Prince's Coverts

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Coordinates: 51°19′59″N 0°20′02″W / 51.333°N 0.334°W / 51.333; -0.334

Prince's Coverts is an area of 864 acres (349 hectares) of managed woodland in Oxshott, Surrey, England, to which there is public access by payment of a refundable deposit. It is owned and managed by the Crown Estate who refer to the area as Oxshott Woods. It adjoins Malden Rushett in Greater London, the Pachesham Park estate and Leatherhead Golf Course to the east.


Princes Coverts is 864 acres (349 hectares) of managed woodland owned by the Crown Estate. It includes, separated by roads, a minor northern woodland beyond Fairoaks Lane, Great Oakes and Sixty Acre Wood, and the irregularly shaped (partly converted to other use) Woodlands Park to the south.

The southernmost portion of the very long and quite narrow, almost rectangular Crown Estate has been assigned to and converted to Queen Elizabeth's Foundation for Disabled People's Training College and its Dorincourt home for the disabled, Woodlands Park Golf Course, Leatherhead, and Tyrwhitt House, a combat stress centre.

While the south drains southward to Mole 0.5 miles (0.80 km) south of the training college, the north, divided by rises, contains three sources of the Rythe and drains northward.[1] The remaining Prince's Coverts area is referred to by the Crown as Oxshott Woods.[2]


Prince's Coverts is named after Prince (later King) Leopold I of Belgium, who lived at Claremont Park, Esher 1 mile (1.6 km) north-west, which remains linked by a bridleway across Arbrook Common and Farm which has two white-painted metal coal tax posts.[3]

The Claremont Estate was purchased for him in 1816. He later acquired nearby common land which became a shooting estate. This area became known as Prince's Coverts. Following his death, the estate was repurchased by the Crown since which it has been managed by the Crown Estate.[2]

Land Features[edit]

  • Jessop's Well (recorded in some maps as Chalybeate) - a mineral spa converted to a very small spa house that was built in the mid 18th century.[4] The water was sold for a period for 6d per bottle to owner-occupiers of Berkeley Square, London.[2]
  • Horns Hill - The highest point of the relatively gentle rises in Prince's Coverts at 260 feet (79 metres), is one of a series of knolls consisting of gravel and London clay in a band north of the centre of much higher North Downs where deposits have made for a loam-rich soil. Geologically and in soil terms this range extends through Wimbledon, Streatham Hill, Tulse Hill, Sydenham and Penge.


The Crown Estate publish a leaflet with a detailed map.


Access for walkers is - apart from those living on a gated private estate, formerly part of the Crown Estate - by means of a key which is available from the Crown Estate on 01753 860222 with a refundable deposit. Horse riders require a permit.

There are many paths through the woodland. There is a 3.5 mile waymarked trail starting at Prince's Gate.

The entrances are:

  • Highgate Cottage Gate: on B280 (Fairoak Lane).
  • Prince's Gate: at end of road to D'Abernon Farm by The Star pub, A243 (Leatherhead Road).
  • (unnamed) : Footpath to/from Princes's Drive, Oxshott (from gated, private road via a stile, no key needed).

More information[edit]

  • Welcome to Prince's Coverts Oxshott - Leaflet published by The Crown Estate Office, The Great Park, Windsor, SL4 2HT


External links[edit]