The borough of Guildford: Introduction and castle

A History of the County of Surrey: Volume 3. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1911.

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'The borough of Guildford: Introduction and castle', in A History of the County of Surrey: Volume 3, (London, 1911) pp. 547-560. British History Online [accessed 4 March 2024]

In this section


Guldeford (x cent.); Geldeford (xi cent.); Geldefort, Geldesfort, Gildeforda, Gildeforde (xii cent.); Geldeford, Guldeford (xiii and xiv cents.); Gylford and Guldeford (xv and xvi cents.); Guildeford, Gildford, Gilford, and Gillford (xvi and xviii cents.).

Guildford is the old county town of Surrey, 30 miles from London, lying on the banks of the Wey, where the river breaks through the line of chalk hills. On the west side the ridge of the Hog's Back is called Guildown (Geldesdone by Geoffrey Gaimar, 12th century; Geldedone in the Pipe Roll of 1192–3). On the east the hill is known as Pewley Hill, from the manor of Poyle or Puille.

The town consisted formerly of a steep street, the High Street, running west and east, from the bridge, by the side of which there existed a ford, up to the hill above Abbot's Hospital, with a parallel street to the north, latterly known as North Street, before that as Lower Back Side, earlier still the North Ditch. A curving street, Chertsey Street, connects North Street and High Street at the east end. A similar parallel road, South Street, runs on the other side of High Street, formerly known as Upper Back Side and the South Ditch. This communicated with the Castle Ditch, now Castle Street, on the south-west of the High Street. Quarry Street runs from the High Street, through what was the outer ward of the castle, southwards; and Friary Street connects the High Street, northwards, with the old liberty of the Friars. The lanes running north and south from High Street were known as Gates. On the west side of the river a small group of houses clustered round the foot of the Mount, the ascent to Guildown, and on the Little Mount the ascent to the Portsmouth road ran south-westward past St. Nicholas's Church and up by the present Wiclyffe Buildings. On this side of the river lay the Town Fields, Bury Fields as they were called. (fn. 1) The continuation of High Street, outside the old town limits, was called Spital Street, from St. Thomas's Hospital at the junction of the London and Epsom roads. The part of the street from Trinity Church to the grammar school and beyond was called in the 18th century Duke Street, from a house of the Duke of Somerset's on the south side, which is still standing, but converted into two houses.

The old defensible town ditch ran, as the names indicate, from the Dominican Friary near the river along North Street (the North Ditch) and round to South Street (the South Ditch). It has been traced at the corner of Chertsey Street and right across Trinity Churchyard between these two lines. When Trinity Church was enlarged in 1888, and graves were removed in consequence, the ditch was traced, with much mediaeval pottery in it.

It is possible that the oldest town was walled, and of yet smaller dimensions. A very thick ancient clunch wall, with a well on the south side of it, showing that to be the inside, ran about 30 yds. south of the High Street, nearly parallel to it. It has been laid bare under the late Mr. Mason's iron-mongery shop in High Street, and elsewhere. It would have included St. Mary's Church and a small town, clustered under the castle mound. If this was so the High Street itself was originally a surburban extension, later included by the ditch.

The town has been extended by residential building along the London and Epsom roads to the east and north-east, along the Portsmouth road and on Guildown to the south-west beyond the river, on South Hill to the south, and northwards and north-westwards by business streets and small houses near the Guildford Junction and London Road railway stations. A great part of these latter extensions, and those on the Epsom and London roads, are in Stoke parish.

The railway is now the chief industrial feature of Guildford, though breweries, an iron foundry, printing works, and motor works also exist, besides minor industries, including the sale of old furniture. The London and South Western Railway came to Guildford in 1845, and the extension to Godalming was sanctioned by Parliament the same year. In 1849 the South Eastern Railway came to Guildford, and in 1865 the London, Brighton, and South Coast Railway's Guildford to Horsham line was opened. In 1884 London Road station and the Guildford, Cobham, and Letherhead lines were opened.

Guildford probably began its history as a centre of traffic. The great way across the south of England by the chalk downs passed through it, and across the ford of the Wey. It is possible that a Roman road from the Sussex coast to Staines, traced farther south in Ewhurst, passed through the gap in the downs, and also a road from the Portsmouth direction. Some recent sewage works have revealed an ancient flint pavement in St. Catherine's on this line. The London and Portsmouth road of later times ran through it. The east and west road appears in many deeds as Via regia, and in the Pipe Roll of 1192–3 (fn. 2) as Strata regia de Geldedone.

There is no certain trace of Roman occupation of Guildford, though some of the tiles built into the castle may be Roman, and a Roman villa has been found on Broad Street Common in the neighbourhood. It was a royal possession under Alfred, and is named in his will. It was the scene in 1036 of the arrest of the Etheling Alfred by Earl Godwine. Alfred had sailed from Wissant to the coast of Kent, and was travelling to Winchester to join his mother, Emma. His way was evidently the great east and west road on the chalk downs, and if Geoffrey Gaimar is correct he had passed through Guildford and was stopped on Guildown, and brought back into Guildford, where apparently the decimation of his followers was made. The castle is not mentioned in connexion with the story, as is erroneously asserted by many writers. The only building in Guildford which might possibly be contemporaneous with the event is the lower part of the tower of St. Mary's Church, which is AngloSaxon, but more likely of the reign of Edward the Confessor. Guildford was the seat of a mint under the Anglo-Saxon kings. Coins struck at Guildford of the kings Ethelred the Unready, Cnut, Hardicnut, Edward the Confessor, Harold, and William I, have been found.

The greater part of St. Nicholas was an extensive country parish on the outskirts of Guildford and was in Godalming Hundred (q.v.). The part outside the borough is called Artington as early as 1664. (fn. 3) The immediate vicinity of the west end of the bridge was, however, in Guildford borough from an unknown date, and may be the holding in Guildford of the church of Salisbury mentioned in the charter of Henry II. (fn. 4)

The village of Stoke has become a northern suburb of Guildford, and little remains to show what it was once like. West of the church is a small plain halftimber building with red brick filling, probably of 17th-century date. Except for this and one or two buildings of an even plainer nature the old buildings have been replaced by modern. The church is situated on the road to Woking, which forms the principal axis of the place, and is within the boundaries of Stoke Park. On the south, the road running north and south, Stoke merges imperceptibly into the streets of Guildford. The appearance of the village in the bottom of the valley of the Wey has a degree of picturesqueness unusual in so new a place, on account of the fine timber, and Stoke Park is also well wooded.

