In the Tillingbourne valley, about half way between Dorking and
Guildford, lies this pretty village. Unlike most
of the Surrey villages, its beauty is derived more from the modern than from the ancient picturesque, largely
assisted by its surroundings of hill and dale, wood and meadow.
The Albury of the present owes its existence principally to the church built by the late Mr. Drummond, the owner of
Albury Park, in lieu of the old parish church in the park, of which he took possession for his family mausoleum.
This latter is well worth exploring, but an order is required for permission to pass through the lodge gate.
The quarter of a mile walk through the park is very pretty, helped by a picturesque old timber cottage or two, and
the little Tillingbourne twisting and turning about between the grassy slopes. The old church is, of course, now
dismantled and the chancel in ruins, but as a relic of the long since past it is charming, with its wealth of ivy
and other greenery almost enveloping it. It is supposed to be the oldest church -in Surrey - it looks it ; but
what of the octagonal dome surmounting the square Saxon tower ? This is an incongruity, of which surely the
original builders were innocent. Those interested in keyholes should notice the one in the door under the
beautiful old north porch. Unfortunately it is closed on the inside, otherwise it would have made a capital
window for inspection.
On the edge of the park, close to the high road, is the pretentious edifice of the Irvingite "cathedral,"
built by the late Mr. Drummond, of which sect he was chief. The exterior, Perpendicular in style, is more
pleasing than the interior, which strikes one as deficient in taste if not in colour.
The octagon chapter house adjoining the church is curious, but more interesting is the picturesque old parsonage
close at hand.
The gardens of Albury Park, originally laid out by Evelyn of Wotton, contain some unique features, but are not of
Between Albury and Shere is a very picturesque glen, extending up the side of the chalk hill, with a beautiful pool
of blue water at the bottom, surrounded by luxuriant foliage. This "'Silent Pool" is much sought after
by the present day Pilgrims, so different to those good people of old who wore out their sandals along that
"devious way" on the hillside above. A walk or bicycle ride - I mention bicycle, for, notwithstanding
the hilly nature of the country, the pedestrian (excuse the Irishism) will find a "wheel" useful - round
by Shere Heath and Brook, up to Blackheath and back to the village by Albury Down, will give one an excellent idea
of the beauty and variety of the scenery of this lovely locality.
Our etching is taken from a spot a little east of the church, overlooking the village nestling so prettily below
among the foliage.
The grave of Martin Tupper, of Proverbial Philosophy celebrity, who lived here many years, is on the left, close to
the path leading up from the village gate.