Farnham (Surrey)

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Farnham Castle
Farnham Castle
Coordinates 51 ° 13 ′  N , 0 ° 48 ′  W Coordinates: 51 ° 13 ′  N , 0 ° 48 ′  W
OS National Grid SU839468
Farnham (England)
Residents 38,000
Post town Farnham
ZIP code section GU9
prefix 01252
Part of the country England
region South East England
Shire county Surrey
District Waverley
British Parliament Farnham
Website: Farnham Borough Council

Farnham is a small town (population 38,000) in Surrey , England , halfway between London and Winchester . It is of historical interest, for example because of its old housing stock from the Georgian era. The Farnham Castle dominates the city; it is now a conference center, but the medieval keep is in the care of English Heritage and open to the public.


Evidence of human presence in Farnham has existed since the Paleolithic period 400,000 years ago. Since the Mesolithic , around 6000 BC BC, the place seems to have been inhabited and grew continuously during the Bronze Age and Iron Age .

In Roman times, the area became a pottery center due to its large clay deposits . Remnants of pottery, as well as a Roman villa and a bath were found nearby. In 296 a battle took place nearby, in which the Roman usurper Allectus was decisively defeated by the Praetorian prefect Asclepiodotus .

The Anglo-Saxons gave the place its name: it is mentioned as Fearnhamme in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle , whereby Fearn is said to refer to the ferns in the country and Hamme to the damp lowlands. In 688 the West Saxon King Caedwalla donated the area around Farnham to the church and the diocese of Winchester . A Saxon community developed in the river valley. During the Danish invasion in the 9th century , there was another battle nearby when Edward the Elder , son of Alfred the Great, led the invaders.

The Domesday Book lists Farnham as owned by the Bishop of Winchester. In 1138, Heinrich von Blois , grandson of William the Conqueror and brother of King Stephen, began building the castle to accommodate the bishop during his frequent journeys between his cathedral and the capital. In the shadow of the castle, a market for agriculture and handicrafts developed in the village, which accelerated its growth.

Farnham probably received city rights in 1249 by William Raleigh , then Bishop of Winchester . Farnham fell victim to the plague in 1348, and again in 1625. The Blind Bishop's Steps , a series of steps up Castle Street up to the castle, were originally built for Bishop Richard Fox , godfather of Henry VIII.

During the English Civil War , the castle was in the hands of Parliament for two short periods of time. A major battle was fought here in 1643. 1648 was the keep on the orders of Oliver Cromwell by the victorious parliamentary forces partially broken away, to make it impossible for his military use. In 1660 the bishop returned to the neighboring bishop's palace, which remained their residence until 1927. From 1927 to 1955 the palace was the residence of the newly created Diocese of Guildford . The castle also belongs to the English Heritage .

King Charles I lived at Vernon House in Farnham on his way to his trial and execution in London in 1649. Vernon House now houses the city library.

Farnham became a successful market town; author Daniel Defoe wrote that Farnham had the largest grain market after London and noted that 1100 fully loaded wagons came into town on market days. During the 17th century, other branches of trade emerged for the production of greenware pottery (ceramics made from unmilled (raw) goods, a pottery from 1873 still exists on the outskirts of the city) and for processing wool , linen and hops , the basic ingredient in beer .

In 1848 Farnham was connected to the railway, in 1854 the neighboring Aldershot became the “Home of the British Army”. Both events had a major impact on Farnham: the fast connection to London made the place an early example of a commuter town. Since the railroad did not reach Aldershot until 1870, the soldiers were in the meantime driven to Farnham and then had to walk to Aldershot. Many officers and their families, however, chose Farnham as their place of residence.

In 1895 the Farnham Urban District Council was formed. In 1930 the council acquired Farnham Park, a site that encompasses much of the former castle grounds. In 1901 Farnham had a population of 14,000, and around 20,000 at the end of World War II .

Town twinning

Well-known people from Farnham

Web links