Claygate: Surrey village life


Claygate - Credit: Pete Gardner

If you’re paying a visit to Claygate this month for the village’s 100th flower show, take the time to explore

Village Voice…

If anyone knows Claygate like the back of their hand, it’s Barbara Frerk. Originally from Stanmore, Barbara has lived in the village for 53 years – and still loves it here.

“The people are very friendly,” she says. “Even if they don’t know you, they’ll say good morning. The place has kept its village atmosphere and community and caters for all age groups.”

Although the house prices can be well above average in the area, Barbara points out that the village is still growing and there is no shortage of people able to afford properties here.

Did you know?

You could probably guess actually, but the name ‘Claygate’ originates from the fact that the area had vast amounts of clay that was used as building material in times gone by.

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On another point of interest, the parish church, The Holy Trinity, is unusual in having twin spires – the church itself was built with just one in the 1840’s but had another added in 1860.

Meanwhile, Telegraph Hill, on the other side of Claygate, is occupied by one of the many semaphore stations built in 1822 to transmit messages between the Admiralty and Portsmouth. The stations had towers with pivoting shutters enabling fairly rapid communication before the time of wireless signals.

Coming back down to earth, did you know… there is a variety of apple called the Claygate Pearmain – discovered growing in a hedgerow by John Braddick back in 1822.

Grab a bite…

The Greek Vine at The Green is over 25 years old. Expect intentionally broken china, plus live entertainment on Thursday nights. With The Hare & Hounds and The Foley, the village also has two fantastic pubs.

In the spotlight…

There’s often a few celebs wandering around Claygate – recently spotted have been Jessie Wallace, Anthea Turner, Cliff Richard and, of course, the one and only Ronnie Wood of The Rolling Stones who used to live in Ruxley Towers – the huge white castle-like building you can see as you drive north on the A3. Strictly part of Claygate, it is a Victorian construction built by Lord Foley in the 19th century.

Getting there…

South West Trains operates a service to Claygate station from London Waterloo and Guildford. If you have to drive, then Claygate can be found sandwiched between the A3 London to Portsmouth trunk road and the A307 through Esher. The K3 bus route also calls at Claygate on its way from Esher through to Roehampton Vale.

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Next month: We will be visiting the village of Outwood.

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