About Stoke d'Abernon

NGL_signPlaque 13A on the pillar of the railway footbridge declares that Stoke D’Abernon on the 'New Guildford Line' is a mere 18 miles and 65 chains from London and the busy terminus of Waterloo. Despite this Stoke D’Abernon retains a semi-rural charm and more than a village feel with its railway station and Post Office, the latter being in a small parade of local shops. From newspapers and haircuts to hiring cars and delicious home made bread and cakes, Stoke D’Abernon can oblige and offers all within a few a hundred yards. Further afield but still within the village is a small garden centre which also has a very pleasant café.

The large four-by-fours travelling along the Stoke Road are perhaps one of the few immediate indications that Stoke D’Abernon is located near to London and firmly in the land of the commuter. Moving away from the heart of the village and over the railway towards Fetcham, one comes firstly upon the entrance to the training ground of Chelsea Football Club. Chelsea is in the Premiership League but the entrance to the training ground is suitably discreet and the uninitiated would hardly be aware of its existence. On the opposite side of the road and a little further on is the garden centre. Beyond that the M25 passes in a cutting as one sweeps across it via an overbridge and at the very boundaries of the village is the world renowned Yehudi Menuhin school of music.

signpost to churchAlmost opposite the garden centre is St Mary’s Church and Parkside Preparatory School. A small sign proclaims to ‘Stoke D’Abernon Parish Church’ but it is easily missed amongst the church hurly burly of driving along Stoke Road. The church is a delight and is Saxon in origin with later modifications. Amongst its seven fine brasses is that of Sir John D’Abernon which is acknowledged to be the oldest in the country. Adjoining the Church is the Manor House, once a selection centre for the Civil Service but is now utilised by the school. The church is the only one on the River Mole and occupies a delightful spot on a low bluff where the river meanders around in a wide curve.

Electorally Stoke D’Abernon is linked to near neighbour Oxshott but comes under the auspices of Cobham for the delivery of mail. The village itself is twinned with Malmaison in France . Walking southward down Station Road, the first building is the ‘Old Plough’ - Stoke D’Abernon’s pub which also serves food and has a large garden for fine days. A little further on is the village hall. As is usual with village halls throughout England many activities take place here from ballroom dancing lessons to dog training. It also serves as the polling station on election days and is the meeting place of the local Residents’ Association.

Stoke D’Abernon Cricket Club was founded in the late 1800s and has played at the recreation ground on Stoke Road since 1885. The former England captain and fast bowler Bob Willis grew up in the village and played with the club before turning professional. He is currently vice president of the club.

Despite the pressures of the 21st century and its proximity to the capital, Stoke D’Abernon retains a village atmosphere and has a community spirit. All of which is helped by the fact that unlike so many places, high density ribbon development with neighbouring towns and villages has not occurred and there are plenty of green spaces and agricultural fields in the environs.

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