A History of the County of Surrey: Volume 3. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1911.
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Cranlygh, Cranleigh, Cranlegh, Cranle (xiii cent.). (fn. 1) Cranley till recently. Cranleigh of late years to avoid confusion in post and railway with Crawley.
Cranleigh, a parish 8 miles south-west of Guildford, bounded on the north by Shere, Albury, and Wonersh, on the west by Alford and Hascombe, on the east by Ewhurst, on the south by the county of Sussex, contains 7,697 acres of land and 61 of water. It measures rather under 6 miles from north to south, just under 4 from east to west.
The northern part of the parish rises to about 700 ft. above the sea in Winterfold Hill, part of the great stretch of the heath and fir upland called Hurt Wood adjoining Blackheath to the north, and eastward rising still higher in Ewhurst, Holmbury, and Leith Hills, in Ewhurst, Ockley, and Wotton respectively. This part of the parish is Greensand. From the base of the hills to the Sussex border the soil is Wealden Clay, with superficial patches of sand and gravel. The village is on the latter, on Cranleigh Common, part of which is one of the best cricket pitches in Surrey. Smithwood Common is to the north-west of the village. Small detached parts of Cranleigh were added to Albury and Wonersh, and part of the border at Moxley was added to Shere 24 March 1884. (fn. 2)
The village is traversed by the road from Guildford to Horsham. The London, Brighton and South Coast Railway line from Guildford to Horsham, opened in 1865, passes through the parish, which contains two stations, Cranleigh and Baynards. The disused Wey and Arun Canal runs through the parish. On the clay are extensive brick and tile works. Formerly Cranleigh was a great seat of the iron industry. (fn. 3) The oak timber of Vachery was a valuable property sold to London merchants in the 15th century. (fn. 4) Vachery Pond, an artificially-made lake covering 61 acres, was used as a reservoir for the Wey and Arun Canal, and was probably enlarged for that purpose. But it is marked on the map before the canal existed, and was certainly made as a forge or hammer pond. Hammer Farm is on the stream, which is dammed up to make it, a little lower down. A fish-pond is mentioned at Vachery in the 13th century, (fn. 5) but it need not have been so extensive, probably was not, as the subsequent reservoir, even if it is included in this.
A Baptist chapel was built in 1889, and there is a small Wesleyan mission chapel on the common.
A few old-fashioned gabled and tile-hung houses remain near the church, including the post office, and another with a half-timber wing. Ancient houses of important families, now represented by farm-houses, also existed at Vachery (near Baynards in Ewhurst) and Knowle, and the north and south transeptal chapels in the church are still known respectively as the Vachery and Knoll (or Knowle) chapels. A house called Sansoms has some old panelling and other features of interest internally, although the exterior has been modernized.
There is a very picturesque 16th-century cottage at the south end of the village, but the houses have mostly been rebuilt in a substantial but unpicturesque manner. The rectory is on the site of an old house surrounded by a moat now drained. Winterfold, on the hills, is the modern residence of Lord Alverstone, Lord Chief Justice, Nanhurst of Lady Carbutt, Barrihurst of Colonel W. A. Browne. Wyphurst is an old farm converted into a large modern house, the seat of Mr. Chadwyck Healey, C.B., K.C. It has been enlarged from designs by R. Blomfield, R.A., F.R.I.B.A. The other large houses of the parish are on the site of old manor-houses, and fall under the manorial description.
Part of the Roman road, which runs through the parish, and which probably went from near Shoreham to Staines, can be traced in Cranleigh parish. (fn. 6)
The Peek Institute was founded by the late Sir H. W. Peek, in memory of Lady Peek. It includes a club, with reading and billiard rooms, and a library.
Cranleigh School was opened 12 October 1865, and largely added to in 1869, when the chapel was built by the late Sir H. W. Peek at a cost of £6,500. Further additions have been made subsequently. The style is Early English, in brick, with stone wings. The school was originally called the Surrey County School, and special advantages were offered to Surrey boys. It is now equally open to boys from any place. The object of the school is to afford a public-school education on moderate terms, and the religious teaching is distinctively Church of England. (fn. 7) The whole of the original cost was borne by subscribers, and Sir H. W. Peek, Lord Ashcombe, Sir Walter Farquhar, Mr. Douglas D. Heath, and Archdeacon Sapte, rector of Cranleigh, were among the most prominent of the early supporters and governors of the school. The Rev. J. Merriman, D.D., St. John's College, Cambridge, was the first head master. The late head master was the Rev. G. C. Allen, M.A., St. John's College, Cambridge. (fn. 8) Mr. C. H. Tyler, M.A., was appointed 1909.
