Gibbet Hill, Hindhead
Hindhead is located in Surrey
Location within Surrey
Population3,874 [1][2]
4,292 (2011 Census. Ward)[3]
OS grid referenceSU886360
Civil parish
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townHindhead
Postcode districtGU26
Dialling code01428
AmbulanceSouth East Coast
UK Parliament
List of places
51°07′02″N 0°44′05″W / 51.1172°N 0.7348°W / 51.1172; -0.7348

Hindhead is a village in the Waverley district of the ceremonial county of Surrey, England. It is the highest village in the county and its buildings are between 185 metres (607 ft) and 253 metres (830 ft) above sea level. The village forms part of the Haslemere parish.[4] Situated on the county border with Hampshire, it is best known as the location of the Devil's Punch Bowl, a beauty spot and site of special scientific interest.

The A3 between Portsmouth and London was crossed by the A287 between Hook and Haslemere. The A3 now passes under Hindhead in the Hindhead Tunnel and its route along the Punch Bowl has been removed and landscaped, but the crossroads still exists for local traffic, as a double mini-roundabout.[5] Hindhead is 11 miles (18 km) south-west of Guildford and on the border with Hampshire. It is a ward in the district of Waverley, and part of the civil parish of Haslemere. The ward, which includes Beacon Hill, had a population of 4,292 at the 2011 Census.[3] The name "Hindhead" is first attested in 1571, and means "hill frequented by hinds", or female deer.[6]


Land use, elevations and soil types

The settled parts of the village are elevated relative to all of the surrounding parishes and are a mixture of paved streets and wooded roads as well as agricultural smallholdings, which are few compared with other parts of Waverley District. Hindhead has the 2nd and 13th highest hills in Surrey: Gibbet Hill and Hatch Farm Hill, at 272 metres (892 ft) and 211 metres (692 ft) above sea level respectively.[7] These rise gradually from the rest of the village towards the north of the Greensand Ridge, upon which the village wholly lies. The soil is near its surface a sort of crumbly sandstone here known as greensand which breaks up forest into acidic heathland in many places. It supports endemic types of fungi, ferns, gorse and heather.[8]


The north of the village forms the Devil's Punch Bowl, a large wooded beauty spot and a site of special scientific interest. Much of the north and east of the village is rolling woodland which forms part of the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.


Stone commemorating the murder of an unknown sailor on Hindhead Common

This area was notorious for highwaymen. In 1736, Stephen Phillips, a robber tried and convicted at the Old Bailey, admitted to the Newgate chaplain to having stolen 150 guineas in gold on the road towards London. In 1786, three men were convicted of the murder of an unknown sailor on his way from London to rejoin his ship, a deed commemorated by several memorials in the area. The perpetrators were hung in chains to warn others on Gibbet Hill, a short walk away on top of the Devil's Punch Bowl. With an increase in traffic and opening of the London to Portsmouth railway line removing much of the road transport of freight, such incidents reduced during the 19th century.[9][10]

Hindhead became a substantial settlement in the late 19th century. In 1904 a temporary mission church was built to serve the new community. An architectural competition to design a permanent church, that of St Albans in Beacon Hill, was held in 1906, and John Duke Coleridge (1879–1934) was chosen as the architect. The first phase, comprising the chancel, north chapel, transept and the lower stage of a projected bell tower, was completed by 1907, and the church gained its own parish in the same year. A series of windows by the Arts and Crafts designers Karl Parsons and Christopher Whall were installed in the unfinished church between 1908 and 1912. The three eastern bays of the nave were consecrated in 1915, but the two western bays were not built until 1929–31; the bell-tower was never completed and became in effect a south transept. There followed two additional stained-glass windows: by Christopher Webb in 1945 and by Francis Skeat in 1950. A large vestry extension was added in 1964. A fire in 1999 destroyed the original high altar and reredos paintings.[11][12]

Notable people

Undershaw in Conan Doyle's day


For the purposes of local government, Hindhead is within the civil parish of Haslemere, the district of Waverley and the county of Surrey. Hindhead forms a ward for elections to Haslemere Town Council and Waverley Borough Council, and is part of the Waverley Western Villages electoral division for Surrey County Council elections. The ward elects a single county councillor, two district councillors and five town councillors.[22][23][24][25]

Hindhead is within the UK constituency of South West Surrey and was in the European constituency of South East England.[22]


The southern portal of the Hindhead Tunnel

Until 2011, Hindhead village was situated on the main A3 road between London and Portsmouth. In that year, a £371 million bypass was completed, reducing the amount of traffic passing through the village. The bypass includes the 1.9-mile (3.1 km) twin-bore tunnel, the longest non-estuarial road tunnel in the UK.[26]

The village is served by the A287, between Hook and Haslemere, and the A333, a stretch of the former A3 that links the village south to the new bypass. The section of the old A3 north of Hindhead and alongside the Devil's Punch Bowl has been returned to tree-interspersed heathland.

