Oakwood Cottage, a small timber-framed building facing the cricket green in Hambledon, is owned by the National Trust and has been restored and furnished as a cottager’s dwelling with an appropriate garden. It is thought it was originally a barn dating from the 16th century, adapted and added to over the succeeding centuries.
Remarkably, in an area where country cottages are in great demand and readily snapped up for modernisation, this one managed to survive in 19th century condition and, on becoming vacant in 1980, was bought by the National Trust for preservation and restoration. It can be visited between April and October on Wed, Thur, Sat, and Sun (plus BH Mon) between 2 and 5, but by prior appointment only. Tel: 01428 684733 (Mrs E Hardy) to arrange it. An entrance fee is payable.
Hambledon is something of a scattered village with at least three separate parts that around the cricket green, a cluster at Beech Hill, and one further to the north around the church, higher up the hill. Oddly, the pub, The Merry Harriers (renowned for advertising ‘Warm Beer and Lousy Food’) is almost the last building in the village, north of the church.
The Bargate stone church of St Peter’s is well worth a visit, as much for its surroundings as for itself. Eric Parker, the Surrey writer and naturalist, lived nearby and is buried in its churchyard, in the midst of the countryside he loved so much. Fortunately the land around the lane to the church is owned by the National Trust and is therefore protected.
Incidentally, you may have noticed that by the time you get to Hambledon the landscape has changed. You have moved into the sandy soils of the Greensands, leaving the Weald clay behind for the moment.
Click the Back button to return to the description of the ride.