A reputed native of Cranleigh was Thomas de Cranleigh, Fellow of Merton, 1366, first Warden of Winchester, 1382, Warden of New College, 1389, Chancellor of the University of Oxford, 1390, Archbishop of Dublin, 1397, Chancellor of Ireland 1397 to 1400; he died in 1417, aged about eighty.
Cranleigh seems at the time of the Domesday Survey to have formed part of the vills of Shiere, Gomshall, and Bramley. The parish of Cranleigh contains Vachery, part of Pollingfold, Holdhurst, Knowle, Utworth, and Redinghurst, the first three of which were members of Shiere or Gomshall, and the last two of Bramley. (fn. 9)
VACHERY in Cranleigh parish was a member of the manor of Shiere Vachery. The lords of Shiere kept it in their own hands. The name itself (vaccaria, or dairy) gives sufficient reason for this. Henry III granted bucks to John son of Geoffrey to stock his park of Vachery. (fn. 10) His son John obtained a grant of a weekly market and an annual fair at Cranleigh, on the eve, feast, and morrow of Lammas Day, (fn. 11) and appropriated to himself free warren there, (fn. 12) There was a manorhouse in Vachery in 1296; (fn. 13) at present there is a farmhouse and the remains of a moat. The Earls of Ormond resided either at Shiere or Vachery. (fn. 14) The farm-house was sold by Earl Onslow in 1783. (fn. 15) Nanhurst Farm cum Treewell, part of Vachery, was sold by Lord Onslow in 1815. (fn. 16)
In 1820 Vachery was the property of Thomas Lowndes. (fn. 17)
HOLDHURST Manor (Holehurst, xiv cent.) was an outlying portion of the manor of Shiere, which was called 'Sutton or Holhurst at Downe.' The lands belonging to it in Shiere and Abinger are no doubt the lands which it appears from Domesday were seized by the Bishop of Bayeux, and added to his manor of Bramley. (fn. 18) These are treated under Shiere. Later, Holdhurst in Cranleigh and Holdhurst in Shiere became separate estates.
The history of the property, before its division, seems to be as follows:—
In 1297 Walter of Holdhurst conveyed land in Bramley and Shiere to his son John. (fn. 19) There was a Walter of Holdhurst living at Cranleigh in the early years of the reign of Edward III. (fn. 20) In May 1368–9 Thomas of Holdhurst and his wife, Alice, were in possession of the manor; (fn. 21) possibly incorrectly socalled, for the Court Rolls of Gomshall Towerhill of 1367 say that Thomas Holdhurst held a yard-land in Cranleigh. It continued in his family till the reign of Henry VIII, when, on the death of Thomas of Holdhurst, John Wood and Arnold Champion succeeded in 1532. (fn. 22) Arnold Champion died seised of a moiety of the manor in 1546. (fn. 23) According to Manning and Bray it was afterwards the property of Richard Wood (possibly son of the above John) and of John his son. His sister and heir, Agnes wife of Richard Welles, conveyed it to Richard Onslow of Knowle, 31 December 1568 (fn. 24); and in 1584 James Hobson and his wife Anne conveyed a moiety of the manor to Richard Browne and Edward Onslow. (fn. 25)
Meanwhile Sutton in Shere was now separated from Holdhurst in Cranleigh and the connexion forgotten. Edmund Hill was in possession of the whole of 'Sudton alias Holhurst alias Halhurst at Downe,' meaning Sutton in Shere, in 1554; (fn. 26) but this had no connexion with the land in Cranleigh. (fn. 27) Sir Edward Onslow, son of Thomas, was in possession at his death in 1615 (fn. 28) of the Cranleigh land.
