Return to Homepage


AddThis Social Bookmark Button




The Fernhurst Society

Meetings, talks and exhibitions


The Society organises a programme of evening and afternoon talks and discussion meetings on matters of local interest, which are held in the village hall, except where shown. Audio recordings of some of the talks are preserved in the Fernhurst Archives.

Guided local walks around the village are held from time to time, and, in the summer months, natural history field meetings on botany, nightjars, bats, birds and butterflies.

Non-members may attend indoor talks for a small fee, and are welcome to join outdoor events.

The Society and its Archives have organised several very successful exhibitions: in July 2000, a 'millennium' exhibition including a photographic competition; in 2003 a Fernhurst Wildlife Exhibition, with local arts and crafts; in 2007 an exhibition on oral histories and the launch of our Voices of Fernhurst book; in 2010 an exhibition on the history of ICI/Zeneca company in the village; in 2012 the Archives celebrated the Queen's Jubilee with a show of memorabilia, in 2014 on WWI; and in 2015 on the 1940s.

The Society's social events have included Christmas parties and summertime barbecues.


Current programme (fuller details may be in our latest newsletter):

dates for 2017:

Thu 23 Feb 2017   Secrets of the High Woods – Illustrated Talk
Mark Seaman will tell how the high woodland between Petersfield and Arundel revealed it secrets in this South Downs project; including a long-lost Roman Road, numerous medieval deer parks and a tapestry of ancient farm fields. You may have seen the project in the News in the Summer of 2016. A mix of archaeology, archive research and oral history.
Sun 9 April 2017   Secrets of the High Woods - Walk
Mark Seaman will guide us on a Secrets of the High Woods walk showing us how to recognise some of the woodland features that the High Woods project uncovered.
Thu 27 April 2017   History minus the Boring Bits – Illustrated Talk
A talk by Susan Howe.
Sun 21 May 2017   Society's stand at the Fernhurst Revels: come and visit us!
Sun 25 June 2017   A Bob Smalley meander – Walk
Bob’s walks are so interesting and popular that we’ve asked him to do another one, on Witley and Milford Commons). A two-hour walk, 2 pm start at Witley and finish at 4 pm. Dog friendly.
Sat 9 – Sun 10 Sept   Fernhurst Furnace Open Weekend
The remains of Fernhurst Furnace are some of the best preserved of all Sussex Weald ironworking sites. This is always a great weekend of activities, usually with a living history society and the Sealed Knot in attendance. Admission by donation. All donations go to the charity set up to preserve this special site.
Sun 24 Sept 2017   Petworth Park - Walk
Guided walk led by Henry Wakeford of Petworth - taking in Petworth Park from prehistory onwards, Henry VIII's hunting lodge, the WW2 encampment, the water source for the house, the common enclosed within the park and the buildings that were pulled down to make way for Capability Brown's grand scheme.
Thu 26 Oct 2017   Kingsley Green Discovered - Talk by Robin Ellks, Kingsley Green representative on the Fernhurst Archive Team
Come along to Robin's talk to find out more about the history of the land and people of Kingsley Green and a story about a lost Manor of Farnhurst (old name for Fernhurst) and you will find out, amongst other things, what the connection is between the Hudson River Tunnel in New York, Kingsley Green and the winning of World War I. Fernhurst Village Hall, doors open 7.30 pm for refreshments, talk at 8pm.

Sat/Sun 4-5 Nov 2017


Blackdown Air Disaster, 50th anniversary - an exhibition and memorial service to commemorate the 1967 crash of the Iberia Airlines Caravelle into the slopes of Blackdown, on the Fernhurst/Haslemere border.

Fernhurst Archive, Fernhurst Society, St Margaret’s Church, Fernhurst Parish Council, Fernhurst Village Hall have collaborated to organise three commemorative public events, open to everyone:

Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th November 2017, 10.30am – 4pm
Fernhurst Village Hall, Glebe Road, Fernhurst GU27 3EH

We tell the story of the accident and its aftermath using official reports, press and newsreel coverage, and personal testimony from members of the emergency services and other witnesses and participants in the response to this disaster. Fernhurst villagers, rallied by the postmistress Edie Lucas, played a key role in supporting the emergency services.
Refreshments available at Fernhurst Village Hall, thanks to members of the Fernhurst Lunch Club and Good Companions.

