Old maps show that sand and gravel have been extracted from the Common for many centuries, and evidence of old workings can still be found today. Many of the older houses in Horsell would have been constructed using local materials. The charges for sand in 1924 were 1/- per load for use inside the Parish, and 1/6 for use outside. Sand extraction finally ended in the 1960’s.
Local author H G Wells who lived in Maybury used the Sandpit as the landing site for Martian space craft in his novel “War of the Worlds”. Today it is still a site of pilgrimage for many science fiction fans that travel from all over the world.
The “beach” area of the current Sandpit is regularly skimmed and the material removed is used to maintain the tracks. During the floods of autumn 2000 contingency plans were put in hand with Woking Borough Council for the removal of sand for filling sand-bags.