Charlwood is well known as an important historic village, but it is more than a collection of buidings: it is a vibrant rural community with its own local shops, village school and pubs, comprising a typical cross section of British society, with many different personalities and characters. Having a life of its own, it is not an airport dormitory nor has it been taken over by airport related activities.
The keen interest demonstrated in the history of Charlwood is fuelled by the continuity in its social structure, based on the many families who have lived in the Parish or in its vicinity for many generations. The present electoral roll includes names which appeared on the baptismal registers in the 17th century. There are many instances of several generations of the same family living and working in the village - not necessarily in the same houses - throughout their lives; pensioners now in retirement bungalows remember living in primitive cottages which have since been restored as family homes.
Hookwood is also an important part of the Parish of Charlwood with a strong community spirit. Within its boundaries are a Tesco Superstore, a BUPA hospital, a hotel and a pub. it includes The Withey, an attractive public open space with a well equipped childrens play area owned by a Parish Trust and managed by the Parish Council. The original village hall, the Hookwood Memorial Hall, was built in 1931 as a memorial to a local Sunday School teacher, and it was so popular that it was exended in the 1970's. By the end of the 20th century the hall was coming to the end of its useful life and the Management Committee embarked on a fund raising campaign to construct a new hall which was completed in June 2001.