In a tiny village in Surrey, UK, there lies a hidden gem amongst the trees. We were astonished when we finally saw this beautiful abandoned manor house emerge through the shrubbery.
Not a great deal is known about Oaklands Park Manor House, it’s almost as if everyone has forgotten that it exists.
The property was originally built as a farmhouse somewhere in the 16th century. From here there’s nothing to report until the early 20th century when extensions were added to the house, turning into the manor house that it is today… sort of.
If you would like to see what Oaklands Park looked like before it was abandoned, check out these photographs of the house exterior and gardens from the 1930s!
During the second world war, the house was used by the British Army as a surface ammo drop site.
We didn’t have much to go on for this location. We knew where it was, but that was about it. We couldn’t find an easy way to even get close to the building so we knew that this was going to be a mission.
Our first hurdle was the village, it was so small that anyone who spotted us would know that we were strangers and would most likely be suspicious. We worked out that two long driveways were leading in the general direction that we were looking for, these were our best bet.
Driveway No.1 looked the most promising, so we made our way up to find ourselves at someone’s back gate. The fence was so low that we could see straight into their garden to see the family enjoying a BBQ. We panicked and quickly got out of there before they saw us. Not the best start!
It had to be driveway No.2. We started to walk up. There was a small house to the right, it looked empty so we continued but picked up the pace just in case. The coast looked clear. We saw the abandoned manor house emerging from the trees before our very eyes. we had found it!
Nope! Just when we thought that we had done it, we heard a shout from the small house. “EXCUSE ME!”
Game over. We had no choice but to turn around and face whoever it was that was shouting.
We were met by a very charming lady, we explained to her that we were photographers, just looking to document the abandoned mansion. She responded with “I don’t think so. F*** OFF!” So we got outa’ there!
When we thought all was lost, we decided that we hadn’t come all this way for nothing, so we went back to driveway No.1 and found an alternative way around the garden. The family were still outside and we had to go around the outside of their fence which was loud, but we had a genius strategy…
The village is situated very close to an airport and planes were going over almost every minute and they were loud enough to completely cover up the sound that we were making so we simply waited for a plane to go past before we moved. This was a slow process but we got there eventually!
Once we had made it to the house, we were relieved to find that the doors and windows were wide open. The only thing standing in our way was a load of brambles, no biggie.
We were relieved to be inside, it was definitely worth the trouble. The windows still had the curtains in place, the walls and ceilings had beautiful intricate designs, and in the main hall, there was a very nice looking staircase.
The house has certainly seen better days, there were ferns growing through the floors in one of the hallways and the third floor had been made completely inaccessible as the staircase had collapsed.
We even discovered a basement which still had some tools, a safe, and boilers. One section of this was flooded too.
As we were finishing up, we discovered a small hole which leads down to a cavity beneath the floorboards. We went down to find that this stretched underneath the whole of the main house and almost seemed like a tunnel system. We didn’t stay down there long as it did not seem very safe.
In the end, this location was worth the effort that it took to get inside. It would have been an amazing place to live back in its prime. It’s a shame that it’s wasted now.