26 historic gems in Surrey that Historic England says we could lose forever

From listed buildings and parks to medieval ruins and churches, Surrey is full of fascinating sites of historical significance that must be protected.

They enrich our local areas centuries after they were built and it is hard to imagine the county’s landscape without them.

Sadly, that is exactly what Historic England has warned could happen in its latest Heritage at Risk report. Last month, the 2020 register was published.

It revealed that 26 of Surrey’s historic gems are at risk of being lost forever due to neglect, decay or deterioration.

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The starting line of the Brooklands racing circuit
(Image: Lee Turnbull)

Eighteen sites in the South East have been added to the list in the past year, bringing the total to 470.

Among Surrey’s 26 is the Brooklands Motor Racing Circuit between Byfleet and Weybridge – the world’s first purpose-built motor racing track that was completed in 1907.

In 1926, the circuit also staged Britain’s first Grand Prix and up until 1933 it was Britain’s only permanent motor racing track. Now overgrown and slightly crumbling, repairs are needed to preserve the amazing piece of history.

Clandon Park in West Clandon is also on the list. While Clandon House and garden – gutted by a fire in 2015 – are owned by the National Trust, the park is privately owned.

The Grade II listed park was landscaped by Lancelot Brown, Britain’s most famous landscape designer. However, Historic England says its “overall integrity” has been damaged due to management that has not prioritised its conservation.

Brookwood Cemetery is still active with tombs and monuments for many denominations, faiths, nationalities and groups
(Image: Surrey Advertiser – Grahame Larter)

Brookwood Cemetery near Woking was founded in 1852 for London’s dead and was served uniquely by its own railway.

Row upon row of graves remember loved ones lost, and statues and tombs from years gone by are admired by visitors and relatives to the cemetery.

Historic England says the site has extensive significant problems after a “longstanding overall lack of management”. Since then, Woking Borough Council acquired the site and an investment plan for the cemetery has been drawn up.

Below, SurreyLive has compiled an interactive map showing which special parks, conservation areas, churches and listed buildings are under threat. Hover over each name to read about why the heritage is at risk and what condition they are in, according to Historic England.

It’s not all bad news. Historic England’s 2020 report has also revealed that over the past year, 20 historic building and sites in the South East have been saved due to investment from owners, investors, crowdfunds and local authorities.

One of these is St Mary’s Church in Guildford, which is situated just off the High Street. Its Saxon tower is the oldest surviving structure in the town, even older than Guildford Castle.

The Grade I listed church was at risk in 2019 primarily due to decaying stonework, including on the tower and window surrounds. But money from the National Lottery Heritage Fund led to successful repairs and the removal of the church from the at-risk list.

Heritage at risk in every Surrey area

In the list below are all 26 Surrey buildings, parks and sites on the at-risk 2020 register per district and borough.


  • The Belvedere, Claremont Park, Esher
  • Former kitchen garden walls to Claremont House, Esher
  • Brooklands Motor Racing Circuit, between Byfleet and Weybridge
  • Brooklands, between Byfleet and Weybridge
One of the racers in action on the Brooklands circuit
(Image: Lee Turnbull)

Epsom and Ewell

  • Epsom town centre, Epsom
  • Ewell Village, Ewell
  • Horton, Epsom
Epsom town centre has 39 listed buildings according to Heritage England
Epsom town centre has 39 listed buildings according to Heritage England
(Image: SurreyLive)


West Horsley Place features on the at risk register
West Horsley Place features on the at-risk register
(Image: Surrey Advertiser)

Mole Valley

  • Lime kilns at Betchworth Quarry, Betchworth
  • Brockham lime kilns, Brockham
  • Ruins of Betchworth Castle, Brockham
  • Church of St John the Baptist, Abinger
  • Anstiebury Camp, Capel
  • Bell barrow, Wotton
  • Ashtead Park, Ashtead
Lime kilns in Brockham
Lime kilns in Brockham
(Image: Steve Bolton)

Reigate and Banstead



  • Church of St Mary Magdalene, Sunbury


  • Ruins of Bletchingley Castle, Bletchingley
  • Church of St Mary the Virgin, Oxted


Brookwood Cemetery is on the heritage at-risk register
(Image: Surrey Advertiser – Grahame Larter)


  • Brookwood Cemetery, near Woking
  • Brookwood, near Woking

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