Open Access Articles- Top Results for Pirbright


Statue near Pirbright village hall
The Basingstoke Canal bisects the two communities of Pirbright
6px Pirbright shown within Surrey
Area  Script error: No such module "convert".
Population 3,691 (Civil Parish)[1]
   – density  Script error: No such module "convert".
OS grid referenceSU950550
Civil parishPirbright
Shire countySurrey
RegionSouth East
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post town Woking
Postcode district GU24
Dialling code 01483
Police Surrey
Fire Surrey
Ambulance South East Coast
EU Parliament [[South East England (European Parliament constituency)#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.South East England]]
UK ParliamentWoking
List of places
Coordinates: 51°17′10″N 0°38′20″W / 51.286°N 0.639°W / 51.286; -0.639{{#coordinates:51.286 |-0.639

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Pirbright /pɜrbrt/ is a village in Surrey, England. Pirbright is in the borough of Guildford and has a civil parish council covering the traditional boundaries of the area. Pirbright contains one buffered sub-locality, Stanford Common near the nation's farm animal disease research institute. Explorer Henry Morton Stanley has his imposing boulder grave at the end of the grounds of the grade II* (mid category) listed medieval church and the nearby headwater Hodge Brook accordingly is marked as Congo Stream, between Ruwenzori and Stanley Hills, two other places in the village have names from Africa.


File:Stanford Brook on Stanford Common - - 701314.jpg
Most of the parish is lightly or densely wooded, such as at Stamford Common

Pirbright has two communities: army training barracks and designated homes are north of a London main axis (south-west) railway and the slightly dispersed village is south. The village is almost entirely surrounded by heathland, much of it owned by the Ministry of Defence and used by the Army Training Centre, Pirbright.[2][2][3] The south and south-east of the parish is mostly woodland and has three relatively small farms. The south-west of the parish has a large military training area, Pirbright Common. Near to the church are several features due to Stanley's association with the village: Hodge Brook is equally marked as Congo Stream, between Ruwenzori and Stanley Hills. Mazamboni Farm is next to Aruwimi Wood.



Its name had three medieval variants (each involving the letter 'f' where there is currently a 'b').[4] It came from Anglo-Saxon (Old English) Pirige-fyrhþ = "sparse woodland where peartrees grow".

Medieval and tudor periods

The manor of Pirbright does not seem to occur earlier than the 13th century, when it was reported to be held of the honour of Clare by Peter de Pirbright. John Trenchard died seised of it (holding) under the Earl of Gloucester in 1301–2.[4] In this time it had a medieval deer park, disparked under Richard II. During the reign of Henry VIII the manor changed hands several times: it formed part of the marriage portion of Queen Katharine of Aragon and was successively in the possession of Sir Thomas Boleyn and Sir William Fitz William. Finally it was granted to Sir Anthony Browne, afterwards Viscount Montagu, with whose family it remained until the middle of the next century.

18th century and afterwards

The locality saw development in the form of brick labourers' cottages with a few georgian large homes, some with modest estates of land. Of the last sort, Vice-Admiral the Hon. John "Foulweather Jack" Byron, explorer, grandfather of George Gordon Byron, 6th Lord Byron (usually known as 'the poet, Lord Byron') planted in the late 18th century an avenue of Scotch firs to the foot of a tower hill, Crown Prince Hill in the woods, still called Admiral's Walk or 'road', which extends for Script error: No such module "convert"., half within the Danger Area owned by the Ministry of Defence of Pirbright Common.[4]

Heatherside was the early 20th century home of Mr. F. C. Selous, the African big-game hunter, and contained a "remarkable collection of hunting spoils and native African curiosities."[4]

Pirbright's traditional churchyard contains the large block of granite, 11 foot high, marking the grave of British Empire soldier and explorer Henry Morton Stanley who died in London aged 63. This is partly inscribed with the words "Henry Morton Stanley Bula Matari 1841–1904 Africa". Bula Matari, was another of his names which translates as "Breaker of Rocks" or "Breakstones" in Kongo.[5]

Pirbright Institute

The Pirbright Institute is a research establishment that investigates diseases in farm animals. It consists of two sites, one close to Pirbright and one in Compton, Berkshire and is one of eight UK research institutes supported by the UK's Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC). The Pirbright site includes international reference laboratories for the diagnosis of livestock diseases exotic to the UK, including the World Reference Laboratory for foot and mouth disease. The site also conducts research on viruses including foot and mouth disease and bluetongue virus.