Except the castle, which will be noticed later, perhaps the most important building in Guildford from the archaeological point of view is TRINITY HOSPITAL, otherwise known as ABBOT'S HOSPITAL. It stands at the top of the High Street on the north side, on the site of an old inn, 'the White Horse.' It was founded by Archbishop Abbot, a native of Guildford, for decayed townsfolk. The hospital consists of four sides built about a courtyard and placed approximately to the four points of the compass. It is constructed of red brick with some rubbed and moulded work, and with dressings originally of chalk but now almost entirely replaced in stone. Accommodation is provided for twelve brethren, ten sisters, the master, and a nurse, and there is a chapel, common rooms, offices, &c. The whole building is of early 17th-century date, and there have been no important structural alterations. The first stone was laid in 1619, and the hospital was incorporated as the Master and Brethren of the Hospital of the Blessed Trinity in Guildford in 1622. The statutes were completed in 1629. They are closely modelled on those of Whitgift's Hospital at Croydon. Whitgift had been brought up as a child in a monastery before the Dissolution, (fn. 5) and the foundation represents the post-Reformation evolution of the monastic ideal, at a time when only the old and infirm needed the shelter of an asylum. The foundation was for twelve brethren and eight sisters, over sixty years of age, unmarried, natives of Guildford or resident for twenty years. There was a master, also a native of Guildford or resident for twenty years, except in the case of a rector of Holy Trinity, who might be master without these qualifications. In the case of a vacancy an unmarried rector might take the office, otherwise the mastership was filled up by election by governors and the two elder brethren. If they failed to elect it lapsed to the archbishop, on his failure it went to the Bishop of Winchester, to the heirs of Sir George More of Loseley, and to the original electors successively. The endowment was increased by Mr. Thomas Jackman of Guildford in 1785. The original scheme of the archbishop included a further endowment for reviving manufactures in the town, and his brethren and sisters were to wear gowns of blue Guildford cloth. But the decaying cloth manufacture was not revived by the encouragement. By a decree in Chancery, 3 July 1656, the money was ordered to be distributed among poor tradesmen of the town. As this naturally had a bad result, the poor tradesmen in receipt of the outdoor relief living idly, another decree was obtained after Mr. Jackman's benefaction had been made, on 14 December 1785, whereby half only was to be used in this way, and the other half added to Mr. Jackman's gift to support four more poor sisters. The moiety still devoted to pauperizing was diverted in 1855 and added to the endowment of Thomas Baker's Blue Coat School, founded by him in 1579, which had been suspended for many years. The school was called Archbishop Abbot's School. It was formerly carried on in the tower of Holy Trinity Church, now in buildings in North Street. The corporate life of the hospital has much decayed. The inmates meet now only in chapel, but live in their own rooms. The common rooms are used for parish and other meetings. There are some pictures of no great merit; a portrait of Archbishop Abbot is the most valuable, but there is also a curious view of Wotton House as it was in John Evelyn's lifetime, and of Leith Hill behind it with a semaphore upon it. The archbishop is said to have been the son of a poor clothier, and to have been born in a house near the bridge in St. Nicholas's parish. (fn. 6) His brother Robert became Bishop of Salisbury, his brother Maurice a knight and Lord Mayor. They were all educated at Guildford School. It is questionable, however, whether his father was in such a humble condition as is usually said. The archbishop's mother, Alice March, was daughter of a gentleman of coat-armour, and his two elder brothers, Richard and Antony, otherwise unknown to fame, married ladies of the same rank (fn. 7) before their younger brothers had become very eminent men. The main entrance wing of the hospital faces on to the High Street (south), and consists in elevation of a main wing with a central tower, set back from the street, flanked by two wings projecting to the street line. From the angles of the latter is carried a stone balustrade of 18th-century date, with an opening in the middle opposite the archway to the court which pierces the central tower. This archway is set in a complete pedestalled Doric order with fantastically rusticated pilasters and arch, and is apparently a complete restoration. Above this is a quartered shield of the royal arms of James I. On it is the inscription: 'These arms erected by S. Robinson, master 18(25).' At the angles of the tower are four small octagonal turrets, of which that to the north-west contains a stair to the upper floors and roof, while all are finished with lead-covered cupolas, and rise a stage above the tower. In the first floor is the large window of the board-room, of five mullioned and transomed lights, and above this the close-barred window of the treasury, of four rounded lights. The elevation of the tower to the courtyard is of a similar nature, but the arch is simpler in detail. The archway has a coved plaster ceiling, and large contemporary doors elaborately panelled and with pierced heads. In the main and projecting wings are mullioned and transomed windows symmetrically placed in two stories, and in the curvilinear gables of the projecting wings are smaller untransomed windows to the attics with square-headed labels. The other windows are tied by string-courses. The board-room over the archway is panelled to the ceiling in early 17th-century oak, with fluted Doric pilasters on pedestals, two on each wall, and a modillioned moulded cornice. The fireplace is of chalk with a moulded straight-sided four-centred head, and has an elaborate mantel with carved figures and panel of 'strapwork' ranging with the panelling. A small door in the north-west corner of the room, opening on to the turret stairs, retains its original latch, lock, bolt, and hinges, while the main entrance door on the east is elaborately panelled, has a carved lunette, and retains its heavy straphinges and wood-cased lock. There is some very fine furniture in this room. The table, of early 17th-century date, has carved bulging baluster legs and an extension top. There are also a smaller circular gate-legged table of slightly later date, and two sets, each of eight, of Chippendale chairs, one with honeycomb-pattern backs. There are also some fine 17th-century chairs. In this room the Duke of Monmouth was confined on his way to London after Sedgemoor. West of the arch are lodgings and offices, while east of the arch are the master's apartments on two floors. The east and west wings contain the main provision for lodgings, the brethren being on the west, the sisters on the east. These two wings are of two stories with attic space in the roof lit from the north and south gables, and from gables in the centre of each wing on the courtyard side. The lodgings consist of single rooms with a small cupboard or pantry, and there is a simple closed staircase to each pair, reached from a door on to the courtyard, which also serves the ground-floor lodgings. These doorways have solid oak frames moulded with a chamfer and an ogee. They are square-headed, and the mouldings are stopped with a moulded half-octagonal stop on a broad chamfer. There is no arch in the brickwork, the top of the frame forming a lintel. The doors themselves are of late 18th-century date and in two leaves, the staircases also belonging to this time. The internal doors to the individual lodgings, however, are original, and are made up of tongued and moulded battens. The windows are all stone-dressed and of three square-headed lights without labels, but in both floors tied by moulded strings. The gable windows are of two lights with a square-headed label. The walls are finished with tile copings and parapets. The north wing contains, on the east, the chapel, which is carried up two stories. Internally the chapel has been a good deal modernized, but retains its original open-oak seating, and an almsbox on a turned post. There are two windows, one to the east of five cinquefoiled lights with tracery over of pseudo-Gothic design, the other to the north of four cinquefoiled lights with a three-centred head. What at once strikes an observer is the disproportionate size of these windows for the small chapel. The east window cuts through an outer string-course, showing pretty clearly that windows of this size were an afterthought. They are filled with painted glass of two, and perhaps three, dates. In the upper parts of both is glass of Abbot's time, showing his arms and those of the sees which he held, of James I, Queen Anne of Denmark, and the Elector Palatine their sonin-law. In the lower part a portion only of the story of Jacob and Esau appears. Dr. Ducarel, writing more than a century after the time, says that Abbot got the windows from the Dominican Friary in Guildford. As some of this glass is apparently Flemish glass of circa 1490–1500, it is possible that this is true, and that the remainder was made up as nearly as possible in the same style. The windows are evidently an afterthought, the subject is incomplete, the glass composite, and the verses under it not such as would be composed in England in the 17th century, when the old Latin hymn metres were quite disused. About the time that the chapel was being built the friary buildings were being finally demolished to build the Earl of Annandale's house. The door in the north-east corner of the court has raised and mitred panels with a fluted lunette, while in the corner of the square-headed moulded frame are carved spandrels, and there is a heavy moulded keyblock. West of the chapel is the former common dining-room, now used as a reading-room. It is completely panelled in early 17th-century panelling with butted mouldings and a dentilled and carved cornice. The top range of panels is carved in flat arabesques and the mantel is an enriched continuation of the panelling. The fireplace, a wide one, is of chalk, with a moulded straight-sided four-centred head and a raised brick hearth projecting in an oval. The crane and fire-dogs remain, and there are fireirons, plate warmers, &c., of 17th and early 18th-century date. A fixed bench runs round the walls with a moulded nosing, baluster legs, and a foot rail. There is some good 17th-century furniture in the room, including a table with baluster legs and fourway feet and a carved panelled settle with a high back. There is an entrance from the court, and also a door from a passage which runs through the north wing from the court to the garden at the back of the hospital. Both of these doors are of similar detail to the chapel door. This passage has an archway at each end, of two orders of moulded rubbed brickwork, the inner semicircular, the outer square-headed. Opposite the door from the dining-hall is a similar one entering a passage leading to the kitchen, which is at the west end of the north wing, and a serving hatch. This passage is also entered from the north-west corner of the court, and gives on to a broad staircase of early 18th-century date with a heavy moulded hand-rail, turned balusters, and plain newels. This stair leads to a hall over the dining-hall somewhat similarly fitted, with a plain barrel-vaulted plaster ceiling, to the spring of which oak panelling is carried. The fireplace is of chalk and has an elaborate mantel, carved figures, enriched panels, &c. The entrance door from the landing is elaborately ornamented with small corbel columns and a moulded cornice. The north wing has a range of cellars under it, and shows to the north a picturesque gabled elevation with wide projecting chimney-breasts. The passage from the court leads to a wide double flight of steps to the garden, which is at a much lower level than the court, and runs down to North Street. In the garden at the south-east is a square brick summer-house with open round-headed arches on three sides. It has a hipped tiled roof and a heavy wooden cornice, and is of early 18th-century date. In the middle of the north side of the court is a stepped gable in which is a clock dated 1619, but apparently modern, and above and on each side of this are three terra-cotta panels with the arms of Canterbury, the initials G.A., and Archbishop Abbot's own coat. The chimney-stacks are good. They are of two designs, the simpler having square flues with chamfered angles and moulded heads. The more elaborate have octagonal flues, are richly moulded, and have angle spurs. On the street elevation are a couple of very fine rain-water heads of lead. Both have the arms of the see of Canterbury impaling those of Abbot and the initials G.C., and are ornamented with pierced cresting, while one bears the date 1627. This date and the same heraldry appears upon some of the rain-water heads in the court, where are also several plainer moulded heads.

