"Virginia Water, Surrey, UK - Where I was raised" Virginia Water by Synch_X

Virginia Water Travel Guide: 30 reviews and 39 photos

Brief history of Virginia Water

At weekends hundreds of visitors flock to the west of the A30 and at times there are probably enough people to reconstruct the Battle of Culloden!! Why Culloden? This famous plain of Inverness where Bonnie Prince Charlie was routed in 1746? The English victor of that skirmish was the Duke of Cumberland who afterwards became Ranger of Windsor Park.
His deputy was Thomas Sandby who was a highly esteemed architect and landscape gardener, and between them they hatched a plan to drain a large area of marshy ground in the park. Today visitors can take great delight in the area and thank these 18th century men for their expertise. The lake was enlarged to its present size of around 120 acres later in that century. King George IV had a scale model of a frigate built for the lake and it was still in use in Queen Victoria's reign and was brought out at her request. A lieutenant and sailors made up the crew and sailed it along the lake and even fired off a royal salute from its cannon.

Ironically the victor of Culloden (who was later nicknamed 'Butcher' Cumberland). should have created such a beautiful landscape so close to the possible site of an even greater butchery in AD60 - that being the final battle between the Roman 14th Legion and Queen Boudiccea's army of Britons in rebellion.

The London Archaeologist, dated Autumn 1983 gave sound reasons for believing the site to have been somewhere between Callow Hill and Knowl Hill, and it certainly fulfils Tacitus' description of the Roman position being approached by a narrow defile with a wood at the back and a plain in the front.

To the west are the remains of a fine Roman building that was recovered from Leptis Magna near Tripoli in North Africa. It was brought to England and presented to the Prince Regent in 1816. A proposal was made to use the for the portico of the British Museum but this never materialised and they were set up here as an ornament in 1826.

The village of Virginia Water, which has its own station is little more than a dormitory for London, and it has many large houses, and the world famous Wentworth golf club has attracted very wealthy neighbours.

It is here that Surrey meets Berkshire and the woodlands around the lake are in Royal County - but the A30 continues to run through Surrey en route to the capital and passes more public gardens and walks before Egham and the Thames are reached.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Nice quiet village.
  • Cons:Few attractions, not many shops.
  • In a nutshell:Worth a visit to Virginia Water lake.
  • Last visit to Virginia Water: Jul 2003
  • Intro Updated Oct 14, 2003
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Reviews (9)

Comments (5)

  • pedersdottir's Profile Photo
    Apr 12, 2004 at 4:19 PM

    A lovely, off-the-beaten path daytrip destination from London. Would be amazing to stroll the greens at Wentworth one day!

  • keeweechic's Profile Photo
    Nov 2, 2003 at 3:22 PM

    Some great historical background to this area. Didn't expect to see Roman ruins here.. beautiful area. Some good Mexican too :-) Loads of useful info.

  • Pod's Profile Photo
    Oct 23, 2003 at 4:50 PM

    they knocked my favorite pub down and built flats. great pix.

  • feline01's Profile Photo
    Aug 12, 2003 at 2:43 PM

    Interesting place, the lake has quite the international flair between the Roman and Canadian influences.

  • herzog63's Profile Photo
    Aug 12, 2003 at 8:48 AM

    Those Romans sure got around! That totem pole is a long way from home too! Very interesting page!


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