The nearest railway station is at Haslemere, 2.6 miles (4.2 km) away, on the Portsmouth Direct Line between London Waterloo and Portsmouth Harbour stations. Hindhead is served by several Stagecoach South bus routes linking nearby towns and villages and connections further afield,[27][28] and National Express Coaches between Portsmouth and London.[29]

Nearest settlements

Neighbouring settlements are Beacon Hill (administratively part of Hindhead, while geographically separate) and Grayshott village. The town of Haslemere is 2 miles (3.2 km) to the southeast, whilst the considerably larger town of Guildford is 10.5 miles (16.9 km) to the north-east. London is 38 miles (61 km) to the north-east.

See also


  1. ^ "Census Data - Wards - Waverley" (PDF). Surrey County Council census data. Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 April 2013. Retrieved 12 August 2013.
  2. ^ "Lead Key Figures - 2001 census - Hindhead (Ward)". Office for National Statistics. Archived from the original on 21 October 2016. Retrieved 26 April 2012.
  3. ^ a b "Waverley Ward population 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Archived from the original on 21 October 2016. Retrieved 7 October 2016.
  4. ^ "Grid Reference Finder site giving specific elevation". Archived from the original on 20 April 2012. Retrieved 26 April 2012.
  5. ^ Ordnance Survey
  6. ^ Eilert Ekwall, Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Place-names, p.240.
  7. ^ Database of British and Irish Hills Archived 5 August 2018 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 2015-03-06
  8. ^ "Cranfield University National Soil Resources Institute". Archived from the original on 2 June 2013. Retrieved 6 March 2015.
  9. ^ "Proceedings of the Old Bailey. Ordinary and Chaplain's account of 26 July 1736. Accessed 2012-04-26". Archived from the original on 23 February 2014. Retrieved 26 April 2012.
  10. ^ Moorey, Peter. 2000.Who was the Sailor Murdered at Hindhead 1786. Blackdown Press ISBN 0-9533944-2-5
  11. ^ Cormack, Peter (1987). Karl Parsons, 1884-1934: Stained Glass Artist - Exhibition Catalogue. London: William Morris Gallery. p. 24. ISBN 9780901974259.
  12. ^ Pevsner, Sir Nikolaus (1982). The Buildings of England: Surrey. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books.
  13. ^ Van Arsdel, Rosemary T. (October 2005). "Allen, (Charles) Grant Blairfindie (1848–1899)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/373. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  14. ^ "Nicholas Owen meets the voice of golf, Peter Alliss". Surrey Life. 26 October 2010. Archived from the original on 14 April 2015. Retrieved 30 March 2013.
  15. ^ "Deal struck over Conan Doyle house school plan". BBC News. 20 October 2014. Archived from the original on 18 June 2018. Retrieved 31 October 2018.
  16. ^ "Hindhead Golf Club". Archived from the original on 30 September 2013. Retrieved 7 October 2013.
  17. ^ "Houses and Buildings". Grayshott Heritage. 14 April 2017. Archived from the original on 7 September 2019. Retrieved 4 July 2020.
  18. ^ "No. 37407". The London Gazette (Supplement). 28 December 1945. p. 1.
  19. ^ Historic England. "St Edmund's School, East End (Grade II) (1244470)". National Heritage List for England.
  20. ^ Thornhill, Michael T. "Trevelyan, Humphrey, Baron Trevelyan". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/31773. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  21. ^ Historic England. "Hindhead House (Grade II) (1244173)". National Heritage List for England.
  22. ^ a b "Election Maps". Ordnance Survey. Archived from the original on 5 January 2010. Retrieved 12 August 2013.
  23. ^ "List of borough councillors". Waverley Borough Council. Archived from the original on 11 December 2013. Retrieved 11 March 2014.
  24. ^ "Your councillors by division". Surrey County Council. Archived from the original on 6 October 2013. Retrieved 16 August 2013.
  25. ^ "Meet your Haslemere Town Councillors". Haslemere Town Council. Archived from the original on 27 August 2013. Retrieved 16 August 2013.
  26. ^ A3 Hindhead Tunnel - Mott MacDonald Project Page Archived 4 May 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  27. ^ "Timetable for Stagecoach South services 17,18,19" (PDF). Retrieved 29 April 2019.
  28. ^ "Stagecoach South services 13/23/23X" (PDF). Retrieved 29 April 2019.
  29. ^ "030 National Express Shuttle". Retrieved 29 April 2019.