Thursday, 22 September 2016

Deepdene Trail

Hello

Thanks for visiting.

We're still in Dorking for one last post today.

There are three railway stations in Dorking. Dorking Main goes to London. Dorking West used to be used to transport items for the construction of Denbies House high up on the hill and then there's Dorking Deepdene, Deepdene being the other large estate in the area.

Owned by the Howard, Dukes of Norfolk,  family for many centuries,  in 1808 Thomas Hope, one of the richest men in England, bought The Deepdene and enlarged it, its grounds stretching for 12 miles and it's mansion being where Victorian Prime Minister Disraeli wrote part of his novel 'Coningsby'.

There is also a connection with the famous Hope Diamond, said to be cursed, currently in Washington, USA. It is not known how Thomas Hope acquired the diamond which had belonged to King Louis XIV of France and Marie Antoinette, maybe even King George IV of England.

Smithsonian photo


The estate passed through the generations, eventually to the Dukes of Newcastle, was leased to the Dowager Duchess of Marlborough whose nephew Winston Churchill visited her there.

The Deepdene - grandest estate in Dorking


With all that history, what a pity it was demolished - by British Rail in 1967.

However, some parts of the gardens and landscaping still remain and the new Deepdene Trail has just opened up. I will have to go and have a look, various areas are being restored like the mausoleum, gardens, grotto, embattled tower - seven miles of footpaths linking Betchworth Castle, Dorking Golf course and Chart Park.

A common in the middle of Dorking called Cotmandene, near to the start of the trail, gives lovely views over the town. Cricket used to be played there. You can still see the high walls part of the Deepdene estate garden. Here's my crazy jigsaw 270° photo-collage. If I had turned round you would have seen the grassy hill of Cotmandene leading up towards the start of the trail.  If you read my post yesterday, this is area 2 on the map.



It's such a great open space. I could just imagine the cricket team in full swing.

Tomorrow, we'll move on to other things!


Cheerio

2 comments:

  1. Such a wonderful place to take an afternoon stroll. So much interesting history! The Hope diamond is amazing. Hope you are enjoying the first week of autumn. xx K

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  2. Sadly the hope diamond is right the other side of the country to you or you could have popped in to see it! x

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