Denbies carriage drives :: Shared Description
Denbies has three carriage drives, which were laid out in the early 1800s by William Denison MP to: provide private ways for access to the main house from the principal roads in the district; to lessen the gradient of the ascent to the house perched on the top of the downs by adopting a shallow, circuitous direction; and to impress visitors both by the views on the ascent and the dramatic revelation of the house nearing the conclusion of the journey.
Of the three carriage drives, one (South Drive) begins at South Lodge on Ranmore Road, just outside Dorking; one (East Drive) at Denbies Lodge on the Dorking to Leatherhead road, and one (West Drive) at Hole Hill just north of Westcott. The last two merge on the scarp slope below Steers Field on Ranmore Common, to continue beneath Ranmore Road via a private bridge (TQ1450 : Secret Tunnel
) and upwards towards the house (part of the final section has been lost to farm buildings).
None of the carriage drives is now in use for access to the house, but the East Drive is almost entirely a public footpath, while the majority of the West and South Drives is owned by the National Trust and available to walkers, riders and cyclists. However, the short section past South Lodge is private (although there is a footpath which bypasses it, inaccessible on horseback), while the final climb beyond the tunnel under Ranmore Road is private and gated.
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Created: Sun, 6 May 2012, Updated: Sun, 6 May 2012
The 'Shared Description' text on this page is Copyright 2012 Hugh Craddock, however it is specifically licensed so that contributors can reuse it on their own images without restriction.