A brief history of Frensham and the great Frensham Ponds

Frensham village is situated in the south west of Surrey and is its Ponds are very well know in the area. Today the parish consists of the villages of Frensham and Rushmoor with Frensham Common and Ponds between them.

Evidence exists that the area has been settled for over 8000 years. Mesolithic pit dwellings at the bottom of the Devil’s Jumps, and Neolithic axes and tools around Spreakley and the Ponds. Hundreds of Bronze Age arrowheads were found, and several barrow burial sites at Spreakley, Gong Hill and the King’s Ridge. Frensham and Tilford probably had a big population 3000 years ago.

At the time of the Roman invasion of 43 AD, Iron Age Celts had settled in the area. After the Romans left, lot of Saxons came to Surrey. The remains of weaving huts dating back to 550 AD were found at the foot of Firgrove Hill. In 688 AD King Caedwalla’s charter granted the Church 60 hides of land including Frensham, Churt and Farnham. So the area became associated with the diocese of Winchester.

In 893 AD, a Danish raiding party lost their battle to the Saxons under King Alfred’s son, Edward. The battle took place somewhere between Gong Hill, Tilford and Spreakley.

The popular Frensham Pond is thought to have existed since around 1200. A small area on the east side of the pond is thought to be very ancient. There are Mesolithic remains on both sides of the Pond.

The Little Pond, which was once called Crowsfoot, was built by the orders of Bishop de Ralegh in 1246 and was stocked with fish including bream, pike and carp.

Frensham today is very different. The hop fields and oast houses are gone and have been converted into houses. Just two farms are still there, Pierrepont and Pitts, and the increase in private transport has sadly seen the closure of most local shops. But there is still one of the best pubs in Farnham.

Only twenty years ago there were four shops, two post offices, butchers, a bank and three garages selling petrol. That is now reduced to one PO/stores.

However, there is an huge demand for houses and land, particularly equestrian. Tourism is flourishing with the beauty of the Ponds and Frensham ponds are a beautiful tourist hotspot for visitors from near and far.

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