Tuesday 23 August 2011

A small village in Surrey called Thursley

H's father was the only child of his family to work on their farm. His grandfather sold it, we presume to be fair to all of his children.
This, however, broke his father's heart, something which he never really got over.
The farmland stretched up to an area near the Devil's Punchbowl, a well known beauty spot.  There are many legends surrounding this large natural amphitheatre, one of which states that the Devil hurled lumps of earth at the god Thor to annoy him.  The hollow he scooped in the earth became the Punch Bowl. The village of Thursley means Thor's Place.
Hubby's father was fortunate to find himself a position as Farm Manager, still near their old farm, to a London city Stockbroker.  His name was Alfred Caro, he was a very wealthy but extremely kind man. Hubby's father built up a wonderful herd of prize winning Guernsey cows for Caro. Caro's son, Anthony became apprenticed to Henry Moore, and has subsequently gone on to be one of the UK's top figures in the world of sculpture during the 20th century, gathering the title of Sir and the Order of Merit on his journey.
Edwin Lutyens, the architect, also grew up in the same little village, and I believe that you can see the influence of the local Surrey vernacular architecture reflected in many of his designs.
The family farmhouse

H standing between his parents

The Devil's Punchbowl courtesy Keith Rose

Goddards by Lutyens courtesy BBC

Anthony Caro, Babylon at Jesus College, Cambridge. courtesy mira66
Anthony Caro, Black Cover Flat - courtesy talmoryair via Wikipedia


  1. Hello Rosemary:
    What interesting and intriguing connections between people and place you describe so beautifully for us here.

    We are great admirers of Lutyens work and his grandson, Mark Lutyens, met in our gardening days, has become a friend. Small, small world!!

  2. Hello Jane and Lance - Thanks for mentioning Mark Lutyens. I admire Mark's landscape work. The internet does enable so many connections to be made.

  3. What an interesting, but heavyhearted story. I wonder if the family farmhouse still stands, and if your father-in-law found happiness working for Caro? I hope so. It sounds as though he was very good at what he did.

  4. Dear Mark - the Farmhouse is now a very desirable and expensive property. It has a grade 2 listing. Surrey is one of the home counties and convenient for wealthy London commuters. My father-in-law really loved Caro he was such a lovely person to work for.


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