SURREY LANDSCAPES

ORIGINAL ETCHINGS

BY

PERCY ROBERTSON
A.R.E.

Works by Percy Robertson
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Click here to view a larger image. Guildford From St Catherine's

The view from Guildford of the ruins of St. Catherine's Chapel perched upon the grass-covered hill stretching out from the east end of the Hog's Back, about a mile out on the Godalming Road, is picturesque enough, but more so that from the chapel across the valley to the town, with the Castle keep partly embowered in dense foliage, and the houses of the town rising one above the other up the hill side. This view, judiciously chosen by our artist, excludes (nearly in the same direction) the comparatively unattractive bleak chalky down which falls precipitously away from the summit of the main ridge, and which is gradually being dotted over with modern villa residences.

Nowhere is the River Wey seen to better advantage. One of its reaches skirts the bottom of the hill on which we are standing, which rises almost perpendicularly from the towing path from 200 to 300 feet.

During the first week in October a popular fair is held on this hill, which has descended from the good old times when frolic and fun, not of the most refined character, ruled here supreme ; these, however, have given place to the elegant modern steam merry-go-rounds, with their melodious "organic" accompaniment, and the cocoa-nut establishments, &c. The chapel was built of the ruins of an older church in Edward II.'s time, but there is little to account for its isolated situation, unless, like St. Matha's on the other hill in sight, for the benefit of the pilgrims.

No one should visit this locality without driving along the Hog's Back to Farnham. This is considered the finest ten miles in Surrey. It extends along the comparatively narrow ridge, nearly 500 feet above the sea-level, which rises abruptly from the lower land north and south of it, beginning steeply at Guildford, but subsiding more gradually at the Farnham end.

The buildings of Charterhouse School, finely placed on the high ground above Godalming, greatly help the landscape on this side.

We are here on the Pilgrims' Way, which there is no mistaking. By the way, speaking of the Pilgrims' Way, we must not forget that this road existed long before pilgrimages became fashionable - in fact, it is supposed even before Phænician times, for ingots of tin have been found at various places, giving reason for the belief that by this route the Cornish metals found their way to Sandwich or some port near for shipment across the Channel.

The fine old mansion of Loseley, about 2 miles from Guildford, a little north of the Godalming road, will repay a visit. It is one of the best specimens of Elizabethan architecture in the county, and is chiefly remarkable for the large and important collection of manuscripts, which, we believe, have only comparatively recently been brought to light.

In the drawing-room is a very fine mantel-piece, in good preservation, most delicately carved in chalk, almost unique in its way.


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