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Photographer: Anthony Capo-Bianco

The Thunder House

Gazetteer No. G0861


Address Heath Lane Godalming, Surrey GU7 1UN England


The “Thunder-house” was the name given to the small stone belvedere or gazebo placed at the intersection of the north and east garden walls at Munstead Wood. The small structure allowed Miss Jekyll to safely sit and watch thunderstorms roll in along the nearby Wye valley. Access to the Thunder House is from the garden by way of a short flight of winding steps. Miss Jekyll wrote that “Its purpose is partly to give a fitting finish to a bare-looking piece of wall and partly to provide a look-out place over the fields and the distant range of chalk hill to the north: for the region of the house and garden is so much encompassed by woodland that there is no view of the open country”. The stone structure is topped by a steeply pitched, pointed roof. Each side has large openings to allow for viewing of the surrounding fields and gardens. Originally, the side facing the road and a neighboring house was blocked by weather-boarding. (Contributor: Robyn Prater) Further N again, at the corner where the garden wall turns away from the lane, stands the THUNDER HOUSE, a triangular belvedere dated 1895, with Lutyens’s typical battered walls, from which Miss Jekyll watched thunderstorms. (O’Brien et al., 2022, p.536)


O’Brien, C., Nairn, I. and Cherry, B. (2022) Surrey. Pevsner Architectural Guides: Buildings of England. New Haven: Yale University Press.

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Gertrude Jekyll