Happy St John Seminary visitors

This visit was so popular that we had to open a second group and double our number of participants. Everyone was very pleased with the event and shared their enthusiasm as below:

“I drive by this building almost every day and have wanted to look inside for a long time.”

“What a fascinating building architecturally!”

“One thing I really like about the Surrey Hills Society, is that we get to see things that are not open to the general public.”

A big thank you to our lovely members and to our volunteer event organiser! The event wouldn’t have happened without him giving his time.

Exploring Godstone & Tilburstow Hill – free Sunday walk

Thirty members of the Society explored Godstone and Tilburstow Hill in the east of the County on a frosty February morning. Although we could see the M25 Motorway in the distance on our walk, the area is incredibly beautiful and rural.

Starting on the green in Godstone we originally explored the series of lakes developed by the Evelyn family in 1588 for their gunpowder mills. The area is now known as Bay Pond and is a nature reserve managed by Surrey Wildlife Trust. We then ascended the steep Tilburstow Hill and explored the Greensand Way, with several outstanding panoramic views along the way.

The area is extremely historic and is mentioned in the 1086 Domesday Book. It was owned by King Ethelred and was passed to his daughter Goda upon her marriage and became known as “Goda’s Place”. Goda died in 1055.

Godstone is built on a stretch of the Brighton Way Roman Road, which comes through the high Caterham Gap, and continues southward along Tilburstow Hill Road.

The village was also a famous historic coach stop with The Bell Inn dating from 1393. The White Hart and the Hare and Hounds date from 1500s. Several members very sensibly reserved tables in advance of the walk as the pubs here are incredibly popular and it is impossible to get a table on spec on the day. There are also several really nice cafes which our members sampled both before and after our walk.