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THE PEPPER POT Robert Haslam was an architect, originally from Gloucestershire who came to live in Wonersh, and in September 1928 he offered to erect a bus shelter to replace the original signpost in the centre of the village. This offer was initially turned down by Hambledon Rural District Council as potentially being a serious danger to traffic and it wasn’t until a year later, in October 1929, that the Pepperpot was eventually built. Although he lived in Mill House, Robert Haslam also owned Wonersh Park Mansion and estate, having bought it from the Sudbury family in 1914. By the late 1920’s, the Mansion was in a state of disrepair and it was demolished. There is local belief that the oak beams of the Pepper Pot may have come from the demolished Mansion and the tiles from the Ice House in the grounds of the Mansion but unfortunately, there is no documentary evidence to verify this.
Hambledon RDC may have seen the Pepper Pot as a serious danger to traffic but in this fight the traffic won. Between 1973 and 1991 the Pepper Pot suffered no less than six vehicle collisions and, perhaps fortunately, its original use as a bus shelter is long past.