The area between the River Wey and the Cut is known as Broadmead. Although now in the Borough of Guildford, it has historical connections with Woking; a great deal of the land having formed part of the old Royal Manor of Woking. Prior to its development by the Tudors, what became Woking Palace was originally the manor house of the Royal Manor.
Manning and Bray in their History and Antiquities of the County of Surrey say "in this parish, near the town, is a large meadow called Broad-Mead containing about one hundred and fifty acres. Different persons have the property, as far as taking the crop of hay from their respective holdings for which purpose the meadow is shut up in the spring; but when the hay is cut and carried, any person is at liberty to turn in cattle, and keep them there until the mead is again shut up in the spring following."
Broadmead could, therefore, be said to have been the Lammas Field of Woking.
Papercourt Lock, newly acquired by Surrey Wildlife Trust is a 20 hectare (47-acre) floodplain site and part of the Papercourt Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). The land lies directly opposite the palace site and it is tempting to suppose that the area immediately opposite where the Queen’s apartments were, was used for jousting by Henry VIII and others.
The site is a traditional floodplain. For generations, between regular flooding, sheep and cattle grazed this wet grassland creating a unique landscape and wildlife habitat, which is particularly good for birds. Surrey Wildlife Trust intends to create a new nature reserve to protect this increasingly threatened wildlife habitat, ensure wider public access and introduce a programme of community education.
Looking across the river to Broadmead
Damsel flies love the river