How did the Punch Bowl get its name?
Legend says that the Devil lived at the 'Devil's Jumps', near Churt. He would torment Thor, God of Thunder, who lived at Thor's Lie (Thursley), by jumping from hill to hill. Thor would try to strike the Devil with thunder and lightning and once the Devil retaliated by scooping up a handful of earth and hurling it at Thor. The depression that remained is the Devil's Punch Bowl.
Local people used to graze their cattle on the Commons and Broomsquires made besom brooms from the heather and birch. The Broomsquires lived in cottages on the heath and sold their brooms to grand establishments like Windsor Castle and Hampton Court. George Mayes, was the last broomsquire to live at the Devil’s Punch Bowl and lived at the original Highcombe Farm situated on Sailors Lane.
- Sir Robert Hunter, one of our co-founders, lived near Hindhead
- Our properties at Hindhead were some of our first acquisitions, in 1906
- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, author of Sherlock Holmes, used to walk on Hindhead Commons and it’s said that he used Hindhead as the inspiration for the book ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles’