High Street looking east
Frimley is located in Surrey
Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right, CC BY-SA 3.0
Location within Surrey
Population6,178 (2011 census[1])
OS grid referenceSU875578
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townCamberley
Postcode districtGU16
Dialling code01276, 01252
AmbulanceSouth East Coast
UK Parliament

Frimley is a town in the Borough of Surrey Heath in Surrey, England, approximately 30 mi (48 km) southwest of central London. The town is of Saxon origin, although it is not listed in Domesday Book of 1086.

Train services to Frimley (on the line between Ascot and Aldershot), are operated by South Western Railway.


The name Frimley is derived from the Saxon name Fremma's Lea, which means "Fremma's clearing". The land was owned by Chertsey Abbey from 673 to 1537 and was a farming village.[2] More recently it was a coach stop on a Portsmouth and popular Southampton road for about four hundred years.[n 1]

Frimley shown on the map The Road from London to Southampton by John Ogilby dated 1675

Frimley was not listed in Domesday Book of 1086, but is shown on the map as Fremely, its spelling in 933 AD.[3]

Frimley Lunatic Asylum was opened in 1799; it catered for both male and female patients, and received four patients from Great Fosters, Egham. Magistrates visited in 1807 and ordered the proprietors to stop chaining the patients.[4]

An 1811 inventory from Frimley, a Workhouse, can be seen on the Surrey County Council website.

The present St. Peter's Church was built in 1826 replacing earlier buildings. The building has a balcony running around three sides of the interior. Dame Ethel Smyth once preached from the pulpit.[5]

In 1904, the Brompton Hospital Sanatorium was established in Frimley to treat tuberculosis patients; it closed in 1985. Dr Marcus Sinclair Paterson (1870–1932) was the first medical superintendent, and he developed a system of treatment called 'graduated labour' which generated a lot of interest from other health professionals. The treatment used controlled levels of physical activity.[6]

In 1931 the staff at Frimley Cottage Hospital were unable to save the life of Lieutenant Hubert Chevis, who had been admitted, along with his wife Frances, after eating poisoned partridge meat. He died of strychnine poisoning. The case remains an unsolved murder mystery.[7]

In 1959 the Cadet Training Centre at Frimley Park was formed following the 1957 publication of the Amery Report.[8]

2 December 1958, a Hunting-Clan Vickers Viscount 732 (registration: G-ANRR) on a test flight following a major overhaul. While flying at 1,000 ft (300 m) 10 minutes after takeoff from London Airport, the aircraft lost its starboard wing. This caused the aircraft to crash near the town and catch fire, killing all six occupants. Accident investigators established the reverse operation of the elevator spring tab as the probable cause. Incorrect maintenance of the spring tab mechanism and failure to notice the tab's faulty operation as a result of negligence on the part of maintenance personnel, who were responsible for inspecting the aircraft before returning it to service, involved the pilot in command in involuntary manoeuvres that overstressed the aircraft. This in turn resulted in the aircraft's right wing breaking off.[9]


The White Hart now refurbished

The main shopping street includes a branch of Waitrose and some smaller shops, several restaurants, charity shops, a post office, a number of estate agents, solicitors, opticians, betting shops, an insurance broker and two public houses, the Railway Arms and the White Hart. Frimley Park Hospital is within the boundaries. One of the major employers in the town is BAE Systems, which occupies a building off Lyon Way. Siemens opened its main UK headquarters in Frimley in 2007.

Frimley Park Hospital main entrance

Frimley Business Park is to the west on a north–south road, the A331. It has offices of the Environment Agency, Genesys Telecommunications, AMD and Novartis Pharmaceuticals.


The usual number of residents in the ward, 6,178, belies the observation that this is the largest and most commercial settlement of the GU16 postcode which also covers the southernmost, Heatherside/Parkside, neighbourhoods Camberley of (its post town) and the distinct villages of Frimley Green, Mytchett and Deepcut.[1][10]

Industries of Work

The working population worked as set out below in the official industry categorisations in 2011:[1]

Sector% in FrimleySouth EastUK
A Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing0.10.70.8
B Mining and Quarrying0.10.10.2
C Manufacturing7.07.28.8
D Electricity, Gas Steam and Air Conditioning Supply0.20.60.6
E Water Supply; Sewerage, Waste Management and Remediation Activities0.40.70.7
F Construction7.28.07.7
G Wholesale and Retail Trade; Repair of Motor Vehicles and Motor Cycles14.815.615.9
H Transport and Storage5.35.25.0
I Accommodation and Food Service Activities4.25.05.6
J Information and Communication6.65.54.1
K Financial and Insurance Activities4.24.54.4
L Real Estate Activities1.21.41.5
M Professional Scientific and Technical Activities7.27.56.7
N Administrative and Support Service Activities4.95.24.9
O Public Administration and Defence; Compulsory Social Security5.16.05.9
P Education8.110.19.9
Q Human Health and Social Work Activities18.611.612.4
R to U (Other)


The ward is relatively representative of the nation as a whole in terms of national identity:[1]

% of Usual Residents who stated in 2011 they had a non-British identity onlySurrey HeathSouth EastEngland

Economic Status

The proportions of those retired, unemployed and who were students in 2011 were extremely close to the regional average whereas those in the economically inactive (other) category were fewer:[1]

CategoryFrimleySurrey HeathSouth EastEngland
Full-time Student3.
Economically inactive: other1.
Economically inactive: looking after home or family4.

