Explore Hambledon – free, guided walk

3rd June 2018, 11:00 - 13:00

Join the Chairman of Surrey Hills Society, Chris Howard on this 6 mile, summer walk around this pretty part of the Surrey Hills. Hambledon appears in Domesday Book of 1086 as “Hameledune” and was owned by Rannulf from Edward de Sarisber, from the Salisbury area.  In the 16th century, part of its land was mined for iron ore. This became replaced by the 18th and 19th centuries by brickmaking. Fable has it that there is buried treasure at Tolt Hill, near Hambledon, but it has never been found.

Hambledon Church is dedicated to St Peter. Built on top of a hill on Church Lane, its churchyard contains two gigantic yew trees – one with a 30-foot (9.1 m) circumference and hollow, with space for four people inside. The trees outdate the present church by many centuries. Today’s building was constructed in the 19th century, although it does contain traces of its 14th century predecessor.

We will visit Hydon Ball, or Cup Hill, which is now in the care of the National Trust. At its highest point is a large stone seat which was placed there in 1915 as a memorial to Octavia Hill, one of the Trust’s founders. It is believed that the term “ball” refers to a signalling station which once stood at the top of the hill.

There is a short poem associated with Hydon’s Ball, which may explain its other alternative name:

On Hydon’s top there is a cup

And in that cup there is a drop

Pick up the cup, and drink the drop

And place the cup on Hydon’s top.

Its slopes are planted with a range of tree species, including native oak, rowan, birch and pine. Two non-native shrubs, Amelanchier and Gaultheria, are said by locals to have been planted there by landscape gardener Gertrude Jekyll who lived nearby at Munstead Wood, Busbridge. The hill is a meeting spot for local Morris Dancers who gather on the hilltop to welcome the first day of spring. Hydon’s Ball is one of the top ten highest points in Surrey. A drinking water underground reservoir with pressure valves and related capabilities is beneath the summit.

The event is free and open to all reasonably fit walkers. Meet us at Merry Harriers Pub Car Park, Hambledon Road, Godalming, GU8 4DR (Grid Ref:  SU899359) at 10.30am for an 11.00 am prompt start and finishing around 1.00pm. There will be an optional lunch or drink in the pub afterwards. Dogs are welcome.

Book your place for the walk at the bottom of the page. For further details and enquiries, contact us at Contact number on the day is 07879-841000.

Please note that the Surrey Hills Society and its Event partners accept no responsibility for any loss, damage or personal injury during events. Participants are requested to wear appropriate clothing and footwear and take due care and attention. The Society uses members’ photographs on social media and on our website.  If you are not happy to have your photo taken during this event, please notify us in writing prior to the event and make the event organiser aware on the day.


Merry Harriers pub Godalming GU8 4DR

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