The Underwater Ballroom

More of an underwater conservatory and smoking room than an actual ballroom, the popular name for this location boldly hints at it’s grandeur; a Victorian folly constructed from cast Iron and glass, resting at the bottom of a lake in rural Surrey. Reached through tunnels running beneath the lake, with a statue of Neptune breaching the water from the peak of it’s dome, the ballroom has to be one of the most magical locations around and visiting it does not disappoint.

Whittaker Wright, a man who had made a fortune from swindling others who unwittingly invested in his foreign mining ventures, had spent many years building a variety of interesting features at Witley Park. This all came to an end when he was convicted of fraud at the Royal Courts of Justice and promptly committed suicide in his cell, with a fatal dose of cyanide poisoning.

The grand park still remains to this day, with several beautiful buildings fringing it’s clear lakes but Wright’s 32 bedroom mansion was lost in a fire in 1952. In more recent years, a new house has been built on the same site and the landscaped park now is a private estate, with no public access.

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