Norden1607-1

© British Library Board. All Rights Reserved. Harley MS 3749

This is John Norden’s 1607 map of Woking Park. The Table XIII accompanying the map comments:

This table comprehendeth all. Wokinge parke which Parke is distinguished under the names of the Greate and Little Parkes The Deere using only the greate Parke which is heathie bararne and full of bogs in the Lower part the little parke more fatt and fertile. Of this parke Sir Jeames Heskins is cheife keeper. And hath about 160 Deere 30 of Antler and aboute 15 buckes

This intire parke by the outmoste pale is in circuit 4 ¼ Mile

It paleth 5⅜ Mile The timber will not maintaine the paling Longe

It containeth in the whole in quantitie about 590 acres
The Hoe Stream bisects the park, crossing present day Old Woking Road at Hoe Bridge and leaving the park on its way off the map to Newark Lane. There are three marked gates to the park, Towne Gate at the right angle bend where the park meets Woking High Street, Heath Gate at the top of the map and Pyrford Gate at the south of the map at its most easterly extremity.

There are two perceivable trackways both originating from Woking Palace at the bottom of the map. The paths diverge just north of the Palace site, one branch going westwards to Towne Gate and the other east to Pyrford Gate. Just after the Pyrford path has crossed the Hoe Stream and turns to the east, there is a branch which continues north to the Lodge. There is no marked path to or from Heath Gate.

Outside the park at the Towne Gate can be seen Woking town and at the south east of the map, Pyrford village. Beyond the park in the north west and south east of the map appear local field systems belonging to those two settlements. The fields by Woking town are marked Parte of Brookewood walke Twitcher Keper

The Little Park is at the bottom south west corner of the map and is marked: The game come not into this. The River Wey forms the southern boundary although the paling is slightly to the north of the river bank. Field divisions are shown and nestling in its south east corner is Henry VIII’s Woking Palace with its surrounding moat. There is no sign of the middle arm, this having been partly filled in about 1580 but the map also omits the stunted remains of the arm visible today. Present day Woking Park Farm is probably to the east of the Palace site. Note too the fields to the east of the farm.

The Great Park comprises the remainder of the map. It is separated from the Little Park by what appears to be a long ploughed field probably evidence of the greater fertility of the smaller park. A path leads from the Palace along the north of this field to the Towne Gate. The area between the path and the Hoe Stream is known as Towne Lawne.

Also within the Great Park there is another area towards the River Wey described as Wetley Low and moarish wett grounde. This is probably wetland and the remains of a medieval river farming system can be seen near there today. Below the wetland, still within the park, there is a triangular area paled on two sides and described as Meadowe.

In the centre of the map is a house, the Lodge, probably where Roundbridge Farm stands today or perhaps a little further north. The house is reached by a path branching off the path which runs fr om the Palace to Pyrford gate. The Lodge is mentioned in the Building Accounts for Woking Palace in 1537 and in 1541 and the Hearth Tax returns of 1664. In 1537 there is reference to the digging of turves for an arbour for the Queen at the lodge in the park and laying of the same1 and in 1541 to the making of 2 new stairs going up to standings one between the place (ie Palace) and the lodge2

The boundary of the park did not follow the line of what is now Old Woking Road and there is no sign on the map of White Rose Lane. From just before Hoe Bridge the paling of the park turns away from the road but then continues in the same direction. Within the park after Hoe Bridge, there is a rectangular area bordered on three sides by trees and on the fourth by the park paling. This area is marked as Portes’s Corner in red.

The part of the Great Park at the top of the map is described as Heathie ground. In addition, just above the Lodge there are some small hills highlighted in red as Fox borow hill, Burchehil and, Purforde ……… hill. The middle word of the last item is difficult to decipher, it looks like Lmllet but this is unlikely and there is already a Purford hill just below Purford Gate.

The High Street in 1607

Norden1607-2

© British Library Board. All Rights Reserved. Harley MS 3749

This is a magnified extract from John Norden’s 1607 map of Woking Park.

The River Wey can be seen on the left with the right angled bend at the bottom with Town Gate and the pathway from the Palace. The church is prominent in a rather stylised form from which it is possible to locate Church Street. Broadmead Road is also visible with its bridge over the river at the top of the map.

There were obviously fewer houses then in the High Street than there are today and the houses shown are probably representations rather than exact images. However it is possible to identify the Old Manor House as the second house down on the right of the High Street of rather the Old Parsonage since the present day house was probably built on the in the middle of the 17th century. Almost opposite on the left hand side is the site of the Old Brew House with the ghost like white house, the present day house not having been built until the beginning of the 18th century. The house to the north of this is probably Moorhatch and the next house possibly Wellhouse Cottage, 102 High Street.

The large field at the bottom of the map is probably Botchers, item 300 and possibly also 301 on the Tithe Map.

Sources

1 Accounts James Needham 1537 at Bodleian Bod. Rawl 780
2 Accounts James Needham 1541 at Bodleian Bod. Rawl 781

© Phillip Arnold other than British Library images above