Mole Valley District Council (MVDC) is leading this exciting landscape and heritage project to relink, repair and bring to life the landscape around the magnificent historic Deepdene estate in Dorking, Surrey.
Back in 2015, a £1 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund was secured to revive the landscape and key architectural features on the estate once owned by Thomas Hope, who lived in Deepdene House during the early 19th century.
In September 2016, The Deepdene Trail was opened. Visitors can now explore free of charge at anytime an amazing landscape full of history, nature and hidden treasures. The Trail has restored and relinked the picturesque Deepdene estates gardens, shaped over hundreds of years by influential owners and now reawakened and reconnected by Mole Valley District Council.
The works have been supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Friends of Deepdene, the Mausolea and Monuments Trust, Dorking Museum, Kuoni, Stonegate Homes, Dorking Golf Club, Surrey Wildlife Trust and the owner of Betchworth Castle, Martin Higgins.
Highlights include the wonderfully austere 19th century Hope Mausoleum, the formal gardens including the newly re-instated parterre, Coady our Coade stone lion, the magnificent grotto and romantic embattled tower. The whole site is brought alive through informative boards and a bespoke Deepdene Trail app. Download it free now, just search 'Deepdene Trail' in the Google Play or Apple app store.
Throughout the project events and activities such as family trails, volunteering opportunities, outdoor theatre and even embroidery workshops have engaged the community. Dorking Museum provides expert guided tours of the estate and hosts a bespoke virtual tour of the Deepdene in 1825 created exclusively for the Deepdene Trail.
The project will run until March 2018 and during that time will continue to engage the local community through the Trail, activities, events, volunteer work and a range of digital interpretation.
The Trail will then be managed by MVDC's Parks team working with partners including the Friends of Deepdene, Dorking Museum, Stonegate Homes, Dorking Golf Club, Surrey Wildlife Trust and Martin Higgins to keep the Trail active.
For information, visit the Deepdene Trail website.