Who's who of who has lived in Haslemere

What is so special about Haslemere? Well it has had a long associated history with some famous and not so famous people in history. Check out the who's who of who that have lived in Haslemere. 

Located in the Borough of Waverley in Surrey, Haslemere is a well-connected town and the most southerly in the county. Its history dates back to the 1200s (Haslemere got its name from hazel trees standing beside a lake or ‘mere’) and it has been a popular place to live ever since Victorian times. From the bustling local high street here to the beautiful nature that surrounds the town, there are many reasons why it continues to be in demand. It’s also a location that has attracted some interesting residents in years gone by – this is a brief who’s who of some of them.


  • George Eliot. Marian Evans – aka George Eliot – rented a home in Haslemere for a summer while renovations were being carried out on her London home. It was here, during that time, that she wrote much of what would later become the book Middlemarch. Before she left she said 'I did not imagine that I should ever be so fond of the place as I am now.’

  • Arthur Conan Doyle. If you’re a fan of the Sherlock Holmes stories then you’ll no doubt be interested to know that the creator of the books once lived in Haslemere. He occupied Grayswood Beeches for a while in the late 1800s.

  • Alfred, Lord Tennyson. Another very famous wordsmith, Lord Tennyson had a much longer tenure in Haslemere. He was a resident here for a lot of his later years and even died in the town. Much of Tennyson’s time was spent walking in and around the area on the routes that still attract many people today.

  • John Tyndall. Haslemere was the retirement location for this very well known mountaineer and scientist. If you’re a fan then you can visit his grave, which is located at St Bartholomew’s parish church. We have Tyndall to thank for understanding the radiative properties of various greenhouse gases.

  • Sir Robert Hunter. One of Robert Hunters best known achievements was being a co-founder of the National Trust. His home was Meadfields Hanger, Haslemere and he too was buried at St Bartholomew’s parish church.

  • John Wornham Penfold. John Penfold was the inventor of the Penfold Pillar Boxes and also had a great deal of influence over Haslemere. He made extensive renovations to Penfolds house and the parish church of St Bartholomew's, and was also responsible for the first hospital in Haslemere, the hospital on Shepherds' Hill (now residential accommodation). His name was also given to the sidekick in the Danger Mouse cartoon series.

  • General James Oglethorpe. General Oglethorpe was responsible for the establishment of the Colony of Georgia in North America. When he was back in England he was the Member of Parliament for Haslemere for many years between 1722 and 1754.


Haslemere is a town that has a wide appeal to many different types of residents, from families through to professionals and creatives. Over the years it has attracted some internationally renowned individuals who have been proud to call this part of Surrey home.

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