High Street

There are many postcards of Chobham High Street. Sometimes it can be difficult to date these views. The following may give some clues:

St Lawrence Church
Before 1797 to sometime after 1850 St Lawrence has porch with stocks over churchyard entrance. The stocks were removed by the Common Warden (William Burrows?) who came to Chobham in 1850

1824 St Lawrence east chancel windows rectangular

After 1824 chancel was modernised; east chancel windows converted from rectangular to three lancelate with round window above. However this work seemed to leave the corners of the chancel looking rather tacky – apparent mortar infill. The roof apex higher than that of nave, but lower at eaves height.

1866 St Lawrence north aisle constructed, gallery removed, high-backed pews removed

1883 Screen erected

1890 Organ installed

1898 St Lawrence chancel rebuilt properly with corner stones; top round window deleted, reroofed so that it was lower than roof of nave at apex. South transept rebuilt

1899 Vestry enlarged

1900 – acquired clock faces on three sides of tower

1911 hoop-supported gas lamp at church wall entrance

1939 church wall 5ft tall at front

Church wall high before 1906; low by 1960s

c 1951 churchyard gravestones removed by Acworth

1954 Church Hall built

1955 Spire and tower repaired.

High Street
Barclay’s Bank building replaced house beside old cottage By 1905 –

Benhams ‘corn & meats’ in pine shop built1906

Benhams corner roundabout installed1935 ; trees planted on green at Jubilee of 1935.

1903 Smallholdings and timber framed houses along Station Rd north side

Frogpool/Florida House south gable natural brick 1939

Horse & Groom – before 1905


Gas lighting – outside Kings Head 1890s. Medhurst seems to have gas in 1935

Electric lighting – village connected to electricity 1938 (Helen Parvyn); but possible electric lights opposite church in jubilee 1935?

Medhurst tobacconist/newsagent in ‘chemist shop’ 1898-1938

Old Kings Head demolished Autumn 1964/Spring 65 – Bill Dines remembers seeing it when he came house hunting in autumn 1964 but was gone in April 65 when he moved in.

Penny farthing dormer windows. After 1935; before 1960

Pollarded limes outside butchers; visible 1890s- 1907; gone by 1924

St Lawrence School built 1910? – but Voting postcard shows St Lawrence 1904?

The Sun

was Simmonds (Reading) but acquired by Courage in 1960. Simmonds brewery closed 1979.

coach houses beside burnt down 1950s. Chobham Fire Brigade arrived promptly but could not get their pumps working; fire not put out till Woking brigade arrived. Bottles of pop exploding; telegraph pole caught fire – Chris Belcher.

Telegraph poles. You can date views by the number of cross-pieces on the telegraph poles.

outside Sun; no cross piece 1903, 1906, 1907

opposite church 1 cp 1904, 2 cp 1935

on Benhams corner 4 cp 1938

White Hart painted white1939

shops opposite Chobham Museum parade of built 1960(Barry Catchpole has deeds); roof tiles of previous building (barn?) reused for shop roofs.

1965 the 5 old white wooden-framed buildings on the lower east side of High St were owned by the Belchers who converted them sympathetically to shops and a restaurant. Much brick infill and wattle and daub replaced but timbers remained intact.

Trees along leat

tree at end of leat still standing1970s

trees along leat seem to be about 20 years old in 1903ish.

Scots pine in grounds of Chobham House fell during ‘hurricane’ 1989 – Chris Belcher