Explore Headley - Introduction


The village of Headley (meaning 'clearing in the heath') stands on high ground above a loop of the Southern River Wey. It is mentioned in the Domesday Book as 'Hallege'. The parish borders on Surrey and comprises a number of hamlets as well as the village itself: these are Standford, Arford, Headley Down, Barford. Wishanger, Sleaford, Trottsford ,and part of Hollywater.

These pages have been provided to give a brief view of Headley, picking some sites and stories. You will be able to follow a 'trail' of information points, or simply dip in as you come to them. For a map of the route - click here

Crown Cottage
The end gable of Crown Cottage - an example of galetting

Looking at the buildings in the village, there are some hints and clues to their age. The natural building materials of the district were timber, Bargate stone, bricks and clay tiles, so it is interesting to notice where a house has a slate roof - as in the case of the Old Rectory and Arford House. This may help in dating it too, as the transport of heavy materials over distances was easier with the introduction of canals and railways. Look for examples of galleting in the mortar of the oldest houses. Pieces of iron were pressed into the soft mortar - perhaps to decorate or strengthen the structure, or as others would have it, to ward off the devil.
Gilbert White of Selborne mentions visitors to his village who would ask "why the houses were fastened together with ten-penny nails ".  

Other indications of date are given by bricked up windows, seen in The White House and Wakeford's. This to avoid paying the window tax introduced in 1696 to fund new coinage replacing unmilled, and often clipped silver coins. Parson Woodeforde called the tax 'an impost laid upon the very light of heaven' - and bricked up three windows. The act for that tax was repealed in 1852, giving another date point of reference.

Another feature is the use of 'dentil eaves' - the rows of bricks laid diagonally either just below the roof overhang, or between two storeys - these are sometimes called 'soldiers' by local builders.

Please let us have any comments or observations by emailing - website@headley-village.com