Those who replied that again there were no people in the household with English as their main language formed a proportion of the population 0.1% less than the national average.[n 2][1]


CategoryFrimleySouth EastEngland[1]
Not Stated8.07.47.2


Frimley railway station provides access to Guildford, Ascot and London Waterloo. Frimley Lodge Park Railway (a tourist attraction) is also nearby.

Frimley railway station

The town is situated close to the junction of the A325 Farnborough Road and A331 Blackwater Valley Relief Road, which provides a link to the M3 Motorway junction 4.


There are a number of schools in Frimley including: The Grove Primary School, Lakeside Primary School, Ravenscote Junior School, Tomlinscote School and St Augustine's Roman Catholic Primary School.


Frimley Town Football Club was formed over 100 years ago. It runs four teams, and the first team competes in the Senior Division of the Aldershot & District Football League. The club is based at Chobham Road recreation ground.[11]

Frimley Green, a neighbouring village, has hosted the British Darts Organisation's (BDO) World Professional Darts Championship since 1986 each January in the Lakeside complex.

Famous people


Ethel Smyth lived in the town (portrait by John Singer Sargent, 1901)
  • James Cobbett, famous cricketer and considered by many as the finest all-rounder of his day, was born in Frimley on 12 January 1804.[12]
  • Frimley Park Hospital was the birthplace in 1979 of Jonny Wilkinson, a fly-half for England Rugby Union and one of the most famous players in international professional rugby,[13] and Lady Louise Windsor in 2003.
  • Paul Darke, academic, artist and disability rights activist, was born in Frimley.
  • James, Viscount Severn was born in Frimley Park Hospital in 2007.
  • Toby Flood was born in Frimley[14] in 1985.
  • Chris Benham (cricketer) was born in Frimley on 24 March 1983. He has played county cricket for Hampshire.[15]
  • John McFall, British Paralympic sprinter, was born on 25 April 1981 in Frimley.
  • Other sportsmen born in Frimley include cricketers James Lawrell (born 1780) and Richard Ingleby Jefferson (born 1941); and footballers Vic Niblett (born 1924) and Martin Kuhl (born 1965).
  • Garth Walford, recipient of the Victoria Cross
  • Sir Harry Broadhurst, Air Chief Marshal of the Royal Air Force
  • Lucy Rose, folk-musician
  • Greg Bateman (born 1989), premiership rugby player for Leicester Tigers, formerly of London Welsh and Exeter Chiefs
  • John Paul Wellington Furse (1904-1978) GCB, OBE, VMH, Naval Officer who became a Rear-Admiral, painter and botanical illustrator and later a plant hunter


Daphne du Maurier wrote most of her fourth novel, Jamaica Inn, in 1935 in Frimley where her soldier husband Frederick (Boy) Browning was based.[16]

Dame Ethel Smyth, English composer and suffragette grew up in nearby Frimley Green and later purchased One Oak Cottage in Frimley. Her family moved to Frimley Green in 1867 when her father was given command of the Royal Artillery at Aldershot.[17]


Notable people buried in the churchyard of St. Peter's Church, Frimley[5] include:

  • John Frederick Lewis (d. 1876), a 19th-century painter
  • (Francis) Bret Harte (d. 1902), the American author[18]
  • William George Cubitt (d. 1903), who won the Victoria Cross in the Indian Mutiny for saving three men's lives at the risk of his own during the retreat from Chinhut
  • Charles Wellington Furse (d. 1904) a 19th-century painter
  • Sir Doveton Sturdee (d. 1925) a British admiral who decisively defeated the German squadron under Graf Maximilian von Spee at the Battle of the Falkland Islands in 1914, for which he was made a baronet
  • Sir Charles Melliss VC (d. 1936), First World War general
  • Arthur Cocks (d.1944), first-class cricketer and the first British Army officer to be killed on D-Day
  • George Edward Lodge, an illustrator of birds and an authority on falconry, died in Frimley on 5 February 1954.

Literary mentions

In one of the Just William books by Richmal Crompton, William visits an aunt in Frimley for a few days.[19]

Charles Kingsley refers to "a series of letters on the Frimley murder" in his Alton Locke, Tailor and Poet.[20]

There is a brief mention of Frimley in Stephen King's Nightmares & Dreamscapes in the short story Crouch End. It reads: 'He did indeed move into council housing, a two-above-the-shops in Frimley'.

