The National Trust have lots of lovely houses and gardens, and it’s often forgotten how much land is owned by them too. After the National Trust – Surrey Hills Facebook Group posted a photo last weekend of a mysterious Peter Rabbit’s Post Office, a few of us bloggers tried to work out exactly where it was. Luckily someone posted on the group where to find it, so a week later we headed there to find out more – to Limpsfield Common.
Limpsfield Common is east of Oxted – take the A25 and drive towards Limpsfield Chart on the B269, but turn left before you get there and drive down Ridlands Lane. You will find a car park called Ridlands Grove, which is the best place to park.
Limpsfield Common is quite a large area, and I felt this was a good place to start. H really enjoyed looking for the five little homes within the wood – most of which are fairly easy to find – though we struggled with the Fox Villa – there’s no clear trail but that makes it even more fun. The little homes have been put together by the Friends of Limpsfield Common who keep it maintained. We popped some cash into the little post box at Peter Rabbit’s Post Office as a way of saying thank you. Each shelter had enough H had a good explore, and the area they’re all situated was enough for a good hour wandering around outside.
Limpsfield Common also has an Air Raid Shelter. It has been renovated, there are six shelters in total, though only one is occasionally opened to the public. (the last time was Mother’s Day last weekend) The other five are used as bat nesting sites. This is situated back on the A25. We parked on a road in Limpsfield village and it took no more than ten minutes to walk there. They are situated near the British Legion building, around the back of Limpsfield Infant school.
Getting H to imagine how it was in 1940 as the Battle of Britain was happening, with the whole of Limpsfield Infant school spending most days in the shelters was quite an eye opener for her. The children were alerted to an attack by siren or the headmaster ringing the bell and had to run to the shelters. If they didn’t make it in time they had to lie flat on the ground – and it’s quite a run to the shelters.
Next to the shelters is a restored Spigot Mortar – one of five that once existed in the area. From the National Trust information “The gun was extremely heavy, weighing in at about 350lbs. It fired a 20lb high explosive anti tank mortar bomb propelled by black powder. It had an effective range of 100 yards. It was also capable of firing a 14lb anti personnel bomb approximately 500 yards, although the gun was found to be most effective at shorter range.”
Really hard to get your head around these days, but an important reminder of how it was.
We had a brilliant day anyway, and would recommend Limpsfield Common – it doesn’t cost to go there and there’s easily a good couple of hours worth of things to do, and wander around. Limpsfield itself looks like a lovely village too, although all the shops were closed when we were there.