infobox UK place
country = England
official_name= Sandhurst
shire_district= Bracknell Forest
region= South East England
shire_county = Berkshire
population= 22,000
constituency_westminster= Bracknell
post_town= SANDHURST
postcode_district = GU47
postcode_area= GU
dial_code= 01344
dial_code1= 01276
dial_code2= 01252
os_grid_reference= SU836618
latitude= 51.349
longitude= -0.800

Sandhurst is a small town and civil parish in England of around 7,500 homes and 22,000 inhabitants, primarily domiciliary in nature with a few light industries. It is in the south-eastern corner of the ceremonial Royal County of Berkshire, some 34 miles (55 km) south-west of London and 2.5 miles (4 km) north-west of Camberley in Surrey.

Sandhurst is known nationwide as the location of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (often referred to simply as "Sandhurst", "The Academy" or "The RMA"). Despite its close proximity to Camberley, Sandhurst is also home to a large and well-known out-of-town mercantile development. The site is named "The Meadows" and has a Tesco Extra hypermarket and a Marks and Spencer, two of the largest in the country.


Sandhurst is at gbmapping|SU836618. The town itself is made up of four main areas, from west to east: Little Sandhurst, Sandhurst, and College Town, with Owlsmoor to the north-east. North of the town are Edgebarrow Woods and Wildmoor Heath. To the east is Broadmoor Bottom, an expanse of heathland together with fir-tree plantations.

Sandhurst is bordered, on the south, by the River Blackwater, and several of the Yateley Lakes along its course are within the parish, notably Trilakes with its country park. This is also the county boundary with Hampshire. Crowthorne is to the north, Finchampstead to the west, and Camberley, across the Surrey county boundary, is on its eastern side. This is the closest major town, though Sandhurst is also only 10 km (6 miles) miles south of the new town of Bracknell.

The soil, not surprisingly, is sandy, with a subsoil of sand and gravel.


Sandhurst lies just off the A30, is close to junction 4 of the M3 motorway (3.4 miles) and within easy reach of the M4 (10.3 miles) via the Crowthorne bypass (A3095) to Bracknell and the A329(M) towards Reading. Sandhurst railway station is served by First Great Western, on the line between Gatwick, Guildford and Reading.

Local government

Sandhurst has representation through several tiers of government - town council, unitary authority, parliamentary (UK and European). Its Town Council is divided into four wards, Central Sandhurst, Little Sandhurst, College Town and Owlsmoor, all represented by twenty-four councillors. It is also part of the Bracknell Forest District. The ancient parish of Sandhurst also covered Crowthorne, until this became an ecclesiastical parish in its own right in 1874 and a civil parish in 1894.


axon and Medieval periods

The name of the village is Anglo-Saxon and originates from the sandy soils and the hurst (a wooded eminence) of the area. In early 14th century records, Sandhurst appears as part of township of Sonning, a large minster parish spreading over much of eastern Berkshire, which later became a hundred when its villages obtained their own churches. These lands belonged to the Bishops of Salisbury. There were two manors in Sandhurst: ‘Hall’ in the grounds of what is now the Royal Military Academy and ‘Sandhurst’ on the site of Sandhurst Lodge. Nothing remains of the original buildings.

Tudor to Georgian periods

In the early modern era, Sandhurst parish was a small farming community on the very edge of Windsor Forest, Sandhurst Walke being an important forest division subject to forest laws. Locals had the right to cut turf, bracken, heather and wood that was primarily cultivated to feed the forest deer. These were hunted by Royal parties from a hunting lodge in the vicinity of Hart's Leap Road. A number of disputes are on record, showing how Sandhurst people sometimes took more resources than was allowed. Farming has always remained a major part of village life here and some defunct farms are still remembered in the names of housing estates, roads and even a restaurant: Sandhurst Farm, Snaprails, Caves Farm, Ambarrow Farm, College Farm, Rectory Farm, Beech Farm and Rackstraws Farm. In the mid-16th century, William, Lord Sandys, the Lord Chancellor to King Henry VIII, owned a supposed manor called 'Buckhurst' in the area between College Town and Central Sandhurst.

