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. Shere

Just before the Wey, in its northward course, enters the narrow passage between the chalk hills at Guildford, it receives on its right bank the stream of the Tillingbourne, whose channel lies in the deep valley between the North Downs and the loftier but here gradual slopes of the Leith Hill ridge, save where St. Martha's Hill, standing aloof from its kindred sandstones, ranges itself with the chalk, a salient bastion on the long escarpment of the Downs.

Set here and there along this stream, like jewels strung on a silver thread, is a series of singularly beautiful villages - picturesque in themselves, and more picturesque in their surroundings. Third in the chain from Guildford and six miles from that ancient borough, is Shere, whose church is here portrayed among the half-expanded foliage of its spring trees.

The beauty of this long valley is enhanced by the extraordinary contrast to be obtained close by. One change is to the Downs - that is clear enough to the wayfarer ; their great green slopes are constantly before him ; but few of the explorers of to-day - they are mostly cyclists - know the wildness of the Blackheath moors behind the smiling woods on the southern side. The roads are not peculiarly inviting, it is true, but to admire it is not necessary to fly past. Still, ten minutes will bring the slowest goer out on Blackheath, well deserving its name, whence open out the successive steep bluffs of the Leith Hill range, jutting out upon the level of the Weald like headlands into the sea. And so home, as Pepys would say, by Wonersh, or back by another lane to Albury or Shere.

In this church is a monument to the Lord Audley who held the manor for a brief space before he fell in the wars of the Roses :- others to the family of Bray, who have held it ever since their ancestor, Sir Reginald, obtained it from Henry VII. whom he had helped to win the throne, and whose faithful minister he was. The Bray chapel at Windsor is his ; and he designed the famous Henry VII.'s chapel at Westminster, while a modern successor of his was one of the standard historians of Surrey.


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