Farnham is a town in Surrey, England, within the Borough of
Waverley. The town is 34.5 miles (55.5 km) southwest of London
in the extreme west of Surrey, adjacent to the border with Hampshire.
Guildford is 11 miles (17 km) to the east and Winchester
a further 28 miles (45 km) along the same axis as London. Farnham
is the largest town in Waverley, and one of the five largest
conurbations in Surrey. It is of historic interest, with many old
buildings, including a number of Georgian houses.
overlooks the town. A short distance southeast of the town centre are
the ruins of Waverley Abbey, Moor Park House and Mother Ludlam's Cave.
Farnham is twinned with
Andernach in Germany. It is drained by the
River Wey (North Branch) which is navigable only to canoes at this
2.1.1 Stone Age
2.1.2 Bronze Age
2.1.3 Iron Age
2.2 Roman Britain
2.3 The Anglo-Saxon period
2.3.1 The Hundred of Farnham
2.4 After the Norman invasion
2.5 The Civil War
3.5 Recreational routes
5 Public services
5.1 Public library
5.2 Museum of Farnham
5.3 Leisure and recreation
7.2 The arts
7.2.1 The Maltings
7.2.2 Actors and actresses
7.2.3 The New Ashgate Gallery
7.2.4 Peter Pan
10 Demography and housing
13 Notable people
13.1 Notable sportspeople
14 See also
16 External links
Farnham's history and present status are mainly the result of its
geography; a combination of river, streams, fresh water springs and
varied soils, together with a temperate climate, was attractive in
prehistoric times. The geology of the area continues to influence the
town, both in terms of communications, scenic and botanic variety and
the main local industries of agriculture and minerals extraction.
Farnham Geological Society is an active organisation in the town, and
the Museum of
Farnham has a collection of geological samples and
Farnham lies in the valley of the North Branch of the River Wey, which
rises near Alton, merges with the South Branch at Tilford, and joins
River Thames at Weybridge. The mainly east-west alignment of the
ridges and valleys has influenced the development of road and rail
communications. The most prominent geological feature is the chalk of
North Downs which forms a ridge (the Hog's Back) to the east of
the town, and continues through
Farnham Park to the north of the town
centre, and westwards to form the
Hampshire Downs. The land rises to
more than 180 metres (591 ft) above sea level (ASL) to the north
of the town at Caesar's Camp which, with the northern part of the
Park, lies on gravel beds. There are a number of swallow holes in the
Park where this stratum meets the chalk. The historic core of the town
lies on gravel beds at an altitude of roughly 70 metres
(230 ft) ASL on an underlying geology of
Gault Clay and Upper
Greensand and the southern part of the town rises to more than 100
metres (328 ft) on the Lower Greensand.
Farnham has a temperate maritime climate, free from extreme
temperatures, with moderate rainfall and often breezy conditions. The
nearest official weather station to
Farnham is Alice Holt Lodge, just
under 3.5 miles south west of the town centre.
The highest temperature recorded was 35.4C (95.7F), in July 2006.
In an 'average' year, the warmest day would reach 29.1C (84.4F),
with 15.2 days attaining a temperature of 25.1C (77.2F) or higher.
The lowest temperature recorded was -14.0C (7.0F) in February 1986.
On average, 58.6 nights of the year will register an air frost.
Annual rainfall averages 799mm, with at least 1mm of rain reported
on 122.4 days. All averages refer to the 1971–2000 observation
Climate data for Alice Holt Lodge, elevation 115m, 1971–2000,
Record high °C (°F)
Average high °C (°F)
Average low °C (°F)
Record low °C (°F)
Average precipitation mm (inches)
Source #1: YR.NO
Farnham's history has been claimed to extend back tens of thousands of
years to hunters of the
Paleolithic or early Stone Age, on the basis
of tools and prehistoric animal bones found together in deep gravel
pits. The first known settlement in the area was in the Mesolithic
period, some 7,000 years ago; a cluster of pit dwellings and
evidence of a flint-knapping industry from that period has been
excavated a short distance to the east of the town. There was a
Neolithic long barrow at nearby Badshot Lea, now destroyed by
quarrying. This monument lay on the route of the prehistoric trackway
known as the
Harrow Way or Harroway, which passes through Farnham
Park, and a sarsen stone still stands nearby, which is believed to
have marked the safe crossing point of a marshy area near the present
Shepherd and Flock roundabout. The parallel Pilgrims' Way, known as
such for linking
Canterbury to Winchester, also dates back to
prehistory and, like the Harrow Way, may date back to the time when
Britain was physically joined to continental Europe.