Abbot. Gules a cheveron between three pears or.

Plan of Abbot's Hospital, Guildford

The TOWN HALL stands on the north side of High Street and was erected by subscription in 1683, taking the place of an earlier building, which, as appears from the town books, was in existence in 1587–8, when it was enlarged and the garden behind it inclosed. When the new town hall was built, an old market-house in the street opposite to it was pulled down. The street front is of two stories, the ground floor being partly open to the road and being divided into three bays by wood posts with gates between. From each post spring two supporting brackets carved with grotesque human figures and foliage. The first floor projects over the pavement and has a balcony with ornamental iron railings. The front of this floor consists of three large windows and two side lights, all with square-leaded glass and ornamental iron fittings to the casements and separated by wooden Ionic pilasters. Above the windows are small moulded pediments over which is a moulded cornice with carved modillions and egg-and-tongue ornament. This cornice also continues round the gable, which is cut short to form a base for an octagonal open-work turret with a balustrade. A large projecting clock dial attached to a long arm is a feature of the front of the building. It was made by John Aylward, who settled in Guildford at this time. The dial has a segmental pediment, and it is enriched with gilded carving. At the base is the date of the erection of the building. Additional support is given by five elaborate tie-rods. The striking bell is in the turret over the gable; the minute hand was added in 1828. The only room on the ground floor of any importance is the Court Room, which has its original open-timber roof. The walls have 18th-century panelling up to about 14 ft. The north window contains three panels of 17th-century glass, including royal coats and the ancient and modern arms of Guildford. In this room are hung full-length portraits of Charles II, James II, William III, and Mary II. The Council Chamber on the first floor is a large rectangular room, panelled from floor to ceiling. In one corner is a fireplace which was brought from Stoughton House in the neighbouring parish of Stoke. The iron grate has a cast ornament of vine and other foliage, around which is a stone mantel with figures of a man and a woman in scroll-work blocking, their feet appearing below the scroll-work. The frieze is carved to represent the four human temperaments, respectively labelled, Sanguineus, Cholericus, Phlegmaticus, and Melancholicus. The wood jambs beyond the stonework have tapering Ionic pilasters, and the overmantel has Corinthian pilasters and is divided into two panels. In the first is the quartered shield of Howard, Duke of Norfolk: (1) Howard, with the augmentation for Flodden; (2) Thomas of Brotherton; (3) Warenne; (4) Fitz Alan. The second panel contains the Abbot arms. Near the top of the overmantel is a painting of the arms of James II dated 1686, and the old and new arms of Guildford. In the room are hung portraits of James I (full length) and the Rt. Hon. Arthur Onslow. There is also a painting of 'Vice-Admiral Sir Richard Onslow receiving the Dutch flag after the Victory 1797' by J. Russell, R.A., which was presented in 1798. The corporation plate is interesting. The mayor's staft is dated 1563. The standard measures (gallon, bushel, quart, and pint) are of bronze, dated 1602. By Statute 11 Henry VII, cap. 4, Guildford is named as one of the county towns where standard measures are to be kept. The small silver mace dates probably from the same reign, though additions have been made to it. The great mace was presented by Henry Howard, afterwards Duke of Norfolk, in 1663, the mayor's gold chain by Arthur Onslow, high steward, in 1673.

