This small village situated high on the North Downs between Epsom and Dorking can trace its origins a long way back to the Domesday Book.
Little is known of Headley in very early times as few dateable artefacts have been found in the village but there are finds in nearby villages to the east. Stone Age man probably passed through the area using the high ground in preference to the river valleys.
The Romans certainly would have had a considerable influence in the area with the Roman Stane Street a few hundred metres from part of the western and northern boundaries of the parish.
At the end of the Saxon era as Christianity became established parishes were formed and these parishes were grouped together in administrative areas called Hundreds. Headley was part of the Copthorne Hundred.
Headley Church is first recorded in 1270 but this could have been a much earlier Norman or even Saxon building although the Domesday survey does not record a church in the village. The church remained much the same until the middle of the 19th century when CT Cracklow and Petrie recorded it on engravings. Soon afterwards it was decided the old church should be replaced with a new structure that was completed in the 1850s.The nave and chancel, built in 1855 by Salvin are described as “appalling” by Pevsner in his Buildings of England Series.
Headley was grouped round three main estates: Headley Park, Headley Grove and Headley Court. During the first half of the 20th century parts of these estates were sold off and other substantial houses such as Tumber, Great Hayes and The Manor were built.
- Further information including the full version of this history and old photographs can be seen at the village website www.headleysurrey.org.uk