Occupation of the area continued to grow through the Bronze Age. Two
bronze hoards have been discovered on Crooksbury Hill, and further
artefacts have been found, particularly at sites in Green Lane and
near the Bourne spring in
Farnham Park. A significant number of Bronze
Age barrows occur in the area, including a triple barrow at Elstead
and an urnfield cemetery at Stoneyfield, near the
Hill forts from the early
Iron Age have been identified locally at
Botany Hill to the south of the town, and at Caesar's Camp to the
north. The latter is a very large earthwork on a high promontory,
served by a spring which emerges from between two conglomerate
boulders called the Jock and Jenny Stones. "Soldier's Ring"
earthworks on Crooksbury Hill date from the later Iron Age.[citation
needed] The final era of the Iron Age, during the 1st century AD,
Farnham within the territory of the
Atrebates tribe led
by Commius, a former ally of Caesar, who had brought his tribe to
Britain following a dispute with the Romans. A hut dating from this
period was discovered at the Bourne Spring and other occupation
material has been discovered at various sites, particularly Green
During the Roman period the district became a pottery centre due to
the plentiful supply of gault clay, oak woodlands for fuel, and good
communications via the
Harrow Way and the nearby Roman road from
Silchester to Chichester. Kilns dating from about AD 100 have been
found throughout the area, including Six Bells (near the Bourne
Spring), Snailslynch and Mavins Road, but the main centre of pottery
had been Alice Holt Forest, on the edge of the town, since about AD
50, just 7 years after the arrival of the Romans. The Alice Holt
potteries continued in use, making mainly domestic wares, until about
AD 400. Near the Bourne Spring two Roman buildings were discovered;
one was a bath-house dating from about AD 270 and the other a house of
later date. The Roman Way housing estate stands on this site. William
Stukeley propounded that
Farnham is the site of the lost Roman
settlement of Vindomis, although this is now believed to be at
Neatham, near Alton. Large hoards of Roman coins have been discovered
some 10 miles (16 km) south-west of
Woolmer Forest and
a temple has been excavated at Wanborough, about 8 miles (13 km)
to the east.
The Anglo-Saxon period
It was the Saxons who gave the town its name—
Farnham is listed as
Fearnhamme in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. Fearn refers to the fern and
bracken of the land and Hamme to the water meadows. They arrived
in the sixth century and, in AD 688, the West Saxon King Caedwalla
donated the district around
Farnham to the Church, and to the diocese
of Winchester. This was the first mention of
Farnham in written
history. A Saxon community grew up in the valley by the river. By the
Farnham had passed into the ownership of the Bishop of
Winchester and the Manor of
Farnham remained so (apart from two short
breaks) for the next thousand years. Although
Farnham is documented in
Saxon texts and most of the local names are derived from their
language, there is only one fully attested Saxon site in Farnham, just
off the lower part of Firgrove Hill, where a road called Saxon Croft
is now sited. Here several Saxon weaving huts from about AD 550 were
discovered in 1924. At the time of the Danish invasion in the 9th
century (probably in 893 or 894) there was a battle on the edge of the
settlement when Edward the Elder, son of Alfred the Great, routed the
The Hundred of Farnham
A hundred (county subdivision) was an area that had a general overlord
of its lords of the manor, entitled to charge certain rents to certain
intermediate lords. Parishes within
Farnham hundred were: Frensham
(including tything Pitfold with Churt) (partly in the hundred of
Alton) Elstead, the liberty of Dockenfield, the liberty of Waverley,
Seal (now Seale) the tythings of Badshot, Runfold, Culverlands,
Tilford with Culverlands, Farnham, Runwick, Wrecklesham (now
Wrecclesham), and Bourne.
In the 14th century,
Farnham hundred was owned by the Bishop of
Winchester and was one of the wealthiest on the bishop's rolls.