The GRAMMAR SCHOOL is situated on the south side of the High Street. It is quadrangular in plan, having an inclosed court 36 ft. by 29 ft. 3 in., and dates from a little after the middle of the 16th century. The earliest portion is the south wing, two stories in height, which is largely built of brick, and as originally planned consisted of two long rooms each filling the whole of one floor and about 65 ft. long by 22 ft. wide. The three other wings were all added in the latter half of the 17th century, first the west wing containing the master's house, then the east wing with the usher's house, and finally the north wing with the completion of the present street front. The latter, however, before taking its present form, had consisted of a wooden bridge upon posts forming a means of communication between the master's and the usher's houses, and was built about the same time or a little after the latter. Finally, towards the end of the century, in order to form a library, this gallery was inclosed, a stone front was built connecting the ends of the east and west wings, which are also of stone, and an attic story was added. The ground floor of the south wing has been altered in modern times by the insertion of a partition at the west end to provide a drawing-room for the master's house. The remaining and greater portion of the ground floor is occupied by a classroom which largely retains its school fittings of the 18th century with the head master's and usher's desks. The class-room on the upper floor has an open roof with queen-post trusses, the tie-beams of which are moulded with a quarter roll. During the 18th century an attic story was inserted in the roof, the floor being carried on the tie-beams and dormers being inserted in the roof. This was used as a dormitory. This room has two chalk mantelpieces with moulded straight-sided four-centred arched openings with moulded stops at the jambs. Over this is a frieze of flutes alternating with circular plaques and a moulded cornice of semi-renaissance detail. The windows are all mullioned, with rounded heads, and of stone, while the walls are of brick. On the first floor is a small door with a four-centred head opening into the class-room from the usher's wing, with which it is contemporary. The main entrance to the class-room is from the court, where there is a small porch with a four-centred entrance and door. Rough arches have been cut in the flanking walls, and the whole porch is a good deal modernized. The head master's house retains little of interest except some plain chalk mantelpieces with straight-sided four-centred heads and some good late 16th-century panelling of a plain kind. The usher's wing retains its old beams, moulded with a quarter roll and an ogee. In this wing is a chained library, containing a considerable number of volumes, but the fittings are all new. The two wings last described are of three stories, the ground floor being somewhat lower than that of the south wing. The library wing is a rough-cast halftimber structure with a stone front, and the back wall is carried upon two heavy chamfered posts. The ground floor of this wing, originally intended to be open to the court, is now inclosed to form cloakrooms, &c. On the court side of the library are two windows with ogee moulded jambs, heads, and wooden mullions which were discovered under the rough-cast during some recent repairs. The main front on the street consists of the gabled ends of the east and west wings and the wall connecting them, which is gabled in the centre and is of Bargate stone. The two side wings are buttressed and string-courses are run across the elevation and serve as labels to the windows. In the middle of the wall is a doorway to the court with a four-centred head and its original door of oak in small panels with a fluted lunette. Over the door is a carved stone panel with the royal arms and the inscription: 'Schola Regia Grammaticalis Edwardi Sexti.' Over this is the library window of six mullioned and transomed lights with a square label. The two side wings have had similar windows, but not transomed, and of four lights, on four stories. There are also two-light attic windows in the three gables. The gables have brick-coped parapets and small terra-cotta balls upon iron spikes as finials.

High Street, Guildford

Besides the important buildings in the High Street just described there are many others of early 17th-century date, and even earlier. Several houses, however, were refronted about 1700. No. 25 is an interesting example of domestic architecture of the early part of the 17th century, remodelled at the end of the century, only the staircase and some panelling being left of the original work. The street front belonging to the later date has been much damaged by the insertion of a comparatively modern shop window, but above this is complete. The two upper stories are treated with a single order of Doric pilasters set upon pedestals mainly in plaster, and with wood-framed mullioned and transomed windows. At the first-floor level is a simple iron balcony. The rear elevation is hung with tiles made in imitation of brickwork and set in mortar, after a fashion not uncommon in the south of England in this period. On the ground floor is a projecting bay, with rounded corners, (fn. 8) decorated with plaster-work. The front room of the ground floor is completely modernized and is occupied by a shop. This opens at the back into the staircase, and beyond this is a back room which is panelled with oak in small butted panels of the earlier work. The ceiling is cut up by moulded and enriched ribs of late 17th-century date. The mantelpiece has been removed. The bay has wooden frames and iron casements with leaded glass in square panes. The staircase is of deal; it is set in a square well and is divided into three short flights with two half landings between each floor. The newels are square, surmounted by enriched urns, and have carved pendants. The handrail is heavy, simply moulded, and is without ramps. In place of balusters there are square and raked panels of elaborately carved and pierced acanthus scrolls. At the first-floor landing an entrance hall is arranged to the room over the shop. This ante-room is a part of the later work and is treated with arcading against the wall on one side and on to the stair well on another, where is also a range of turned and twisted balusters. The partition wall between this and the room is treated with large bolection-moulded panels. The fourth side retains the original window and iron casements. The furniture of these is extremely ingenious and is beautifully designed. It consists of a combination of a latch and a twisting bolt, the latter engaging with two pins in the sill and transom and drawing the casements tight. (fn. 9) The front room is entirely of the later date. It is beautifully panelled with large bolection-moulded panels. The ceiling is of richly modelled plaster and the mantelpiece is a simple continuation of the panelling. The windows are fitted with large double iron casements in wood frames with wood transoms and have leaded glass in large panes. Here again are similar but simpler bolt fasteners.

No. 140 has a good plastered front of late 17th-century date with two overhanging gabled bays. There are sash and casement windows, all in wood, and a good wooden cornice. No. 136 is of about the same date. It has a square projecting bay and a plaster coved cornice. The angles are quoined in plaster. No. 133 retains, in the main, its old front. It has three gables on the street front which overhang the first floor and have moulded barge-boards. No. 129 shows a very narrow elevation to the street, and is treated on its projecting and overhanging bay with a somewhat elaborate arrangement of plain superimposed orders inclosing the sash windows of the first and second floors. The front is in wood and plaster and is of late 17th-century date. Nos. 127 and 128 are perhaps a little later in date. The whole front is plastered with rustications, architraves, pediments, &c., of a purely classical type, and all in plaster. The cornice is fairly heavy and deeply coved. Nos. 40 and 41 are similar in style, but somewhat more elaborately rusticated. No. 125 and No. 121 both belong to the middle of the 17th century, but have been a good deal restored. The former has a large gable with deep modillioned eaves, and overhangs at the first and second floors. The front is plastered and the windows are casements. No. 121 has an overhanging bay with a wall ornament of square balustradings, all in wood and plaster. The old post office, No. 56, has a very picturesque front of two gables. At the first floor are two square projecting bays with hipped tile roofs, and between them, but on the second floor, is a circular projecting bay which ties the whole design together in a singularly happy manner. At the bottom of the hill is a house of mid-18th-century date. It is built of red and yellow brick and has flush sashes and a good modillioned cornice with a tiled roof set back from the crown mould.

On the road to the station and in Mount Street are a number of simple but picturesque cottages in half-timber, plastered and in some cases weatherboarded. There are also several others which have been refronted. In Bury Fields is a row of cottages all a good deal restored, but retaining, in the majority of cases, their old iron casements and casement furniture. Adjoining these is a house with the remains of an elaborate early 17th-century doorway with small pilasters, lozenged rustications, fantastic capitals, and a moulded cornice.

In Quarry Street are a number of houses dating from the 17th century. Near St. Mary's Church is one of early 17th-century date, a good deal disfigured with stucco, with an overhanging gabled first floor on carved brackets of crude renaissance design. Farther south on the west side of the street is No. 6, dating from the end of the 17th century, with a panelled plaster front and some casement windows and a wood modillioned cornice. No. 5, a red brick building a little later in date than the last, has a good modillioned wood cornice. No. 19 and Millbrook House, opposite the castle arch, are much restored examples of 17th-century work with overhanging gables, &c.

Under a part of the Angel Hotel is a sub-vault, possibly of the 13th century, consisting of three double bays of plain pointed rib vaulting with circular columns with plain bases, no capitals, and chamfered ribs. It is about 32 ft. by 22 ft., and is entered from the north by a door with a pointed chamfered head. The archway from the street to the yard of the hotel retains some work of early 17th-century date. The beams over the archway are old but plain, and there is an elaborate door with fantastically rusticated Ionic pilasters in the half-timber walling. Almost exactly opposite, on the south side of the street, is a somewhat similar vault about 19 ft. 6 in. by 32 ft. 6 in.; but having hollow-chamfered wall ribs, plain moulded bases of rather deep profile, and moulded bell capitals. Mr. Simon (fn. 10) has collected notices of the storage of wine in Guildford for the kings, Henry III in particular, who were frequently resident in the castle, and who received large dues of wine from Gascony; and it is, on the whole, probable that the crypts were from the first, as now, wine cellars.

