In 1864 Queen Victoria reviewed her volunteer troops on the heath and an edition of The Illustrated Times of that year featured the event and published several illustrations. As a result of this occasion the local inn was named 'The Volunteer', later being renamed 'The Villagers'. The operation was on a considerable scale with a grandstand on Rosemary Hill (then treeless!) and an area for spectators along Littleford Lane. The attacking troops were to come from Albury against the defenders formed up just to the East of what is now the cricket ground (behind Little Orchard and Top Cottage). Indeed, a contemporary print includes Top Cottage in a view from the spectator stand. Alas the proceedings got somewhat out of hand and there were a number of accidents caused by the audience getting between the two sides, and finally, whilst firing a volley one man had left his ramrod in the barrel and this shot and killed the vicar, the Rev. W Earle.
The Villagers as it looks today.
As a community, we believe that The Villagers Public House should be the hub of the village and must remain as a meeting place for local residents and community in the wider area.
Watch this program on BBC (Inside Out Southern) which details our objectives
In the heart of Surrey's beautiful heathland
The pub sits on a quiet wooded lane that leads directly onto acres of stunning heathland and forest
There's been a pub on this site in our village since the 1860's. In 2010 it closed, and has sat empty and decaying ever since. We are determined to see it open again - for it once again to be the warm, friendly hub of the community it has been in the past.
The Villagers Pub
FOR THE COMMUNITY, BY THE COMMUNITY
A small but vibrant community
Our village has only about 100 houses - 250 or so residents, but it has the energy and social activity of somewhere far bigger.
We aim that this community project is conducted in a spirit of complete openness. All options discussed and considered, all ideas and proposals, will be published on this website - accessible to all the community.
Everyone will be welcome to contribute their ideas and have their say.
The Villagers remains almost alone on a quite lane through mixed woodland. It is the perfect place to eat meet or get merry. Alternatively, it can be used as a base to go on one of the many fine walks through the beautiful Surrey countryside. Whichever your preference you will be assured that the welcome that awaits you is as warm as the log fires.