See also, in this context:
After the Norman invasion
Farnham appears in
Domesday Book of 1086 as Ferneham, one of the five
great "minster" churches in Surrey. Its Domesday assets were: 40
hides; 1 church, 6 mills worth £2 6s 0d, 43 ploughs, 35 acres
(140,000 m2) of meadow, woodland worth 175½ hogs. It rendered
Waverley Abbey, the first
Cistercian abbey in England, was founded in
1128 by William Giffard, Bishop of
Winchester about one mile
(1.6 km) south of the town centre. King John visited Waverley in
1208, and Henry III in 1225. The abbey produced the famous Annals of
Waverley, an important reference source for the period. By the end of
the thirteenth century the abbey was becoming less important. By the
time it was suppressed by Henry VIII in 1536 as part of the
dissolution of the monasteries there were only thirteen monks in the
The entrance to
The town is midway between
London and, in 1138, Henry
de Blois (grandson of
William the Conqueror
William the Conqueror and brother of King
Stephen) started building
Farnham Castle to provide accommodation for
the Bishop of
Winchester in his frequent journeying between his
cathedral and the capital. The castle's garrison provided a market for
farms and small industries in the town, accelerating its growth. A
large earthwork north-west of the town at Barley (or Badley) Pound may
be the ditch and ramparts of a wooden precursor of
built in the 11th century.
Farnham was granted its charter as a town in 1249 by William de
Ralegh, then Bishop of Winchester.
The Blind Bishop's Steps, a series of steps leading along Castle
Street up to the Castle, were originally constructed for Bishop
Richard Foxe (godfather of Henry VIII).
Black Death hit
Farnham in 1348, killing about 1,300 people, at
that time about a third of the population. In 1625
again subject to an outbreak of the plague which, together with a
severe decline in the local woollen industry (the local downland wool
being unsuitable for the newly fashionable worsted) led by the 1640s
to a serious economic depression in the area. Local wool merchants
were, like merchants throughout the country, heavily taxed by Charles
I to pay for his increasingly unpopular policies.
The Civil War
Against this background the
English Civil War
English Civil War began, with Farnham
playing a major part. Here, support for the Parliamentarians was
general. The castle was considered a potential rallying point for
Royalists, resulting in the installation of a Roundhead garrison there
in 1642. As the King's forces moved southwards, taking Oxford, Reading
and Windsor, the garrison commander at
Farnham (and noted poet),
Captain George Wither, decided to evacuate the castle; the new High
Surrey (John Denham, a Royalist sympathiser and another
noted poet) then occupied the vacant castle with 100 armed supporters.
With the castle and much of the surrounding area in Royalist hands,
Parliament despatched Colonel Sir
William Waller to
Farnham to retake
the castle. The defenders refused to surrender but Waller's men used a
petard to destroy the castle gates and overcame them, with only one
fatality, and took the High Sheriff prisoner.
The following year, as the Royalists strengthened their position west
of Farnham, the garrison at
Farnham Castle was strengthened when it
became the headquarters of the
Farnham regiment of foot or
"Greencoats", with some eight to nine hundred officers and men,
supported by a number of troops of horse. Further reinforcement by
three regiments from London, 4,000 strong under Waller's command
Farnham that October prior to an unsuccessful foray to
Winchester from the Royalists. Eight thousand Royalists
under Ralph Hopton (a former friend of Waller) advanced on Farnham
from the west and skirmishes took place on the outskirts of town.
Despite further reinforcement for Waller from Kent, Hopton's entire
army gathered on the heathland just outside
Farnham Park. There was
some skirmishing but Hopton's men withdrew. Through the next few years
Farnham was an important centre of Parliamentary operations and the
Farnham people dearly in terms of local taxes,
provisioning and quartering; even the lead from the Town Hall roof had
been requisitioned to make bullets. A number of local women were
widowed following the pressing of local men into the militia. The
Basing House was by a train of heavy cannon assembled
Farnham from other areas and, in 1646, most of the garrison was
Farnham to form a brigade to besiege Donnington Castle
near Newbury. The King surrendered shortly afterwards at Newark and a
small garrison remained at Farnham.
In 1647, having escaped from custody at Hampton Court, the King rode
Farnham at dawn on 12 November with a small party of loyal
officers, en route to the Isle of Wight, where he sought sanctuary
under the protection of Colonel Robert Hammond, a Parliamentarian
officer but with Royalist sympathies. The following March, Oliver
Cromwell stayed at
Farnham for discussions concerning the marriage of
his daughter to a
Hampshire gentleman, although some historians have
speculated that this was cover for secret negotiations with the King.
Following the rebellion during the summer of 1648 the keep was
partially dismantled at the orders of Cromwell, to make further
occupation by garrison indefensible. In late November that year
Hammond was summoned to Farnham, where he was arrested and the King
was removed under military escort to the mainland. On 20 December the
King and his escort entered Farnham, where groups of men, women and
children gathered at the roadside to welcome him and touch his hand.
