One of our roles as Physiotherapists is trying to encourage patients to engage in healthy, appropriate activities, in order to improve or maintain fitness levels. For some this might be running marathons, ironman competitions or climbing Ben Nevis; for others walking is a more suitable activity.
Whilst we do our best to recommend local walking groups or routes, occasionally you get to hear about something a little bit different. When I bumped into Peter Sturge at the Sports Centre, I was intrigued to hear about Dorking Museums’s guided history walking tour around Deepdene. Of particular interest to me was the local historical reference to what appears to be an early Physiotherapy service for injured WW1 soldiers!
A less well-known resident of the Deepdene founded the intriguingly named “Almeric Paget Military Massage Corps” in 1914. The uniformed staff serving in the Corps provided rehabilitative support for the wounded of First World War. These early physiotherapy treatments included massage, hydro and electric therapy to assist servicemen to recover.
Peter went on to explain that the Deepdene may be visited at anytime in daylight hours but, for those keen to explore the Grade II listed estate and learn more of its fascinating history, the tours led by Dorking Museum’s knowledgeable volunteer guides are recommended.
The 90 minute stroll through the gardens and and along woodland paths will introduce many of the colourful characters who lived in the now lost mansion. These include the “drunken Duke”, a Lord wrong-footed by his “giddy and unfaithful wife”, the wealth that bought the ‘cursed’ Hope Diamond into the family and the squandering of an inheritance.
The tour includes the Grotto, the Embattled Tower and WWII fortifications, combined with a visit inside the Hope Mausoleum.
For anyone interested in the tour:
The next tour dates: Sunday 14th July at 2 p.m.
Sunday 11th August at 2 p.m.
Tours must be pre-booked and cost £4 per adult (children under 12 free). Booking and further information available at www.dorkingmuseum.org.uk/the-deepdene-trail
Private tours for groups of 10 or more may be arranged by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org. For visitors with a disability, the Museum’s guides are willing to discuss and plan visits to suit individual needs, enabling access wherever possible.