Chilworth & St Martha's
FRIDAY 3 SEPTEMBER
This popular walk takes in the most prominent (and famous) remains of the Tillingbourne mills and climbs the steep hill to visit St Martha’s Church.
Chilworth Gunpowder Works are a fascinating reminder of the importance of the Tillingbourne Valley’s industrial heritage. Everything that you see onsite from the intricate maze of waterways to the raised central track has been created over almost 300 years of gunpowder manufacture. The mills were most extensive and productive in the 17th century and from the 1880’s to the end of World War I.
The historic site is a Scheduled Ancient Monument and is owned and managed by Guildford Borough Council. West Lodge has been “at risk” for a number of years but there is currently a funding initiative to purchase and conserve this building which forms the entrance to the Works from Blacksmith Lane. The plan is to use West Lodge as a base for the volunteer groups and the working parties within the Gunpowder Mills site as well as a fantastic and beautiful place for local history and educational groups to meet. With next year marking the centenary of when the Works finally closed, this is an ideal time to join our walk and view some of what makes this area so worth preserving. (More details HERE)
The beautiful St Martha’s Church is a listed Grade II Historic building. Perched on the top of the hill on the North Downs Way National Trail, the building is accessible only by foot. Having walked to the top, not only do you have the opportunity to see the panoramic views from the church but the graveyard itself is worth exploring – with several memorials to famous people, including Yvonne Arnaud.
Time: Arrive 10.15am for 10.30am start finish around 12.00 – 12.30pm
Meet: Percy Arms 75 Dorking Road Chilworth GU4 8NP.
Travel Notes: Park at Percy Arms or along the road. Bus service (route 32)
Length of walk: 3 miles
General Notes: The walk around the gunpowder mills is fairly flat, but can be muddy and slippery if wet. The climb up to St Martha’s is very steep and should only be attempted by fit walkers. There are a few gates on this walk. Most of the walk will be off-road. Stout foot wear is recommended and weather appropriate clothing plus sunscreen lotion if required.
Well behaved dogs welcome on leads. Not suitable for children.
We will finish the walk with an optional drink in the Percy Arms pub.
Contact: Surrey Hills Society 07530 949302
Led by: Surrey Hills Society www.surreyhillssociety.org