Onslow Village

Onslow Village

Onslow Village is the name given to a suburb on the western outskirts of Guildford. It is sandwiched between the A3 road and A31 road and consists of a number of residential streets, many of which are characterised by beech hedges. Parts of Onslow Village have been designated as conservation areas, enforcing a number of planning restrictions that are intended to protect the character and identity of the locale.

It has a small village centre, with a parade of shops and a village hall. The post office closed in 2001 and has now been replaced by a vet's surgery. Other shops include a newsagent, butcher, hairdresser, electrical shop and second-hand shop. There is a recreational ground, tennis courts, and an arboretum. Onslow has one infant school, Onslow Infant School, as well as Queen Eleanor's School, a primary school. Onslow also has its own church, All Saints.

History

The history of Onslow Village started with the formation of the Onslow Village Association and its aim to tackle the acute shortage of decent working class housing following the First World War.

The Onslow Village Association acquired 646 acres (just over one square mile) of land from Richard Onslow, 5th Earl of Onslow in 1920 for approximately one quarter of its market value at the time. The aim was to create a "Garden City" to be modelled on the ideas of Ebenezer Howard's Garden City Movement. It was their intention to build a self-contained community with smallholdings, public buildings, open spaces, recreation grounds, woodland and a railway station, as well as developing sites for churches, hotels and factories.

On May 1, 1921, ten weeks after the formation of the Association, the foundations of the first two houses were laid and by March 1922 ninety-one houses had been built. Unfortunately due to a lack of funding the scheme never reached full completion, with about 600 houses actually being built.

Original drawings however showed that there were further plans to develop the farmland at Manor Farm, north of the A3. By the mid 1970's, one third of the properties were still owned by Onslow Village Ltd. Then, in 1984, the company was wound up and many shareholders and tenants had the chance to buy their homes at extremely affordable prices.

Onslow never got its railway station, however it did eventually get its woodland: the Onslow arboretum, developed by Guildford Borough Council as a specialist collection of eighty tree species from around the world. The Onslow arboretum is positioned right next to the "Rec" with its own park, a large field, several tennis courts, toilets and a scout hut.

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