32 Facts About Guildford


The name "Guildford" is thought to derive from a crossing of the River Wey, a tributary of the River Thames that flows through the town centre.

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Guildford became a university town in September 1966, when the University of Surrey was established by Royal Charter.

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Guildford is surrounded on three sides by the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, which severely limits its potential for expansion to the east, west and south.

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In Domesday Book of 1086, Guildford appears as Gildeford and is divided into seven parts, all of which were the property of William I Two of the areas were held by reeves and four were held by lesser tenants, one of whom was Ranulf Flambard.

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William I is listed as holding Stoke-by-Guildford, which had a population of 24 villagers, ten smallholders and five slaves.

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Guildford remained a property of the Crown throughout the Middle Ages and several kings, including Henry II and John are known to have visited regularly.

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Guildford Black Friary was a community of Dominicans, founded by Eleanor of Provence, wife of Henry III, around 1275.

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Guildford soon outgrew the site, and between 1905 and 1913 production was gradually moved to a new factory near Woodbridge Hill.

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Diocese of Guildford was created in 1927 out of the northern part of the Diocese of Winchester.

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Campaign to found a university in Guildford began as an initiative of the local Rotary Club in 1962, to explore an approach to the University Grants Commission.

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The Guildford Four were convicted for carrying out the bombings in October 1975 and received life sentences.

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Guildford is sometimes described as the county town of Surrey.

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Surrey County Council maintains no administrative presence in Guildford and moved from Kingston upon Thames, to Reigate in 2020.

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Guildford's position is not backed up by the original documentation.

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Bellfields is a suburb in the north of Guildford lying adjacent to Slyfield Industrial Estate and Stoughton.

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It, with one outlying road continuation, forms a wedge between the A3 road and A31 roads south of the junction of the A3 and Egerton Road, Guildford's Cathedral Turn and directly below Henley Fort, an 1880s built London Defence Position and a Scheduled Monument.

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Small mixed land use area north of Guildford that is largely indeterminate from Bellfields, however to its east is Guildford's largest industrial and commercial park, Slyfield Industrial Estate.

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Guildford has been twinned with Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany since 1979.

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In 1952, the Guildford Corporation sold the town's water supply infrastructure to the Guildford, Godalming and District Water Board.

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In 2022, the fire authority for Guildford is Surrey County Council and the town fire station is at Ladymead.

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Ambulance service in Guildford was provided by St John Ambulance until 1966, when the county council set up its own service.

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Guildford Infirmary was built in the grounds of the workhouse in 1896 and was initially run by the Guildford Guardians of the Poor.

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Guildford is linked by a number of bus routes to surrounding towns and villages in west Surrey.

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Guildford has been associated with the 1863 novel Alice's Adventures in Wonderland because of its importance in the life of its author, Lewis Carroll.

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Guildford Museum has a collection of items belonging to Carroll, see above.

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Guildford has been captured on film in Carry On Sergeant, which was filmed at the former Queens Barracks, and The Omen, a scene from which was filmed at Guildford Cathedral.

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Guildford has an Odeon cinema multiplex, which in June 2007 was the first cinema in the world to show digital 4K films to the public.

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Guildford has a model railway club, the Astolat Model Railway Circle, which meets at the National Trust's Dapdune Wharf.

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Guildford Lido, in Stoke Park, is an Olympic-size, 50-metre outdoor, heated swimming pool.

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Guildford Institute was founded in March 1834 as the Guildford Mechanics' Institute to promote "useful knowledge among the working classes".

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Guildford Museum was founded by the Surrey Archaeological Society, which relocated to Castle Arch House from Southwark in 1898.

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Guild in Guildford was formed in the late-14th century shortly after 1366, when Edward III issued the fee farm grant, enabling the town to become self-governing in exchange for a yearly rent of £10.

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