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Little Acorns Enjoy A Bit Of History By Dragon Walks

Published on: 18 Apr, 2013
Updated on: 19 Apr, 2013

Members of the Guildford-based Little Acorns History Group enjoyed a morning hearing all about St Catherine’s Hill on a walk and talk led by Martin Giles and David Rose of The Guildford Dragon NEWS.

Martin Giles, third from left wearing his rather dashing hat, with members of local history group Little Acorns in front of the ruined St Catherine's chapel.

Martin Giles, third from left wearing his rather dashing hat, with members of local history group Little Acorns in front of the ruined St Catherine’s chapel.

As well as reporting and writing news stories for this on-line news website, Martin Giles and David Rose also offer bespoke guided history walks and talks, one of them focusing on the rich history of St Catherine’s Hill and village.

The party from Little Acorns gathered at Ye Olde Ship Inn on Portsmouth Road, St Catherine’s Village on Tuesday morning (April 16). Martin and David then led a walk up to the top of St Catherine’s Hill where they explained some of the history of the area, including that of the ruined chapel – a well known local landmark.

Renowned local historian and history writer David also showed them a number of items that he and fellow historian Martin have found on the hilltop, ranging from tiny pieces of roof tiles believed to be from the chapel, bits of clay tobacco pipes and oyster shells discarded from revellers who once attended the fairs there, and shards from broken fizzy pop bottles left behind by Victorian and Edwardian ‘day trippers’.

The area is particularly interesting, in that examples of much of Britain’s history, from the Stone Age to modern times, can be  found on this hill that overlooks the town of Guildford and the River Wey.

Hill walk over the Little Acorns retired to the pub for lunch and a slide show

Hill walk over, the Little Acorns retired to the pub for lunch and a slide show. Here the are looking at a photograph of the 1895 St Catherine’s railway tunnel collapse

Martin and David spoke about the long history of the chapel site and how the hilltop was once used for annual fairs and celebrations.

After taking in some lovely views all around, the party then descended the hill and walked back to Ye Old Ship Inn where members of Little Acorns enjoyed a pub lunch. Their hosts gave a PowerPoint presentation that included many old photographs of the area, while adding more snippets of information about the hill and the village of St Catherine’s.

Martin and David are always keen to present their Dragon History Walks. As well as the one that focuses on St Catherine’s, they offer one based on Guildford town centre too.

If you are a member of a group or organisation and would like more details, or would like to book one of these walks and talks, please contact either Martin Giles on 01483 537551, or David Rose on 01483 838960.

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test One Response to Little Acorns Enjoy A Bit Of History By Dragon Walks

  1. Peter Bullen Reply

    April 18, 2013 at 5:17 pm

    Is there any truth in the tale that in his “Pilgrim’s Progress” John Bunyan based Vanity Fair on the riotous St. Catherine’s Fair and the marshy river valley at the foot of St. Catherine’s hill the Slough of Despond? John Bunyan did live in Guildford for a while (Alas, Bunyan Cottages were pulled down to make way for Millbrook.)

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