The village is comparatively recent – growing out of the
leather industry of the Elizabethan period. Later Godstone became
known for its iron works and the manufacture of gunpowder. The area
was originally called Wachelstede during Saxon times –
derived from the literal translation “fulling place”
which refers to the Fullers earth that is still to be found here.
It is believed that the current name is also derived from the
ground – praising the quality of the soil on which the
village stands, God’s stone.
An unexpected and peaceful offshoot of the main village of
Godstone is the setting for the cache. The beautiful enclave of
Church Town is set around the church of St Nicholas. This can be
reached by either parking at 51º14.797N 000º03.445W next
to the church; or on the village green at 51°14.842N
000°04.045W and then taking the pleasant walk past the Bay Pond
to reach the hamlet.
St Nicolas’ is set on a grassy knoll – beside a
peaceful country lane, with a cluster of pretty cottages. Next to
the church is St Mary’s Chapel and also St Mary’s
Homes. These almshouses which, despite their appearance, were built
in the 19th century from designs by local architect Sir Gilbert
Scott, who was also responsible for the Albert Memorial, St Pancras
Station and the one time ubiquitous ‘red’ telephone
box. The homes consist of eight flats for elderly people, the
Warden’s house and a Chapel. Over the years they have been
maintained by a slender income made up from a small endowment fund
and donations from local residents. No income is received from the
State or Local Authorities.
In the churchyard of St Nicholas’ is the grave of Edmund
Seyfang Taylor better known as ‘Walker Miles’. The
grave takes the form of a sarsen stone – with two intricately
designed brass plaques holding memorials to this pioneer of
recreational walking and rambling clubs. One epitaph strikes a
chill to the heart of every rambler – “This is the
bourne to which the footpath led, this is the spot uncharted in his
works”. It is also particularly fitting that there is a
footpath leading through this tranquil churchyard – giving
today’s walkers the opportunity to explore further afield.
The cache is near this sandstone monument to Walker Miles. Please
take time to explore the church, graveyard and the village –
but do be respectful of the inhabitants.
Contents of the cache when placed (second time around): Geocaching
pin, 'Supermum' trolley token, log book and pencil. the container
is not as big before and will now hold small TBs.