On Saturday 4 August 2007 it was announced that the a strain of foot-and-mouth disease detected in cattle three miles (5 km) away was similar to that in use at the Pirbright site. Professor Brian Spratt's report found that more likely than not the strain of the virus understandably came from the Merial vaccine production facility or the Pirbright Institute laboratory: whose shared "effluent pipes [leading to final small treatment plant were] not contained, as they should be as part of Category 4 containment at Pirbright."[6] This poor condition of pipes and incursion of trees in the site has since been rectified and significant investment (over £170 million) is taking place at Pirbright to provide new laboratory and animal facilities.


Pirbright has non-secondary schools, including two on School Lane, and a small all-through school, Knowl Hill School, for children with dyslexia which provides education for around fifty pupils. The largest school is centrally located, Pirbright Village Primary School which educates children from the age of 4 to 11.

Youth outreach

The Normandy Youth Centre serves the wider area by sponsoring community-based programmes targeting youth in the area (especially marginal groups and minorities) for the purpose of increasing exposure to educational opportunities and building a stronger community.[7]


Church of St Michael and All Angels

The relatively small rectangular church stands by Church Cottage but otherwise in the meadows directly west of the village centre. It is built of brick dressings to a galleted 'heathstone' walls to its Nave, with a galleted heathstone tower to west and chancel to east. Plain tiled roof with lead spike over tower. Box nave with square tower to west, gabled porch to south, aisle to north, chancel to east with vestry to north and organ bay to south.

Moated 'manor house' which held the manorial courts

The manorial courthouse was renamed in the 19th century[4] and has a moat, and a great proportion of the building was built in the 16th century, is timber-framed however the building is partially clad in red and blue brick and in brown and red brick on its non-timber framed cross wing.[8]


File:Cricket at Pirbright - - 845533.jpg
Cricket ground with woodland background

Cricket has been played on the village green since 1780.[9] The principal cricket team is Pirbright Cricket Club which operates a 1st XI squad and Sunday Squad.

Pirbright is also the home of Pirbright Tennis Club which was formed in 1976. Initially playing in the Burrow Hill part of the village, the club soon moved to its ground on School Lane. Pirbright Tennis Club currently has nearly 400 members and five adult teams;[10] the courts are also used by students from the local schools.

Famous residents

Demography and housing

2011 Census Homes
Output area Detached Semi-detached Terraced Flats and apartments Caravans/temporary/mobile homes shared between households


(Civil Parish) 360 449 253 37 2 0

The average level of accommodation in the region composed of detached houses was 28%, the average that was apartments was 22.6%.

2011 Census Key Statistics
Output area Population Households % Owned outright % Owned with a loan hectares[1]
(Civil Parish) 3,691 1,101 23.9% 24.5% 1,901[1]

The proportion of households in the civil parish who owned their home outright compares to the regional average of 35.1%. The proportion who owned their home with a loan compares to the regional average of 32.5%. The remaining % is made up of rented dwellings (plus a negligible % of households living rent-free).


Pirbright is twinned with :

Further reading

  • The Story of Pirbright Church by J.H. Curtis, 1930


  1. ^ a b c d Key Statistics; Quick Statistics: Population Density United Kingdom Census 2011 Office for National Statistics Retrieved 21 November 2013
  2. ^ a b Pirbright is also situated near small villages surrounding Guildford.Pirbright Parish Council
  3. ^ Church of England parish map. Accessed 2012-04-23
  4. ^ a b c d e H.E. Malden (editor) (1911). "Parishes: Pirbright". A History of the County of Surrey: Volume 3. Institute of Historical Research. Retrieved 24 November 2013. 
  5. ^ Stanley's resting place Historic England. "Details from listed building database (1029623)". National Heritage List for England. 
  6. ^ Independent Review of the safety of UK facilities handling foot and mouth disease virus Professor Brian Spratt, August 2007
  7. ^ Award for Mother Who Transformed Her Village; 18 October 2010 article; at Get Surrey News; retrieved 30 January 2013.
  8. ^ The Manor House Historic England. "Details from listed building database (1188635)". National Heritage List for England. 
  9. ^ Pirbright cricket club
  10. ^ Pirbright Tennis Club
  11. ^ Julia Douëtil Welcome to St Michael and All Angels Church, Pirbright
  12. ^ 'BRANSON, Rt Hon. Sir George Arthur Harwin' in Who Was Who 1951–1960 (London: A. & C. Black, 1984 reprint, ISBN 0-7136-2598-8)

External links