We are lucky to have a lot of great local history in the Guildford & Woking area - take a trip into the past with these five historical outings.
Getting out and about in your local area is a great way to stay engaged, active and happy for people of all ages. Don’t confine your days out in Guildford & Woking to the present, though – take a trip to the past and discover some of the fun to be had!
Those driving through Ripley or Pyrford may be lucky enough to spot Newark Priory – at over 800 years old it has an impressive history and was one of the many monasteries dissolved by Henry VIII. Newark Priory was, before its reconstruction, run by the Canons Regular of St Augustine. The register of Bishop Woodlock states that the priory was first founded by a Bishop of Winchester. The ruins have early English Gothic architecture, and while they are on private land there are many beauty spots nearby to enjoy a stroll and get a good view of the old priory.
Just a short walk from Old Woking are the ruins of Woking Palace. It was once the home of Margaret Beaufort, mother of Henry VII, the king who would win the Battle of Bosworth Field and become the first Tudor king of England. Guided tours are regularly available, although you can also wander down the nearby country paths to have a look by yourself. You can find out more about Woking palace here http://www.woking-palace.org/thehistory.html
If you’re a fan of the macabre, this Victorian mausoleum may be a spooky day out for you. Currently known as the Brookwood Cemetery, this sprawling burial ground is the largest of it’s kind in the United Kingdom, and one of the largest in Europe. It was conceived in 1849 to house London’s deceased. Overpopulation in Victorian London led to a lack of affordable burial plots, so the capital’s citizens would get on the Brookwood line train service alongside the coffins carrying the deceased to transport them all the way to Brookwood.
This beautifully preserved Norman castle still lies in the heart of Guildford, thought to be built on command of either William the Conqueror himself, or one of his barons. The castle was mainly used as a royal residence but it was also a fortress and did play a part in warfare and although the Castle was never attacked it was strengthened at various points in its history. The gardens are extremely popular, displaying an amazing array of colourful bedding, centered on the 12th Century Castle Keep and include a life-size statue of Alice Through the Looking Glass, which is a memorial to Lewis Carroll who stayed nearby in The Chestnuts, his sisters’ house, from 1868 until he died in 1898. Perfect for history enthusiasts or Lewis Carroll aficionados.