Thinking of visiting the Lovelace Bridges? Download the printable trail sheet: PDF
Lord Lovelace was an enthusiastic forester. In order to facilitate riding through the woods and extracting the timber, he embarked on a programme of bridge building. Altogether he built fifteen horseshoe-shaped bridges, ranging in size from about six feet wide at Meadow Platt to eighteen feet at Dorking Arch, which crosses the road leading to Ranmore Common.
The style of the bridges is unmistakable with their flint and red brick, but only three have retained their name and date plaques Oldlands, Stony Dene and Robin Hood. Over the years many of the bridges have become unsafe and even derelict, and some have been pulled down.
Ten remain: Stony Dene, Dorking Arch, Briary Hill East, Briary Hill West and Raven, all owned by Forest Enterprises, and Outdowns, Meadow Platt, Hermitage, Troy and Robin Hood, all in private ownership.
Part of another remains at Oldlands and of the remaining four only slight traces survive. The Horsley Countryside Preservation Society, with the aid of some grant money, has embarked on a conservation programme, beginning with Stony Dene.