We had lunch here.
Probably the most photographed village in Surrey!Â Shere might once have been a well kept secret, but today it is a victim of its own reputation and easy accessibility. Once nestling quietly in the Tillingbourne valley between the Downs and Surrey Hills, now Shere has to cater for numerous visitors especially on sunny weekends. The village has it all: a quaint atmosphere, picturesque buildings, superb scenery, even a stream with ducks and a ford no less. Of course two well-sited public houses probably help and there is even a small museum.Â Â Lloyds Bank has a small branch in Gomshall Lane and there is a village shop which is open till late.Â Houses in the area are always at a premium and the demand for them obviously justifies the existence of a small estate agency in the tiny high street, Middle Street.Â Other neighbouring villages are probably quite grateful to Shere for attracting most of the attention so leaving some degree of normality at weekends for their residents.
Â A short walk around the village reveals further interest in the form of the Old Prison House (17th century) half timber framed with a variety of fillings including flint, but the most picturesque house in Shere.Â To the north of the village runs a simple open by-pass which has alleviated Shere of all the through traffic on the A25 Guildford Dorking road and bordering this road are the park-like grounds of Netley House dated 1851.Â Â Rising steeply above the village are the Downs to the north and the fine countryside of Greensand hills to the south.Â Â The house at Burrows Lea standing above the village to the south is famous as a spiritual healing centre.
Middle Street is the main street that runs through the centre of Shere crossing the stream and lined with quaint shops that sell everything from afternoon tea to antiques. Popular with movie makers Shere village is often the home to a film set. The Visual Tour images above with snow on the roof tops and Christmas decorations indicates it is Christmas time, but don’t let that fool you as all the decorations are simply that of a film set depicting Christmas time. Many a famous actor has walked from the church with his ‘screen’ bride.
The village hall is located on the left side of Upper Street as you leave Shere heading for Gomshall. The village hall is well used by the Shere inhabitants and many typical events are regularly hosted in the hall.
Lutyens touches this village in many places with examples of his architecture. One such building has an oversailing plaster upper floor on a timbered shop dated 1892 in the high street. Another of his unmistakable houses stands aloft from the road in Upper Street in an eye-catching position close to the junction with Middle Street.
The old Shere fire station sits right on the main high street and is now used to house the “Ladies” and “Gentlemans” public convenience as it is so often referred to today. The building, which is wooden, still keeps the appearance as it did all those years ago when it served a higher purpose protecting the local area from the hazards of fire.
The White Horse, Middle Street, dates back to the early 1500s when it was a farm house called “Cripps”. Constructed of ships timbers, fine inglenook fireplaces were added in the early 1600s and it apparently became an inn sometime in the 17th century. Situated in the centre of this pretty tourist spot The White Horse is popular with locals and visitors alike. (Tel: 01483 202158)
St James Church with 13th century origins is approached from Lower Street through Lutyens lynch-gate and past a Lutyens war memorial surrounded by timber and plaster cottages bordering Church Square. St James church is located very near the village centre about 200 yards off the main high street.
Shere has a Church of England infant school in the village which provides an excellent and well respected school for the early learners. Located near the centre of the village makes the school well located and easy to find.
The well head dated 1886 in Middle Street is a simple arched stone recess with seats beneath a pair of iron guard rails – It is not a place of refuge or refreshment now however due to its proximity to the narrow road!
Local Doctor’s Surgery
This good looking surgery is only some fifteen years old serving residents in the surrounding local area.Â It sits in a fine position close to the Tillingbourne stream on the east edge of the village along Gomshall Lane. The Tillingbourne stream runs through the middle of Shere providing a home for ducks and Geese and relaxing spot for visitors idle away a sunny morning or afternoon.