Our National Lottery Heritage funded project 'History Revealed' aims to explore the book and archive collections at West Horsley Place. The Trust was gifted thousands of family papers, letters and other printed materials that remained at West Horsley Place following the death of Mary, Duchess of Roxburghe. 

This material ranges hugely in date and content and is a treasure trove of stories and information relating to the Duchess' family: the Crewe-Milnes family. Our project will assess and catalogue the papers held here; helping us to learn more about the heritage of West Horsley Place and giving us the information upon which we can make plans for how to ensure the most accessible and appropriate storage for these items going forward. We will be recruiting volunteers to help us with this process, they will receive archive training from experts at the Surrey History Centre. 

However, the first stage is for expert archivists Mike Page and Isabel Sullivan to make an initial assessment of our archive. We caught up with them at the end of their first day's exploration. 

One of the items they discovered was a book containing the meditations of Salathiell Crewe. Mike and Isabel estimated that it dated from the seventeenth century. This remarkable notebook is filled with Salathiell's musings on death and his prayers. The opening page reads:

In regard I am old, being now neare 60 years, and my memory weake, I write downs my meditations and prayers; wishing they may doe good to others when I am departed this life, for my days upon earth cannot be longe.

Having now looked up Salathiell Crewe, it transpires that he lived from 1613 to 1686- some 13 years after he wrote his meditations, a few more days upon earth than he was expecting!

We will keep you posted as our 'History Revealed' project unfolds.