East Horsley, Horsley Towers: Guildford Lodge and Guildford Gate

East Horsley, Horsley Towers: Guildford Lodge and Guildford Gate

This imposing gateway was once the main entrance into Horsley Towers on the Guildford road. It was built in 1858 on the site of a previous Regency-style Lodge, which was similar to one still remaining in Dirtham Lane. The gateway looks for all the world like the entrance to a toy fort. Lovelace is thought to have got the inspiration for this entrance from the Holstentor in Lubeck, but he finished it in the Italianate style that he had adopted for the Italian Tower in front of the house, and then went on to use this style throughout the village.

It is decorated with a frieze like a balustrade and moulded corbelling. Before the estate was sold the last remembered occupants of the lodge were a cowman called Inkerman Tyrrel and his mother who used to open the gate so that carriages could pass through.

East Horsley, Horsley Towers: Guildford Lodge and Guildford Gate

East Horsley, Horsley Towers: Guildford Lodge and Guildford Gate

In 1852, besides being Lord Lieutenant of Surrey, Lovelace took on the title of Rt. Hon. The Colonel of the 2nd Royal Surrey Regiment of Militia. These were volunteer soldiers enlisted for a period of five years in order to augment the small regular army of the time. The colonel, a title which he retained for fourteen years, took his duties seriously, as can be seen by the many regimental devices decorating the walls of his buildings and also the sentry boxes scattered around the grounds of his house.

East Horsley, Horsley Towers: Guildford Lodge and Guildford Gate

East Horsley, Horsley Towers: Guildford Lodge and Guildford Gate

In the summer he would entertain the Regiment, the officers staying in the house and the other ranks camping in the grounds. The occasion was rounded off by a grand military ball in Horsley Towers.

Heraldic devices including Regimental Badges Image: HCPS

Heraldic devices including Regimental Badges
Image: HCPS

2 Responses to East Horsley, Horsley Towers: Guildford Lodge and Guildford Gate

  1. What was the purpose of the tunnel from the estate yard. It seems to go to the house but where does it come out?

  2. Rob says:

    Frances:
    I just explored the tunnel with my family today. It heads underground towards the court at the Horsley Tower, and has an old sign by the entrance saying \\\’Principle Car Only\\\’. You can see it emerge across the court at the other end, but the court is marked No Entry – Staff Only, and the tunnel is full of old rubbish from the hotel – so you can\\\’t really go through it anymore.

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