Rowledge lies in the southwest corner of Surrey, some three miles south west of the town of Farnham.
The Ecclesiastical Parish of Rowledge is probably unique in that it straddles the Hampshire Border, with St James’ Church and the School being located in Hampshire. It was formed in 1869 from parts of Farnham, Frensham and Binsted (Hampshire) parishes and includes the hamlets of Holt Pound and Bucks Horn Oak in Hampshire.
The area was originally agricultural or common land and comprised several large farms and scattered cottages, several of which still exist. In the 1841 Census, there were only about 50 dwellings and 250 inhabitants within the boundaries of what is now known as Rowledge. A big country house, Fir Grove House, later rebuilt as Frensham Heights by Charles Charrington, the brewer, and now a private school, is situated in the southern part of the parish. A rather haphazard pattern of trackways and footpaths traversed the area which still exist today and formed the basis for the present-day road network.
The coming of the railways to Farnham in 1848 and the development of Aldershot as the home of the British Army in 1854, resulted in an influx of wealthy businessmen and Army officers, and saw the construction of many large houses in the late Victorian era.Tradesmen and service providers established themselves. The area was important for hop growing, supporting the brewing industry in Farnham.
The Parish Church of St James’ was built in 1869 and the School in 1872. The Methodist Church was established in 1875 and a new building erected in 1886. By 1871, a recognisable centre to the Village was established, with a post office, shops, public house and transport links to Farnham.
Further development, particularly in the early 1900’s, followed the established road network and gradually filled in the open fields, creating the present-day village of Rowledge.
In 1914 the Village Hall was built and the Recreation Ground became the centre for local cricket. Tennis and Bowls Clubs were established in the 1920’s and 1930’s. Another surge in development took place in the 1960’s and 1970’s, including Rowledge’s first and only, housing estate in 1972.
Rowledge has a strong sense of community. There is a thriving “centre” with an excellent butcher, post office and convenience store, newsagent, hairdresser and garage, and two public houses.
Church and School (including Pre-School) are very active and there is a wide variety of local societies, sports and social activities, centred on the Village Hall, St. James' Church, Methodist Church Hall, Rowledge Club and the Recreation Ground.
The Village is renowned for the Rowledge Village Fayre held annually on Spring Bank Holiday Monday at the Recreation Ground. The Fayre raises a significant amount of money for local charities and is attended by large numbers of local residents and visitors from miles around.
Many residents are commuters and a significant number of residents are retired (some 23%). The excellent local school has attracted lots of young families which provides a good mix of age groups. They enjoy the good quality of life in a friendly, welcoming community with lots going on for all age groups.
For example, the Village Hall is very well utilised on weekdays with a morning playgroup every day, beavers, cubs and scouts, ballet, drama, art, playball and toddler groups for children. Adults are catered for with Pilates, yoga, salsa dancing, badminton, art and amateur dramatics. Typically, approximately 700 people pass through in a week. At weekends the Hall is regularly hired for childrens parties and adult celebrations.
Friday mornings at the "Coffee Spot " in the Village Hall has become a very popular place to meet friends over coffee and a piece of delicious cake. The local Neighbourhood Police drop in regularly, as do our local Councillors and MP, to keep abreast of residents issues and concerns.
Rowledge won the Community category in the Fullers Surrey Village of the Year Competition in 2010 and narrowly missed (by one point) being Surrey Village of the Year.