Days gone by at Hindhead

Broomsquires making besom brooms was unique to English heathland areas © Frith & Co

Broomsquires making besom brooms was unique to English heathland areas

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, the last broomsquire to live at the Devil’s Punch Bowl, also delivered milk to Hindhead until his death in 1939. He lived at the original Highcombe Farm situated on Sailors Lane (the ruins can still be seen today).

Grazing of the heathland by commoners ended around the mid-1900s.