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Cranleigh

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Cranleigh is a large village and civil parish, self-proclaimed the largest in England, almost southeast of Guildford in Surrey. It lies east of the A281, which links Guildford with Horsham, on an alternative route that is not an A-road. It is in the north-west corner of the Weald (a large remnant forest) and immediately south-east of Winterfold Forest, a remaining area of forest on the Greensand Ridge.HistoryEtymologyUntil the mid-1860s, the village was usually spelt Cranley. The Post Office succeeded in getting the spelling changed to avoid confusion with nearby Crawley in West Sussex. The older spelling is preserved by the Cranley Hotel in the middle of the village. The origin of the name is recorded in the Pipe Rolls as both Cranlea in 1166 and Cranelega in 1167. A little later in the Feet of Fines of 1198 the name is written as Cranele. Etymologists consider all these versions to be the fusion of the Old English words "Cran", meaning "crane", and "Lēoh" that together mean 'a woodland clearing visited by cranes'. The name is popularly believed to come from the large crane breeding grounds that were supposed to have been historically located at Vachery Pond, locally known as simply Vachery. The figure of a crane adorns the old drinking water fountain of 1874 which can still be found in the middle of the village in 'Fountain Square', and a pair of cranes adorn the crest of the recently granted civic Coat of arms of Cranleigh Parish Council.
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