Friday, January 29, 2010

Dorking & Shere, Surrey, England

The White Horse Hotel in Dorking is a wonderful place to stay. It is conveniently located in the heart of town and there is a comfortable feel to it.  A fire set in the front sitting room in the evening lends further warmth in more than the obvious way.

The view through the sheer curtains in my room takes in a courtyard and the church steeple.

The momentary doorkeeper at the local coffee shop greets visitors — until her mother calls her away.


Four miles from Dorking is the village of Shere. It is one of the most picturesque among a nation of picturesque villages. It has been the site for a number of movies — beginning in 1946 — more recently for one of the weddings in Four Weddings and a Funeral and in the English part of The Holiday. The church at Shere — St. James — is mentioned in the Doomsday book. It's basic shape has remained unchanged since 1190.

The main entrance to the church is through the Lych Gate (Old English for corpse), see previous photo, where bodies waited to be escorted by clergy into grounds for burial. Inside, above, is the Processional Cross hangs on the wall between services. Elsewhere Chanel Brasses commemorating people important to the life of the community grace the floor in front of the altar. Along one wall is a 10-foot long, oak Crusader Alms Chest used to collect funds for the Crusades to the Holy Land between the 1000s to 1200s.

St. James could be a post in itself. Outside is a plaque commemorating "John Wesley's Rule." They are still good words to live by.

On a peaceful amble through this quaint village along ...

... the Tillingbourne — a small stream that runs through the center of the village — we learn ducks can be startled by opening an umbrella.

At the center of town is the White Horse Pub. It was built as a farmhouse in 1425 and became an inn in 1700. It once grew its own hops and had a brewhouse attached to it. Barney waits at the feet of his person who enjoys an afternoon brew as many a dog and man have done over the past 300 years.

One of the oil lamps which once lit the pub.

The tap at the White Horse offers TEA ... look close, it's not what you think.


In the morning we are to leave for the states, but first have a meal with Jack and Sophie before ...

... they walk off into the night with their mother.
Photographs taken with a Canon 5D Mark II

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