That night the King lodged at Culver Hall (now Vernon House) in West
Street before the party continued to
London for Charles's trial and
execution in January 1649. The King gave his night cap to Henry
Vernon, owner of Culver Hall, "as a token of Royal favour". Records
show that the following period of interregnum until restoration of the
monarchy in 1660 was a time of prosperity and growth for Farnham. In
1660 the bishops of
Winchester were restored to the adjoining Bishops
Palace, which remained their residence until 1927. From 1927 until
1955 it was a residence of the bishops of the newly created diocese of
Guildford. The castle is currently owned by English Heritage.
Farnham became a successful market town; the author
Daniel Defoe wrote
Farnham had the greatest corn-market after London, and
describes 1,100 fully laden wagons delivering wheat to the town on
market day. During the seventeenth century, other new industries
evolved: greenware pottery (a pottery, dating from 1873, still exists
on the outskirts of the town), wool and cloth, the processing of wheat
into flour, and eventually hops, a key ingredient of beer. The
Anglican divine, Augustus Montague Toplady, composer of the hymn Rock
of Ages (1763, at Blagston) was born in
Farnham in 1740 - a plaque
now marks the building on West Street where he was born. Stella
Cottage is a 17th-century cottage, now a listed building, located at
William Cobbett's birthplace
The radical MP, soldier, farmer, journalist and publisher William
Cobbett was born in
Farnham in 1763, in a pub called the Jolly
Farmer. The pub still stands, and has since been renamed the
London and South Western Railway arrived in 1848 and, in 1854,
Aldershot became the "Home of the British Army". Both
events had a significant effect on Farnham. The fast link with London
meant city businessmen could think of having a house in the country
and still be in close contact with the office;
Farnham thereby became
an early example of a 'commuter town'. Also, the railway did not reach
Aldershot until 1870; during the intervening period soldiers would be
carried by train to
Farnham station and then march to Aldershot.
Many officers and their families chose to billet in
The railway was electrified by the Southern Railway company in 1937 as
far as Alton, and a carriage shed for the new electric stock was
built in Weydon Lane. This building, which carried fading camouflage
paint for many years after World War II, was replaced in 2006.
St Andrew's Parish Church seen here from the junction of Middle Church
Lane and Vicarage Lane Farnham
Farnham Urban District Council (FUDC) was formed. In 1930
the council purchased
Farnham Park, a large park occupying much of
the former castle grounds. That same year, St
Joan of Arc
Joan of Arc Church was
built on Waverley Lane, it was dedicated to St
Joan of Arc
Joan of Arc because
Farnham Castle was a residence of Cardinal
Henry Beaufort who presided
over the saint's trial. The FUDC was abolished in 1973 by the
Local Government Act of the previous year. Farnham, together with
Cranleigh and surrounding areas were absorbed
into the new Waverley District Council (latterly Waverley Borough
Council) with its headquarters in Godalming. In 1984
Farnham Town Council, taking on some of the minor roles
of the former FUDC from Waverley.
Farnham Maltings, Bridge Square was once a tannery; the site expanded
to become part of the
Farnham United Breweries, which included its own
maltings. Taken over by a major brewer (Courage) brewing ceased but
malting continued into the 1960s, when Courage planned to sell off the
site for redevelopment. The people of
Farnham raised enough money to
buy the building so that it could be converted into a community centre
for the town. Other buildings in
Farnham once linked to the
Farnham Maltings include The Oasthouse (now offices) in Mead Lane and
The Hop Kiln (now private residences) on Weydon Lane.
Farnham railway station
Farnham railway station
Farnham railway station is served by
South West Trains
South West Trains services
between Alton and Waterloo.
South West Trains
South West Trains also manage the station.
Guildford are facilitated by a line running in that
Alton Line becomes a single track between Farnham
and Alton station. The station formerly served as the terminus for
the Tongham railway until passenger services ceased in July 1937.
Farnham bypass links the town by road to Winchester, Alton and
Guildford; the A325 links the town to Farnborough and to the A3
(London-Portsmouth) at Greatham. The A287 links
Farnham to the M3 at
Hook and the A3 at Hindhead.
Farnham is served by several bus routes, the majority of bus services
Aldershot bus station and are run by Stagecoach.
