Lingfield village guide 2015
PUBLISHED: 11:45 18 September 2015 | UPDATED: 12:49 18 September 2015
If you're looking for a pub with a spectacular view or a flutter on the horses, the east Surrey village of Lingfield could be the place for you. There are also some intriguing historic buildings still to be found
Originally published in A Celebration of Surrey Life
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Did you know?
1 Originally a clearing in the Great Forest, which covered much of the Weald centuries ago, charcoal burning and the iron industry flourished in Lingfield’s formative years. These industries died out as the forest was cleared.
2 Built in 1431, the Old Guest House of the College for Secular Chaplains is now home to a public lending library. Though the rest of the original college is long gone, an 18th century farmhouse, called The College, marks the site.
3 The ‘college’ is found in a picturesque part of the village called Old Town. This is one of the two small medieval settlements from which the village grew in the late 19th century – the other being Plaistow Street some 180 metres away.
4 As the village is approached via Godstone Road, there is a pretty thatched cottage that once belonged to WE Johns, creator of Biggles. The house deeds stipulate that an unusual collection of Biggles books must remain within it.
5 A prominent feature at the heart of the village is The Cage, which was used as a temporary jail for minor felons in the 1700s and 1800s. It is dominated by a hollow but fully-leafed oak tree, which is thought to be over 400 years old.
6 In 1890, Lingfield Park Racecourse was opened by the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII). Today, it’s one of the most established premier racecourses in the country and a luxury resort with a hotel, spa and golf on offer. The hotel was officially launched by Dame Judi Dench in 2010.
7 How wet do you like your pubs? Well, only a short drive from the village, there’s the lakeside The Wiremill on Wiremill Lane; the pond-side Red Barn on Tandridge Lane; and the landlocked The Hare on Lingfield Common Road.
8 The village is quite the agricultural hub, with both the Edenbridge and Oxted Show and Surrey Young Farmers’ Cowpie Rally taking place on the doorstep each year.
9 Notre Dame School was founded in 1940 by three of the ‘School Sisters of Notre Dame’ who arrived in Lingfield from Faversham with 14 World War Two evacuees.
10 Having ceased farming in order to pursue his dream to educate people about our native wildlife, David Mills started the British Wildlife Centre in 1997. Open to the public since 2000, it is now home to over 40 different native species from tiny harvest mice to magnificent red deer.
A pocket guide:
Drink at: On a sunny day, there are few better places in the county than The Wiremill on Wiremill Lane.
Eat at: Recently rebranded, The Hare bar and grill on Lingfield Common Road is a hidden gem.
Stay at: Live the life of luxury at Lingfield Park’s Marriott Hotel & Country Club.