On 10 September 1616 Elizabeth Onslow, widow, and her son Thomas Onslow made a settlement of 'all and every the manors of Cranley alias Cranleigh, Knowle, Holehurst, and Utworth in the parishes and hamlets of Bramley, Shalford, Wonersh, Guildford, Hascombe, and Cranley,' on the intended marriage of Thomas with Mary daughter of Sir Samuel Lennard. Thomas died the following December, perhaps before the marriage could take place. Richard his brother succeeded him. (fn. 29) This shows that Holdhurst in Cranleigh was united in the hands of the Onslows, and that Sutton in Shere (q.v.) was not then considered part of it. The manors are described as 'late of Sir Richard Onslow, Thomas' grandfather,' who died in 1571.
Holdhurst continued in the Onslow family till 1818, when it was alienated to Thomas Puttock. (fn. 30) In 1823 Mr. Walter Hanham bought it. About 1839 it came into the possession of Mr. John Bradshaw, (fn. 31) and in 1878 the present owner, Sir George Francis Bonham, bart., H.M. representative at Berne, bought it from Mr. Bradshaw's heir.
The early history of KNOWLE Manor (Knolle, xiii to xviii cent.) is somewhat obscure. (fn. 32) Robert, William, and Henry at Knowle witnessed deeds at Cranleigh in 1303–4. (fn. 33) Peter at Knowle granted a house and lands in Shere to Bartholomew of Shere in 1308–9, (fn. 34) and a few years afterwards Bartholomew released land in Shere to Henry at Knowle and his wife Cassandra. (fn. 35) In 1336 Henry and Cassandra granted Cravenhurst out in farm. (fn. 36) Walter at Knowle witnessed deeds at Cranleigh in 1360, 1404, and 1411. (fn. 37)
In 1481–2 the trustees of Thomas Slyfield of Great Bookham conveyed Knowle to Robert Harding, afterwards master of the Goldsmiths' Company. (fn. 38) He bequeathed it to his nephew Thomas Harding. (fn. 39) Robert Harding left two crofts and a cottage towards the maintenance of the aisle called Our Lady Aisle in Cranleigh Church. (fn. 40) In 1549 William Harding of London, mercer, died seised of Knowle, which he had bequeathed to his daughter Catherine, (fn. 41) with whom it went in marriage to Richard Onslow. (fn. 42) The manor henceforward remained in the Onslow family. At one time they resided there, (fn. 43) and Arthur Onslow, the Speaker, took from it his title of Viscount Cranley, since merged in the earldom of Onslow. It was for sale with the rest of the Onslow estates in Cranleigh in 1815, and passed ultimately with Holdhurst to Mr. Hanham and Mr. Bradshaw and to Sir George F. Bonham, bart.
(Redinghers, xiii cent.; Ridinghersh, xiv cent.)
This manor was originally a member of Utworth. A deed of the latter end of the 13th century records the quitclaim to Robert of Redinghurst of the service which he owed to Thomas of Utworth for Redinghurst, except one penny yearly. (fn. 44) In 1331 John son of Robert of Redinghurst was enfeoffed of his father's lands in Cranleigh. (fn. 45) His son John was still living in September 1364, (fn. 46) and seems to have been succeeded by Walter Redinghurst. (fn. 47) In 1494 the manor was conveyed by the trustees of John Redinghurst to John Bysshe of Burstow, (fn. 48) whose grandson William settled it on his son John in 1544. (fn. 49) John Bysshe bequeathed it to his wife Mary. (fn. 50) In 1635 it was the property of Edward Bysshe. (fn. 51) His son, Sir Edward, Garter and Clarencieux King of Arms, was dealing with it in 1654, (fn. 52) and later conveyed it to John Hill. (fn. 53)
William Chennell and his wife Mary conveyed it to Henry Chennell in 1780. (fn. 54) It passed soon after to Mrs. Ayling, and from her to Henry Streater Gill, who sold it to Mr. Evershed, owner in 1804. (fn. 55)