The Waverley Hoppa service run a scheduled journey from Farnham
Station as well as demand-responsive travel within the area.
The nearest airport for business passengers is Farnborough Airport.
The nearest major airport is
London Heathrow Airport which is 31 miles
(50 km) by road. Gatwick Airport and
Southampton Airport are
each about 43 miles (69 km) away by main roads.
Farnham is the western starting point of the
North Downs Way National
Trail, which is predominantly footpath. The Pilgrims Way which follows
long sections of the
North Downs Way traditionally runs from
Winchester to Canterbury. The footpath known as
St. Swithun's Way
St. Swithun's Way has
created a more pleasant route to
Winchester than the modern road
network which constitutes a lot of the Pilgrims Way.
The southern suburb of
Rowledge lies adjacent to the north western
fringes of the South Downs National Park.
National Cycle Route 22 passes through Farnham, connecting it to
Guildford, East Surrey,
Isle of Wight
Isle of Wight and the New Forest.
Farnham is a market town with many shops located along the main
thoroughfare running through West Street, The Borough and East Street.
The town has a significant number of independent retailers, some of
which have been in business since the nineteenth century, such as
Rangers Furnishing Stores (est. 1895), Elphicks department store (est.
Pullingers (est. 1850). The latter evolved into the
Pullingers Art Shop chain and is thought to be Farnham's oldest
surviving business. There are also branches of national retailers such
as Argos, Robert Dyas, Boots, Poundland,
Waterstone's and W H Smith.
The major supermarkets are represented by Waitrose,
Lidl in the town centre, and two
Tesco Express stores and a
Co-operative Food out of town.
Sainsbury's also have a larger
Superstore on the outskirts of town towards Badshot Lea. There is a
large Jewson (Timber and Builders Merchants) in the same area. Large
garden centres exist nearby at Holt Pound,
Frensham and Badshot Lea.
Castle Street's market stalls have been replaced by semi-permanent
"orangery" style buildings. Once a month a farmers' market is held in
the central car park where produce from farms in
Farnham and the
surrounding area is sold. The
Farnham Maltings hosts a monthly
market selling arts, crafts, antiques and bric-a-brac with
specialist fairs and festivals held there on a less regular basis.
Refurbished in November 2005,
Farnham Library is a community lending
library service run by
Surrey County Council. It includes a children's
section and is the only library in
Surrey to have a dedicated section
for young adults. The library is housed in the historic Vernon House
at which King Charles I slept on his way to his trial and execution in
London in 1649, commemorated by a plaque on the building wall. The
library features public gardens with sculptures provided by local
artists and UCA students.
Museum of Farnham
The town Museum is located at Willmer House, an eighteenth-century
town house with a decorative brickwork façade in West Street. It
houses an extensive collection of artefacts spanning several periods
of the town's history and prehistory.
The museum was founded in 1961 to provide the
Farnham community with a
collection dedicated to the history of the local area in an elegant
Grade I listed Georgian townhouse which still retains many original
features, including a walled garden. The displays include items from a
large and eclectic collection; from archaeological artefacts to
nationally important artworks by local artists and an extensive
costume collection. They hold three major exhibitions per year, from
artistic collaborations to exhibitions designed for children. The
museum has a Local Studies Library to support family tree and house
detectives, school projects & local history queries. The museum
has a club for children.
Leisure and recreation
There are two main parks in
Farnham town centre:
Farnham Park and
Farnham Park is adjacent to
Farnham Castle. Gostrey
Meadow is in the centre of Farnham, next to the river Wey, and
includes a fenced children's play area. There is a skate park and
leisure centre next to the town centre.
Farnham Hospital is directly north east of the town. It was once
the main hospital in the area, including accident and emergency
services, but that role is now taken by
Frimley Park Hospital.
Farnham once had a second hospital which was at the end of Bardsley
Drive, on the site which is now Lynton Close.
The town has a number of attractive houses from various periods, and
many passages which reveal hidden parts of the town including old
workshops, historic cottages and hidden gardens.
Farnham Castle was
built by the
Normans and updated over the years as the
Palace of the
Bishops of Winchester. The former Bishops'
Palace of the castle is now
a training and conference centre, which also manages the keep,
recently made more accessible by a Heritage Lottery Fund Grant.
The keep is open to the public, and organised tours of the palace are
Many of the places mentioned in the books of
George Sturt can be seen,
and Waverley Abbey, the first
Abbey in England, is open to
Farnham borders the
Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding
Natural Beauty and the
North Downs Way long-distance path starts here.