On the site of one of the lodges to the Royal Park, north of the station, at the end of Walnut Tree Close, is an old house of red brick, now divided into two cottages. It probably dates from the 17th century, and runs north and south, with a gabled wing crossing it in the middle of its length. The end gables have been refaced with modern brick and tiles. There is a small amount of old half-timber work on the east front and a modern projecting wing. The roofs are tiled.

The new gaol has now been removed from Guildford. The keep of the castle was the county gaol for Surrey and Sussex (fn. 11) from 1202, when 4s. were paid for the repair of the gaol in the castle, as late as December 1508, (fn. 12) when a deed records the agreement for the maintenance of prisoners, but apparently was not the county gaol under Elizabeth, as the Loseley papers make no reference to it as such, prisoners being then sent to the 'White Lion' and the Marshalsea in Southwark. In 1604 a new gaol was built in Quarry Street. It was rebuilt in 1765, and pulled down and rebuilt on a higher site on South Hill in 1822. The new prison was abolished in 1851, the prisoners being removed in April of that year to the newly built House of Correction at Wandsworth. Kingston gaol was abolished at the same time. (fn. 13) Debtors used to be confined under the town hall, and in the building across the street where the judges sat in circuit. An old print is extant of a man being hanged on a scaffold in the street there; but the more usual place of execution was at Henley Grove on the slope of the Hog's Back, opposite the present hospital. The judges sat in this house or in a hall which had been part of the old Red Lion Inn in Market Street, bought and altered for this purpose by Lord Onslow and Lord Grantley in 1789. (fn. 14) On the site of part of the same old inn was the Cock Pit, and the theatre was close by. A bill of sale of 1744 records that the Cock Pit was let for 15 guineas for the race week. Opposite the town hall now is the Tuscan façade of the old Corn Market erected in 1818. It is not now used as the market (vide infra). Next to this is the old Three Tuns Inn, a fine house with three gables. Among modern buildings is the Royal Surrey County Hospital on the west side of the river. It was built in 1866 as a memorial to the late Prince Consort. Adjoining the hospital are Hilliers' Almshouses, originally founded in 1800 by Elizabeth Hillier in Shoreditch for seven women, and enlarged by Nathaniel Hillier of Stoke Park, Guildford, in 1812, for eight women. The almshouses were removed from Curtain Road, Shoreditch, to Guildford in 1879. The Isolation Hospital between the South Eastern and South Western Railway lines, in Woodbridge, was founded in 1886. The County and Borough Hall in North Street, where the Assizes are held, was built in 1845. The public baths in Castle Street were opened in 1889.

The cemetery, on the end of the Hog's Back, was consecrated in 1856. Close by it is Booker's Tower; a tower built for the view from the top of it by one Charles Booker. It is the property of the corporation.

The old bridge, of five arches, was of stone and very narrow. A ford crossed the river by the south side of it. It was repaired with brickwork, and the central arch was rebuilt to admit the passage of barges on the making of the Godalming Navigation in 1760. In 1825 the bridge was widened by iron arches and balustrades, which probably weakened the original structure from which they projected. In 1900 a great flood washed large quantities of timber out of Messrs. Moons' timber yard above the bridge. This blocked the narrow arches and the bridge collapsed entirely. A new iron bridge was built about two years later. Fortunately in 1882 an iron bridge had been built lower down near the railway station. The foot-bridge at the foot of Quarry Hill, built by subscription, was opened 25 August 1909.

The King's Mills must from their description as 'in the parishes of St. Mary and St. Nicholas' have stood across the river very near the present mills. Before 1256–7 they were removed to a place below the bridge, next Guildford Park, to the great injury of the joint-holders of the manor of Artington, and of Richard Testard who had mills near St. Nicholas's Church and in St. Mary's parish opposite, respectively. The result of the complaints made was that ultimately the mills were removed back to their previous site. (fn. 15) The Artington Mill has disappeared, leaving its name in Mill Mead. The other mills were employed for fulling besides grinding corn, and the fulling mill was in St. Mary's parish, as appears from the parish registers. In 1701 waterworks were set up in the fulling mill for the supply of the town from the river. (fn. 16) The waterworks are still employed to pump the water of the Guildford Waterworks. The mills were rebuilt in 1766.

Among buildings which have disappeared from Guildford was the Spital, or St. Thomas's Hospital. It stood in the angle between the Epsom and London roads, and a small ancient building was in existence when Manning wrote, but a sketch by John Russell, R.A., in 1791, exhibits no architectural features. A prior or master appears in the Court Rolls of Stoke Manor, to the lord of which he paid 6d. a year, but in 1491 it belonged to the manor of Poyle (q.v.). It does not appear to have been suppressed under Edward VI. A single cripple, dignified by the title of prior, was nominated to it by the magistrates up to the 18th century. (fn. 17)

The Dominican Friary has been treated under the section of Religious Houses. It has left its name in Friary Steet and in Friary Ward. The precincts of the Friars are still strictly extra-parochial. The house of the Friars, after being leased by the Crown to various holders, was partly pulled down in 1606 by Sir George More, who carried away the materials by leave of George Austen, to whom he had sold his rights. (fn. 18) This was possibly to build the wing which Sir George added to Loseley. The site was granted in feesimple to the Earl of Annandale in 1630. (fn. 19) He had a new house built by Inigo Jones. After various alterations this was changed into barracks in 1794 and pulled down in 1818.

The Trinity and St. Mary's National Schools were founded in 1814 and enlarged at various dates down to 1905. The St. Nicholas Boys' and Girls' Schools (National) in the Portsmouth Road were built in 1851, the Infants' School in 1860, and the Ludlow Road School (mixed) in 1890.

The Congregational and the Wesleyan Methodist chapels are in North Street, and there is an old Baptist chapel in Castle Street. The Friends' Meeting House and Unitarian chapel are in Ward Street on the borders of Guildford and the parish of Stoke. Land was bought for a Friends' Meeting House as far back as 1673. The Nonconformists were strong in Guildford from 1662, and there is a well-attested tradition (fn. 20) of Bunyan preaching just outside the borough. An Independent chapel was built of wood in Black Horse Lane soon after the Toleration Act of 1689, but had no settled minister till 1704. (fn. 21) The old Baptist chapel was called Charcoal Barn Chapel, for it was on the site of a town storehouse of charcoal where the congregation formerly met.


Guildford Castle is of the mount and bailey type of castle, belonging perhaps to the era of the Conquest. The whole area covered by the castle works is about 6 acres. The mound is about 90 ft. across at the top and about 200 ft. across the base, while its height is about 30 ft. from the ditch to the east, as it now is, or about 40 ft. from the lower ground to the west. It was made by cutting a ditch through a spur of the chalk hill and piling the débris upon the west end of the spur.

Plan of Guildford Castle

The outworks of the castle reached to what is now called Quarry Hill House in Quarry Street. Close to this are the remains of a sally port. The outer walls continued round by the south and south-east and east, inclosing the present bowling-green. The limits are marked by the boundary of the extra-parochial precincts. The curving line of Castle Street marks the outer walls to the north. On the west it is probable that an outer ward included Quarry Street, abutting upon the steep declivity above the river. By the steps which lead up here from the river to Quarry Street is the jamb of an ancient stone doorway. At the south-west angle, by Quarry Hill House, it is obvious that the castle ditch, now occupied by a greenhouse, has been abruptly broken off by the street crossing it. It ran across the street, no doubt, so that this way into Guildford came through the outer ward of the castle.

