Saturday, 18 February 2017

M25 Chatley Heath


Post to the east Hatchford Park
Post to the north Chatley


Chatley Heath
Chatley Heath is part of Ockley Common and is registered common land, previously in the area of Cobham. It was enclosed in 1793. As a common it was heathland but as use of it for grazing declined trees began to take over the heath.  Birch colonises  heathland very quickly and Scots Pine was introduced to Surrey for timber and readily seeds itself. The rangers cut invading shrubs and tree seedlings, and clear some of the woods that were once heathland and the bare soil is soon covered with purple heather and, the rare heathland wildlife returns.
Breach Hill Common and Wood are part of Chatley Heath and Telegraph Hill, part of Breach Hill Common
Semaphore Tower.  In 1815 an Act of Parliament allowed for the establishment of a permanent semaphore communication system. Stations were brick with on top a mast with two signal arms with an arrangement of cranks, bevel gears and rods driven from an operations room below.These were made abd maintained by Maudslay & Field. Chatley Heath station was on the semaphore line to Portsmouth ran and later a  never used branch line was begun between here and Plymouth. the London-Portsmouth route continued in operation until 1847 when the electric telegraph was developed.  It was used as a residence until 1963 when it was condemned as unfit and rhere was a fire here in 1984.  It has since been restored by Surrey County Council, with an operational semaphore signalling mechanism,

Hatchford Manor (the majority of the manor site is in the square to the east)
Mausoleum. Temple of Sleep - a copper domed mausoleum for burials of the Samuelson family but the lead coffins were stolen in 1961 as was the copper roof and the vault now lies empty

M25

Ockham Common
This is a heavily wooded place, particularly near the beginning, and the rhododendrons are almost impenetrable. he area is largely one of woodland, with conifers locally dominating the tree cover. Heathland makes up only about 20% of the total land area, and this is constantly in danger of being encroached by scrub. It has also been known as Ockham Heath.

Sources
Association for Industrial Archaeology. Conference notes
Haselfoot. The Batsford Guide to the Industrial Archaeology of South East England.
Industrial Archaeology of Surrey
Penguin Surrey
Surrey County Council. Web site
Surrey Wildlife Trust. Web site

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