Facts about Haslemere
Haslemere is a town in the borough of Waverley in Surrey, England. It is north-east of the tripoint with Hampshire and West Sussex. Centred 12 miles (19 km) southwest of Guildford, it is the most southerly town in Surrey. All parts of the town are east of the A3, the main road between London and Portsmouth which passes underneath Hindhead, adjoining the many small, wooded, hillside or hilltop neighbourhoods closely associated with the largely Victorian town itself. The town has a newer Shottermill part, west of its station so has two hubs of services, retail and high street leisure.
The earliest record of Haslemere was in 1221 as a Godalming tithing. The name describes hazel trees standing beside a mere (lake). The lake does not exist today, but there is a natural spring in West Street which could have been its source. High Street is a watershed: water, west, flows to the North Sea via the Wey; water, east, goes to the English Channel via the River Arun. In the 14th century Haste (or East) Hill was the main local settlement and there may have been a church, given its records as “Churchliten field” and the “Old church-yard” of Haslemere Haslemere was granted a charter by Richard II in 1394. This right was confirmed by a new charter issued by Elizabeth I in 1596. Today, this special status is celebrated with the Charter fair, held once every two years in the High Street. There is a bust of Elizabeth I in Charter Walk, linking West Street with one of its two main car parks.
The town was one of the rotten boroughs, returning two Members of Parliament until the Reform Act of 1832: one was Carew Raleigh the son of Sir Walter Raleigh. Haslemere’s borough expanded into the surrounding Haslemere parish and recovered with the construction of the Portsmouth Direct Line, which connected Haslemere with London Waterloo and Portsmouth Harbour railway stations. In Victorian Britain Haslemere became a fashionable place to live and continues to be a commuter town for London, and to a lesser extent Portsmouth, served by Haslemere railway station