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Wonders of Surrey

Clandon Park in 2014
Clandon Park in 2014 / Clandon Park – Surrey, Flickr / CC BY 2.0

WorldBlue  Highlights

The cultural and natural heritage of Surrey is very diverse. Especially rich is cultural heritage – this county has numerous valuable country houses, church buildings, monuments of industrial architecture. Beautiful are the parks of Surrey, mysterious and surprising – the artificial caves and passages.

Map with the described wonders

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WorldViolet Top 25 wonders of Surrey

Biological wonders

Crowhurst Yew

Enormous yew tree with a trunk circumference of 9.6 m. The tree has a hollow that can be entered through a door.

Trunk of Crowhurst Yew with door leading into the hollow, Surrey
Trunk of Crowhurst Yew with door leading into the hollow / Donald Macauley, / CC BY-SA 2.0
Tandridge Yew

A magnificent yew tree with a 10.92 m trunk circumference, grows in the church garden.

Tandridge Yew, Surrey
Tandridge Yew / andeecollard, / CC BY-SA 2.0
Druids Grove

A unique stand of numerous (more than 24) enormous yew trees, with 4 – 7 m girth.

Architecture wonders

Valley Gardens

A beautiful botanical garden with the (presumably) largest planting of rhododendrons in the world, covered with an endless cover of flowers each spring.

Dorking Caves

A maze of artificial caves below Dorking. These tunnels joined many shops and were used for diverse activities, including illegal cock fighting, and smuggling.

Bagshot Park

A royal residence, originally built between 1631 and 1633. The current house was built in 1879 and has 200 rooms. The architecture of interiors has an Indian influence.


Māori meeting house that has been transferred here from the bank of Lake Taravera (New Zealand). This meeting house provided shelter during the eruption of Mount Tarawera in 1886 – it was covered with ash, but people inside survived. Temple was transferred to Clandon Park in 1892.

Claremont Landscape Garden

One of the earliest English landscape gardens, shaped in 1715 – 1727. At the time this was considered to be one of the noblest gardens in Europe.

Abbot’s Hospital in Guildford

A magnificent and ornate Jacobean building, built in the beginning of the 17th century.

Farnham Castle

A large, beautiful medieval castle and country house complex in a good state of preservation. The current structure was built in the late 12th – 13th centuries as a motte and bailey castle, extended in the 17th century. Motte still is standing, resembling a large amphitheater, next to it is a mansion built from bricks.

Guildford Castle

Ruins of a very old castle, possibly built already by Saxons and rebuilt by Normans after 1066. Nowadays the main standing structure is a massive keep, built in the 1330ies. Already in the late 14th century most of the castle was abandoned, while the keep was used as a jail. It was abandoned in the 15th century.

Pyrford St. Nicholas Church

A well preserved example of Norman architecture, built around 1140. Contains original frescoes.

Waynflete’s Tower in Esher Place

An interesting gatehouse, built in the late 15th century and modified in the 18th century. Unusual decorative brickwork architecture.

Collection of keyboard instruments in Hatchlands Park

A collection of 37 historic keyboard instruments, many associated with famous composers – Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, Liszt, and others.

Guildford House at 155 High Street

This townhouse was built in 1660. It contains ornate original details – a carved staircase, and decorative plastered ceilings. Now used as a museum and art gallery.

Founder’s Building of Royal Holloway College

An amazing, very ornate, and enormous building, constructed in 1874 – 1881. Contains a collection of Victorian paintings.

Founder's Building of Royal Holloway College, Surrey
Founder’s Building of Royal Holloway College / Rwendland, / CC BY-SA 3.0
Albury Park House

An interesting country house, built in the 15th century and rebuilt several times in later times. House has 65 chimneys, each of a different design, as well as many other interesting details.

Thursley St Michael’s All Angels Church

An old countryside church that was built in the 11th century and modified in the 19th. Two windows still have the original oak frames.

Holloway Sanatorium

A beautiful, enormous Victorian building, built in 1873 – 1885 as a mental hospital.

Chatley Heath semaphore tower

One of the best-preserved semaphore towers in England, built in the early 19th century. The brick building is five floors high, contains semaphore models, and displays about the history of communications.

Watts Mortuary Chapel

An exquisite chapel and mortuary that was built in Arts and Crafts style in 1896 – 1898. The construction of this beautiful structure involved all villagers.

Winkworth Arboretum

A beautiful arboretum with large collections of azaleas, rhododendrons, and hollies. One of the most prominent bluebell woodlands, the arboretum is covered with a carpet of flowers in spring.

Chaldon SS Peter and Paul Church

An 11th-century church with a valuable wall painting from around 1170, named “The Ladder of the Salvation of the Human Soul and the Road to Heaven.”

The oldest English wall painting in Chaldon Church
The oldest English wall painting in Chaldon Church / Ian Rees, / CC BY-SA 2.0
Outwood Windmill

The oldest working windmill in Britain, built in 1665. Worked well into the 20th century, and now not in working order but the machinery has been preserved.

Loseley Park House

A large manor house, built in 1562 – 1568 on the site of an earlier building. Contains valuable interiors and art values.

WorldYellow Recommended books

Surrey Village Book

This book contains a description of over 140 Surrey villages, recalling the history, people, and events that have given each its particular flavor. It features illustrations by Christopher Howkins.

Surrey (The Buildings of England)

Surrey’s architecture is a constantly surprising mix of the rural and urban with many of its most important buildings, such as 17th century Ham House, found amongst the outgrowth of London itself. The landscaped gardens of Painshill and Claremont attest to Surrey’s popularity in the 18th century and the county’s enthusiasm for follies and remarkable garden buildings. The more recent architecture includes notable early works by Lutyens, with gardens by Gertrude Jekyll, inspired by the rich stock of late medieval farmhouses and tile-hung cottages in the county’s southern villages.

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