UTWORTH Manor, which extends into Wonersh and Dunsfold parishes, (fn. 56) was held of Bramley. In 1234 John de Fay, lord of Bramley, granted the Abbess of Fontevraud 2 marks rent from Utworth in exchange for an annuity due to her. (fn. 57) Other rents were due from the manor to Beatrice, mother of John de Fay. (fn. 58) Roger de Clare confirmed the grant of a rent from Walter of Utworth to the Abbess of Wherwell towards the support of a chaplain in the chapel of the Garden of St. Mary. (fn. 59) Walter son of Elias of Utworth laid claim to Chilworth Church in 1224, (fn. 60) and was probably the Walter of Utworth who conveyed the manor to his son Thomas in return for a life annuity in 1247–8. (fn. 61) There is a late 13th-century agreement between Edmund and Lawrence of Utworth as to land in Bramley. (fn. 62) They seem to have been succeeded by Thomas of Utworth, who witnessed many charters at Cranleigh. (fn. 63) In 1394–5 Walter Utworth witnessed a grant to John Redinghurst. (fn. 64) William Utworth was living in 1462. (fn. 65) In 1580 William Morgan, who is said to have been a descendant of William Utworth's granddaughter Catherine, held the manor, (fn. 66) which he settled on his son John, afterwards Sir John Morgan. (fn. 67) He sold it in 1614 to Sir Edward Onslow, (fn. 68) in whose family it remained till 1815, when it was sold to Mrs. Sarah Shurlock of Bramley. She died before 1821, and her daughter and heiress married Mr. Charles Hemming of Dorsetshire. (fn. 69) Mr. Walter Hemming sold Utworth in 1889 to the late Sir Edward Carbutt. The house is now inhabited by the bailiff of Lady Carbutt's estate at Nanhurst.
RYE FARM, if we may conclude that it was the tenement known as 'la Ree,' was released in 1394 by John grandson of Walter at Ree to John Redinghurst. (fn. 70) In 1406–7 it was the dower of Tiffania widow of John Redinghurst. (fn. 71) It was conveyed to Robert Harding with Knowle Manor. (fn. 72)
NANHURST (Knauenhurst, xiv cent.), part of Vachery, (fn. 73) was rented by Edmund Constantin of Robert Redinghurst in 1303. (fn. 74) It belonged at one time to Lord Onslow, but was for sale in 1778. It was part of the estate of the late Sir Edward Carbutt, bart. The tenement called Furshulle, or Freeswell (xix cent.), also part of Vachery, granted to Walter at How and William Clynon in 1303, (fn. 75) was settled by the latter on his son Henry, (fn. 76) while Henry at How granted to Walter at How two crofts and a messuage in Furshullshamme in 1337. (fn. 77)
The church of ST. NICHOLAS stands picturesquely on rising ground, backed by beautiful old trees. The well-kept churchyard has an exceptionally fine cedar and other trees, besides two yews, one near the chancel, of great antiquity, and is approached through a modern lychgate of stone erected as a memorial in 1880. The boundaries of the churchyard have been greatly extended within the last half-century, to meet the growth in population.
The church is built of ironstone rubble and conglomerate, with a little Bargate rubble, and with dressings of Bargate stone and clunch, the modern portions being in the same stone with Bath stone dressings. A good deal of the old walling is plastered externally. The roofs are still in part covered with Horsham slabs, and the quaint conical roof of the tower, with a gablet at the apex from which rises the weathercock, is shingled. The nave roof is old and of oak, but the roofs of the aisles, transepts, vestry, and chancel, are modern, and chiefly of stained deal, those of the aisles being of wretched and flimsy construction. The modern porch (1862) is of oak. Few Surrey churches have suffered more barbarous illtreatment under the name of 'restoration' than this.
Very few are built on such spacious lines. The tower is unusually large, almost a square of 20 ft. internally, with walls 3ft. 9 in. thick, and very massive buttresses; the nave is slightly wider, and 36 ft. in length; the transepts are about 16 ft. in width (they have been lengthened in modern times), and the chancel is about 34 ft. long by 20 ft. wide. Its axis inclines about 5 degrees to the north of east. Both nave and chancel are exceptionally lofty, the walls of the former being about 30 ft. in height. The present timber south porch is modern—a memorial to Jacob Ellery—and the vestry and organ-chamber on the north side of the chancel are also modern, by Butterfield, under whom the restoration of the church, in 1845 and subsequently, was carried out. The north and south transepts originally had lean-to roofs, a continuation of those over the aisles, and only projected about 5 ft. beyond the aisles. The northern was known as the Vachery Chapel, the southern as the Knowle or Knoll Chapel. There seems to have been another chapel in the south aisle and probably in the north aisle also.