Alice Holt Forest
Alice Holt Forest is nearby, as are
Frensham Ponds and many heaths and
downland scenery. A Rural Life Centre is nearby at Tilford, and the
town is a suitable tourist base for Winchester, the Mid-Hants Railway
and canal trips on the
Basingstoke Canal and Wey Navigation.
Farnham has long had a strong association with the creative
Farnham School of Art opened in 1866 and was associated
Arts and crafts movement
Arts and crafts movement when architects such as Edwin
Lutyens and Harold Falkner, painters such as George Watts and W.H.
Allen, potters such as Mary Watts and landscape gardeners such as
Gertrude Jekyll worked in the area. Lewen Tugwell, a
in the 1960s, invented a technique for production of a unique craft
product made from resin, Shattaline. Items made by this process in his
workshops in Long Garden Walk are now very collectable.
several art galleries - the New Ashgate Gallery in Lower Church Lane
has exhibitions by established and new artists in a variety of media,
the exhibition changing on the first Saturday of each month. The
Farnham Maltings also has frequent exhibitions.
Farnham Maltings has diverse concerts including opera, folk and
acoustic music gigs, band evenings and stand up comedy nights, as well
as shows and workshops for younger people. There is a cinema run every
Wednesday at the Maltings. The Maltings hosts an "Acoustic Fridays"
evening once a month. A regular blues night takes place in the "Cellar
Bar" and the whole venue is taken over for the annual
In keeping with the town's historical link with hop-growing and beer,
Farnham Maltings plays host to the
Beer Exhibition, an
annual event that started in 1977. There are many pubs in Farnham,
many of which have live music regularly.
Farnham is home to the
Farnham Youth Choir.
Farnham has an annual carnival, usually held on the last Saturday in
June, organised by two charitable service organisations, the Farnham
Lions Club and The Hedgehogs. Castle Street is closed for the
evening, with bands playing on a stage in the street, a beer tent,
barbecue, and sideshows. A procession of carnival floats, marching
bands, tableaux, trade floats and classic vehicles parade through the
main streets of the town. Local schools also participate in the
parade, which has a different theme each year. Staff of the local Kar
Ling Kwong Chinese restaurant traditionally perform the Lion Dance
each year as part of the parade. There is also a
smaller Hale Carnival which takes place in the village of Hale in the
North of Farnham. This is usually held on the first Saturday of
William Herbert Allen, the notable English landscape watercolour
artist, lived and worked in
Farnham for most of his career. He was
Farnham Art School from 1889 to 1927 and many of his works
depict landscapes of the
Farnham area. Illustrator Pauline Baynes
spent much of her childhood in
Farnham and trained at the Farnham
School of Art. A popular fantasy artist, Josephine Wall, was born
and educated in the town.
Since Roman times the wealden clay of the area has been exploited for
pottery and brickmaking. Pottery continued on a small-scale commercial
basis until the closure of
Farnham Pottery at
Wrecclesham in 1998,
when it passed to the
Farnham Buildings Preservation Trust. Farnham
Pottery, in addition to utility wares, became famous during the Arts
and crafts movement for their decorative wares, either hand-thrown or
moulded and decorated in a variety of coloured glazes, particularly
Farnham Greenware". There was close co-operation between the
Farnham School of Art (now a campus of University for the
The Castle Theatre in Castle Street was replaced by the Redgrave
Theatre in 1974 which, itself, closed down in 1998 due to the decline
of repertory theatre in England. In 1998 'The New Farnham
Repertory Company', now renamed
Farnham Rep, was formed to carry on
the tradition of repertory theatre in the town. The
Association campaigns for a theatre in Farnham, either in the form of
a restored Redgrave Theatre or a new building.
The Maltings creative arts centre on the
River Wey and Bridge Square,
Productions still regularly take place at the Maltings, which produces
work and receives touring shows. Productions are occasionally held in
the grounds of
Farnham Library. Various genres of music are promoted
at the Maltings, where there is a dance studio. The Maltings is a
creative arts centre, catering for all ages, with workshops, clubs,
groups and sessions involved in craft, theatre, music and writing,
including Rock Choir, amongst others.
