Secreted away in the beautiful ancient wooded countryside of the Surrey Hills an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is the Vachery Estate, a private family home and stunning location for this unique sporting weekend.
There was a manor house in Vachery in 1296. Henry III granted John, son of Geoffrey, to stock his park of Vachery (cows) and his son John obtained a grant of a weekly market and an annual fair at nearby Cranleigh, self-proclaimed the largest village in England. The village name is popularly believed to come from the large crane breeding grounds that were supposed to have been historically located at Vachery pond.
One of Surrey’s best kept secrets; surrounded by woods this strictly private spring fed pond is almost 900m long, 3.1 kilometres around and covers an area of almost 50 acres.
A fish-pond is mentioned at Vachery in the 13th century. That original pond was connected with the moat for the manor house and, later, Vachery ironworks, a 16th century iron forge, Nearby Cranleigh village was a great seat of the iron industry.
More recently the enlarged lake covering over 50 acres was used as a reservoir for the Wey and Arun Canal, which opened in 1816 and connected the Thames to the English Channel at Littlehampton. The canal’s traffic was attracted to the Horsham to Guildford railway which opened in 1865 and was closed by Dr Beeching in 1965 and that disused railway line now forms part of the Downs Link, a long-distance path opened in 1984 linking St Martha’s Hill, near Guildford, to Shoreham on the south coast.
Vachery Estate, Horsham Road, Cranleigh, Surrey, GU6 8EJ