This extremely old village is at the western edge of Surrey. It’s name appears on a document dated 688 when Cadwaella, the King of Wessex, gave some land in Churt to the religious authorities in order to celebrate his conversion to Christianity. As a result the Bishop of Winchester became Churt’s Lord of the Manor for more than 1,000 years. The village was one of the 13 tithings (sections) of the Bishop’s Great Manor of Farnham.
Several hundred years later there was a rearrangement and Churt became a tithing of Frensham Parish and remained so until 2002 when it became the parish of Churt, with its own website.
Two buildings in Churt are believed to have been started in Saxon times, namely Kitts Farm and Hyde Farm. At one time, farming was the main occupation and geologists point out that all the farms lay on a fertile strip of soil called Bargate Sandstone. The land around this strip is heathland, of poor quality and fit only for gorse, bracken and heather.
Former farmhouses have been converted into comfy homes so that even though they were built in the 1600s they are up-to-date. One old barn, Quinnettes, is now let out for weddings and parties. The Duke of York attended a wedding reception here some years ago.
A famous man associated with Churt is David Lloyd George who was Britain’s Prime Minister during part of the Great War (1914-18). In 1909 he was Chancellor of the Exchequer and introduced the first pension scheme – 5 shillings per week (25 pence in today’s money) for people aged over 70 years. When he retired from Parliament he had a house built in Churt and called it Bron y de because he was from Wales.
Click here to see the catalogue of the St John the Evangelist, Churt, with St Francis Church, Rushmoor: Parish Records, (1868-2001) held at the Surrey History Centre.