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Great Bookham

Great Bookham is a village in Surrey, between Leatherhead and Guildford.

The Bookhams

Great and Little Bookham are part of the Saxon settlement of Bocham - 'the village by the beeches'.They are surrounded by common land which conist of grassland (wet, low-lying meadows), woodland, scrub and 12 ponds. The ponds are home to all three British species of newt, including the rare great-crested newt. The five largest ponds are man-made, formed for fish-production in the 17th-century.

Great Bookham Common

Great Bookham Common was bought by local residents in 1923 to save the oak woodlands, then given to the National Trust. Little Bookham Common was given to the Trust in 1924 by Mr H Willock-Pollen, then Banks Common in 1925 by Mr R Calburn.

The London Natural History Society has been surveying Bookham Commons for over 50 years, making it one of the best recorded sites for wildlife in south east England

Some History

According to a charter C.675, the original of which is lost but which exists in a later form, there was granted to the Abbey

 twenty dwellings at Bocham cum Effingham. This was confirmed by four Saxon kings; Offa, "King of the Mercians and of the
 nations roundabout" in 787; Athelstan who was "King and ruler of the whole island of Britain" in 933 confirmed the privileges
 to the monastry; King Edgar, "Emperor of all Britain" in 967 confirmed "twelve mansiones" in Bocham, and King Edward
 the Confessor, "King of the English" in 1062 confirmed twenty mansae at Bocham cum Effingham, Driteham and Pechingeorde.
 Driteham and Pechingeorde are both referred to in the Domesday Book and appear to have been absorbed into the manors of
 Effingham and Effingham East Court.

It seems probable, as the number of cottages in Bocham cum Effingham remained constant, that the later charters must have been copies of earlier charters which were not revised to accord with the actual number of cottages at any one time.

Domesday Book record

The Domesday Book 1086, which was a survey for taxation purposes, makes the first known distinction between the parishes of Great and Little Bookham. If it is assumed that there was no separate parish at the time of the charter of Edward the Confessor in 1062

 By way of confirmation of this supposition that there is no distinction between the two parishes of Great and Little Bookham, 
as recently as 1824, lay documents relate to land transactions, in which land was described as being "in Great Bookham in the parish of Bookham".

More info at http://www.bookhams.co.uk



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