September Blog - History of Cranleigh - Star Volunteer - we need your votes

This month we’re delving into the history of Cranleigh and its historic buildings. We’re also delighted to reveal the finalists in our Star Volunteer competition…

History on our doorstep

While Cranleigh has some wonderful modern buildings and attractive new housing developments, the centre of the village is steeped in history. Many of the buildings in and around the High Street are listed, so you’re guaranteed to spot a host of architectural gems as you wander our historic streets.

The history of Cranleigh goes back centuries. It’s not known exactly when the settlement was founded, although the remains of Roman roads in the area suggest links to an Anglo-Roman past.

The oldest building in Cranleigh is the Norman church, which was originally built around 1170 and would have been the centre of village life. A community grew up around the church, which was re-built in the mid-14th century. During the English Civil War, Oliver Cromwell’s soldiers were billeted in Cranleigh, and Cromwell Coffee House on the High Street - a  beautiful beamed house which dates from the 1560s – is just one of our local buildings to commemorate that turbulent time.

Other notable structures include the Village Hospital, an early 16th century hall house that was converted to become the first village hospital in England in 1859, and the Fountain Memorial, erected in 1889. Nearby on the High Street is the War Memorial, built in the 1920s to commemorate lives lost during the First World War.

We feel very privileged to have so much history on our doorstep. If you’d like to know more, why not visit our local library on the High Street, where you’ll find a well-stocked local history section.

Star Volunteer finalists announced!

We’re delighted to reveal our shortlist of unsung heroes in the Cranleigh area.  The finalists are all in the running to win the title of Star Volunteer, the latest accolade in our community-inspired Star Awards scheme.

Reading the nominations has been such a pleasure, and it’s truly heart-warming to discover how many people in our community act selflessly to help others. Now the shortlist is agreed, it’s down to you to cast your vote to decide who should be crowned Star Volunteer.

The finalists are:


·         Jane Griffiths representing the charity Pets As Therapy.  Pets As Therapy was founded in 1983 and enhances health and wellbeing through visits of volunteers with their dogs. Jane joined the charity in 2015 with her Briard dog Teddie, and the pair regularly visit schools, hospitals and rehabilitation centres. Jane’s enthusiasm and commitment know no bounds, and she has helped countless children and adults with anything from literacy skills to recovery from serious injury.


·          Amy Rosewell for the charity the halow project that supports young people with learning disabilities in the Surrey area. Amy is a valued volunteer with Building Futures - the charity’s flagship life skills and personal development programme. Amy has a learning disability and has taken the courses herself. Now she volunteers one day a week to help lead groups, and share the life skills and confidence she has gained.


·          Deirdre Lay has been a volunteer with The Brigitte Trust for 33 years. The trust provides support for patients, their carers and families facing life-threatening illnesses. Deirdre’s energy, warmth, and infectious humour shine through as she visits clients in their homes to give emotional support and practical help. Deirdre is always keen to keep on learning, attending training courses and sharing her own experiences with new volunteers.


It’s clear that every one of our volunteers could be a worthy winner, but now it’s over to you to make the final decision. To cast your vote, please email with the name of the person you think should win in the subject heading. Voting closes at midnight on 13 September 2017.