Beautiful England - photos of England and the UK

Abinger Common

Abinger Common is a small village in Surrey, five miles south-west of Dorking. It claims to be one of the oldest, if not the oldest village in England. It was inhabited by Stone Age men. In the grounds of the Manor House behind St. James Church, are the remains of a Mesolithic dwelling discovered in the 1950s and considered to be one of the finest examples of a Middle Stone Age settlement in Europe. More than 1,000 flint tools were found on this site.

Although St. James Church dates from Norman times, it was largely destroyed by a flying bomb during World War II and had to be extensively restored in the 1950s.

Next to the village pub and opposite St. James Church and the village green, is Evelyn Hall, which was built in the 19th century, but has been completely refurbished and is used as the Village Hall for many different events. The Evelyn family has been closely connected with Abinger Common. On the village green, is a well, constructed by William John Evelyn, Lord of the Manor of Abinger and opened in 1893. He was a descendant of the 17th century diarist, John Evelyn. He was born in 1620 and died in 1706. He is buried close to Abinger Common, at St. John’s Church, Wotton. His diaries, whilst not meant to be published, reveal the social and political life of the 17th century. He was a friend of Samuel Pepys and Sir Christopher Wren and was a founder member of the Royal Society.

The Abinger Hatch pub, opposite the church and village green, is renowned for the quality of its food. In the summer there is a croquet lawn. On the village green, is a set of stocks to hold three people.