These pages hope to give a brief view of Headley, picking some sites and stories. You will be able to follow a 'trail' of information points, or simply dip in as you come to them. For a map of the route - click here
Looking at the buildings in the village, there are some hints and clues to their age. The natural building materials of the district were timber, Bargate stone, bricks and clay tiles, so it is interesting to notice where a house has a slate roof - as in the case of the Old Rectory and Arford House. This may help in dating it too, as the transport of heavy materials over distances was easier with the introduction of canals and railways. Look for examples of galleting in the mortar of the oldest houses. Pieces of iron were pressed into the soft mortar - perhaps to decorate or strengthen the structure, or as others would have it, to ward off the devil.
Gilbert White of Selborne mentions visitors to his village who would ask "why the houses were fastened together with ten-penny nails ".
Other indications of date are given by bricked up windows, seen in The White House and Wakeford's. This to avoid paying the window tax introduced in 1696 to fund new coinage replacing unmilled, and often clipped silver coins. Parson Woodeforde called the tax 'an impost laid upon the very light of heaven' - and bricked up three windows. The act for that tax was repealed in 1852, giving another date point of reference.
Another feature is the use of 'dentil eaves' - the rows of bricks laid diagonally either just below the roof overhang, or between two storeys - these are sometimes called 'soldiers' by local builders.
With this information to help you, we invite you to "take a walk round the block" with eyes wide open, and in the space of 1 mile you will find evidence of 7 centuries of life in our village
The text is based on 'To the Ar and Back' an historical stroll around Headley and Arford . . . by Joyce Stevens, late president of The Headley Society.
For an alternative view covering this ground, JO Smith's 'Headley's Past in Pictures' gives a view of the village and environs in earlier years.