In The Reminiscences of Sir Henry Hawkins (Baron Brampton), chapter 18 tells of the trial of a bricklayer who, in a prize fight on Frimley Common, unfortunately killed his opponent. He appeared in court dressed as a young clergyman and was found innocent of the manslaughter charge because of doubts over his identity.[21]

Notes and references

  1. ^ The alternative London-Southampton road passed by Chobham Common which had more highwaymen than the A30 and from West Middx, Bucks, Berks, Oxon and the Midlands this formed a popular Portsmouth Road also, linking to the most direct one from London via Guildford to Portsmouth.
  2. ^ 4.3% compared to 4.4% nationally
  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Local statistics - Office for National Statistics". Archived from the original on 18 October 2019. Retrieved 27 December 2019.
  2. ^ Surrey Heath Borough Council (2005). "History of Surrey Heath". Archived from the original on 23 April 2006. Retrieved 19 May 2006.
  3. ^ John Garnons Williams (10 September 2000). "Domesday Sudrie (Surrey) – The Domesday entries for and the meanings of the Domesday place-names appearing on the Surrey historical map". Domesday Collection. Archived from the original on 30 October 2007. Retrieved 26 August 2007.
  4. ^ Andrew Roberts (2002). "Part of the Asylums Index: South East England". The Lunacy Commission, a study of its origin, emergence and character. Archived from the original on 27 April 2006. Retrieved 20 May 2006.
  5. ^ a b The Parish Office. "St Peter's Church". The Parish of Frimley. Archived from the original on 2 May 2006. Retrieved 20 May 2006.
  6. ^ Julie Tancell (2001). "National Heart and Lung Institute". AIM25: Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine. Archived from the original on 20 June 2006. Retrieved 20 May 2006.
  7. ^ "Fatal poisoning of Lieutenant Chevis". Open University. Retrieved 24 February 2011.
  8. ^ "History". Sussex Army Cadet Force. 2003. Archived from the original on 29 September 2005. Retrieved 20 May 2006.
  9. ^ ASN Aircraft accident description Vickers Viscount 732 1 G-ANRR — London Heathrow Airport (LHR)
  10. ^ "Google Maps". Google Maps. Archived from the original on 13 October 2001. Retrieved 15 November 2016.
  11. ^ Pete Bass (2006). "Frimley Town FC – 2005/06". Web-Teams. Archived from the original on 31 October 2005. Retrieved 20 May 2006.
  12. ^ "Cricinfo – Players and Officials – James Cobbett". cricinfoengland. 2006. Archived from the original on 21 January 2013. Retrieved 19 May 2006.
  13. ^ "Jonny Wilkinson: A Who2 Profile". WHO2?. 2006. Archived from the original on 29 April 2006. Retrieved 19 May 2006.
  14. ^ "The Toby Flood interview". BBC Tyne. 2006. Archived from the original on 12 November 2012. Retrieved 14 January 2008.
  15. ^ "Chris Benham, England". Cricinfo – County Cricket 2008. 2008. Archived from the original on 20 September 2008. Retrieved 11 October 2008.
  16. ^ Ann Willmore (2002). "Review of Jamaica Inn". Daphne du Maurier Book Reviews. Archived from the original on 3 May 2006. Retrieved 24 May 2006.
  17. ^ "Ethel Smyth (1858–1944)". Literary Encyclopedia. 2004. Archived from the original on 15 October 2007. Retrieved 19 May 2006.
  18. ^ "Bret Harte – Biography and Works". The Literature Network. 2006. Archived from the original on 14 June 2006. Retrieved 19 May 2006.
  19. ^ Gert (2003). "Comments". mad musings of me. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 18 February 2007.
  20. ^ "Alton Locke, Tailor And Poet by Rev. Charles Kingsley et al. – Full Text Free Book (Part 1/10)". FullTextArchive. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 23 May 2006.
  21. ^ Brampton, Henry Hawkins (17 August 1904). "XVIII. The Prize-Fight on Frimley Common". In Richard Harris, K.C. (ed.). The Reminiscences of Sir Henry Hawkins (Baron Brampton). Archived from the original on 4 March 2006. Retrieved 11 October 2008.

External links

Media related to Frimley at Wikimedia Commons

Media files used on this page

Surrey UK location map.svg
Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right, CC BY-SA 3.0

Map of Surrey, UK with the following information shown:

  • Administrative borders
  • Coastline, lakes and rivers
  • Roads and railways
  • Urban areas

Equirectangular map projection on WGS 84 datum, with N/S stretched 160%

Geographic limits:

  • West: 0.87W
  • East: 0.08E
  • North: 51.50N
  • South: 51.05N
I took this photograph today of the main entrance to Frimley Park Hospital, Frimley, Camberley, Surrey, England
Surrey Heath UK locator map.svg
Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right, CC BY-SA 3.0

Map of Surrey, UK with Surrey Heath highlighted.

Equirectangular map projection on WGS 84 datum, with N/S stretched 160%
I took this photograph on 5th June 2006
Photo of the White Hart Public House in Frimley, taken by me (Euchiasmus) on 25th January 2006
Frimley on Ogilby's Hampshire 1675.jpg
Author/Creator: unknown, Licence: PD
Photo taken by me (Euchiasmus) in Frimley High Street looking East, 25th January 2006