Grayswood

A circular walk from the village of Grayswood, passing through woodland and farmland. This walk is published through collaboration with Surrey County Council.

Technical sheet
No. 8394635
A Witley walk posted on 29/04/21 by Explore Surrey's Countryside. Update : 29/04/21
Calculated time Calculated time: 1h30[?]
Distance Distance : 2.65mi
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 302ft
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 282ft
Highest point Highest point : 620ft
Lowest point Lowest point : 305ft
Easy Difficulty : Easy
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Areas Areas : South Downs, Surrey Hills
Location Location : Witley
Starting point Starting point : N 51.10493° / W 0.69093°
Download : -

Description

(D/A) From the car park or the bus stop, cross over Grayswood Road to reach All Saints Church. Grayswood was part of Witley parish until 1900. The village expanded in Victorian times and All Saints Church was built in 1902. It was designed by the Swedish architect Axel Herman Haig. His memorial stone stands in the churchyard and is shaped like a Viking sail. Standing on the pavement facing the church, turn left (heading uphill) along the pavement for 430m. You will pass a car showroom on the left and the Wheatsheaf Inn on the right. Continue up towards the brow of the hill to reach the war memorial on the right. The war memorial records the 17 men from the village who were lost during the First World War, and 3 during the Second. To the right there are extensive views to Keffolds Farm, with the National Trust land of Hindhead Common rising up beyond. The land opposite the memorial is Grayswood Common. It was once part of the waste of common land of Witley Manor, and is now also managed by the National Trust.

(1) Continue along the pavement for 30m (to the brow of the hill), then cross the road to turn left onto the signed public footpath into the woodland (Grayswood Common). Pass through the staggered barrier and keep ahead on the woodland path. Stay on the main path which then becomes a lane, passing houses on the right.

Ignore the first footpaths signed left and right, simply continue on the lane passing Rose Cottage on the right. Ignore the next footpath signed right, simply continue climbing on the lane. Near the brow of the hill (with the Sandy Lane road sign on the right), turn sharp left up the lane towards the lodge property, Grayswood Hill. Immediately before the lodge gates, turn right onto the signed public footpath and continue through the rhododendron tunnel.

Follow the path downhill which, further along, becomes a raised bank path beside a lane. At end of the path, go down the steps and keep ahead for a few paces to reach a T-junction. Turn left here, heading down the road (taking care of traffic) for 340m, passing the Manor House on right.

The Manor House is a private residence dating from the seventeenth century. The medieval manor of Imbhams was at one time part of Loseley Manor near Guildford and the old manor house was a moated farm. There is a Victorian post box set into the cottage wall.

Follow the lane as it swings left to reach the T-junction with Holdfast Lane.

(2) Cross over Holdfast Lane and go over the stile directly opposite (or the field gate alongside may be unlocked). Keep ahead to join the fenced track which follows the left-hand edge of the open field. At the field corner, go ahead through the wide gate and continue on the path which swings left to lead you through woodland (note: this path can get quite muddy). Beyond the woodland, the path leads you past Imbhams Farm on the right.

Imbhams farmhouse dates from the sixteenth century. There are iron staddle stones supporting the granary, which is a reminder of the once extensive Wealden iron industry. Imbhams blast furnace is thought to have been built in about 1570, and was 1km to the south-east of the farm (near the present Furnance House). Iron was extracted from iron-rich seams of Wealden clay. Colliers used coppice wood cut in the surrounding woodlands to produce charcoal to fuel the furnace.

Follow the tarmac track left then right to pass a large pond on right.

The large pond is comparatively modern, but just beyond it is the boring mill pond which was used for Imbhams iron works. Large guns were cast at the furnace and the pond provided water to drive the boring mill, where the hollow cast guns were bored out to the required internal diameter by a revolving cutter. The furnace had ceased to operate by 1667, probably due to the difficulties in transporting the produce across the Wealden clay, and competition from coal-based industries in the midlands.

(3) Just beyond the bungalow on the left, turn left onto the track signed as a public bridleway. Follow this track (with a hedge on the left and an open crop field on the right) for 100m. Here, at a waymarker post, turn left through the gap in the hedge and then go straight ahead, on the path across the centre of the crop field, to reach the gap in the hedgeline opposite. Ahead to the left is Clammer Hill whose trig point stands at a height of 149m. The Haslemere / Chiddingfold parish boundary runs along the hillside and the name, Clammer Hill, is thought to mean clay boundary hill.

(4) Go through the hedgeline gap and keep ahead along the field edge with woodland on the right. Ignore the path into the woodland, simply keep straight ahead to reach the woodland corner and a waymarker post. Bear left here (at about 11 o'clock) to follow the path across the field. At the far side, the path leads you through a belt of trees.

(5) Follow the path along the right-hand edge of the next field, which leads you through a gateway to join a track. Keep ahead along the track for some distance to reach a junction with the road. Go straight ahead into Lower Road (signed for Brook, Haslemere and Hindhead) and join the left-hand pavement passing village properties on the left.

You will pass a pond on the left and come to a school on the right. As you draw level with the school, cross to the right-hand pavement. Fork right onto the stone path which leads you past the school on the right and the recreation ground playground on the left. After the playground, fork left across the village green towards the church to reach the bus stop or car park where the walk began.(D/A)

Waypoints :
D/A : mi 0 - alt. 364ft - Car park / bus stop
1 : mi 0.28 - alt. 482ft - Signed public footpath
2 : mi 1.05 - alt. 417ft - Holdfast Lane
3 : mi 1.59 - alt. 315ft - Bungalow
4 : mi 1.75 - alt. 305ft - Hedgeline gap
5 : mi 1.91 - alt. 315ft - Path
D/A : mi 2.65 - alt. 364ft - Car park / bus stop

Useful Information

The walk includes several steady climbs and descents. Part of the walk crosses fields of clay soil, which can become very muddy so stout boots or wellingtons are recommended. You will need to negotiate several gates, some steps and one stile along the way (there is a field gate alongside the stile which is usually unlocked and there is plenty of open fencing suitable for most dogs to pass through). Some of the route follows rural lanes without pavements, so take care of traffic for these stretches.

For refreshments, The Wheatsheaf Inn on Grayswood Road is located near to the war memorial close to the beginning of the walk. Ordnance Survey Map: Explorer 133 Haslemere & Petersfield. This walk follows public rights of way which cross private and public land. Information is included, but please respect people's privacy, keep dogs under control and remember the Countryside Code.

Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

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