History

The area was originally agricultural or common land and comprised several large farms and scattered cottages, several of which still exist. In the 1841 Census, there were only about 50 dwellings and 250 inhabitants within the boundaries of what is now known as Rowledge. A big country house, Fir Grove House, later rebuilt as Frensham Heights by Charles Charrington, the brewer, and now a private school, is situated in the southern part of the parish. A rather haphazard pattern of trackways and footpaths traversed the area which still exist today and formed the basis for the present-day road network.

The coming of the railways to Farnham in 1848 and the development of Aldershot as the home of the British Army in 1854, resulted in an influx of wealthy businessmen and Army officers, and saw the construction of many large houses in the late Victorian era.Tradesmen and service providers established themselves. The area was important for hop growing, supporting the brewing industry in Farnham.
According to "The Way We Were - a Social History of the Village of Rowledge"by Flora Westlake, the village was once called "Rowditch", renowned for fights between local youths across the ditch that formed the Surrey /Hampshire border. In Victorian times, the name changed to "Roughditch" and had the reputation of a generally lawless place.

The nearby Vicar of Wrecclesham, in an effort to bring more "supervision" to the area convinced the Bishop of Winchester, who's diocese covered the whole of the area, to establish an ecclesiastical parish.

The Government agreed to help and donated two acres of land from the Alice Holt Forest for a church, churchyard and vicarage.

From this point on the village of Rowledge, as it became known, began to take on it's own identity.
The Parish Church of St James’ was built in 1869 and the School in 1872. The Methodist Church was established in 1875 and a new building erected in 1886. By 1871, a recognisable centre to the Village was established, with a post office, shops, public house and transport links to Farnham.

Further development, particularly in the early 1900’s, followed the established road network and gradually filled in the open fields, creating the present-day village of Rowledge.

In 1914 the Village Hall was built and the Recreation Ground became the centre for local cricket. Tennis and Bowls Clubs were established in the 1920’s and 1930’s. Another surge in development took place in the 1960’s and 1970’s, including Rowledge’s first and only, housing estate in 1972.

It is estimated that the current population comprises some 1600 people, with around 600 properties (based on the 2001 Census).