June 2024

Heritage Open Day at Fetcham Park – Discover the History of the Surrey Yeomanry

Fetcham Park is open for Heritage Open Day, on Saturday, 14th September, where it will host a captivating exhibition, A Call to Arms: The History of the Surrey Yeomanry, featuring the historic Surrey Yeomanry panels on loan from Dorking Museum.

The exhibition traces the history of the Surrey Yeomanry and its connection with Dorking and its surrounding estates. From its original formation as a voluntary unit in 1794 during the war against Revolutionary France until the First World War, the Surrey Yeomanry was embedded in the lives and concerns of the local wealthy gentry.

Visitors can immerse themselves in a wealth of historical information through anecdotes and photographs that illuminate the cavalry regiment’s involvement in various campaigns and conflicts. This display vividly brings to life the people and places associated with the esteemed military unit spanning two centuries, including Captain Sydney Thornhill Hankey, a relative of the original owners of Fetcham Park.

Fetcham Park, a Grade II* listed building built in 1705 as a private home and now a serviced office, meeting and private events venue, is proud to collaborate with Dorking Museum in bringing this insightful exhibition to the public for Heritage Open Day in the Fetcham area of Mole Valley.

Kate Ainsworth, house manager at Fetcham Park, said, “We are excited to host this exhibition thanks to the generosity of Dorking Museum and the support of the Mole Valley District Council officers who organise the district’s programme of Heritage Open Days. As a venue steeped in history, and with direct links to the Surrey Yeomanry through the Hankey family, Fetcham Park provides an ideal setting to share this unique slice of local history. We hope people will enjoy the exhibition and explore our ground floor heritage rooms, Laguerre murals and landscaped grounds not usually open to the public.”

“We are thrilled to share these remarkable panels with the public through our collaboration with Fetcham Park, introduced by one of our museum supporters who had previously worked at the House and knew the significance of the Hankey family link” said Kathy Atherton, manager at Dorking Museum. “This exhibition provides a wonderful opportunity for people to learn about the Surrey Yeomanry’s heritage and its impact on our local community. Local historian Vivien White, who continues to research Fetcham Park’s history, welcomes this new link to Fetcham Park and its previous owners.”

A Call to Arms: The History of the Surrey Yeomanry is part of Heritage Open Day at Fetcham Park on Saturday, 14th September. Entry is free and parking is available. The historic St Mary’s Church, which dates back to the 11th-century, is adjacent to Fetcham Park and will be open to visit and see the restored painting of the Royal Coat of Arms dated 1660, the year of the restoration of the monarchy, when Charles II became King.

For more information visit Heritage Open Days and www.fetchampark.co.uk or contact hello@fetchampark.co.uk