Charles Lennox, 2nd Duke of Richmond. Records have survived of two such games that took place in the 1727 season.[5] These two games are highly significant because Richmond and Brodrick drew up Articles of Agreement beforehand to determine the rules that must apply in their contests. These were itemised in sixteen points.[6] It is believed that this was the first time that rules (or some part of the rules as in this case) were formally agreed, although rules as such definitely existed. The first full codification of the Laws of Cricket was done in 1744.[7]

Other activities

During the Second World War, Peper Harow was used as a holding area for Canadian Forces.[8] Part of the park not in the parish is used annually for point-to-point horse racing.[9][10]

Peper Harow House

Peper Harow House was built by Sir William Chambers for George Brodrick, 3rd Viscount Midleton in 1765. Still incomplete when the 3rd Viscount died (in 1765) it was completed by his son after he came of age. It is a Grade I listed building.[11]

Lancelot 'Capability' Brown landscaped the park in 1762-3, and many fine trees remain from this time. Particularly notable are the Lebanon Cedar. According to 'A History of the County of Surrey' published in 1911, the park and grounds at Peper Harow contained some fine timber at that time, notably the cedars of Lebanon, which were put in as seedlings from pots in 1735.[12]

Somerset Bridge

There is also an ancient bridge called Somerset Bridge which crosses the River Wey and connects Peper Harow with nearby Elstead.

The house was owned by the Midleton family until 1944 when it was sold to property developers. It, and the entire village, is now owned by a trust.

The Peper Harow Residential Community

Dovecote, Granary and Barn in the village of Peper Harrow

The Peper Harow residential community was founded in 1970 by Melvyn Rose and gained international repute for its pioneering work with disturbed adolescents. For over 20 years, this establishment provided a therapeutic environment for teenagers who had often suffered appalling abuse.

The Peper Harow therapeutic community was set up by Melvyn Rose who had been a house master at the approved school, Park House, that pre-dated the Peper Harow Community. All young people were assigned a personal mentor who developed close relationships with the children in their care. In keeping with the interest in eastern philosophy at the time these were, rather quaintly, known as "Gurus".

The residents and staff together took responsibility for the daily maintenance of the community and all contributed to cooking and cleaning. The young people were considered to be partners in the therapeutic endeavour and there was an expectation that everyone attended the daily community meetings. These meetings were the heart of the community and often young people were able to share and resolve very painful experiences from their past, and the daily difficulties and challenges of sixty adults and children living together could be addressed in a helpful way. Peper Harow was later sold and redeveloped into flats.

Demography and housing

2011 Census Homes
Output area Detached Semi-detached Terraced Flats and apartments Caravans/temporary/mobile homes shared between households[1]
(Civil Parish) 31 24 8 4 0 0

The average level of accommodation in the region composed of detached houses was 28%, the average that was apartments was 22.6%.

2011 Census Key Statistics
Output area Population Households % Owned outright % Owned with a loan hectares[1]
(Civil Parish) 185 67 43.3% 37.3% 534

The proportion of households in the civil parish who owned their home outright compares to the regional average of 35.1%. The proportion who owned their home with a loan compares to the regional average of 32.5%. The remaining % is made up of rented dwellings (plus a negligible % of households living rent-free).


  1. ^ a b c Key Statistics; Quick Statistics: Population Density United Kingdom Census 2011 Office for National Statistics Retrieved 21 November 2013
  2. ^ a b H.E. Malden (editor) (1911). "Parishes: Peper Harow". A History of the County of Surrey: Volume 3. Institute of Historical Research. Retrieved 2013.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  3. ^ Church information
  4. ^ Marshall, pp.45-48.
  5. ^ McCann, pp.6-7.
  6. ^ Birley, pp.18-19.
  7. ^ Birley, p.19.
  8. ^ People's War Archived 26 April 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ Bramley Historical Society (25 July 2005). "Tanks give way to bicycles". BBC.
  10. ^
  11. ^ Historic England. "Peper Harow Park (1435898)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 2018.
  12. ^


  • Birley, Derek (1999). A Social History of English Cricket. Aurum.
  • McCann, Tim (2004). Sussex Cricket in the Eighteenth Century. Sussex Record Society.
  • Marshall, John (1961). The Duke who was Cricket. Muller.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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