Memorial Service
Saturday 4th November, 12 noon, St Margaret’s Church,
Church Road, Fernhurst GU27 3HZ

Commemorative Plaque
To be unveiled on Saturday 4th November, 2pm, Fernhurst Village Hall: a tribute to the victims, the emergency services and
the Fernhurst villagers who rallied to help.

This commemoration is supported by the South Downs National Park Authority Sustainable Communities Fund.

Thu 30 Nov 2017   AGM and Talk
AGM followed by a talk by Haslemere historian, Tim Winter: "Haslemere People and Places". Fernhurst Village Hall, doors open 7 pm for refreshments, AGM at 7.30 pm followed by talk.


Previous events:


  • Talk by Dr Caroline Adams: “Domestic Bliss in Tudor West Sussex”
  • Talk by Julian Bell of the Weald & Downland Open-Air Museum concentrating on how they find the properties, dismantling and re-erecting historic buildings
  • Walk: stROLL ALONG THE ROTHER A walk through the Rother Valley led by Bob Smalley
  • Walk – Bramshott Common led by Pamela Lee (Haslemere Natural History Society)
  • Walk - A Stroll in the Sussex Countryside - Tillington to Lodsworth walk led by Bob Smalley
  • Talk on Loseley Park by Jennifer Nicholas
  • AGM and talk "Women in the First World War" by Lynne Taylor Gooby


  • Talk by John Roberts (Weald & Downland Open Air Museum) “Billet-wood & Bavins” – A Brief History of Coppicing
  • Walk in search of the Bluebells - Greenhill and beyond; led by Bob Smalley
  • Talk by Dave Elliott (NT) “History of Blackdown - from Stone Age to Seismograph”
  • Walk – Walking tour of The Heath at Petersfield and its Archaeology, led by Peter Price.
  • Walk around Petworth led by Peter Jerrome (Petworth Society)
  • Talk and display by The Fernhurst Archive “Fernhurst in the Forties”
  • Talk by Admiral Sir Ian Garnett "Chatham’s Historic Dockyard - The World’s Best Dockyard in the age of sail"










  • Half-term talk: John Self, a local expert on rabbits and national rabbit judge
  • Walk: Beating the Parish Bounds VII: Poison Copse to Lower Lodge.
  • Talk: Maureen Duke: Memories are Made of This - growing up in Fernhurst in the '30s, '40s, '50s and '60s
  • Walk: Chithurst & monastery woodlands, led by Jenny Lynch of the South Downs Joint Committee
  • Walk: Highfield/Verdley and Verdley Place, the farms, and the ICI / Zeneca / Syngenta story.
  • Walk:Beating the Parish Bounds VIII: Lower Lodge to Highbuilding, led by Judith Turner. The final leg in our series of popular Boundary walks.
  • Summer BBQ at Vannlands on Van Common with music by the Super Swing jazz quartet.
  • Film by Adam Koronka on the Dornier plane shot down over Fernhurst in 1943.
  • Talk: Return to Everest by George Band.


  • Talk by Graham Cornick of the Hydestile Wildlife Hospital
  • Talk by the Fernhurst Archives team: A glimpse of Edwardian Fernhurst
  • Walk: Beating the Parish Bounds V: Scotland’s Farm to Elmers Marsh.
  • Walk at Burton Mill Pond, led by Graham West (South Downs Conservation Board)
  • Walk: birdsong on Thursley Common, led by Richard Ranft
  • Village history walk: discover Vann Road and Van Common; led by Helen Ouin and Robin & Carla Barnes
  • Walk: Blackdown ramble, led by a National Trust warden.
  • Walk: Beating the Parish Bounds VI: Elmers Marsh to Lower Lodge Farm.
  • Talk and tasting with James Lane: Wine and Cheese evening
  • Talk: Sustainable Woodland Living by Ben Law, author of The Woodland Way and The Woodland House