Actors and actresses
Gerald Flood, stage, TV and film actor, lived in
Farnham for most of
his life; Peter Lupino, a well-known West End actor of the 1930s and
40s, and member of the famous theatrical family, also lived for many
years in Farnham, in Red Lion Lane and was a well-known local
character in his retirement. Actor Bill Maynard, the Carry On and
Heartbeat actor, was born in the town, as was Bill Wallis, who learned
his trade on the stage of the Castle Theatre.
Opera singer Sir Peter
Pears (1910–1986) was born in
Farnham and Jessie Matthews, OBE
(1907–1981), the actress, dancer, and singer of the 1930s to 1960s,
lived in Farnham.
The New Ashgate Gallery
The New Ashgate Gallery is a non-profit, educational charity based in
Farnham. It specialises in contemporary art and craft, organising a
programme of exhibitions and projects with artists and makers.
Established in 1959, the gallery is the longest running craft space in
England and  was the first provincial gallery to showcase
both local and international artists. Architect Paul Archer
designed a quarter-million pound redevelopment for the Gallery that
was finished in 2004. The gallery organises established platforms
to present new work through exhibitions projects such as the Surrey
Artist of the Year competition, organised with the
Studios, the Hothouse, an early career maker support programme with
the Crafts Council, and the annual, open call Rising Stars touring
exhibition that provides information, guidance, networking and
exhibition opportunities to emerging and graduating artists from the
UK and internationally.
It was in
J.M. Barrie wrote Peter Pan, whilst living at
Black Lake Cottage.
Farnham has a broad mix of state, religious and independent schools.
There are eight infant schools, nine primary/junior schools, three
secondary schools and two schools for pupils with special educational
needs. There are also four independent schools in the Farnham
Farnham College (part of
Guildford College) provides further
University for the Creative Arts
University for the Creative Arts at Canterbury, Epsom,
Farnham, Maidstone and Rochester or UCA (a merger of the local Surrey
Institute of Art & Design, University College and Kent Institute
of Art & Design) provides higher education.
The area includes some of the top state schools (academies) in the
country including South
Weydon School and many others
who consistently rank highly in school results year on year including
Farnham which has, more than once, been rated the best state
primary school in the country based on exam results.  
Farnham Grammar School was created some time before 1585 (when a
donation by a Richard Searle was recorded "to the maintenance of
the school in Farnham"). In 1905 the town centre assets of the old
grammar school, located in West Street, were sold in order to purchase
and build new premises in fields to the south of the town. In 1973
this campus became a
Sixth Form College
Sixth Form College and was renamed Farnham
Cricket is played in the ground north of
There are various sporting facilities in
Farnham of which the local
leisure centre is one. The centre is run by DC Leisure on behalf of
Waverley borough council. The leisure centre was built in 1981
with a swimming pool and training pool, gym and main hall for team
sports. The entire centre was refurbished in 2010, during which the
swimming pool was lengthened by four centimetres to exactly 25 metres
to allow galas to be held.
The town is represented in the non-league football pyramid by Farnham
Town F.C., who compete in the premier division of the Combined
Counties League. There is a second football club,
FC which has several youth teams as well one adult team, Farnham
Farnham Cricket Club was established in 1782, originally playing in
Holt Pound. The current ground is at the edge of
Farnham Park near
the former moat of the castle.
Farnham RUFC is based in Wilkinson Way.
Farnham Archers have a ground
Aldershot hockey club runs six senior men's teams,
four senior women's teams who play in the South,
Hampshire and Surrey
Floorball hockey is regularly played by the adult team
Southern Vipers FBC.
Farnham has a public golf course which is next to the cricket ground
Farnham Castle. It was designed by Sir Henry
Cotton. It is a nine-hole, par-three golf course.
A horse named
Farnham took part in the
1850 Grand National but was
largely unregarded by the public and finished outside the first four.
Carlin Motorsport are based in the town.
Demography and housing
In 1901, the population of
Farnham was about 14,000. Since the end of
the Second World War,
Farnham has expanded from a population of about
20,000 to 39,488; about 16,500 people live in the town centre (as
distinct from the town centre conservation area), while the remaining
inhabitants live in the suburbs and villages within the town's
2011 Census Homes
Flats and apartments
shared between households
The average level of accommodation in the region composed of detached
houses was 28%, the average that was apartments was 22.6%.
2011 Census Key Statistics
% Owned outright
% Owned with a loan
The proportion of households in the civil parish who owned their home
outright compares to the regional average of 35.1%. The proportion who
owned their home with a loan compares to the regional average of
32.5%. The remaining % is made up of rented dwellings (plus a
negligible % of households living rent-free).
