Works by Percy Robertson
Click here to view a larger image. Albury

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 easy access.

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.

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