Wrecclesham is a village situated close to, and to the south west of, the small town of Farnham. Farnham a historic town, for many years the seat of Bishops of Winchester, is surrounded by half a dozen discrete villages. As the town has grown, what were at one time gaps between the villages and the town centre have been infilled and the villages have somewhat lost their identity.In Victorian and later times Wrecclesham exhibited most of the features that would be acknowledged as essential features of a village, it had a church, a school, an institute, shops, a forge, a river, a ford, a sports ground, pubs (it had six of them) and a village hall. It only lacked a village green to be seen as a typical English village.
It has excellent communications. The ancient turnpike Road to Portsmouth, now the A325 to Bordon and Petersfield, passes through its main thoroughfare, ‘The Street’. The turnpike road to the south west, the Pilgrims Way, leading to Winchester and Southampton, now called the Alton Road or A31, passes slightly to the north of the village centre. On the northern edge of the Parish is the route of the ancient footpath the St. Swithun’s Way, linking Farnham to Winchester. To the east and north Farnham itself is well situated for routes to London via the A31, joining the A3 at Guildford. The railway line – Alton to Waterloo – passes through the village however, there is no station in Wrecclesham. The nearest station is at Farnham 2 miles to the east which provides frequent services to London, Waterloo.
In many other ways Wrecclesham has been well situated. It is located on relatively fertile rising ground, but close to the River Wey, which runs through the village slightly to the to the north. It is situated on the edge of the extensive Royal Forest, the Alice Holt, which has provided both occupational and recreational opportunity. In the past the proximity of Farnham, for many years the home of the Bishop of Winchester, has also been a major benefit providing both employment and a market place for agricultural produce which in the past was a feature of the village’s activity.
The Wrecclesham History Project has taken as its boundaries those of the Wrecclesham Parish. This embraces the old tithings of Wrecclesham and Runwick. To the west, the Parish boundary is that of the neighbouring Parish of Bentley and the Hampshire County. To the north it includes the small hamlet of Dippenhall and beyond to the boundary of the Parish of Crondall, which is also that of Hampshire County.
Below we include a map of Wrecclesham taken from the Ordnance Survey Map of 1879 together with a current map dating to c. 2010. They make for interesting comparisons.
Wrecclesham in 1879
Present day Wrecclesham