Lurgashall Archive

Welcome to the website page exploring the history of Lurgashall Parish

The Archive room at the Village Hall is open to visitors in OCTOBER on Wed 12th Oct., 2.30-5pm and Wed 26th Oct., 2.30-5pm.

Contact: Sarah Matthews at archive@lurgashallvillagehall.org

More Archive Quiz answers

Discover some interesting snippets about Lurgashall’s history and the people who’ve lived here.

4. Which England cricket captain, whose parents farmed at Roundhurst, was chief Air Raid Warden for Lurgashall during WW2?

Answer:  Molly Hide

Mary Edith Hide, known to the world as Molly, was one of the great pioneers of women’s cricket in England and captained the England team for 17 years (1937-1954).  In 1973 she was President of the Women’s Cricket Association.

Molly was born in Shanghai, China in 1913 and came to England at the age of six with her parents Arthur and Edith and her elder brother Robert.  She learned to play cricket at Wycombe Abbey school and went on to study agriculture at Reading University.

During the 1930s Molly established herself as a leading light in women’s cricket, captaining the England team on tours to Australia and New Zealand.  But when war broke out, cricket was put on hold, and she stayed at home to help her parents on their farm, which was Lower Roundhurst Farm.

During the war Molly acted as chief Air Raid Warden for Lurgashall. Courtesy of Di Read, the Archive has a copy of Molly’s hand-written ARP book in which she recorded factual accounts of each and every bombing or plane crash in the parish – a fascinating if sad read.

Lower Roundhurst Farm was home to members of the Hide family from the 1890s until the 1950s (or later?).  Molly’s grandparents, parents and four of her aunts and uncles are all buried in Lurgashall churchyard.

Molly herself spent her later years in Surrey and died in 1995, aged 81.

5. What is the current approximate population of Lurgashall Parish? And what was the population size c.100 years ago?

Answer:  about 610 – both now and c.100 years ago!

The 2011 census confirmed the population of Lurgashall Parish to be 609.  One hundred years earlier, in 1911, the population of the civil parish was given as 686, but by 1921, after the devastation of WW1, the population was down to 610.

At the start of the 1800s the population was 549 but grew to well over 700 during the rest of the century.  Throughout the 20th century the population remained at c.580-610, although the profile of parishioners changed radically from long-standing local families – mostly agricultural labourers – to what some people still call ‘incomers’ moving here from other locations.

6. There used to be two schools in Lurgashall – one on the village green and one at Roundhurst. When did they close?

Answer: Roundhurst School closed in 1923; Lurgashall School closed in 1951.

Roundhurst School was known as a mission school and, according to the school’s logbook, was opened in January 1875, although other records say the school was built in 1878.  It was located high up on Tennyson’s Lane on the way to Aldworth, and indeed, Lady Emily Tennyson, the poet’s wife, helped to set up the school and supported it for a number of years.

Apparently, the school was built to accommodate 50-60 children, but average attendance never seemed to go above 35 and was later just 25.  On March 31st 1923 Roundhurst School was closed and the children came to Lurgashall, among them May, John and Alfred Humphrey, Tom and Ronald Bicknell, Ethel and Charles Talman, Violet, Kathleen, Margery and Lillian Wolfe and Reggie Greenfield.

Lurgashall School on the village green (pictured, late 1930s) was built to accommodate 120 children and opened in 1844, with a second classroom for 30 more children added in 1876.  Average attendance over the years was about 70-80, split into two classes, but numbers dwindled in the 1930s and ‘40s.  The school finally closed its doors in 1951 and the younger pupils were transferred to Northchapel School, the older ones going to Midhurst.