Silent Pool

Agatha Christie (1890-1976)
by Anna Roberts

Agatha Christie (1890-1976), born Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller of Torquay South Devon had an unusual childhood as she was homeschooled by her father from a young age. Her creative flare for storytelling came from her mother who made-up tales to tell Agatha. Christie spent years of her childhood between England and France however, her career in writing began after a stay in Cairo when she wrote her first short story and novel. During both World Wars Christie worked as a nurse in the hospital dispensary in Torquay, but it was in the First World War that she was inspired to write her Poirot series. Agatha had a passion for travel ever since she first went to France as a girl, and after travelling to the Middle East she was inspired to write some of her most famous work, including Death on the Nile and Murder on the Orient Express.

Silent Pool. Image sourced through Wikimedia Commons

Christie’s link to Surrey is laced in mystery as her eleven-day disappearance in 1926 began with the discovery of her car in the bushes at Newlands Corner in the Surrey Hills. The trail started with a cryptic note found nearby which read “Ask Candle Lanche, He knows more about the Silent Pool than..." which led people to believe that Agatha had drowned in the Silent Pool. Silent Pool is a local natural beauty spot located in Albury between Guildford and Dorking with a rich haunted history. Legend has it that Silent Pool has been haunted since a woodcutter’s daughter drowned there at the hands of King John.

A nationwide search for Christie began with aeroplanes used for search and rescue and continued as police and locals searched for Agatha for days. The search spanned far and wide and included over 600 police officers from across Surrey, Sussex, Kent and Berkshire and over 2000 people in a search party formed at Newlands Corner. Two local ponds were dredged through fear that Christie had drowned herself at Silent Pool and even Sir Arthur Conan Doyle joined in the search for Christie by taking her glove to a medium in an attempt to locate her. Agatha’s disappearance became so serious that her husband was suspected of murdering her to be with his mistress. Eventually, Agatha was found in the Swan Hydropathic hotel in Harrogate after a member of staff from the hotel called the police, ruling her disappearance a creatively curated hoax.

It is still unknown why Agatha Christie wished to disappear; however, the eerily beautiful waters of Silent Pool can be visited today with stunning walks in the Surrey Hills situated right on its doorstep. Additionally, right next door sits the Silent Pool Gin Distillers which offer distillery tours, and much more, on the bank of, as they describe, the ‘legendary and mystical’ Silent Pool. Would you like to see why the best-selling novelist of all time was lured to the mysterious waters of Silent Pool in Albury, Surrey?

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