Oh, for a telephoto lens

I’ve a pocket camera. It’s a good one, so shouldn’t complain. Naturally, being a pocket camera it doesn’t have a telephoto lens.

Having a telephoto lens is just what I’d like when on my various walks the atmospheric conditions are perfect for long range photos, such as the London skyline and Woking. After a rain shower, and then sunlight the London skyline can be easily seen from High Curley hill in Lightwater Country, and seeing Woking from Hangmoor Hill next to the Bisley & Pirbright Ranges is improved after a rain shower.

So, here are my photos of both places, suitably cropped. Click on an image to expand.

High Curley without trees and bushes

Here’s a photo of from the top of High Curley in Lightwater, without its cover of trees, bushes and vegetation restricting its scenic views. My photo is of an image of High Curley taken from an exhibition board at Surrey Heath Museum’s exhibition on the work and history of the Camberley Natural History Society. I’ve no information as to when the photo of Curley Hill was taken.

Curley Hill

Surely, the benefit of getting to the top of a hill is to enjoy the view. It’s not now easy to see Guildford Cathedral, or the many other interesting features, promised in the BBC’s list of Top Ten Views Points in Surrey


Question answered about the large stone on Curley Hill

What’s the question I hear you ask.

In the March edition of Roundabout – the rather good parish magazine of All Saints’ Church in Lightwater – was a request ‘Do you know anything about ‘the stone’ on the top of Curley Hill? Apparently a resident, now moved away, asked the question of magazine’s editor.

Well, actually I know something about the stone.  Here’s what I wrote in reply to the question, which appears in the April edition of Roundabout. Credit to Alan Hunt for the photo.

geograph-3821004-by-Alan-Hunt… The stone is a sarsen stone – a form of dense, hard silicified sandstone. There are other similar large stones locally, such as the one in the verge of the Maultway near junction with Red Road. The stones were deposited in their locations when being pushed there in front of the advancing glaciers in the last ice age.

Tim Price’s book ‘A Hundred Years Behind the Times’ is about the history of the village of Bisley. In his book Tim says that in the mid 1800’s much such sandstone was dug out of the wet and boggy heathland and used as building material, notably to build Holy Trinity Church in West End. While still wet, and sometimes still partly under water, sandstone is easy to work. It’s only after it has dried out that it becomes as hard as brick.

In speaking with Tim Price recently he said that he has reasonably reliable evidence for the reason the stone on Curley Hill is split into two.  A celebratory bonfire in 1945 next to the stone was left to burn after everyone had left. At some time during the night the heat caused the stone to explode. What remains of the stone is about three quarters of the original stone.

High points on the map

Christmas events are building up in my diary, and so my resolve to post about things of import is slackening fast.

I imagine most of us know about High Curley being the highest point in the Lightwater Country Park – 423 feet, or 129 metres. I also imagine you’ve admired the excellent views from the top – now sadly not as they one were. In Marie Eedle’s book, A History of Bagshot and Windlesham, [available from Camberley library] she states that gravel from High Curley was used to repair local roads. Just maybe, High Curley was even higher in the past.

Anyway, onto the reason for this post. On the BBC’s Surrey website are a series of photo’s taken from the Hog’s Back, one of which looks toward High Curley. I reckon the views from High Curley are equally as good. So, that’s my point.