There is evidence of the existence of a church here in 1244, and the short nave preserves the dimensions of an early aisleless nave, which no doubt had a short chancel occupying the area of the central part of the crossing. This would give an internal dimension of about 36 ft. in length by 20 ft. in width, and these sizes and proportions coincide with those of the original church of Alfold. As early as the last quarter of the 12th century, this church of Cranleigh must have needed additional space. Aisles were therefore thrown out on both sides in about 1170, of which the round columns and responds, or half-piers, remain with characteristic mouldings and angle-spurs to their bases, all executed in clunch. Also there has been built into the pier of the arch from the north aisle to the transept one of the peculiar cat's-head corbels which were a common feature in the period. It was a bold idea of the 12th-century architect to divide the nave space into two arches, with a central column and such short responds; probably he was led to it by the necessity of economizing the scarce building materials at his disposal. But anyway, the result seems to have been that the arches and capitals of the arcades were crushed by the weight of wall above them, being provided also with insufficient abutment, so that before a century and a half had expired it was found necessary when widening the first aisles to renew the capitals of the columns and responds, and to put new arches upon them. The capitals are of an octagonal form, moulded in accordance with their date, c. 1325. The first aisles were probably not much more than 7 ft. wide. In about 1200–10 chapels were thrown out on either side of the new chancel, the arches of which remain. In the subsequent widening of the aisles, the arches leading from them into the transepts were rebuilt. That in the south aisle has a corbel closely resembling one in Albury Old Church, of about the same date.
The main arch of the north transept is of two orders with moulded imposts, of a section common in the south of Sussex; that to the south transept has shafts of trefoil section under a capital with a circular abacus. These are in chalk, and are exactly like the shafts to an arch in the north transept at Godalming. The wide and plain south doorway, approached through a modern porch, and the windows and buttresses of this aisle are all of about 1300, though so much re-tooled that they might be taken for modern work. The two windows in the opposite wall, made in clunch, are good examples of the plain squareheaded openings found in the aisles of this period. They are of two lights, those in the eastern window being much wider than those in the western, with ogee trefoiled heads to the lights and cusping in the spaces over. Internally they have oak lintels. The three-light window in the west end of the north aisle is modern, and a copy of that in the corresponding position in the south aisle, the heads being filled with reticulated tracery.
A puzzling feature is the pair of piers, now carrying nothing but image niches of doubtful antiquity with modern statues, at the east end of what was the original nave. There can be little doubt that they were built as chancel-arch piers in about 1300, on the site of the original but much narrower chancel arch, and that when the work had got so far, the present extended chancel was decided upon and the piers left as built. The capitals are of the same section as those put upon the older nave piers. The present chancel arch and the chancel must have been built immediately after, and may be dated at about 1300 by the fine triple sedilia in the south wall. These have moulded arches with a trefoiled inner order like those at Dunsfold, but the shafts, with their capitals and bases, are modern. The existing east window is modern, having been refashioned on a larger scale by Butterfield, who designed the elaborate reredos and tabernacle work; the side windows are modern and very bad, dating from 1845 or before. The piscina and all other features in the chancel are modern or modernized.
The western tower has been practically left untouched by the mischievous ' restorations' that have so greatly injured the rest of the church. It dates from about 1300, but the two windows in the ground story would appear to be insertions of slightly later date, the west window exhibiting flowing tracery of about 1340, in clunch, bearing such a strong resemblance to that of the east window in Witley Church, that they must have been executed by the same masons. Both are of three lights, with a cinquefoil figure of flowing tracery in the head, the traceryplane at Cranleigh, and in the window of the south wall also, being recessed by a hood and outer arch, as well as by a deep hollow, which gives a rich effect of shadow. The windows of the upper stories are short lancets, single in the intermediate stage and coupled in the bell-chamber. The original floor, of massive timbers, remains above the ground story. The tower arch, in clunch, has recessed chamfered orders with a scroll-moulding for the hood. The west doorway, which has continuous mouldings, a chamfer and a wave moulding, with a scroll section for the hood, retains its original oak door, hinges, and closing-ring. The newel-stair is contained in an enormous buttresslike projection, of curiously irregular plan, at the north-west angle.
