32. St Barnabus Church
St Barnabas’ Church has been known as “The Church on the North Downs Way” for many years. The question that occurs to many visitors to St Barnabas’ Church in its remote rural location is “Why is this extraordinary building here, apparently in the middle of nowhere?” The answer is that for a hundred years the church was at the centre of life on the Denbies Estate and its foundation and construction was the result of the efforts of three remarkable men of their time. The first is the celebrated builder Thomas Cubitt (1788–1855) who rebuilt nearby Polesden Lacey in the 1820s and this probably brought him to this area and resulted in his purchase of the Denbies Estate in 1850. The second was his son George Cubitt MP (1828–1917). The third remarkable man was architect George Gilbert Scott PRIBA (1811–1878). He was knighted in 1872 and became president of the Royal Institute of British Architects in 1873. He died in 1878 and was buried in Westminster Abbey.