According to Edward Hasted in 1800:

The name Walwaresere, and in some other ancient records, both Walworthshire, and Walwareshare, take its name most probably from the worlds, or open downs, among which it is situated. A borsholder is appointed for this parish, including the district of Apulton, at the court leet of Waldershare manor.

The parish is situated in a healthy country, among the high hills near the eastern boundary of the county, next the sea, from which it is distant about five miles, and near as many from Dover. It lies about a mile and an half northward of the great London road, and extends about two miles from north to south, but it is very narrow across the other way. It contains in the whole about 1000 acres of land. The whole parish belongs to the earl of Guildford, excepting Southwood and Heasleden down; London close, part of Linacre court, and Appleton. In the southern part of it is Waldershare park, well cloathed with trees, having the house in the vale nearly in the centre, and the belvidere at the south-west corner, on high ground, with a beautiful prospect from it, the whole of it stands much in need of modern taste and improvements. The church is situated near the middle of the eastern side of the parish. At the northern boundary is Malmains farm, (the ancient mansion of that family in this parish, though now only a mean farm-house, belonging to the earl of Guildford) and an open uninclosed down, called Maimage down, corruptly for Malmains down. The country here has much the same face and soil as those of the neighbouring parishes, a wild and mountainous aspect, and a poor chalky soil. There is a fair held here on Whit Tuesday yearly, for toys and pedlary.

Waldershare, at the time of taking the survey of Domesday, in the 15th year of the Conqueror’s reign, was part of the possessions of Odo, bishop of Baieux, the king’s half-brother, of whom it was held by Ralph de Curbespine; accordingly it is thus entered in that record, under the general title of the bishop’s lands.

Waldershare House is a very elegant Palladian mansion of the Georgian era built with classic symmetry. It is urrounded by attractive parkland complete with avenue of limes, spreading chestnut and beech. Look out for the ornate square folly which is typical of the period.

Waldershare House

All Saints Church, Waldershare

┬áThe church stands within the grounds of Waldershare Park and is not easy to find. Through a lychgate, in a tree-shaded churchyard, the three eastern gables may be seen. The centre one is of natural flint, whereas the outer two are of brickwork, and these sum up the charm of this church – one of contrasts. The nave was almost rebuilt in the nineteenth century and you could almost imagine it belonging to a suburban church of the 1870s. The roof is high, the walls are bare and the character rather austere. The chancel, too, has a Victorian feel with a heavy marble reredos and stencilled walls. Leading off to north and south of the chancel are the brick chapels which we noted on the outside. The south chapel is the earlier, dating from 1697, and contains the tomb chest of Susan Bertie. The same tomb also commemorates Montague, Earl of Lindsey, who was loyal to Charles I, and is noted as ‘having attended his sacred Majestic to his grave and giving him a Christian burial at Windsor after his barbarous and horrid murder’. The north chapel was built in 1712 to accommodate the monument to Sir Henry Furness who built the present mansion house in the park. This monument only just fits into its chapel and rises in stages like a wedding cake, with four life-sized broken-hearted ladies at the base for starters. As a conversation piece it is unrivalled in a country church. The church is no longer used and is in the care of The Churches Conservation Trust.

Leave a Reply