This parish is on the western edge of the county of Surrey, next to the River Blackwater, which forms a natural boundary with Hampshire. The restored Basingstoke Canal winds its way through the parish past Ash Wharf and the flashes towards Mytchett Lake.

Basingstoke Canal at Ash, 1921 Photographic Survey and Record of Surrey no. 7455

Basingstoke Canal at Ash, 1921
Photographic Survey and Record of Surrey no. 7455

East of the canal is Ash Common, an area of heathland designated as a Special Protection Area to preserve the habitat of three endangered species of birds, the Dartford Warbler, the Nightjar and the Woodlark. Ash Common is occupied by the Ash Ranges military training area. The population of Ash parish now approaches 18000 people, and there are three residential areas: Ash Vale at the northern end of the parish, Ash in the middle and Ash Green to the south.

South side of St Peter's Church Photographic Survey and Record of Surrey no. 7438

South side of St Peter’s Church
Photographic Survey and Record of Surrey no. 7438

The place name Ash is derived from ‘Aesc’ which meant ‘At the Ash tree’. An appropriate name, since ash trees spring up like weeds every year in the middle of the village.

The village of Ash grew up along Ash Street between the cross-roads (now the Greyhound roundabout) and the Moated Manor House which looked out over Ash Green towards the Hog’s Back. Ash was a farming community until the mid 19th century, and a number of the farmhouses have survived until today as residential properties or pubs.

The village grew rapidly after 1854, when the Army established the Aldershot Camp just over the border in Hampshire, and purchased part of Ash Common to use for rifle ranges. Ash Vale quickly developed as people moved into the area, local businesses flourished and houses were built to accommodate retired Army officers.

Click here to see the catalogue of the St Peter, Ash, Parish Records (1548-1962) held at the Surrey History Centre.

Click here to see the catalogue of the Ash Parish Council Records (1831-1959) held at the Surrey History Centre.

Click here to see the catalogue of the St Mary, Ash Vale, Parish Records (1885-1981) held at the Surrey History Centre.

Key buildings, sites, monuments and archaeology

Further information

Search... Search for records related to Ash on this website

  • See Ash Museum’s website for a number of local history topics
  • There is a parish map with pictures of historic buildings on Ash Parish Council’s website

2 Responses to Ash

  1. Joe says:

    I am new to the area as a resident and find Ash to be a very pleasant area to live and bring up my young family. I find the local history very interesting, but I do feel that unless the area has a building ban imposed soon the community will be become too large for local services and eminties. Ash High Street is a nightmare to drive down and must be very dangerous for the numerous school children walking to and from school. I would like to suggest that Ash Parish council purchase the closed down pub and develope it in to a state of the art car park. Thgis would provide much needed parking for local residents and other members of public stopping briefly to use the local shops.

  2. Reagan says:

    I lived in Ash until Year 2 of infant school and continued to carry on my education all the way up to year 6 of Jr. School, the school of which I left just over 3 years ago and moved to a Secondary School elsewhere. I am interested in learning about the place I grew up’s local history. I have started a new topic at Secondary School in my history lessons and after digging around looking for information on Ash’s Local info for a month or two. I was wondering whether there is any further information to add to my research. Thank you for reading this.

Leave a Comment

Comments posted using the form below will be published on the website. It is therefore recommended that you do not include any personal details or contact information in the comment.

If you have a question and want to provide personal details we recommend you use the 'Contact Us' form instead.

Your email address will not be published but it may be used to contact you with a reply to your comment. Required fields are marked *