Down by the River Wey, in the fields to the east of Old Woking, can be found the ruins of Woking Palace. During the Tudor period it was an important Royal Palace.
Now all that remains are a few brick walls, a small stone building and a network of buried foundations. The lack of large-scale remains at Woking, however, is more than made up for by the romantic location of the ruins, with the River Wey winding its way along its southern boundary and its still water-filled moat to the east and north.
As well as being a Scheduled Ancient Monument, the site is also a Site of Special Scientific Interest, with the beautiful copse area a blaze of colour in the Spring.
Henry VIII spent considerable sums of money on Woking during his reign but in 1620 the Manor of Woking was granted to one of James I's courtiers, Sir Edward Zouch, who pulled down much of the Palace buildings and used the material elsewhere in the area. So, although little now remains of the Palace itself, its heritage lives on in many of the houses of the village.
A guide to Woking Palace is available, as well as an explanatory CD, both published by Friends of Woking Palace, priced £2.50 and £5 respectively from the Surrey History Centre and Woking Library.
†For further information on the Palace, please see the Friends of Woking Palace website. You can also join special guided heritage walks to the Palace site; contact Heritage Walks by email for further details.