Village History


Tewin is an ancient village whose history dates back to Saxon times circa 449 AD, and beyond. There are indications that people settled here many hundreds of years before the Romans invaded Britain. The name Tewin comes from the Anglo Saxon word "Tew", God of War, Ing means enclosure or meadow - the name varies over the centuries and in the Doomsday Book it is Tewinge and Theinge, and in the 16th century Tewinge, Tewing and Twying.

In 2009 the village published a book about the history of Tewin, its environs, buildings and the people who have lived here.  The research started in 1995 with the gathering of material relating to World War II, for an exhibition to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of D-Day.  Three years later the same people began research on the history of the village for a Millennium exhibition, out of which has come the book.  

A further volume has now been published covering items not in the first book and an account of activities in the village over the past twelve years or so, including the years of the Covid pandemic.  Much has happened in the village during these years, for example, the village shop has become a Community Store and Café run by the village for the village.  The freehold now belongs to the Tewin Shop Committee and the Shop is run by a Part-time paid manager and volunteers from the area.

St. Peter's Church is the oldest building in the village and was probably first built around 604 AD on the site of the ancient Temple of Tew. This church was probably a wooden building at the time of the Norman Conquest in a poor state of repair.  In 1086 it was rebuilt and the present building has gradually developed over the centuries, with the South Aisle being added in the late medieval period, and the Tower in the 17th century.  A major restoration was funded by Earl Cowper of Panshanger in 1903.  The church is kept in very good repair and the churchyard acts as a park for the village with many using the footpaths that cross this peaceful area.

Other old buildings in the village include two 17th century cottages on Lower Green and  two 19th century houses on Upper Green Road, The Plume of Feathers public house, built about 1500 or earlier, Queen Hoo Hall built in 1584, and Marden Hill house, about 1760.  The Rose and Crown public house, mentioned in The Carrington Diaries (John Carrington, who is buried in Tewin churchyard with his wife - wrote a diary of life in this area from 1797 - 1810),  and the Old School House on Lower Green, were both built about 1650 and are of similar design.  See the walk round Tewin for pictures of many of these buildings.

In his introduction to the first Tewin history book Lord Laming of Tewin says it"casts light on the changing social order, new styles in architecture, developments in education and employment as well as leisure activities".  It covers the history of the village right up to the present day.  There are many stories and legends associated with Tewin, and many interesting people have lived in or visited the village. The book includes information about families who have lived here for several generations.  The lists of occupations in the village from the mid 19th century up to the Millennium show how life has changed here.

In the 16th and 17th centuries people in the village found employment on the land and in large houses such as Queen Hoo Hall, Tewin House, Marden Hill and Tewin Water.   Panshanger House, built early in the 19th century from 1806 by the 5th Earl Cowper and demolished in 1952, was not in the parish of Tewin but the house and estate offered a considerable  amount of employment to people in the village.  At the end of the 19th century a number of Estate houses were built in Tewin around Lower Green.

In 1900 the population was about 550, but now it is nearer 2500. Tewin is now very much a commuter village for people who work in nearby towns or London. Many new houses have been built since the Second World War, including the development of Tewin Wood to the north of the village.

Over the last seventy years, since the Second World War,  clubs and societies have come and gone.  In the 50s and 60s home wine-making was very popular and the Wine Guild met for over 40 years.  The Potato Association was set up during the war to help grow vegetables for the village.  This became in due course the village Horticultural Society which flourished until 1988. During the 1960s the Tewin Society was founded originally a s a protest group against new housing development in the village.  It later became a source of cultural and environmental activities.  Its activities were largely overtaken by THACS, the Tewin Horticultural Arts and Crafts Society set up after the Millennium. Tewin Society closed down in 2013.  THACS has also now ceased as an organisation as no-one was found to Chair the Committee