The village centre
Elstead shown within Surrey
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Ambulance||South East Coast|
|EU Parliament||South East England|
|UK Parliament||South West Surrey|
Elstead is a village and civil parish in Surrey, England with shops, houses and cottages spanning north and south sides of the River Wey; development concentrated on two roads that meet at a central green. It includes Peat Common its southern neighbourhood, named after a recreation area and cricket ground on Thursley Road. Hamlets in the parish, marginally separated from the village centre, are Charleshill and Elstead Common, both rich in woodland. Elstead is about 3.6 kilometres (2.2 mi) west of the A3 Milford interchange lying between Guildford and Godalming.
Elstead's relative prosperity over the centuries can be partly attributed to the existence of a large watermill and a significant bridge over the river, parts of which are dated to around 700 years old.
Elstead Mill, now a pub and restaurant, was occupied by Oliver Cromwell’s ‘roundhead’ army during the English Civil War but subsequently burnt down. The present structure is therefore supported by its architecture listed as dating to the 17th century.
The first known reference to Elstead is in the 1128 foundation charter for Waverley Abbey (sometimes spelt Waverly), where it was called Helestede. The church of St James was built around ten years later. It still contains 13th century windows and some 14th century timbers and is a Grade II* listed building.
In the 14th century, the Scheduled ancient monument bridge was built over the River Wey. Today this old bridge, strengthened by Surrey County Council in 1993, takes the westward traffic; eastward traffic takes the new bridge alongside.
Elstead had a forge which was built in 1686 but is now a private house.
During the 18th and 19th centuries, Elstead was known for the quality and quantity of carrots grown there, with daily shipments by train from nearby Milford Station up to London's Covent Garden market during the growing season. This is attributed to the light sandy soils in the village which are excellent for carrot growing.
A Speed Watch scheme covers Elstead Village to encourage drivers to reduce their speed through the village intended to reduce the nuisance caused by commuters and other traffic passing through the village.
The western hamlet on the opposite bank of the River Wey of Charleshill on the B3001 to Farnham is half in Tilford, south of Crooksbury Common. Its public house is called The Donkey. It was originally converted from two small cottages in 1850 and at that time was owned by Farnham United Brewery and originally called The Half-way House. During that time it acquired the nickname of “The Donkey”, as before the days of motor traffic, donkeys were kept tethered outside the Inn to help the horses and carts up the hill; officially becoming this in 1947.
||Seale and Sands
Moor Park, Runfold
|Gatwick (the hamlet) in
Pubs and places to eat
Elstead has four pubs. The Golden Fleece, The Woolpack and The Mill are all on the Milford Road. The fourth, Barstead, is located at the recreation ground on Thursley Road. There is also a Chinese restaurant, Pang's Lodge, across from St James Primary School on the Thursley Road and a fish and chip shop on the Milford Road, near the United Reformed Church. There is also a Thai Restaurant within the Golden Fleece pub. Bentley's Restaurant occupies the 17th century Grade II* mill.
- Census data
- Details from listed building database (1188415). National Heritage List for England. English Heritage.
- Details from listed building database (1044454). National Heritage List for England. English Heritage.
- History of Elstead Church
- Details from listed building database (1005921). National Heritage List for England. English Heritage.
- History and the Donkey
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Elstead|
- Elstead Village News Website
- St James' Church photo
- St James Primary School website
- Elstead Community Speed Watch
- Federal Mogul Camshafts