The principal building now on the castle site is a square keep of early 12th-century date, near which are a few remains of a shell keep of earlier date, (fn. 22) an artificial mound on which these stand, and fragments of the outer buildings, some of which are possibly a part of the hall, and are, so far as they can be dated, of about the same period as the keep. The entrance from Quarry Street is through a mediaeval gateway known as the Castle Arch, adjoining which on the north side is a building also in part of mediaeval date, but much altered in the 17th century, and now used as the head quarters of the Surrey Archaeological Society. On the higher ground to the east of it are considerable remains of 12th and 13th-century building, unfortunately too fragmentary to be identified, but doubtless representing the palace of which so many details are preserved in the documents quoted.

The keep consists of an approximately square structure about 42 ft. each way, and is set a little west of north, and at the east of the top of the mound. It is built of Bargate stone rubble in thin slabs with some flint rubble as a core, and externally irregularly placed bands of herring-bone work in Bargate stone, some bands of scappled flints, and a certain amount of ashlar mainly in Bargate stone but with a little chalk. The lower part of the east wall has been repaired in modern times.

Externally the four faces are broken by broad angle and central pilaster buttresses running the whole height of the keep. The angle buttresses appear to have been carried slightly higher than the rest of the wall, while over the north-west angle was a turret over the vice. The doors and windows were all originally quoined with dressed Bargate stone, which in some cases has been replaced by brickwork, apparently in the 17th century. On the north and east of the tower the ground falls away rather rapidly, and the pilaster buttresses spring from a battered plinth faced in part with ashlar. The original access to the mound was under the north side of the keep, and on the face of the latter the remains of the spring of an arch which spanned the entrance are visible. The tower was originally divided into four stories, but the lowest one has been filled in nearly up to the level of the floor, the beam-holes of which remain. This, with the present ground floor, formed a basement, the main entrance being on the first floor. The foundations of the east wall of the keep are on the natural ground at the foot of the mound; those of the other three walls, which terminate with an interior set-off, are in the artificial mound.

The ground floor is entered by a rough opening made at a recent date in the west wall. There are two windows, one in the north and one in the south walls, both of which have round heads with internal splays and semicircular rear arches which are sloped up from inside to outside. The walls are of rough rubble in flint and Bargate stone with a carefully laid inside facing of thin stones which in places has been hacked away. Portions of the plaster adhere to the south wall. In the north wall is cut a rough fireplace, a flue for which has been contrived in the thickness of the wall.

Plan of Guildford Castle Keep

The entrance, on the west, has a very slightly pointed door of two orders, the outer of which is flush with the face of the pilaster buttress on this side. The door leads into a passage with parallel sides through the thickness of the wall, and is faced with wide jointed ashlar which shows diagonal tooling. It has a rough pointed barrel-vault. South of this is the door to a wall chamber, all the worked stones of which have been picked out. North of it is a small round-headed door to a chamber in the thickness of the wall. The north and south walls are offset at this level for the wood floor which once existed. In the middle of the north wall is an opening with a segmental head, the jambs of which are much cut about, which opens into a long narrow barrel-vaulted chamber or passage in the thickness of the wall, lit by a single loophole. West of this is a round-headed opening with dressed jambs and head slightly chamfered. This forms the rear arch to a window of two round-headed lights set in a round-headed outer order. The mullion, presumably a column, is missing. The splay is carried to the floor level, and forms a vestibule to a vice in the north-west angle of the keep, the door to which is in the west internal jamb of the window. This door is very much defaced and the steps of the vice are gone. The wall internally retains in patches a facing of diagonally-tooled ashlar in square blocks. In the middle of the east wall on this floor is a deep window splay retaining a few ashlar quoins, but externally restored in brickwork, apparently of 17th-century date. This wall contains no chambers, as it forms part of the line of defence. In the south wall, but to the east of the centre, is a similar window which retains most of its ashlar work and is unrestored. The dividing column, however, is gone. In the west part of the wall is a segmental-headed opening to a small wall-chamber, probably the chapel, which is entered through an ante-chamber, probably the ante-chapel, in the thickness of the west wall. The round-headed door of the ante-chamber, of two orders, retains little more than its rough opening. The ante-chamber is 14 ft. 2 in. long and 5 ft. wide, and has on the west a wall arcade of four bays with rounded engaged columns with scalloped and palmette capitals and moulded base approximating to the Attic type and semicircular arches of one slightly chamfered order. In the northernmost bay is a small round-headed original window. The ante-chapel is vaulted with an obtuse pointed barrel-vault of rubble which has been plastered and has at its spring a chamfered string. The angles of the room are ashlared, and the whole arcade with its wall spaces is of carefully wrought chalk masonry, while the end wall and the east wall are of rubble and have been plastered.

The chapel, which is in the thickness of the south wall, is really an extension at right angles to the other chamber, and had, originally, a continuation of the arcade carried along its south or exterior wall; but of this little remains except one column and capital imbedded in a later partition wall at the west end of the chapel, while west of this are traces of two more bays. From these it would appear that the arcade was originally of six bays. Two capitals of similar detail to those in the ante-chapel remain. At the east end of the chapel is a block of rubble, the remains of a stone bench, and at the south-east is a small square recess partly blocked. There are two windows on the south, that to the east is of three mullioned lights with square heads and is a 17th-century insertion and responsible for the destruction of part of the arcade; the wide opening opposite to it is of the same date, and meant to transmit the light to the interior of the keep. The defaced window to the west appears to have been original and similar to that in the ante-chapel. The chapel is vaulted in the same way as the ante-chapel, the two vaults intersecting, but at the east end is a half-vault at right angles to the main ceiling and very clumsily connected up with it. On the arcade of the ante-chapel are a number of scratched designs, mainly of mediaeval date. Amongst other subjects are representations of St. Christopher, the Crucifixion, and a seated king and queen.

The top floor of the keep originally contained four two-light windows, one in each wall, of which little remains now but the splays, the windows themselves having been replaced in stone. There is also on the north a segmental-headed recess which, turning at right angles, leads to the vice, and east of this are traces of a brick-backed fireplace, probably part of the 17th-century domestic repairs, (fn. 23) while at the southeast is a round-headed opening to a small garderobe in the thickness of the wall with a double corbelled shoot.

South and west of the keep and below the crest of the mound are two fragments of walling, apparently part of the earlier polygonal shell keep. The former of these is very fragmentary, but the latter is still some height above ground, and has at the west the remains of two garderobe shoots, one above the other. The other end appears to have been connected up with the east side of the square keep, into which it has been incorporated. Both these fragments are of chalk. Buck's view, dated 1737, shows these walls as remaining to a height of at least two stories, while at the north-west of the mound is a suggestion of further remains of which only foundations now remain.

