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Thursley Common - - 71839.jpg
Thursley Common
Grid reference: SU905396
Location: 51°8’56"N, 0°42’26"W
Post town: Godalming
Postcode: GU8
Dialling code: 01252
Local Government
Council: Waverley
South West Surrey

Thursley is a small village in Surrey, isolated in the south of the county and surrounded by the beautifully wild Thursley Common.

Thursley lies just west of the A3 between Milford and Hindhead. Neighbouring villages include Rushmoor, Bowlhead Green and Brook. Close by is the Devil's Punch Bowl.

The village's name came from Old English Þunres lēah meaning "Thunor's meadow" after Thunor the ancient thunder god. There is a rocky outcrop near the village referred to in Victorian guides to the area as Thor's Stone. This stone, according to the Surrey Archaeological Collection (volume 88), is first mentioned in Saxon times as being "near Peper Harow", an adjacent parish. The precise stone or rocks this refers to is now uncertain with some sources indicating it could be the rocky outcrop and others suggesting it may be an ancient boundary stone found on the margin of Pudmore pond on Ockley Common.

The small parish church, dedicated to St Michael, has a finely carved Anglo-Saxon font and two surviving Anglo-Saxon windows in the chancel, which exceptionally retain their original wooden frames. Its small wooden shingled belfry is strangely underpinned by an unnecessarily large and sturdy late mediæval framework of heavy timber. The remains of a gnarled ancient tree are nearby. In the churchyard there is the gravestone of the Unknown Sailor.

Thursley is most notable for its common, a National Nature Reserve and SSSI which is one of the few surviving areas of lowland peat bog in southern Britain providing a particularly rich habitat for dragonflies and damselflies along with many other species including the endangered woodlark and Dartford warbler. In July 2006 during a heat wave that affected southern England, 60% of the common was seriously damaged by fire[1].

There have been several military camps in the parish.[2] Between 1922 and 1957 there existed Thursley Camp (from 1941 renamed Tweedsmuir Camp) to the north west of the village which housed British, Canadian and American forces at various times. On the 7th November 1942 it was bombed by the German air force. After world war two it was used to house displaced Poles. To the west was Houndown Camp which was used by the British Royal Marines.

Outside links

Cottages at Thursley
("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Thursley)