Aims and Intentions

♦ To make the history of Oatlands as a village better understood and more widely known.

♦ To research and compile a history of the village from as many original sources as possible.

♦ To collect and preserve any items relating to the village, its buildings and its people.

♦ To record memories of the village in written or digital audio format.

♦ To investigate the popular 'tales of Oatlands' and determine whether they have any historical basis.

♦ To work with local schools to show how Oatlands fits into a wider historical landscape.

♦ To publish books on the village where it is appropriate and economically sensible to do so.

♦ To create an accessible resource for those seeking to understand Oatlands as a community.

Our intention is to follow the pattern outlined in the diagram below:

OHG Activity Cycle

Where we have delicate original documents in our possession, these will, after recording and obtaining digital copies, be lodged with the Surrey History Centre at Woking where they can be stored under environmentally controlled conditions to ensure their long-term preservation.

Where we have original documents loaned to us we will copy them and return them to the owner as quickly as is possible. On their return we will offer advice on how best to store them to ensure their preservation for generations to come. In some cases this advice may be that they would be best preserved at Surrey History Centre, though we completely understand that some owners may be less than willing to do so. Incorrect storage of documents can lead to rapid deterioration of historically valuable resources and we have seen many examples of this in the past that have resulted in what is no more than a very fragile item where the writing is no longer legible, the ink (often an 'iron-gall' formulation) having eaten away the material on which it was written.

As research continues it is hoped that we will be in a position to publish various books or booklets of different aspects of the rather unique history of Oatlands as a village. Unlike its neighbours of Walton and Weybridge, Oatlands had no real history prior to the break-up and sale of the Estate in 1846, except as parkland, woodland and farmland - all to the direct benefit of the Estate itself. It is this 'growth from nothing' that makes the village so historically interesting and unique in the area.

All documents, photographs, ephemera and other items are of interest to us and we would be very happy to see anything that you may have relating to the village - no matter what time period it is concerned with.