The Garden Guide

Book: London and Its Environs, 1927
Chapter: 57 From London To Windsor

From Staines To Weybridge

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FROM STAINES TO WEYBRIDGE, 10 miles, Southern Railway in 35 mintues (through trains from Waterloo to Virginia Water). 2 miles. Egham (Catherine Wheel). The Royal Holloway College for Women (350 students), endowed by Thomas Holloway, the pill-manufacturer (died 1883), contains a good collection of British paintings (open free on Thursday, 2. 30-5). 4+ miles. Virginia Water (Wheatsheaf, by the lake, 1+ miles from the station, Room 7/6, Dinner 6/6, pens. 17/6; Railway), where a line to Ascot and Reading diverges on the right, is an artificial lake, 1+ miles long, in the south east corner of Windsor Park, and was laid out in 1746, with its pretty grounds and cascade, for the Duke of Cumberland, victor at Culloden and governor of Virginia. On the south bank is a colonnade brought by George IV. from the ruins of Leptis Magna, near Tripoli. Motor omnibuses to Windsor (2/6) and Woking (2/). 6+ miles Chertsey (Station Hotel, Room 6/, Dinner 7/6, pension 15/) grew up around a great Benedictine abbey, about + miles from the Thames. Abraham Cowley (1618-67), 'stretched at ease in Chertsey's silent bowers,' spent the last two years of his life at Porch House (now Cowley House; tablet) in Guildford St. 8+ miles. Addlestone (Duke's Head, Room 4/6, Dinner 4/6), with the ancient Crouch Oak. 10 miles. Weybridge (Hand & Spear, Room & Breakfast 8/6, Luncheon 3/6, Dinner 4/6; Lincoln, Room & Breakfast 6/6, Dinner 3/6), on the main line to Portsmouth and Southampton (see the Blue Guide to England), is pleasantly situated near the confluence of the Wey and the Thames. The Duchesse de Nemours (died 1857) and the Comte de Paris (died 1894) rest in the Roman Catholic chapel, which was also the temporary burial-place of Louis Philippe and his queen. On the village-green now stands the Seven Dials column. About + mile south west are Brocklands Motor and Flying Grounds (admission 2/, cars 3/, use of track, 10/; on race days admission 5/, children 3/, cars to the course 10/, to the garage 5/). Weybridge is reached directly from Waterloo (19 miles) via (12 miles) Surbiton; 14+ mile. Esher (Bear, Room & Breakfast 9/, Dinner 5/), with Wolsey's Tower, the sole relic of a mansion built by Bishop Waynflete in 1460 and once occupied by Cardinal Wolsey; and (17 miles) Walton-on-Thames. Adjoining Esher station is Sandown Park Racecourse; 1 mile south is Claremont (now a school), built for Lord Clive in 1768 and occupied in turn by Prince Charlotte and her husband Leopold I., King of the Belgians, Louis Philippe (who died here in 1850), and the Dowager Duchess of Albany (died 1922). Oatlands Park (now a hotel, Room & Breakfast 12/6, Luncheon 3/6, Dinner 5/), 1+ miles north west of Walton station, built in 1794, occupies the site of a palace built by Henry VIII. and destroyed during the Civil War. Beyond Staines we cross the Colne. 21+ miles. Wraysbury. At Horton, 1+ miles north east, was the house of John Milton's father, where the poet seems to have written 'L'Allegro,' 'II Penseroso,' 'Comus,' and 'Lycidas.' His mother is buried under a flat blue stone in the chancel of the church. - 24 miles. Datchet. - 25+ miles. Windsor & Eton.