The modern work of 1845 and 1862 is inharmonious in character, and the extension of the transepts, with high-pitched compass roofs and coped gables, has quite altered the original aspect of this part of the church and confused its architectural history.
Of the roofs, that of the nave only is old, probably dating from about 1300. It is quite plain in character, and the present skimpy tie-beams are modern. The chancel roof is a pretentious hammer-beam construction in stained deal, and the aisle roofs are of the meanest description. One of the parclose screens remains, now spanning the archway of the Knowle Chapel, but formerly in the main arch of the south transept. It is heavily-built, and, of course, of late design, having fourteen openings with ogee-cinquefoiled heads, and dates from the middle of the 15th century. The pulpit, at the 1845 restoration, was made out of the rich traceried panels, cornice, and pinnacles of another ancient screen dating from about the same period. On the chancel arch are the marks of the rood screen, but no trace of the stair-turret, if any ever existed, remains. A plain old lectern, after a period of banishment to the belfry, has now disappeared altogether.
The church, in 1845, was found to have been extensively decorated with wall paintings, which were unhappily swept away to give place to raw modern plaster. These occurred over the chancel arch and in the spandrels of the nave arcades, but no records have been preserved as to the dates and subjects.
Until the beginning of the 19th century there was an exceptional quantity of ancient stained glass of very fine design remaining. A Jesse-tree was almost complete in the window of the Knowle Chapel in 1798, but within a few years some fragments only were left, including, in the centre, a headless seated figure holding a rose, a Crucifixion in the upper part, and, in Lombardic lettering, the names Josaphat, Ashur, Salomon, Ezechial, and Joathan. In 1841 scarcely anything of this remained, and some fragments had probably been removed by Lord Onslow to West Clandon Church, but, if so, they no longer exist there. When Manning and Bray published their History of Surrey in 1808–14 there also remained in the Vachery Chapel on the north side effigies of our Lord and the Blessed Virgin seated, and two angels censing. (fn. 78) The figure of the Blessed Virgin has disappeared, but those of our Lord and the two angels, together with some good pattern-work, have been worked up into the reticulated tracery of the modern east window of the chancel. Our Lord, seated on the throne in a green tunic and yellow mantle, has the right hand raised in benediction, while with the left He holds the cross and orb. The background is ruby, with a white border. Some of the pattern-work in the other quatrefoil figures of this window, consisting of crosses with fleur-de-lys ends, in white on red and gold on red, is also ancient, the date of the whole being c. 1340.
The font, standing to the west of the first pillar in the north nave arcade, is of doubtful antiquity; if not new, severe re-tooling has robbed it of all appearance of age. The bowl is octagonal and quite plain, standing upon a large central drum and eight small shafts without capitals, having a cable-moulding twined in and out round them, for a base.
Outside, beneath the east window, is an early 14th-century coffin-lid, with a cross within a circle on a long stem carved in low relief. Manning and Bray and Brayley mention a slab in the nave floor, with the legend in Gothic capitals:—
WALTER KNOLLl GIST YCT . DIEV DE S'ALME EIT MERCI
Also a brass plate, formerly existing in the chancel, to William Sydney, esq., who died 8 October 1449. Both these seem to have disappeared early in the 19th century.
Within the chancel rails on the south side is a brass half-figure of a priest (fn. 79) in mass vestments, with scrolls proceeding from his mouth, bearing the words:—
ESTO MIHI PECCATORI : SANA ANIMĀ MEĀ QUIA PECCAIV TIBI
Up to the restoration of 1845 a good specimen of the combined altar-tomb and Easter sepulchre, in Sussex marble, remained against the north wall of the chancel. Most improperly, it was then demolished, and the brasses upon and over it were permitted to disappear. It bore the effigies of a man and woman with a child between them, all kneeling, each having inscriptions issuing from the mouth, the man's having the words: 'Have m'cy Jhesu in honour of thy gloriovs resvrreccion'; the woman's: 'And grant vs the merite of thy bytter Passion'; and the child's: 'Accipe parentes, et infantem, bone [Christ]e.'
