The history of Netley Park

A panorama looking over Netley Park and house

Netley Park is a typical 18th-century gentleman’s estate nestling into the North Downs. All is quiet today, but in the past you'd have heard the sound of troops in the grounds.

Netley House

 
In the late 18th century an old mansion was pulled down by the owner, Edward Shallet Lomax, and Netley House was built.  The property has seen various changes over the years, especially following a fire in 1860.
 
During the First World War the house was used as a hospital. During the Second World War it was occupied by the Canadian army.
 
The property was described as ‘heavily and gloomily classical’ by Pevsner (writer on architecture). But it was listed as a Grade II building by English Heritage on 21 May 1985.
 
The house isn't currently open to the public. But you can see the building from the A25 near the village of Shere or from the footpaths running through the parkland.
 

Netley Park and woodland

 
The parkland was created around the turn of the 19th century and has survived substantially intact.
 
During the Second World War pill boxes were erected in the woods on the North Downs behind Netley House to defend London. If you walk in the woods today you can still find six ‘Type 24’ boxes.
 
The Canadian road, which forms the northern boundary of Netley, is now part of the North Downs Way National Trail.
 

William Alexander Robertson’s legacy

 
Netley Park was given to us in 1940 by the W A Robertson Memorial Fund.
 
William Alexander Robertson lost his two younger brothers in the First World War. When he died in 1937 he left a bequest to us to commemorate them.
 
In accordance with his wishes a memorial was erected, and it stands on the slope just above the Netley house.