An easy, flat, pleasant stroll taking in the lovely hamlet of Peper Harow with its lovely church. The walk was submitted by Guildford Rambling Club (see guildfordramblingclub.org.uk)

1. Leave the car park on the path near the back and running left, parallel to the road. After 150 yards meet a minor road and turn left. Soon reach a T junction. Turn right and cross the road then turn left into the lane to Peper Harow.

2. Walk down past the church and turn left to take a footpath through Home Farm barns car park and cross the field, with the cricket pitch on your right (cricket has long been played here, with evidence of rules and matches dating to 1727), to reach a line of pine trees and go through a kissing gate. At a T junction with a track, turn right and go through a gate into a field.Immediately turn left and walk along the side of the field.

3. Exit at the first corner and cross a footbridge over the A3. On the far side, turn left to Eashing. After 50 yards, turn left beside Lower Eashing cottage and continue forward for about 1000 yards, taking the footpath straight ahead when the concrete path curves left. At a 4 way junction turn left (ignore the left path just before this as it goes to the A3) and follow the track to a road bridge.

4. Immediately before it, turn left on a path to reach a main road. Cross this road to reach a pavement. Ahead to the right, over the A3 slipway, is The Squirrel in Hurtmore if you need refreshments. If not, turn left on the pavement towards Shackleford and go under the A3. You can use the pavement or the horse margin to its right.

5. At a crossoads, turn right onto a bridleway. After 500 yards reach a T junction and turn left. Follow the path to join the end of Rokers Lane and follow it to reach Grenville Road. Cross the road and turn right on a footpath parallel to the road. At a junction, turn left along Peper Harow Road to pass the Cyder House and continue on to find a track, right.

6. Turn along this track to pass, on your right, a house and playing fields and then cross a field, keeping to the edge. At the far side, go into the fringe of a wood and turn left onto a wide path running in trees, parallel to the field edge. After 400 yards reach Peper Harow Road again. Cross onto a bridleway. After 50 yards or so, take this first path right and follow it, ignoring various cross paths, back to the car park.

DISTANCE: 4.25 miles
MAP: OS Explorer 145 (Guildford & Farnham)
START: Come off the A3 at the Hurtmore, Norney and exit, go under the A3 to meet the Shackleford/Norney road and follow it to Shackleford Heath car park. This is on the right, about a mile along it and just before the Peper Harow turn.
REFRESHMENTS: The Squirrel, hurtmore and The Cyder Hoiuse, Shackleford.

St Nicholas Church, Peper Harow
Founded in Norman times, very little remains of the original medieval building which was constructed in local sandstone rubble, with dressings of clunch, covered with Caen stone dressing. In 1826 a western tower of coursed stone was added, replacing a wooden bell-turret with shingled spire. There are still 3 bells, all dating from the 17th Century.

The interior of the church contains many monuments, tablets and inscriptions. Outside there is an ancient sundial and a terracotta figure overlooking a grave which is a relative of Churchill. The lychgate is somewhat unusual nowdays; it was used to rest the coffin before taking it into the church or churchyard.

Augustus Welby Pugin (1803-1953) changed the face of this small church. A convert to Catholicism, Pugin believed that Gothic was the true Christian architecture and in 1841 published ‘True Principles of Pointed or Church Architecture’. His work at Allan Towers brought him to the attention of wealthy patrons and Lord Midleton of Peper Harow commissioned him to decorate his estate in Surrey and Ireland.

Pugin commenced work at St. Nicholas in 1844. He departed from a pure Gothic style and set about creating a history of medieval English Church styles – the Norman chancel arch, the ‘violent’ Early English aisle/arcade and the decorated chancel. His additions include the north aisle, the Mortuary Chapel, the tower arch and the chancel windows. The door knob has engraved on it JULY 24 1877. The use of neo-Norman style is almost unique in Pugin’s work.

Peper Harow House
Now converted into private apartments, the present Peper Harow House was built by Sir William Chambers, architect of Somerset House in London, for George Brodrick, 3rd Viscount Midleton in 1765. Still incomplete when the 3rd Viscount died (in 1765) it was completed by his son after he came of age.

Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown landscaped the park in 1762-3, and many fine trees remain from this time. Particularly notable are the Lebanon Cedar. According to ‘A History of the County of Surrey’ published in 1911, the park and grounds at Peper Harow contained some fine timber at that time, notably the cedars of Lebanon, which were put in as seedlings from pots in 1735.

The house and grounds are not open to the public.