March 24 : Ockham Common, A Semaphore Tower and Mausoleum

Semaphore Tower

Semaphore Tower

We don’t often go caching on Thursday, but it was Maundy Thursday and neither of us were working. The weather promised a reasonable morning with rain later so we planned a double activity morning of caching and a trip to RHS Wisley.

We had cached near to Wisley in the past, but there was one series of 10 caches we had not attempted – the Ockham Common Series. (We had found Ockham Common 1 previously, but not the other 9). There was also another cache called “Chestnut” and a multi-part cache leading to a Trackable Hotel.

We parked near the multi to establish the co-ordinates of where the final cache would be hidden.

(Travellers note : if you are travelling on the M25/A3 junction 10, there is an ample car park just off the A3 Southbound sliproad, with a café/shack, toilets and a few caches to find)

We had struggled to find the first part of the multi before, and with the hint “Magnetic” we knew it was attached to one of the plethora of metal structures at GZ. We gave ourselves 5 minutes to have another look, and this time, armed with the experience that finding over 1300 caches brings, we found the elusive first part. The co-ordinates for the final gave us cause for concern… they pointed to the major M25/A3 roundabout, some half-a-mile away! Something to think about for later, maybe!

Onto the Ockham Common series. Because we had already found Ockham Common 1, it was a fair trek to Ockham Common 2. It was pleasant walk through slightly sandy heathland.

Lots of trees, and many a footpath crossed our ‘direct’ route so we had to wisely chose a footpath at each intersection.
Occasional pockets of daffodils were under trees, and using one’s imagination one could visualise the bluebells and azaleas that would no doubt flower in a few week’s time.

The first cache, when we did arrive was worth the walk. Hidden high in a tall broken stump/tree and well hidden under barkoflage.

As the cache was quite large we dropped of the trackable “Just Ducky” to continue its adventures. We were just leaving the cache when a walker with her Shetland pony (and dog) came by. A lovely and unexpected sight!

Most of the Ockham Common series were typical woodland hides: sometimes under fallen branches, sometimes in trees, sometimes under the ubiquitous pile of twigs or stones. In fact a very simple but effective series of caches. We had just got into the relaxed easy nature of the caches when suddenly he came upon… a mausoleum!

An unexpected Mausoleum

An unexpected Mausoleum

The mausoleum was built early in the 20th century for the re-interment of Sir Bernhard Samuelson(1820-1905), his wife Caroline (1821-1886) and their daughter Florence (1857-1881). It was designed and built by Sir Bernhard and Caroline’s son, Henry, so that they could all be buried together when he passed away. However he (Henry) was interred elsewhere and the chest-tomb has subsequently been stolen. An impressive structure and not one we would have found with geocaching to lead us there!

We paused for reflection (sorry, coffee) here and then continued on. The mausoleum was at the furthest point away from the busy A3/M25 so it was quiet(ish). The noise levels rose as we approached our final few caches. One of these was hidden in a Chestnut tree (though as many of the trees were still winter-dormant, it was tricky to verify whether it was a chestnut or not. The tree did stand next to another impressive structure, a Semaphore Tower.

The tower was built just after the Napoleonic Wars as part of a chain of towers linking London to the naval city of Portsmouth. Messages could be relayed much quicker than horseback using semaphore between the towers, and was the forerunner of the electric telegraph system of communication.
This particular tower is now owned by Surrey Historic Buildings Trust
and is open certain Sundays during the Summer.

Our final three caches were easy straightforward which left is with the tricky decision whether to attempt the final part of the multi-part cache…or head for Wisley. With shower clouds threatening, Wisley won and the multi-cache will again wait for yet another day!



Some of the caches we found :


3 Responses to “March 24 : Ockham Common, A Semaphore Tower and Mausoleum”

  1. TheRobbInn Says:

    Another series about to be put on our ‘to do’ list. Sounds really good and I will look forward to when we can get there. Haven’t been caching for over a month…..starting to get withdrawal symptoms !!!

    • hg137 Says:

      Hope you get caching again soon. We’ve been out several times recently but a bit behind with the blogs as wordpress seems reluctant to load our pictures. The Ockham series is fairly easy – if a bit noisy!

      • TheRobbInn Says:

        I’ve been on the I o W rather a lot and haven’t done hardly any over there but I was rather pleased to be sitting enjoying a coffee at the WC when a lady and her grand-daughter discovered my cache. I had a lovely chat with them. I’ve also altered the clue as it was a bit obscure.

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