Fortunately a facsimile of the plate on the wall behind is preserved in an engraving, probably of the size of the original, in Hussey's Churches of Kent, Sussex, and Surrey. This, as is often the case in Easter sepulchres, was a representation of the Resurrection of our Lord, Who is stepping out of the tomb bearing the cross and pennon and displaying the bleeding wounds, while guarding the tomb are four soldiers. Detached from the tomb, on the other side of the chancel, was a shield bearing a merchant's mark and the initials R. H.; and on the tomb itself, beneath the figures, was the imperfect inscription, which when complete read: 'Of your Charite pray for the soulys of Robert Hardyng late Alderman & Goldsmith of London and Agas his Wyffe whos body here lyeth beryed, And departyd this present lyfe the XVIII day of Febrvary in the yere of ovre Lord God MCCCCC and III for whos Sowlys and all [christ]en we pray you say Paternoster and Ave.' Above the man's figure were the arms of Harding, which were: Argent a bend sable with three martlets or thereon.
Among the stones cast out of the church in 1845 were three inscribed:—
'1664. May 19th Sir Richard Onslow, Bart., aged 63.'
'1679. Augt 27th Dame Elizabeth Onslow his widow, aged 78.'
'1688. July 21st Sir Arthur Onslow, Bart., aged 67.'
On the outside of the south wall of the south aisle is a tablet of Sussex marble, very weather-worn, bearing the date 1630. A few others of no great age or importance have been re-fixed on the aisle side of the north arcade.
The bells are six in number, the oldest with the inscription: PRAIS GOD 1599 A W, and a coin. Two others have: 1638 BRYAN ELDRIDGE; another is by Bryan Eldridge, 1660; the treble by William Eldridge, 1709; and the third, re-cast in 1862, used to have the inscription: OUR HOPE IS IN THE LORD R.E. 1605.
With the exception of a silver paten of 1789 the church plate is modern and uninteresting.
The registers commence in 1566 and have been somewhat irregularly kept. As might be expected, they contain numerous entries relating to the Onslow family.
The modern chapel of ease of St. Andrew, on the Common, was dedicated in 1900.
The origins of Cranleigh as a parish are unknown. In Domesday it is not recognized. It belonged to the extensive manors of Shiere and Gomshall, and when Shiere was divided in 1299, the greater part of it was included in the manor called Shiere Vachery or Shiere cum Vachery and Cranleigh. It is recognized as a parish in the Taxation of Pope Nicholas, 1291. The advowson of the rectory was granted in 1244 by Roger de Clare, lord of Shiere, to John Fitz Geoffrey. (fn. 80) Robert Montalt, who had married Emma, widow of Richard son of John, presented to the church after the latter's death. (fn. 81) Two of the coheirs of Richard son of John, viz. Matilda Beauchamp and Robert Clifford, had possession of the advowson. The successive representatives of their families presented to the church (fn. 82) in alternation till the attainders of John, Lord Clifford, 1461, and Richard Earl of Warwick, 1471, after which the advowson was escheat to the Crown. (fn. 83) Henry VIII granted it to Sir Edward Bray, (fn. 84) who sold it to Walter Cresswell, (fn. 85) to whose son William it descended. (fn. 86) At his death one-third descended to his granddaughter Elizabeth, the other two-thirds to his son Christopher, (fn. 87) who ultimately inherited his niece's portion. (fn. 88) He sold it to Michael Pyke in 1640. (fn. 89) From this time it frequently changed hands. In 1691 Ralph Drake and his wife Mary and Anne Glyd conveyed it to Henry Cheynell. (fn. 90) The Rev. James Fielding inherited it at his father's death late in the 18th century. (fn. 91) In 1806 the Rev. John Wolfe was patron. (fn. 92) It is now in the gift of Sir W. Peek, bart. The chapel at La Vacherie, to which chaplains were appointed in 1302 and subsequently, (fn. 93) was only the north transept of the parish church of St. Nicholas, dedicated in honour of the Trinity.
There was an anniversary in Cranleigh Church maintained from lands in the parish. Edward VI granted these to Henry Polsted. (fn. 94)
Cranleigh Cottage Hospital, founded in 1859, is said to have been the first of the kind set up in England. It is partly self-supporting, patients paying on a varied scale according to position, and partly supported by subscriptions.
Smith's Charity is distributed in Cranleigh, as in other Surrey parishes, to the value of £23 18s. 8d., charged on the Warbleton Estate, Sussex.