  • Nikki Hamburger: An afternoon with a hawk
  • Talk by Julia Tanner: Recent Developments at the Haslemere Educational Museum
  • Talk by Alan Redman (West Sussex Record Office): Sussex at War
  • Walk: Beating the Parish Bounds III: Wadesmarsh Farm to Bexley Hill
  • Village history stroll, led by Helen Ouin and Iain Brown
  • Evening nightjar watch on Iping Common, led by Richard Ranft
  • Junior Fernhurst Society event: Martin Love (Sussex Bat Group) talk about bats
  • Lynchmere & Stanley Commons walk, led by Hilary Adair of the Lynchmere Society
  • Walk: Beating the Parish Bounds IV: Bexley Hill to Scotland Farm
  • Talk by Liz Wilson (Portable Antiquities Scheme): Identifying historical objects
  • Guided walk around Lower House Farm and estate
  • AGM & presentations by the Oral History Group: Fernhurst in Living Memory


  • Talk by Michael Tibbs: The Lynchmere Society and Lynchmere Common
  • Talk by Norman Hodgson: Endurance to the Antarctic
  • Walk: Beating the Parish Bounds I
  • Village walk looking at historic houses, led by Helen Ouin
  • Butterfly walk at Henley, led by Arnold Madgwick
  • Guided walk at Furnace Pond, North Park, led by Robin and Carla Barnes
  • Guided visit to Tilford Rural Life Museum
  • Talk by John Magilton on Fernhurst archaeology
  • Fernhurst Wildlife Exhibition
  • Walk: Beating the Parish Bounds II: Bell Vale Lane to Valewood
  • AGM, and talks by Julie Wilkinson: Waste Recycling & by Linda Glynn: Renewable Energy from a local perspective


  • Talk by Ian Elliott: Villages- thinking about the future
  • Talk by Bruce Middleton: A Year in the Life of a Sussex Downs Ranger
  • Evening field trip: nightjar watch on Iping Common, led by A. Madgwick
  • Field trip to Burton Mill Pond, led by Bruce Middleton
  • Field trip to Levin Down, led by Arnold Madgwick
  • Guided walk on Stanley Common led by Hilary Adair of the Lynchmere Society
  • Community Orchard meeting
  • Talk by Helen Ouin, Iain Brown & Charlotte Wilson-Pepper: People, Places and Tales of Fernhurst
  • AGM, followed by presentations: Revelations from the biodiversity surveys


  • Talk by Laura Ponsonby: The Story of Shulbrede Priory
  • Talk by Mrs A McCann (Assistant County Archivist): West Sussex Record Office
  • Talk by Commander Keith Evans: HMS Hood
  • Talk by Julian Gray The work of the Sussex Downs Conservation Board


  • Talk by George Lockie: The Verdley Estate
  • Talk by Laura Ponsonby: Wild Flowers of the Weald and their Uses
  • Talk by Richard Ranft: The Mystery of bird song
  • Talk by Dr John Godfrey: The Future for the South Downs
  • Talk by Ben law: Sustainable Woodland Management
  • Talk by Martin Love: An evening of bats
  • Nightjar watch on Iping Common, led by A. Madgwick
  • Birds and butterflies on Harting Down, led by A. Madgwick


  • Talk by Alf Simpson: Ebernoe Common, Its Woods, Flora and Wildlife
  • Talk by Kim Leslie: A Parish Map for Fernhurst
  • Talk by Richard Muir: Admiralty Signalling Systems
  • Talk by Mark Taylor: Archaeology of the western weald and recent discoveries in West Sussex
  • Visit to Ebernoe Common
  • Fernhurst spring walk


  • Talk by Dr Annabel Hughes: Timber-framed Buildings and Their Development
  • Old Iron Works at North Park (walk)