Lovelace Bridges, East Horsley, Walk - 18th November 2015

Lovelace Bridges, East Horsley, Walk - 18th November 2015

A walk around the Lovelace Bridges, East Horsley, led by Alan Sandell. Starting at The Green Dene Car Park on Sheepleas, near East Horsley it was an undulating walk in the Surrey Hills, mainly through pleasant wooded areas to visit eight of the ten extant Lovelace Bridges.

Most of the bridges had associated plaques, with information about the bridge and the following:

In the 1860s William King, 1st Earl of Lovelace (1805-1893) had gently graded tracks laid in the hilly woods on his Estate to the south of East Horsley, to facilitate the transport of timber on horse-drawn carts. Fifteen bridges, together with approach causeways, were built where the tracks crossed existing bridleways. Ten of the bridges are largely intact, the others having been demolished or collapsed due to age and neglect so that only traces of the abutments remain.

Lord Lovelace was famous for embracing every architectural style, and most of the bridges are horseshoe shaped in the Moorish manner. The spans range from six feet at Meadow Plat to eighteen feet at the Dorking Arch. They are constructed from local flint and brick from the Earl's own brickworks in West Horsley/Ockham. It it very likely that lime for the mortar was 'burnt' in a local kiln, possibly from chalk pits in nearby Kiln Field Coppice. The bridges all carried name and date plaques.

There are more pictures of the walk on the Lovelace Bridges, East Horsley, Walk page on the Sandell's web site.