No documentary evidence exists regarding the history of the castle till the 12th century. It was one of the many castles set in order at the time of the 'young king's' rebellion in 1173–4, some £26 being then expended upon it. (fn. 24) In 1202 it is mentioned as a prison, but nothing is known of the building until 1246, when a hall and chamber for the use of the Sheriffs of Surrey were built on the mound (fn. 25) (mota). Four years later, in 1250, orders were given to repair the wall of the castle with columns and underpinning, to whitewash it and the keep (turris), and to repair the lead on the keep. (fn. 26) Further whitewashing and repairs were done to the keep and the walls of the bailey in 1256, (fn. 27) and next year a kitchen was built and the gaol repaired, (fn. 28) while in 1268 a further £20 was spent on the keep. (fn. 29) In 1293 the kitchen was repaired, the gaol cleaned out and 36 pairs of fetters (firgis) provided; one of the gates was rebuilt, tables were fixed in the hall and repairs done to a solar and the castle bridge. (fn. 30) Almost the only other reference to be noted occurs in 1360, when a large stone was set under the door of the chapel in the keep, and a small window in the chapel was strengthened with iron bars for the safer custody of prisoners. (fn. 31)

South-east of the keep and sheltered by the outer wall of the castle was the royal palace, of whose buildings more traces remain in records than in ruins. During the latter half of the reign of Henry III references to its fabric are numerous. In 1243 a door was made at the end of the hall, between the pantry and buttery, leading to the kitchen, and the windows on the west of the royal dais were glazed; a fireplace was also put into the larder so that the building could be used as the queen's garderobe when she came there. (fn. 32) In 1245 the sheriff was ordered to build a room for the use of Edward, the king's son, to be 50 ft. long and 26 ft. broad, stretching along the wall towards the field to the corner of the wall towards the kitchen, and in breadth from the wall towards the field towards the almonry; the upper part of the building to be for the king's son and the lower for the pages-in-waiting (vadlettorum nobilium), with barred windows, a fireplace, and a privy chamber in each room. Also, under the east wall opposite the east part of the king's hall a pentice with fireplace and privy chamber was to be made for the queen's garderobe. In the queen's chamber the existing window was to be replaced by one as much broader as could be set between the two walls and as high as reasonably possible, with two marble columns, between which were to be glass windows with a panel that could be opened, the upper part of the window boarded, and the whole provided with wooden shutters; at the same time the upper window at the west end of the hall by the dais was glazed with white glass with the image of a king seated on one side and a queen on the other. (fn. 33) A porch was built in front of the door of the hall in 1247, (fn. 34) and in 1250 the pillars (postes) of the hall were restored and underpinned with Reigate stone; at the same time the roofs of the steward's room (dispensatoria) and buttery were mended and a new window made in each, the roofridge (cumulum) of the royal chamber was raised 5 ft. and the walls also raised to allow of the insertion of three windows like the new window in the same chamber. The passage between the hall and the chamber was to be boarded and given a plaster ceiling (desuper terrari) and the wainscoted bedrooms were to be painted green. The low garderobe (bassa warderoba) of my lord Edward's bedroom was to be wainscoted and a stone vault (vouta) made in it 'in which our chests and relics can be placed'; the wall between that bedroom and the almonry was to be coped (crestetur), and the wall outside the king's bedchamber was to be thrown down and rebuilt 15 ft. away from the same chamber, the space between being used for a garden (herbarium). A window was to be made in the small garderobe near the gate, and the high window in the queen's garderobe was to be glazed. A new lattice (laticium) was to be made in front of the chapel of St. Stephen, and in the chapel of St. Katherine the figure of the saint and scenes from her life were to be painted behind the altar 'suitably, without gold or blue' (honeste absque auro et azuro) and the wall round the chapel to be rebuilt. (fn. 35)

Not long after this there was evidently a fire at the palace, as in 1253 orders were given to roof the vaults of the buildings burnt at Guildford, to mend the gutters of the burnt hall that the walls might not be injured, and to support the part of the hall roof which had not been burnt, so that it should not be dangerous. The burnt portion of the hall was to be pulled down. (fn. 36) Rebuilding seems to have proceeded slowly, as in November 1255 the king stated that he would be at Guildford for the Feast of the Circumcision (1 January), and as the buildings were not yet ready he ordered greater dispatch to be made with them. (fn. 37) In January 1256, (fn. 38) accordingly, King Henry being at Guildford gave instructions as to the royal chapel, the queen's chapel, and certain chambers newly built, and ordered the porch of the hall to be built of stone, the story of Dives and Lazarus to be painted in the hall opposite his seat, and 'a certain image with beasts' to be made on the said seat; the chamber of the chaplains was also to be lengthened. (fn. 39) Later in the year the sheriff was told to have the hall whitewashed inside and out, the pillars and arches marbled (marbrari), the two gables pointed, the great chamber whitewashed and marked out in squares (quarellari) and its ceiling painted green, spangled (extencellari) with gold and silver. A porch (oriolum) was to be made in front of the door of the hall and a cloister with marble columns in the garden. (fn. 40) Next year a stone gateway was to be made and over it a solar 32ft. 'within the walls' and 18ft. broad, with a garderobe. In the chancellor's chamber the fireplace was to be moved further north, the screen (halder') of the chamber was also to be moved and put elsewhere, and the chamber whitewashed and boarded behind the chancellor's bed. Four glass windows were to be put into the gable of the hall and a pentice to be made between the chaplain's chamber and the kitchen. (fn. 41) The latter was again ordered next year, as well as another pentice from the king's son's chamber to the kitchen and a small building for warming up (calefaciendum) the queen's food. A stable was to be built between the hall and the kitchen, also a saucery (salsaria) and larder under one roof, and a wood-lodge. The queen's chapel and her chamber were to be paved and the outer and inner doors of the chamber under the oriel to be blocked and a new door made from that chamber into the king's garderobe. (fn. 42) In 1260 orders were given to pave the cloister and make two doors and a bench therein, and also to put two glass windows in the pentice near the queen's lawn (pratellum). (fn. 43) Next year, in January, when the king was again at Guildford, he ordered the great window of the hall over against the royal seat to be glazed, a wooden sperre (espurrum) to be made at the head of the table in the hall towards the entrance into the royal chamber, and figures of St. Edward and of St. John, holding the ring in his hand, to be painted there. The same figures were also to be painted on the wall by the king's seat in his chapel, and an image of the Blessed Mary was to be made and placed in the queen's chapel. (fn. 44) In 1267 several rooms were built; one chamber with a settle (stadium), fireplace, garderobe, and vestibule, and a chapel at the end of the same chambers with glass windows, for the use of Eleanor wife of Edward the king's son, and another chamber with settle, fireplace, garderobe, and vestibule, for the use of the knights of Queen Eleanor. (fn. 45) At the same time the queen's garden (herbarium) was set in order under the direction of William Florentyn, the king's painter, who was at this time in charge of the works at Guildford, where he had been employed some eight years earlier in touching up the paintings in the hall and chapel. (fn. 46)

