A local historian writing in the early 1950’s mentions a reference to archers in Chelsham and Warlingham found in 1539 at the time of the quarrel between the Pope and Henry VIII. All those named in the muster were well known as local churchwardens and sidesmen. It was proposed to form a tableau depicting these men in the pageant for the Warlingham & Chelsham Festival of Britain celebrations in 1951. In March of that year a meeting was held at the Warlingham Sports Club, which led to the formation of the Warlingham Archery Club. The Club held its first shoot at the Vicarage Field, Warlingham, on 12th April the following year. Colonel Ambrose Keevil, who was knighted in 1953 and later became High Sheriff of Surrey, was the Club's first President. Our Club badge, which depicts one of the archers from the frieze of the Bayeux tapestry, was also adopted at this time.
For its first quarter century the Club continued to use the Vicarage Field at Warlingham and somehow managed to survive despite a chronic shortage of funds. During this time most of the awards which we still have today, such as the Alstone-Lawrence rounds and the various Trophy Day awards, were established. In 1958 we gained our first Master Bowman, Mrs Laurie Fowler, who went on to shoot for the British team which took 2nd place in the 1960 World Championships in Stockholm. The Club remained at the Vicarage Field, despite continuing problems with long grass and vandalism, until it moved to the Warlingham RFC ground at Hamsey Green in 1977.
Following the move to the Rugby Club ground the next few years saw a change in fortune for the Club. In 1977 the Club started running courses for beginners and also hosted the Surrey Clout tournament (as we now do once more). Our Founder’s Day Clout shoot became an established annual event – a welcome diversion from our usual discipline of target archery. The Club gained a number of First Class archers and some Master Bowmen. Our current President, David Short, won his first of many Surrey Championship titles in 1986 and followed this up by achieving Grand Master Bowman status in 1988. Deteriorating conditions at Warlingham caused us to seek a new ground and in 1991 we moved to Oxted, where we used the school field and were able to shoot indoor rounds in addition to the outdoor "Frostbite" winter shoots.
In 1995 it became clear that escalating rent would force us to move yet again and in the summer of 1996 we returned to our Warlingham "roots", moving to our present ground at Warlingham Park School. In 2001 we celebrated our 50th anniversary with an invitation shoot in June of that year, a special winter social event, and the award of an engraved silver salver to all current members. Then in 2011, we celebrated our Diamond anniversary with another invitation shoot with all attendees and members receiving a commemorative mug.
The Club has thrived in recent years and today we have a keen and active membership, with a variety of abilities and interests within the sport of Archery.