Amazing People and Places in Surrey
Surrey isn’t just a pretty face; over the years it has contributed many things to the world, from as far back in time as the Magna Carta, to Jane Austen and the first ever British Grand Prix.
The Magna Carta - Runnymede
The Magna Carta, meaning The Great Charter, was drawn up in 1215 at Runnymede, sealed by King John. Its most important legacy echoing down 800 years of war, conflict and negotiations is our modern democracy. Within easy reach of the M25, the site at Runnymede is today an idea place to relax by the River Thames, explore the peaceful meadows and variety of wildlife. Perfect for a picnic and an afternoon of relaxation.
The Two Minutes’ Silence - Farnham
To commemorate the injured and the dead, the world’s first ever two minutes’ silence was held in Castle Street, Farnham, May Day, 1916. Farnham is a beautiful historic market town, famous for its award-winning monthly farmers’ market and its handy adjacency to the North Downs Way.
Lewis Carrol – Guildford
Charles Dodgson, otherwise known under the name of Lewis Carroll, bought The Chestnuts in Guildford for his six unmarried sisters, just next to the castle ruins. Charles Dodgson was constantly visiting Guildford and wrote the second Alice book, Through the Looking Glass, on one of these stays in 1871.
He lived the last year of his life in Guildford, passing away at The Chestnuts. A statue of Alice slipping through her looking glass stands today in the castle grounds, overlooking The Chestnuts, the castle and the church where Charles Dodgson made several sermons.
The British Grand Prix – Weybridge
Almost 92 years ago, the first British Grand Prix was staged around the iconic banked circuit at Brooklands, Weybridge. The Weybridge racetrack hosted the first two British Grands Prixs, on August 7 1926 and October 1 1927 with the 287-mile challenges lasting around four hours. The Brooklands Museum in Weybridge commemorating this has regular events for all the family, with an overarching theme of motorsport (of course!), motorcycling, biking, aviation and engineering.
Jane Austen – Great Bookham
Jane Austen's novel Emma was begun while the novelist was staying with her married cousin Cassandra Cooke in Great Bookham. Jane Austen was a frequent visitor, staying with her sister frequently for weeks at a time. The places mentioned in Emma that are real include Box Hill, the River Mole, Richmond, Kingston, Weymouth, Cobham and London of course – all of which still have lovely Georgian buildings still standing today.