Victorian and Modern periods

Life changed very little in Sandhurst until the 19th century when large sections of land were sold for the building of the Royal Military College, which moved from Marlow in 1812. The railway also arrived in 1849 and a number of large country residences were subsequently erected in the area: amongst them, Harts Leap, Forest End, St Helens Upland, The Warren, Longdown Lodge, Ryefield, Snaprails, Ambarrow Court and Sandhurst Lodge, erected in about 1858 by Robert Gibson and leased to John Walter, of the Times Newspaper, and then Sir William Farrer, solicitor to Queen Victoria and the Duke of Wellington. Perry Hill and The Ceders came later. Only a few remain today. The others have been demolished and land developed.

Such large houses and institutions, including the Broadmoor Asylum for the Criminally Insane and Wellington College in nearby Crowthorne, led to a great expansion of the local population as people moved into the area looking for work. Further residential housing was erected for these workers, as well as more schools for their children, more places of worship and watering holes. St. Michael's Parish Church dates from the 13th century, but was largely rebuilt in 1853. The Baptist Church was built in 1884 and the Wesleyan Methodist chapel followed in 1906. The Roman Catholic Church was, however, only completed in 1960. St George's [] , Owlsmoor was rebuilt in 1993 (previously a wooden structure first built in the 70's).

St. Michael's Church of England School was opened in 1862 and other schools followed in quick succession: Old Scotland Hill in 1871, The Methodist in 1906 and College Town in 1907. Uplands and Owlsmoor primaries were added in 1962 and 1974. Secondary pupils were sent to Edgebarrow school in Crowthorne, Forest Grammar School for boys in Winnersh or Holt School for girls in Wokingham. Sandhurst Comprehensive - now Sandhurst School - was built in 1969.

Sandhurst now has nine pubs, the oldest being the 'Rose and Crown' in the High Street which, at one time, belonged to the Simonds' Brewery of Reading. The Simonds family also owned land in the village and supplied beer and ale to the RMA and much of the British Army all over the World.

From the late 1950s to the 80s, large housing estates have been built quickly creating the conglomerate town of today from the original four villages of College Town, Sandhurst, Little Sandhurst and Owlsmoor.

Recreation and sport

*The Sandhurst tug of war team are currently the World champions, as seen on sign posts entering the town.
*Sandhurst's football team, Sandhurst Town F.C., has its home ground at Bottom Meadow. It currently plays in the Combined County League - Division premier.
*Sandhurst Cricket Club field two teams in the Berkshire League with the 1st XI in the premier division. They also have a Sunday side and a Midweek XI, plus a growing junior section (U11s & U9s).
*Sandhurst Joggers Club has more than 160 members. Founded in 1987.
*Sandhurst Recreation Park contains tennis and basketball courts, cricket and football pitches, playground (with large sand-play area) and a small skatepark. The Coffee Spot - a local public dining establishment - is in the vicinity. The park has a large water area (called a balancing pond) where a firework show is held once a year, usually on the closest Saturday to Guy Fawkes Night, and the Sandhurst Donkey Derby - a community festival - is also an annual event.
*Sandhurst Arts Festival was held on July 5th & 6th. This consisted of a variety of musical acts performing in the Memorial Park.
*Sandhurst Sports Centre is in the Owlsmoor area. It has various facilities for sporting and recreational activities.

Public houses

Across the town of there is a large amount of public houses.

(They Are, In Alphabetical Order)
*The Bird in Hand
*The Dukes Head
*The Fox and Hound
*The Jolly Farmer
*Rackstraws' Farm
*The Rose and Crown
*The Village Inn
*The White Swan
*Wellington Arms

Famous residents

*HRH Prince William of Wales resided at the RMA between Jan-Dec 2006.
*Winston Churchill was trained at the RMA


*PH Ditchfield (1923), The Victoria County History of Berkshire.
* [ Sandhurst Town Council Website: History Page]
* [ Sandhurst Town Council Website: FAQ Page]

External links

* [ Sandhurst Historical Society]
* [ Sandhurst Weather Station]
* [ Sandhurst Town Council]
* [ Sandhurst Cricket Club]
* [ RMA Sandhurst]
* [ Sandhurst Town FC]
* [ Sandhurst Joggers]
* [ Sandhurst Residents' Association]
* [ Royal Berkshire History: Sandhurst]
* [ Local Sandhurst Information & Facilities]

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