Farnham is represented by councillors at a county, district and town
Farnham is represented at
Surrey County Council by three
councillors from three county council wards:
Farnham Central, Farnham
Farnham South. As of the 2009 election, all three
sitting county councillors are members of the Conservative party.
As the town with the largest population in Waverley,
nine wards and is represented by eighteen councillors at Waverley
borough council. As of the 2011 election, all eighteen of the
sitting borough councillors represent the Conservative party.
Farnham Town Council is composed of 18 councillors. Of these, 10 are
Conservatives, 6 are
Farnham Residents (party), 1 is Independent, and
1 represents the Liberal Democrats. The current Member of
Parliament is Jeremy Hunt (Conservative).
Farnham Herald is the only newspaper exclusively for Farnham;
published by Tindle Newspaper Group. It was established by E.W.
Langham in 1892 and bought by the Tindle newspaper group in 1967.
Farnham is also covered by Ash &
Farnham News & Mail, which is
published by Trinity Mirror.
The local TV stations are
BBC South & ITV Meridian, received from
the Hannington & Midhurst transmitters.
London & ITV
London are received, from the Crystal
BBC radio by
Surrey (which covers
Hampshire on 104.6FM).
John Henry Knight
John Henry Knight with his car
In addition to those mentioned in the text above, notable people born
Farnham include William Willett, campaigner for daylight saving
time (1856); George Sturt, writer and social historian (1863); and
Maud Gonne, feminist and activist in Irish politics (1866). The
prominent missionary to Canada John West (1778-1845) was born in
Anthony Faramus, actor, author, hunt saboteur and concentration camp
survivor lived in the town.
John Henry Knight
John Henry Knight (1847–1917), who built the first British motor car
and designed a number of innovative digging machines for use in hop
fields, was born and brought up at Weybourne on the outskirts of the
Jim Sturgess was raised in
Cricketer "Silver Billy" Beldham (1766-1862) was born on the outskirts
of town, in Wrecclesham. He played in
Farnham Cricket Club's first
match, against Odiham, when he was 16 years old.
Graham Thorpe (1969-)
England cricket captain, was born in
played at the
Farnham cricket ground.
Mike Hawthorn (1929-1959), driving for Ferrari, became the first
Formula One World Champion in 1958. His family moved to
Farnham when he was two years old, so his father could be near to
Brooklands race track.
Jonny Wilkinson (1979-) England's world-cup-winning kicker and former
captain was born in
Frimley and grew up in Farnham. Jonny, alongside
England scrum half Peter Richards (1978-) who was not born in Farnham,
Farnham Rugby Football Club at mini level.
Joel Freeland (born 1987), international basketball player and NBA
player for the Portland Trail Blazers, worked in
Farnham as a
shelf-stacker for a supermarket.
List of places of worship in Waverley (borough)
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Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Farnham.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Farnham, Surrey.
Farnham Town Council
Live Weather in Farnham
New Statesman - Just an ordinary town where Monty collected his
pension, 18 December 1998
across Lower Bourne, Farnham
Borough of Waverley
Towns, villages and hamlets
Devil's Jumps, Churt
Devil's Punch Bowl
Moor Park, Farnham
List of places of worship
Chiddingfold: St Teresa of Avila Church
Farnham: St Andrew's Church
St Joan of Arc's Church
Park Lane Chapel (former)
Godalming: Friends Meeting House
Meadrow Unitarian Chapel
St Edmund King and Martyr's Church
St Peter and St Paul's Church
United Church (URC/Methodist)
Congregational Church (former)
Salvation Army Hall
Salvation Army Hall (former)
Hambledon: Hambledon Church
Wrecclesham: St Peter's Church
All Hallows School
Frensham Heights School
Heath End School
King Edward's School, Witley
Prior's Field School
The Royal School, Haslemere
St Catherine's School
St Edmund's School
St Hilary's School
St John's College, Wonersh
University for the Creative Arts
Woolmer Hill School
Wonersh railway station
Cranleigh railway station
Farnham railway station
Godalming railway station
Haslemere railway station
Milford railway station
Witley railway station
Buildings and structures
Dunsfold Aerodrome (Top Gear test track)
Farnham Maltings (
Mother Ludlam's Cave
Rural Life Centre
Badshot Lea F.C.
Farnham Town F.C.
Godalming Town F.C.
Old Carthusians F.C.