Lakes, Roads and Fences

Great Blackmole Pond 1907
Great Blackmole Pond 2006


Roads and fences

Many of the original estate roads survive to this day. The original main entrance road into Ottershaw Park was from the North along Coach Road which left the Guildford Road near to where the Trident Garage now stands to the Mansion. The line of the road from the present Ottershaw Chase can still be seen crossing what are now the grounds of Tanglewood cottage just south of the garden pond.

The southern entrance road from the South Lodge(s) passed the Blackmole Ponds to meet the main entrance road just East of the present day Tanglewood. This road is still passable as a footpath. It was widened during the war to allow army vehicles access to the woods where they were hidden. Evidence for this is seen from a number of Surrey County Council boundary posts which are set back several feet from the western side of the road. During Ottershaw School days this was referred to as the "Tank Track".

The road which now connects the estate pumping station to the Woking Road was called the "Great White Way" by the Ottershaw School Boys. They built this road in the late 1950's using "Roman principles" from coke collected locally. The name came from the master who organised the building and probably also as a passing reference to Broadway.

On the western side of the park another north-south road ran from the fishponds inthe North to near where the Wey Farm quarantine kennels are now situated and emerged presumable near the South Lodge(s). This road is still passable as a footpath for most of it's length. The southern end is marked by a row of ancient Sweet Chestnut trees.

The estate, particularly the deer park in the south was fenced by wooden pailings in 1819?? and 1859 and there are bills amongst the papers of Sir George Wood (1824/5) referring to their repair. Other fences were made of iron by Herring & Co. who ran a world-renowned iron foundry in Gogmore Lane, Chertsey from the early 1800's. There are many examples of their work rusting away in hedgerows around the estate and some gates bear the maker's plate. There are bills for supplies from Herring & Son dating from 1824/5 amongst Sir George Wood's papers.

Mrs Ida Riches, whose father was a gardener on the estate, remembers that there was a man employed to maintain the fences.

A path ran from a stone gazebo the Northwest corner of the walled garden out across the meadow where it met a cross path running East - West. The gazebo still survives in the paddock of Garden Court and although the archway in the wall through which the path passed has been blocked up, the course of the path can still be seen marked by an abundance of Bird's foot Trefoil in the meadow during July. The point where the two paths met is marked by a pair of Rhododendron bushes (see section on Trees) in the Mansion meadow.


The 1819 sale catalog shows a number of ornamental ponds already established. Those alongside the track running South to the South Lodge were originally called Beech Hill Pond and The Long Pond but in the sale catalog of 1859 they were referred to their present names, Little Blackmole and Great Blackmole Pond, respectively. According to the 1907 sale catalog these ponds were used for fishing and boating in summer and ice-skating in winter. There was a boathouse at the southern end of Great Blackmole Pond as shown on the 1870 OS 1:2500 map. Little Blackmole Pond was fished for tench by the boys at Ottershaw Park and they still used it for skating in Winter. Both ponds survive to the present day and whilst Little Blackmole pond is largely silted up, Great Blackmole is still regularly fished for carp.

Several ponds to the West of the estate were also illustrated on the 1819 sale plan. North of the Tennis courts on private land now owned by Douglas Miller there is still evidence in the woods of the water garden which formed part of the pleasure gardens which are clearly shown on the 1870 OS map. In 2003 this area was undergoing rehabilitation. The stream which fed them still runs but the original culverts have mostly collapsed. To the South of the water gardens and directly behind the modern tennis courts is the site of a fish pond, now filled in but seen on maps until the 1960's. There is a description of "former fishponds" in the 1907 sale catalog so the process of infilling probably started a century or more ago. Further south traces of another fish pond (called Gravel Pond in 1819) can be made out but this was apparently used as a domestic land fill site during the 1960's. There is no sign of Cow Lane End pond to the NW of Sampson's Wood. Remants of the southernmost pond on this side of the estate, Brick Bridge Pond, may still survive.