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Wonersh: Surrey village life

PUBLISHED: 16:40 08 November 2013 | UPDATED: 16:40 08 November 2013

Wonersh

Wonersh

Pete Gardner Photography

Found among beautiful rolling countryside, Wonersh has been ranked among the richest villages in the country...

Village Voice

Leading local artist Brian Dunce has lived in Wonersh since 1959. “I was an art student at Guildford School of Art,” he says. “My friend and tutor Billie Hart suggested we shared a studio here and so we moved into Wonersh Court.

“It is a quiet village, rural with a hilly landscape, good footpaths and walks and there are no street lights, which means you can see the moon and stars clearly.

“There is a strong social structure here with quite a few retired people – the village store, surgery and pharmacy means we have just about everything we need, including a regular bus service.

“It really is an interesting place. I overheard a couple of cyclists the other day passing by and one said to the other: ‘Isn’t this a beautiful village, I wish I lived here!’”

***

Grab a bite…

It’s a small, relaxed village so the choice isn’t extensive. However, you can opt for the comfortable bar at The Grantley Arms (01483 893351) and go for the lunchtime menu (we were intrigued by the sound of prawns with Grantley Arms secret sauce) or the à la carte, which has an extensive list of pub favourites or chargrills. Or, just across the road, there is the village shop where you can grab something to take away.

***

Did you know?

The Pepperpot, a distinctive shelter standing smack in the middle of the main junction in the village, was built from beams and tiles from Wonersh Park mansion. It was a handy place for passers-by to rest their weary feet until 20th century traffic with lorries and cars mean you take your life in your hands now – the last time it was hit by a passing car a few years ago, it came to rest with the roof tiles touching the road…

Did you know 2?

Every village has a ghost story and Wonersh is no different. The Weeping Tomb, beside the chancel in St John the Baptist church and dating from the 16th century, is said to have regularly oozed a strange sticky fluid for a couple of weeks every year in October. The crack in the tomb was apparently sealed in the 1950’s and since then there has been no more oozing…

***

Something to take home…

Well, as the only shop in the village is Wonersh Village Store, you are somewhat limited when it comes to souvenirs. However, for art lovers, artist Brian Dunce (see Village Voice) would be delighted to accept commissions…

***

In the spotlight…

• There was a flurry of excitement back in 2005 when scenes for the popular TV series Foyle’s War were filmed at the nearby St John’s Seminary.

• In 2011, The Telegraph published a list of ‘Britain’s Richest Villages…” Based on the rather arbitrary ‘Number of houses sold worth over £1m’, Wonersh scraped in at 10th with 21 – just behind its neighbouring village of Bramley.

***

Getting there…

Motorists – take the A281 from Guildford and turn left at Shalford down the B2128. You can’t miss the village, although the residents would be grateful if you missed the Pepperpot (see below)... If you prefer the bus, you need the Route 63 from Guildford (calling at Wonersh, Shamley Green, Cranleigh, Horsham and return) or the route 53, which veers off to Ewhurst from Cranleigh.

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