Tuesday, 28 February 2017

M25 St Ann's Hill



Post to the south Allmners
Post to the west Virginia Water. Lyne Lane



M25

Old Coach Road.
Road from London to Winchester which approaches the hill from the N and directly encroaches on the south east corner of the hill fort. It is now a track which approaches the St Ann's Hill from St Ann's Hill Road.
Track. This branches off the Coach Road going north and probably follows the line of the King's Way from Chertsey to the chapel of St Ann.

St. Ann's Hill
Hill Fort. This has been subject to discussion but its existence is now substantiated. It is below the summit of the hill and circumscribing the hill-top. Its date is not clear but is thought to have been used over a long period.  It was once known as Eldebury or Oldbury
Public Park. This is a late 18th landscape on the site of a prehistoric hill fort. The area was used by Chertsey Abbey in the middle ages and is said to have been planted with vines and used for beekeeping. The summit was a viewing point for the Anglo-French Survey, which calculated the distance between the  Greenwich and Paris Observatories, It was also crucial for the link with the base-line of the English survey on Hounslow Heath. It was laid out with picturesque planting in the 19th, and landscaped in the early 20th by Percy Cane. It was opened as a public park in 1928
St.Anne's Chapel. This is on the highest point at the north end of the summit where a group of Sequoias are near the fragmentary ruins of the ancient chapel of St Ann. This was built by Chertsey Abbey in and demolished at the dissolution. There is only one wall left with stone foundation walls, mainly below the ground, and associated earthworks
Reservoir. This is on the summit of the hill and is covered with a large grass clearing, with planting around the edge of rhododendron, with coniferous and some specimen trees
Reservoir Cottage. This is next to the remains of the Chapel and was previously called ‘Keeper's Cottage’. It has an adjoining octagonal summerhouse and a tiled mosaic of St Anne with the Virgin and child standing beside her and the arms of Lord Holland and motto beneath.
Well. There is a dome-shaped well called St Ann's or Nun's Well. This is a spring welling from under an arch. It is said to be hard to find.
Southwood House.  This is and its grounds are on the west side of the eastern entrance track. In the grounds is a single storey octagonal gazebo with a pyramidal roof. It is dated 1794 on a Coade stone tablet above the entrance and was built by Charles James Fox in the mid 1790s.
Monks Grove. Area of ancient woodland
The Dingle. The Dingle on the south slope of the hill is in a hollow. It consists of a grassy clearing, with specimen trees in the centre and rhododendron, There is a pond in the south-east corner, one of three in the 19th although the other two ponds have gone,
Anchor Copse

St.Ann’s Hill Road
Mausoleum Chapel. 19th red brick rectangular chapel built as a Presbytery. Inside is a brown marble sarcophagus tomb of Lady Holland who converted to Roman Catholicism in the later part of her life.
Ruxbury Farm.  Livery – the Company of Animals, training centre.
Lodge to St. Ann’s Hill
St Ann's Court. The present house was built in 1937 by Raymond McGrath. It is a Modern Movement building as a three-storey cylindrical structure constructed from reinforced concrete, cast in situ with a circular living room to give a panorama of the garden, There are also 18th buildings including a  coach house. The property had had various owners including Elizabeth Armistead, the mistress of Charles James Fox MP in the late 18th. After his death she improved and extended the house and gardens and also by subsequent 19th owners. It was purchased by Gerald Schlesinger, a stockbroker, in the 1930s and Raymond McGrath was commissioned to build a new house. Tunnard worked as consultant and designed the landscape. The house and gardens have continued in private ownership
St Ann’s Court Gardens and Park. A magnolia and a wisteria on the front of the house are preserved from the earlier house. There are two courtyards with pools and planting from the 1930s. A lawn has a cedar of Lebanon, swimming pool and formal flower garden, designed to follow the curve of a clump of Rhododendron. There is a 19th monument and grave to a dog called Lucan. Beyond are open fields grazed by horses, with remnants of boundary tree belts. A walled kitchen is on two levels with the remains glasshouses and pits. A cylindrical form tracks the path of the sun.
Tea House and Grotto. These were restored in the 1930s but later partly demolished after being vandalised. It was built in the 1790s of two storeys decorated with shells, pebbles and spars. There was a grotto room on the ground floor and a Tea House on the first floor, reached by a curved exterior wooden staircase, with Chinoserie trellised hand rail.
Temple of Friendship. Roofless following 1987 storm damage. Built in the 1790s it is a stone building, faced with Roman cement. Inside are three niches

Sources
Archaeology Database. Web site
Historic England. Web site
Jones. Follies and Grottos
London Transport, Country walks 
Megalithic Portal. Web site
Meulenkamp and Wheatley. Follies
Parker. North Surrey 
Parks and Gardens. Web site
Pastscape. Web site
Penguin. Surrey
Pevsner. Surrey

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