After the death of Henry III Guildford seems to have been rather neglected, and by 1333 the buildings of the palace were in a very bad state, every room, apparently, requiring some repairs. (fn. 47) A survey made in that year, giving an estimate of the cost of repairs, mentions the following buildings as needing repairs: the 'Frereschaumbre,' with garderobe; the wall between the same chamber and the great chapel; one aisle of the great chapel; the king's hall; a chamber between the great chapel and the king's great chamber; the king's chamber, with garderobe; the foundations of the garderobe of the same great chamber adjoining the castle; the queen's chamber; the chamber of the damsels (puellarum), which 'below the lead' required a new fireplace and 'above the lead' a rail with posts and laths; the chapel of St. Katherine; the chamber of the Earl of Chester (afterwards the Black Prince), with garderobe and the nursery (camera Noricerye); a cloister; a party wall from the king's great chamber to the small gate by the Earl of Chester's garderobe and the garden by the cloister; a room over the great gate, with garderobe; the queen's garderobe by the great gate; the 'Aumerye' with garderobe and another chamber adjoining; the Earl of Cornwall's chamber with cellar and garderobe; the treasurer's chamber, called Queen's Hall, with cellar, containing a fireplace with a double vent (cum dupplici tuello); the king's great garderobe by the water pit; the larder; the royal kitchen; a wall between the king's kitchen and the 'Frereschaumbre.' This evidently completes the circuit of the buildings; then are mentioned the palings between the garden and the castle; a piece of the mantle wall round the chapel 52 ft. in length, 20 ft. high, and about 10 ft. thick at the base; the rest of the mantle wall round the castle, which lacked buttresses and was weak at the foundation; the palings upon the king's ditch between the castle (sic), and gutters, lead, &c., with two louvres (fumerelli) over the hall. Edward I, his son and grandson, and Edward IV and Richard III were all at Guildford in the course of their reigns, either in the castle or in the manor-house in the park, probably the former. In 1337 Robert of Artois was to be lodged in the king's house in the castle, (fn. 48) and to be allowed to hunt in the park.

In 1611 the castle was granted to Francis Carter. (fn. 49) The initials of his grandson, John Carter, 1699, used to stand above the arch of the entrance. The stone is now in the Archaeological Society's museum. The place was not regarded as a fortress during the Civil Wars, and Manning and Bray (fn. 50) preserve a tradition that the keep had been dismantled and the roof taken away about 1630. (fn. 51) A parliamentary survey was taken in 1650 as of the late king's lands, Mr. John Carter's title being doubted. From it we find that the dismantled keep had been used as a cock-pit. The only habitable house, containing a handsome hall, a large parlour, kitchen, buttery and cellar, with three chambers and two garrets above stairs, was that now used for the Surrey Archaeological Society's museum and library, with the caretaker's cottage and its adjacent cottage. The hall is now cut up into rooms in the middle of the house. The parlour and the upper chamber over it contain good Jacobean fire-places. John, son of the John Carter of 1650, put up additional buildings at the back of these. His initials and those of Elizabeth his wife, and the date 1672 or 1675, are upon them. The site remained in the possession of the descendants of Francis Carter in the female line till 1813, when Mr. Thomas Matchwick sold it to the Duke of Norfolk. His successor sold it to Lord Grantley c. 1842, from whose successor it was bought by the corporation in 1886 and laid out as at present, in gardens.

Guildford Castle from the South-west

Underneath the castle and in the hill south of it are very extensive galleries in the chalk, known as the Caverns. A large cave of about 45 ft. by 20 ft. and 9 ft. high leads to these passages, which run as far as 120 ft. in different directions horizontally. They are quarries, whence the street is named, from which the harder strata of chalk were excavated for the castle and other early buildings. A perpendicular shaft has been sunk into them at one place which, by the discolouring of the chalk, seems to have been a cesspit, (fn. 52) probably in connexion with the gaol above.


  • 1. The theory that the town originally stood on this side of the river is without foundation, and is contradicted by the name Bury Fields, by old maps marking the fields, and by the size of St. Nicholas's parish, a country not a town parish. Part of this parish, including the church of St. Nicholas, lies in Guildford, but that portion of it which is outside the old borough is in Godalming Hundred, and the general description of the parish has been treated there.
  • 2. Pipe R. 4 Ric. I, m. 8 d. This is the so-called Pilgrim's Way; though there is no historical ground for applying the name in West Surrey. The road from village to village south of the downs was probably only a local road, not used for through traffic, and has even less right to the name.
  • 3. In the first extant county rate.
  • 4. Reg. of St. Osmund (Rolls Ser.), i, 203.
  • 5. Dict. Nat. Biog.
  • 6. Parish registers of St. Nicholas contain his baptism.
  • 7. Harl. MS. 1561, fol. 79b, 80b.
  • 8. See V.C.H. Surr. ii, 475.
  • 9. See V.C.H. Surr. ii, 479.
  • 10. Hist. of the Wine Trade in England.
  • 11. The county gaol for Sussex was established in Lewes in 1487–8.
  • 12. Surr. Arch. Coll. xv, 157.
  • 13. Information from the son of the last gaoler.
  • 14. Manning and Bray, Hist. of Surr. i, 32.
  • 15. Inq. p.m. 7 Edw. I, no. 73.
  • 16. Manning and Bray, op. cit. i, 33.
  • 17. Speed's mention of Crutched Friars at Guildford, sometimes connected with this hospital, is not supported by other evidence.
  • 18. Loseley MSS. iii, fol. 4a.
  • 19. Pat. 6 Chas. I pt. viii, m. 2.
  • 20. In the family of Mr. Williamson, an old Nonconformist family, a member of which was arrested under the Conventicle Act in 1683. The late Mr. David Williamson kindly supplied the editor with most of the information upon the Nonconformist bodies, and other valuable facts.
  • 21. Church Bks.
  • 22. 'Shell Keep of Guildford Castle,' Surr. Arch. Coll. xvi.
  • 23. a The 17th-century repairs were due, no doubt, to Mr. Carter when he received the castle from James I and lived in it (see below).
  • 24. Pipe R. 20 Hen. II.
  • 25. Liberate R. (Chan.), 31 Hen. III.
  • 26. Ibid. 35 Hen. III.
  • 27. Ibid. 41 Hen. III.
  • 28. Ibid. 42 Hen. III.
  • 29. Ibid. 53 Hen. III.
  • 30. Exch. K. R. Accts. bdle. 492, no. 10.
  • 31. Ibid. bdle. 493, no. 6.
  • 32. Liberate R. (Chan.), 28 Hen. III, m. 2.
  • 33. Ibid. 30 Hen. III, m. 17.
  • 34. Ibid. 32 Hen. III, m. 8.
  • 35. Ibid. 35 Hen. III, m. 3.
  • 36. Ibid. 38 Hen. III, m. 3.
  • 37. Ibid. 40 Hen. III, m. 7.
  • 38. Ibid. m. 16.
  • 39. The wages, 50s. yearly, of the two chaplains (of St. Katherine and St. Stephen) at the castle and of a third at the leper hospital of St. Thomas outside the town occur regularly about this time: e.g. ibid. 33 Hen. III, m. 2.
  • 40. Ibid. 40 Hen. III, m. 10.
  • 41. Ibid. 41 Hen. III, m. 12.
  • 42. Ibid. 42 Hen. III, m. 4.
  • 43. Ibid. 44 Hen. III, m. 3.
  • 44. Ibid. 45 Hen. III, m. 14, 13.
  • 45. Ibid. 52 Hen. III, m. 11.
  • 46. Liberate R. (Chan.), 44 Hen. III, m. 11.
  • 47. Exch. K. R. Accts. bdle.492, no. 23.
  • 48. Pat. II Edw. III, pt. i, m. 9.
  • 49. Pat. 9 Jas. I, pt. iii, m. 5.
  • 50. Hist. of Surr. i, 13.
  • 51. a See Cal. S.P. Dom. 1625–6, p. 474. It seems that the keep must have been dismantled by that year.
  • 52. Major-Gen. E. R. James, The Guildford Caverns (Guildford, 1871).