Sunday, February 05, 2006

Polesden Lacy - 5 February 2006

Polesden LacyIt was to the south of London that we journeyed for our Sunday afternoon walk: focused around the National Trust property of Polesden Lacy. Polesden valley

We parked at the nearby town of Westhumble and enjoyed typical English winter countryside vistas as we made our way up the Polesden valley.

We ignored the printed directions and went through the Polesden Lacy grounds, the house being shut for the winter. Exiting the opposite side we rejoined the route for a mile or two along a typical English “hollow”, Hogden Lane. An English Hollow

From there we joined the North Downs Way with expansive, if somewhat hazy, views to the south, on past St Barnabas Church St Barnabas Churchand back to Westhumble past the Chapel ruins that are, judging by the sign, the town motif.
Westhumble chapel ruins
As we were not far from the Arbinger villages we went to see the ‘Jack the Westhumble town signHammer’ a mechanised blacksmith that strikes a bell to sound the hours in the village of Arbinger Hammer. Which was named after which, I have no idea.

Nearby is Friday Street, a village that, according to the information, had been compared with Jack the HammerSwitzerland due to its large mill-pond and steep wooded valley. Frankly we weren’t convinced with the Swiss comparison. Nevertheless, it was an attractive pond that we will visit again in the autumn as it should be stunning with the autumn colours reflected.

Mill-pond at Friday StreetThe last stop was Arbinger Common with the old village stocks still there, now with the villagers locked out by a fence rather than locked in. This has been called ‘England’s oldest village’ since evidence of occupation 7000 years ago was discovered nearby in 1950.

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