The small historic centre of Elstead sits around a triangular village green and its approaches 5 miles south-east of Farnham on the road to Milford. It is related to a crossing point of the River Wey. The church of St. James (click the link to see the Historic Environment Record for the church) is about 1/3 mile south-west of the centre and is essentially Victorian of 1871-72. The parish registers survive from 1538, the year when they were first ordered to be kept.
There are two catalogues of parish registers held at the Surrey History Centre, click on the underlined and highlighted link to see the catalogue. One set contains vestry, churchwardens’ and overseers’ records covering the years 1683-1888. The other contains banns, marriage, baptism, burial and service registers and other records covering the years 1538-1992.
The village is in the southern cultivated part of the parish on the Lower Greensand rocks. The woollen industry flourished in this area, as elsewhere along the River Wey, and this is recalled in the names of The Woolpack and Golden Fleece public houses. However the village stayed small with only a gradual increase in size to the start of the 20th century. Further growth took place in the inter-war years and more recently to the south and east of the historic centre.
Elstead Mill is probably on the site of a very early mill and appears by name in 13th century documents. It was rebuilt after a fire in the 17th century, became a paper mill and later a worsted manufactory in the 19th century. It is now a private residence and the finest brick mill in the county.